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Revealed: Which CMS Is Greatest For Website positioning?

Which CMS is best for SEO?

In the course of the previous months, we’ve been testing the Website positioning capabilities of the world’s hottest CMS programs.

We’ve been revealing the outcomes of our particular person assessments as we go. And it’s secure to say that some CMS programs carried out higher than others.

Now it’s time to get to the nitty gritty, as we:

  • examine the CMS programs we examined head-to-head, and
  • reveal the CMS we imagine would be the finest Website positioning selection for content material based mostly websites

If you wish to know why we got here to our conclusions, then we’ve bought all the data you want arising…

However hey, we all know you could be busy. So in the event you’re simply searching for a fast reply… nicely, right here it’s!

Fast reply

The very best CMS for Website positioning proper now

The very best CMS for Website positioning can be the world’s hottest: WordPress. Joomla (notably model 4) runs it shut. However when mixed with the YOAST Website positioning plugin, WordPress’s out-the-box velocity, full management over all on-page Website positioning fundamentals, and large group help give it the sting.

The very best web site constructing platform for Website positioning

Whereas WordPress and Joomla will be categorized as fully-fledged CMS programs, the opposite three platforms we examined (Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy) are higher categorized into the subcategory “web site constructing platforms”. Wix was the clear winner on this subcategory, providing a lot higher management over Website positioning fundamentals than its friends.

How we chosen the CMS programs to check

There are a ton of CMS programs on the market.

However we determined to focus our testing on the most well-liked content-focused CMS programs by market share (with one exception).

Why do we are saying content-focused?

Effectively, technically Shopify is a CMS. Certainly, in response to w3techs it’s presently the second hottest CMS on the planet. However we’re certain most would agree that Shopify is healthier classed as an eCommerce platform.

So we skipped Shopify and chosen the opposite 4 hottest CMS programs in w3techs prime 5:

  1. WordPress (65.1% market share)
  2. Shopify (6.6%)
  3. Wix (2.9%)
  4. Squarespace (2.7%)
  5. Joomla (2.7%)

For our last choice, we determined to deviate from utilizing recognition for choice.

The subsequent hottest content-focused CMS system by market share is presently Drupal (2%). However we imagine that a lot of this share is more likely to be made up of legacy websites. Google Developments reveals that its recognition has been on a critical decline for the previous 10 years.

drupal google trends

So as an alternative we jumped the record a bit and selected to check GoDaddy’s Web site Builder.

Why we included GoDaddy’s Web site Builder in our testing

GoDaddy continues to be the world’s largest particular person area registrar.

domain registrar market share

And whereas their Web site Builder has a low total market share (0.4%), we really feel that it’s more likely to embrace a disproportionately excessive variety of small companies.


As a result of anybody who registers a site on GoDaddy (presently round 15% of month-to-month area registrations) goes to get bombarded with upsells to create their website utilizing GoDaddy’s Web site Builder.

They’re going to be getting their CMS in entrance of a whole lot of small enterprise house owners, a lot of whom can be seeking to launch an internet site rapidly, merely, and fuss-free. That’s the right buyer for his or her platform, and the extra focused advertising is, the more practical it’s.

So with GoDaddy chosen for testing, right here’s what our last record seemed like.

You possibly can click on the hyperlinks if you wish to learn the person opinions.

Now let’s take a look at how we performed our assessments.

How we examined the Website positioning capabilities of every CMS

We’ll begin this part by getting one thing out of the way in which.

The CMS system you select is barely an element — maybe even a small one — of whether or not or not your website can be profitable in search.

As a result of in case your content material sucks, you disregard Website positioning fundamentals, and also you don’t pull in some high-quality hyperlinks, then…

…you ain’t going to rank.

In different phrases:

A website working on the “worst” CMS for Website positioning might nonetheless outrank a website working on the “finest” one.

However what we will say is that the CMS you select will both assist or hinder your Website positioning efforts.

Which is why we determined to deal with measurable, platform particular metrics. Primarily:

  • The out-the-box velocity of a CMS (and Core Net Vitals efficiency)
  • Help for Website positioning fundamentals (i.e. are you able to do X, Y, Z on the platform)

Now we should always level out right here that velocity can be going to be theme and (in some circumstances) internet hosting dependent.

