Google’s Mueller on Self-Hosted WordPress vs. Wix

Google’s John Mueller responded to a question on Reddit regarding moving a Wix SMB site to a self-hosted WordPress environment. He gave his opinion on this specific scenario and, in that context, discussed the relative merits and drawbacks of managed and self-managed WordPress for SMBs.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

SMB stands for Small and Medium Business and what these sizes mean is not fixed, there are several definitions.

In general, small businesses are those with fewer than 100 employees. Medium-sized businesses are those with between 100 and 500 employees and some definitions classify the average up to 1,000 employees.

Managed and self-hosted WordPress hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is a hosting environment where the host takes care of all the details related to the technical maintenance of hosting a WordPress site.

Things like security, caching, content delivery networks (CDNs), security, updates, and backups are all handled by the managed hosting company.

This allows a small business to focus on its core business without having to hire an in-house web developer to maintain site security and updates.

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The trade-off (and also an advantage) for the web host to handle the technical details is that the managed WordPress host can impose limitations on which plugins can run on their environment to maintain security and improve performance. for all their users. This is a good thing, a positive feature of managed WordPress hosting and not a shortcoming.

The self-hosted environment is where a website publisher is responsible for backing up their sites and keeping them up to date.

The tradeoff here is that the self-hosted environment allows a business more freedom to use any solution they need, including the use of their own custom-developed plugins, which means you have to hire or train someone. within the company to manage maintenance and safety. chores.

Managed WordPress hosting costs more than self-hosting, but it costs less than hiring or training someone to handle technical issues.

Small business moves from Wix to self-hosted WordPress

The person who asked the question on Reddit explained that a neighbor was moving away from Wix for a self-hosted WordPress environment.

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They explained that Wix’s current website is performing well in terms of page speed and ranking.

The person who started the discussion noted:

“… his current website gets a 98 SEO on Lighthouse, and customers tell him all the time that he’s the first local business to show up in the results.”

It might not be unreasonable to assume that the SEO who creates self-hosted WordPress SME website is fixing something that doesn’t need to be fixed.

It looks like the company is doing very well on Wix.

John Mueller says Wix is ​​great for SEO

Google’s John Mueller answered the question by first addressing the issue of Wix and SEO and then discussing self-hosting a WordPress site, which the company was doing in passing from Wix to WordPress.

Mueller said:

“Wix is ​​great for SEO. It was pretty bad a few years ago in terms of SEO, but they have made fantastic progress and are now a good platform for business. The reputation of the time persists, but do not let it influence you.

What they’ve been doing over the past few years is some really good stuff, including making a really fast site trivial (as you can see in the Lighthouse scores – admittedly speed is only a tiny part of SEO) .

If Wix is ​​working for them and they don’t need more, there’s no reason to change.

John Mueller Discourages Shift To Self-Hosting For Small Businesses

Mueller then explained that a self-hosted WordPress environment may not be an idea for a small business that doesn’t have a dedicated web support team.

I think it’s important to recognize that Mueller’s answer was given in the context of a discussion of a specific SME with limited web support moving from a successful Wix site to an unmanaged WordPress environment.

Mueller replied:

“In particular, don’t switch to something self-hosted.

Hosting a site yourself comes with a million little hassles, and a business without a dedicated support team will struggle to do the right things, and end up getting hacked + will have to invest a ton to improve it. infrastructure over time (speed, security, functionality).

Some people like the challenge, but if your neighbor likes running a non-IT business, they shouldn’t be managing their own server (e.g., hosting WordPress itself).

I know running WP yourself is still pretty popular, but for a small business with other things on its mind, this is absolutely the wrong thing to do.

There are hosted and managed WP setups, they cost money, but they do these things for you.

Wix does all of this for you, too. Squarespace, etc. – in the same way.

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Google’s John Mueller participates in Reddit

Managed hosting or software as a service?

Companies like Wix and Squarespace offer a software-as-a-service (SaaS) approach, where the platform is fully optimized for businesses, with the goal of making it easy for businesses to connect and run their businesses. technological part being deleted. so that the small business can focus on its business.

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Managed WordPress hosting does much the same for businesses that go with a WordPress solution, but with some restrictions.

Wix may have an advantage over managed WordPress hosting because of their highly optimized SEO and page speed capabilities, which benefits small businesses that don’t want to deal with the technical side of maintenance and ranking. of a website.

A managed WordPress host optimizes their hosting environment for speed and security. It is ideal for businesses that want to eventually grow or have full control over technology and SEO.

One thing is clear, as John Mueller pointed out, that if Wix is ​​working for the small business, there is no reason to switch to another platform.

Quotes

The original discussion is available here:

My older neighbor asks a business to create a new website for their business …

John Mueller’s answer can be accessed via his Reddit profile:

https://www.reddit.com/user/johnmu/

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Esther L. Gunn