Is WordPress Better For Search Engine Optimization?
At SmartWebPros, we use WordPress for the majority of our websites. For clients that don’t have to touch the backend of their site, it doesn’t matter what Content Management System (CMS) we use, but if you’re a business who wants a professionally designed website which you can make changes to, the CMS is important because it determines how easy it will be to make those changes. But is WordPress better for SEO than easy-to-use site builders?
Will A Site Builder Rank?
We’ve had clients come to us with Wix or SquareSpace sites and they don’t understand why they’re not ranking. The thing with these sites is that they tend to look nice, or at the very least they are what the client wants and this is easy for the client to do because they tend to run on a drag and drop builder. That means, that without any coding knowledge, you can put information wherever you want on the page.
But there’s a downside to this kind of customizability. And, ironically, it’s that it can be limiting. They tend to have many options that you can choose from, but if you want something that’s outside of those options, you’re out of luck. This doesn’t necessarily mean visually; often you can put things wherever you want, or within a series of blocks on the page. But it does prevent you from accessing certain functionalities.
Does WordPress Rank Better?
On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re hand-coding a website on WordPress, which is what we do here—even the sites that we call “templates” are hand-coded skins—you can use any of the endless coding techniques. As our Head Designer says, “We can do anything.” A completely different question is whether or not you should, and maybe I’ll cover that in another blog post. But the ability for WordPress to make these endless customizations makes your website future-proof where, with other page-builder style sites, you may end up having to completely scrap your site early on because you can’t edit it to include that new functionality that everyone has—you just won’t have the ability to do so in those site builders.
Customizability in WordPress SEO
This concept of customizability also holds true when it comes to SEO. In order to do our SEO setups properly, we need to be able to change or add to all the different elements of your site, from pictures, to page meta titles so that Google and other search engines can understand exactly what everything is. In some site builders, you can’t even specify Title tags or Meta Description tags. These not only help label your site, but it’s also what Google shows when they rank a page.
Can we do SEO on a site with a drag and drop builder? Yes, of course, but it may not have the same effect as if we do it on a completely hand-coded site. Now, this isn’t just restricted to WordPress, since WordPress isn’t always the best fit, and sometimes we build sites on different platforms, but we don’t use builders.
Speed: WordPress vs. Site Builders
Another issue with builders is that they tend not to be as fast as a WordPress site. They tend to have a lot of extra code to account for the possibility of all those options, even though you only display one. Speed is incredibly important to SEO right now, specifically on mobile.
Lastly, it’s important to recognize that, although site builders are extremely easy to use to begin with, WordPress isn’t actually that difficult. Sure, if you’ve never learned anything about how websites work, it might be tough. But there is a learning curve and I strongly believe that if you want to learn how to change a few pictures or sentences every once in a while, you can do that. Plus, if we build your website, we are happy to teach you; we’ll even have a lesson with you once your site is launched.
Of course, there are instances when a site builder might be a better option for you. Maybe if you just want a simple to site to house a few pictures and prove you’re a real business, then it might meet your needs. But if you want to do any SEO or marketing, it’s important to have a professionally designed site that is able to grow and adapt to the future if you need it to. If you have questions about this post, contact us.