For that motive, we once more used recognition to select themes to check.

And for self hosted websites (WordPress and Joomla) we used equivalent server setups/internet hosting. Particularly, a 2GB Digital Ocean server in NY:

server setup

Every website was arrange with related content material.

And we saved exterior plugins/extensions to a minimal to get as near an “out-the-box” configuration as doable.

Though we did set up an trade normal Website positioning plugin on each WordPress (YOAST) and Joomla (4SEO), and have additionally advisable a few picture compression plugins.

As soon as our demo websites have been arrange, the testing course of for every CMS included:

So let’s dig into how our CMS platforms carried out. We’ll begin by reviewing velocity.

How briskly (or gradual) was every CMS?

Pace issues for rankings.

It’s one of many few alerts that Google has confirmed influences rankings. And with Core Net Vitals rolling out as a part of the Web page Expertise replace final 12 months, its significance is barely going to extend.

We measured the efficiency of every of our check websites utilizing Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

Right here’s a abstract of the outcomes…

CMS Systems Page Speed

It’s not even shut.

The self-hosted websites (Joomla and WordPress) considerably outperformed the websites constructed with platform-hosted CMS programs.

Our WordPress check website — working the favored GeneratePress theme — was quickest total. However Joomla ran it shut. Each CMS programs have been tremendous fast out-the-box and handed Google’s Core Net Vitals (CWV) assessments with flying colours.

Squarespace, Wix, and GoDaddy however all suffered velocity points and can be more likely to fail CWV.

So what was slowing them down?

Effectively, whereas all of them had their very own little quirks (you possibly can learn the person opinions for extra element), there was a typical denominator:

Blanket loading of scripts.

Don’t want the script for that fancy homepage carousel? Powerful. You’re getting it on each web page of your website regardless.

Evidently the core of the platform-hosted CMS programs is heavy and bloated, and there’s no easy option to flip issues on and off.

That is clearly lower than perfect, and results in this…

minimize main thread work - google pagespeed insights

Virtually 5 seconds evaluating scripts, most of which we in all probability don’t want.

That specific check is from our GoDaddy Web site Builder website, which was by far the slowest platform. However the identical concern affected Wix and Squarespace.

For instance, on our Squarespace website, we might have saved over 3 seconds of load time by eradicating unused scripts.

squarespace slow load times

Which is a LOT.

Might the velocity points be resolved?

In the event you’re on GoDaddy… you’re in all probability screwed.

In the event you’re on Wix or Squarespace, you ought to be capable of velocity up your website with some technical information, time, and (in all probability) some spare money for an extension or two.

We’ve actually seen some quick Wix websites on the market.

However for the non-technical person, who simply desires to make use of the platform to select a theme, launch a website, and work on content material, velocity points are doubtless going to hinder rankings.

And in our opinion, that kind of person is more likely to make up most of Wix and Squarespace’s shopper base. In spite of everything, launching a website rapidly, and never requiring technical information are the promoting factors of these platforms, proper?

So we hope that future builds will begin to tackle the out-the-box points with velocity.

We must also level out right here that this was the out-the-box velocity of our WordPress and Joomla websites. With some web page velocity optimization, we’d actually be capable of get them to run even sooner.

Help for On-Web page Website positioning fundamentals

Now let’s flip our consideration to regulate of among the basic on-page Website positioning elements.

And since an image tells a thousand phrases, we’ll begin with a visible abstract, which incorporates an total rating (out of 21) for every CMS.

CMS Systems On-page SEO Control

As you possibly can see there was a big disparity within the capabilities of the platforms, with the self-hosted CMS programs (Joomla and WordPress) providing way more management.

Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at how every platform helps (or doesn’t help) a few of these fundamentals.

Observe: Having management of an Website positioning rating issue just isn’t equal to its optimization. Website positioning audit instruments like Seobility supply recommendation on methods to correctly optimize every factor, and discover errors in optimization which can be holding again your website. See our Website positioning audit information for extra info on methods to absolutely optimize your web site.

Website positioning Titles and Meta Descriptions

page title and meta description control

A web page’s title continues to be one of the crucial essential on-page rating elements. And a well-written meta description will help you get extra click-throughs (though Google received’t all the time use it).

What have been we searching for?

Naked minimal? The flexibility to create customized Website positioning titles and meta descriptions for every web page.

However we additionally needed to see search snippet previews (cellular and desktop) and a option to template title and meta descriptions.

How did the CMS programs carry out?

WordPress (with YOAST) was the one CMS that gave us every thing we needed.

YOAST makes it tremendous easy to regulate your titles and meta descriptions, preview how your snippets will look in search, and create templated title/description codecs.

yoast wordpress meta

Joomla (with 4SEO) was shut however lacked a easy option to create templates. Though it may be completed with some easy code.

And Wix and Squarespace additionally carried out fairly nicely, with solely cellular snippet previews lacking from our guidelines.

How about GoDaddy?


It’s not even doable to create a customized title/description for every web page in your GoDaddy website, as the choice is lacking on weblog posts.

They get a little bit credit score for desktop snippet previews (no cellular), however apart from that, it was an enormous fats fail.

Study extra about Website positioning Titles and Meta Descriptions

Web page slug / URL

page slug control

We advocate creating quick, descriptive, 2-3 phrase slugs, together with the first key phrase (or phrase) for every web page. Use hyphens to separate phrases.

What have been we searching for?

The flexibility to set a customized, Website positioning-friendly URL for every web page.

How did the CMS programs carry out?

All of the CMS programs we examined allowed full management over URLs, aside from…

…you guessed it, GoDaddy.

Once more, whereas it was doable (though extremely unintuitive) to set a customized URL for traditional pages, on weblog posts the choice was fully lacking.

Study extra about URL slugs/permalinks

Canonical URLs

canonical url control

On smaller websites, you in all probability received’t want to fret about this.

However if in case you have a sequence of comparable pages in your website — i.e. concentrating on the identical key phrases, or with very small variations in content material — there could also be occasions while you’ll need to set a canonical (grasp) URL.

This helps to keep away from duplicate content material points.

What have been we searching for?

The flexibility to set a customized canonical URL for every web page.

How did the CMS programs carry out?

On our WordPress, Joomla, and Wix websites we have been in a position to set a customized canonical URL for every web page.

setting a canonical URL in Wix

However on our SquareSpace and GoDaddy websites, we have been out of luck.

Study extra about canonical URLs

Index management (robots meta tag)

index control

The robots meta tag instructs Google to both index (1), or to not index (2) a web page:

  1. <meta title=”robots” content material=”index, observe”> – index this web page please Google
  2. <meta title=”robots” content material=”noindex, observe”> – ignore this web page please Google (however observe the hyperlinks on it)

You don’t really want the primary one as (assuming your web page meets their high quality requirements) indexing is Google’s default motion. However it doesn’t do any hurt to have it in place.

What have been we searching for?

The flexibility to regulate indexing (by way of a robots meta tag) for every web page.

How did the CMS programs carry out?

Once more, WordPress, Joomla, and Wix had this lined.

Squarespace allowed us to noindex common pages, however for some motive didn’t give us the choice on weblog posts.

squarespace noindex

However a minimum of this was higher than GoDaddy’s Web site Builder, which didn’t give us a straightforward option to noindex any of our website’s pages.

You might discover a theme right here…

Study extra about index management

Heading Tags (h1, h2, h3 and many others)

heading tags control

Heading tags (h1, h2, h3, and many others) assist Google perceive the construction, and subject(s) of your web page.

They need to be correctly nested.

For instance, an h1 tag would typically be the primary subject (degree 1), an h2 might be a subtopic (degree 2), and an h3 might be a sub-sub subject (degree 3) and many others:

<h1>Pets</h1> (subject of the web page)

<h2>Goldfish</h2> (subtopic)

<h3>Caring to your goldfish</h3> (subtopic of goldfish)

<h4>Clear your fish’s tank usually</h4> (subtopic of caring to your goldfish)

<h2>Cats</h2> (subtopic)

<h3>Caring to your cat</h3> (subtopic of cats)

What have been we searching for?

The flexibility to set a full vary of headings from H1-H6.

How did the CMS programs carry out?

No points with WordPress and Joomla, we bought the total vary from H1-H6.

Wix allowed us to go all the way down to H6 on common pages however restricted us to H1-H3 on weblog posts.

wix blog post headings

Whereas Squarespace restricted us to H1-H4 sitewide.

squarespace headings

How about GoDaddy?

One other sizzling mess.

On common pages, there’s no option to set the heading tags you need, GoDaddy will simply select one for you. They typically selected unsuitable.

And on weblog posts, hit the “T” button and also you’re getting an H4 whether or not you prefer it or not.

godaddy heading tags

(It’s H4s all the way in which down)

Study extra about heading tags

Structured knowledge (aka schema)

structured data control

Structured knowledge (also called schema) will help Google perceive:

  • the kind of content material on a web page (i.e. recipe, overview, product, article),
  • the entity behind the web site (i.e. group),
  • and will also be used to point out extra search options (wealthy snippets)

In the event you’re not conversant in structured knowledge and its influence on Website positioning, we advocate studying our wealthy snippets information.

What have been we searching for?

The flexibility so as to add customized schema to pages and weblog posts.

How did the CMS programs carry out?

Each YOAST for WordPress and 4SEO for Joomla have wonderful help for schema.

For instance, YOAST contains customized blocks for Gutenberg that can help you simply create FAQ and How-to schema.

yoast schema markup

Whereas 4SEO has a robust wizard-style schema markup generator.

4seo joomla schema markup

So as to add customized schema to a web page on Wix or Squarespace, you’ll must generate your markup externally, then copy and paste it into the platform.

Wix makes it apparent the place so as to add your code…

wix schema

…however for including schema to a web page on Squarespace you’ll want to make use of the “Web page Header Code Injection” setting below superior web page settings.

squarespace schema

We advocate this free software for producing schema in JSON-LD format.

There isn’t any easy means so as to add schema markup to a web page on a GoDaddy website. Stunned? By this stage, in all probability not.

Study extra about structured knowledge and wealthy snippets

Picture Website positioning

image SEO control

The three most essential components of picture Website positioning are:

  • Alt textual content (description of the picture for display screen readers and search engines like google)
  • File measurement (smaller = sooner = higher)
  • File title (we advocate utilizing descriptive file names)

What have been we searching for?

Typically, we have been searching for the platform to help alt textual content, and never mess with picture filenames. However some type of picture compression was a pleasant bonus.

How did the CMS programs carry out?

Out-the-box, all platforms help alt textual content.

Sure, even GoDaddy.

The truth is, we’ll go additional and provides a hats off to GoDaddy on compression as they’ll mechanically create and serve optimized WebP variations of uploaded photos (as will Wix).

However earlier than we get forward ourselves…

…we should always level out that they’ll additionally fiddle with filenames. Once more, ditto Wix.

WordPress and Joomla received’t mechanically compress your photos. However Imagify for WordPress, and Picture Recycle for Joomla are extensively used, and can do the trick properly.

Study extra about picture Website positioning


HTTPS support

HTTPS has been a confirmed Google rating sign since 2014.

And in 2022 there’s actually no excuse for any website to nonetheless be working over HTTP. However any Website positioning advantages, it’s unsecure.

In case your website is hosted by Wix, Squarespace, or GoDaddy, you’ll get HTTPS by default.

In the event you’re on WordPress or Joomla, then setting it up can be your duty.

Study extra about HTTPS

Robots.txt file

robots.txt control

A robots.txt file lets you cease search engine bots from accessing sure areas of your website.

For instance, you might need a piece with user-generated content material that you simply don’t need crawled or listed by Google.

What have been we searching for?

The flexibility to edit a website’s robots.txt file, both through FTP or by way of the admin space.

How did the CMS programs carry out?

As WordPress and Joomla are self-hosted you possibly can entry your website’s robots.txt file by way of FTP.

However in the event you’d quite edit by way of the admin space, 4SEO additionally has a pleasant built-in editor.

4seo robots.txt

And there are a bunch of free plugins (like this one) out there for WordPress.

Wix admin additionally provides you full management of your robots.txt file.

wix robots.txt

Nonetheless, sadly there’s no option to edit the robots.txt file on a Squarespace or GoDaddy website.

Study extra about Robots.txt

XML Sitemaps

XML sitemaps control

An XML sitemap helps Google discover (and index) all of the pages in your website.

What have been we searching for?

Firstly for an XML sitemap (or sitemaps) to be auto-generated and maintained by the platform, and secondly for the power to manually add/take away pages from the sitemap.

How did the CMS programs carry out?

Whereas all of the CMS programs we examined created a sitemap, solely Joomla and WordPress allowed us to manually management which pages have been included.

Study extra about XML Sitemaps

Cell pleasant

mobile friendliness

When designing your website, there’s an excellent likelihood you’ll be specializing in the way it appears to be like on desktop.

However cellular site visitors overtook desktop site visitors in 2017. And Google now prioritizes the cellular model of your website for crawling and indexing.

Whether or not or not your website is cellular pleasant is extra more likely to come all the way down to theme selection, quite than CMS.

So in the event you spot any cellular usability errors in Google Search Console…

mobile issues search console

…the very first thing to examine must be your theme.

As a result of all CMS programs are completely able to internet hosting a mobile-friendly website.

Observe: HTTPS and mobile-friendliness are each essential Google rating elements, which is why we included them in our assessments. Nonetheless, we didn’t issue them into the general scores as they don’t actually present extra Website positioning management for customers — hey are both lined by the platform or not. In any case, each elements are lined by all of the CMS programs we examined and wouldn’t affect the ultimate positions.

301 Redirects

301 redirects control

301 Redirects can be utilized to inform search engine crawlers and browsers {that a} useful resource (e.g. HTML file) has been completely moved to a distinct URL. From an Website positioning perspective, they’re essential as they’ll cross on the relevance and hyperlink juice of a web page to its new URL.

4 out of the 5 CMS programs we examined can help you arrange 301 redirects on the platform itself or through the use of an apparent extension…

…however as soon as once more, GoDaddy dares to be totally different.

Study extra about 301 redirects

In abstract: Self hosted platforms nonetheless lead the Website positioning means

Let’s end by summarizing our findings.

There’s a clear divide within the Website positioning capabilities of the self-hosted CMS programs (WordPress and Joomla) and the platform-hosted programs (Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy).

Not solely are you getting a working begin out-the-box by way of velocity and performance, however you’re going to be free to tinker to your coronary heart’s content material.

The code is open-source, and you are able to do what you want with it. Whereas with Wix et al, you’re not going to have the ability to fiddle an excessive amount of ‘below the hood’.

Which is why in some methods we really feel it’s higher to subdivide our outcomes into 2 teams:

  1. Self hosted CMS programs: WordPress and Joomla
  2. Web site constructing platforms: Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy

Whereas WordPress is the general finest CMS for Website positioning, Wix is the clear winner within the “web site constructing platforms” class

As we mentioned initially in our fast reply, WordPress is the general finest CMS for Website positioning, a minimum of out-the-box. However in the event you’re technically minded you’re going to have the ability to optimize a Joomla website each bit in addition to a WordPress one.

Are you able to optimize a Wix website to the identical degree? Maybe, maybe not. However both means, in the event you’re tech-savvy sufficient to do this, we’d query why you’d need to. You’re in the end locked into Wix’s underlying code and their server config.

However that’s to not put Wix down. Whereas nonetheless affected by a variety of points, we have been impressed by how a lot Wix has matured previously couple of years. It’s actually now not the Website positioning horror story it as soon as was.

The truth is, it’s the clear Website positioning winner within the “web site constructing platforms” subcategory. So in the event you don’t need the trouble of managing your individual code/server, and simply need a platform the place you possibly can rapidly launch a website, deal with content material, and management most Website positioning fundamentals, then it might be a strong selection.

Squarespace lags Wix by way of Website positioning performance. However it’s what it’s, and also you’ll actually be capable of optimize a variety of essential on-page elements.

In the event you’re on GoDaddy’s Web site Builder…

…good luck!

Right here’s our total scores once more.

CMS systems on-page SEO control

And right here’s an outline of the ultimate scores solely if you wish to share our outcomes:

final scores

You possibly can learn our full opinions of every CMS system by clicking the hyperlinks beneath.

PS: Get weblog updates straight to your inbox!

David McSweeney

David combines 20+ years of expertise in Website positioning with the eagerness for instructing folks methods to optimize their web sites the precise means. Unsurprisingly he loves Website positioning and writing. That is why David focuses on the notably superior Website positioning subjects on the Seobility weblog.



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