Reasons Not to Use

Recently I’ve had two acquaintances contact me to give them some feedback on their websites. After looking into the first website, I quickly came to the conclusion that the online website builder and host they were using was detrimental to securing decent search engine rankings.

The service ignored the most basic fundamentals of search engine optimisation. When the second person came to me, I noticed they were using the same service and realised that it must be somewhat popular. The service I’m referring to is call Wix and they claim to currently host over 6 million websites!

Wix is NOT Search Engine Friendly

What? They are actually advertising that they are search engine friendly? Is this not paramount to false advertisement? Not only would I describe’s website creator and hosting service as not search engine friendly, I would suggest it is actually quite search engine unfriendly.

I can see the appeal of the service, it actually makes creating a website from scratch easy enough for most people to be able to produce something presentable, in little time. But the trouble comes when they expect search engine traffic.

Fist let me clarify, I’m describing Wix’s premium paid service in this post. I can’t imagine anyone half serious about their business or website using the free service, as you cannot use your own domain name and the free version plasters your site in wix ads.

So, what exactly makes Wix websites so search engine unfriendly?

One Page Only
Wix limits the amount of keywords and pages you can rank for, because in the eyes of the search engines it is just one page that utilises flash to imitate several pages. The code for every page of a wix site, is contained within one page.

Typically when optimising a website, I consider which pages to optimise for certain keywords. You have no such option with Wix. You get one page to optimise for all of your keywords – which is severely limits your search engine traffic / ranking potential.

This means that you also cannot have:

Unique Title Tags / Meta Descriptions
For the reason above, having only one page to work with means that your virtual pages cannot be optimised for unique title tags and meta descriptions.

Deep Pages Indexed
The search engines only see one page, therefore they only index one page. It is almost ironic that wix automatically creates an xml sitemap, because it only contains the one page.

Also, in the nice to have category, but unavailable to Wix customers:

Google Webmaster Tools
You cannot currently verify your site in Google Webmaster Tools with Wix. GWTs verification requires either a file to be uploaded (cannot do with Wix), for you to be using the Asynchronus Google Analytics snippet (see below) or to edit DNS settings – an option which may not be possible or may be far too advanced for most people that would consider using Wix.

Asynchronus Google Analytics
Wix does not use the new asynchronus Google Analytics code. The older snippet is slower, less accurate and will not support newer features as they are made available.

My final beef with Wix, is their pricing, it’s not that it’s crazy expensive. The site lists the ad-free package starting at $8.25 per month, to the ecommerce package at $16.178 – both when paid yearly. It’s just that the alternatives are similarly priced and are actually SEO friendly.

I would suggest a shared hosting plan and a WordPress install would be a better option for most of those 6 million customers.

So, apart from helping people realise what they will and won’t get with this service, I hope my post and others like it get the attention of Wix, so that they might improve their service to make it not only easy to create a website, but also give that website a decent chance of being found online.


  1. Jason Majors   •  

    Hi David –

    Thanks for posting this article regarding I recently created my company website using Wix and really love the ease of use and professional look of Wix, but I have come to find that my pages are not searchable and are not showing up – as you discuss in your article.

    Any suggestions of how I can make my Wix web pages searchable; or do you think I need to start from scratch with another sitebuilder? I would hate to start over and really like the look of my site – are there any sitemaps or webmaster tools that I can use, or are there any services you can offer?



  2. David O'Donnell   •     Author

    Hi Jason,
    I’ve been hearing a lot of similar comments, people using wix to create a somewhat decent looking site, only to discover that it does not attract visitors due to the search engine issues.

    My advice is to move away from wix and host your own site. That way you have complete control over it. You can get shared hosting quite cheap, as cheap as wix’s monthly fee for it’s ad-free package anyway.

    You might consider a free CMS like WordPress, which is quite user friendly, search engine friendly and free. You could either choose one of the many free themes available or have someone build you a custom theme – checkout an outsourcing site such as odesk for that service.

    Good luck!

  3. jose   •  

    ugh no way I have been building this web site with wix for about a week now was going to switch to premium today and i had to stumble upon this ? this is tragic

  4. David O'Donnell   •     Author

    Look on the bright side, you didn’t pay for premium!

  5. Paul   •  

    Hi David,

    I have this wix site and all pages are not getting indexed properly by google would it help if i had say the pages hosted on another site with a redirect to our pages?
    Putting the website on another platform is not an option , cause of money just need a cheap way to improve seo.


  6. David O'Donnell   •     Author

    Hi Paul,

    Are you talking about the Africa Tour Planner you linked to?
    That site appears to have quite a number of pages (114) indexed by Google. You can see by going to Google and entering this command:

    Unfortunately they all almost identical titles and descriptions which may work against you trying to get decent rankings.

    Re: The suggestion of hosting pages on another site and redirecting – I don’t believe it will help, it may just create more duplicate content issues for you.

  7. Paul   •  

    Hi Dave,

    I was forced to make the website like that but it worked out better in the end. Wix is apparently fixing this issue of indexing all pages in the site. If anyone is looking for a more seo friendly web builder try weebly it has all the seo stuff wix doesn’t and amazingly quick to use the only thing is it doesn’t look that great but i would have chosen weebly if i knew i wasn’t going to have these seo problems.

    Thanks David for telling me about those titles and descriptions i’m a moron for not seeing that earlier another problem wix hasn’t sorted out


  8. David O'Donnell   •     Author

    Hey Paul,
    It does look like wix have made a little progress since I originally posted this in Jan, as they can now get more pages indexed. However, there is still a long way to go before they can live up to the ‘Search Engine Friendly’ claim. I guess it’s up to each wix website owner to decide whether they can wait (or if their business can even survive) who knows how long, for the improvements.
    Good luck!

  9. Brenan   •  

    I have to disagree with you. We have MANY companies that we have built wix websites for and have them ranking very well on Google. Sorry, but your analysis is incorrect.

  10. Rob   •  

    Great post David, I have had various clients come to us with flash sites and I tell them the same the best thing they can do is start over. For seo WordPress is king!

  11. David O'Donnell   •     Author

    Cheers Rob. Have to agree, I pretty much use WordPress to build new sites exclusively these days, it is so easy to optimise every facet for SEO and there is about nothing it can’t handle with a plugin or two!

  12. David O'Donnell   •     Author

    Brenan, you claim to be an SEO expert – you should know better. If you are happy building sites for paying clients on wix, then I think you have no right to call your self a web designer or an SEO, you are doing your clients a huge disservice. Imagine the potential of those websites if they were built on an SEO friendly platform. Good luck, sounds like you’re gonna need it!

  13. Sharon Ogden   •  

    Intresting about Wix Thanks for posting. I got a basic service with them as I’m trying to promote myself and for 3 months I have been unable to edit or update my site, I have tried everything they have suggusted though their “help page” so I complained through their “post a question” to a wix support member and reacived an email telling me my question had been deleted and it seems I cannot post any more questions so I’m stuck with an out of date website that I’m being billed for hosting still and have no control over it. Sucked in? It seems i am as I choose wix as I’m not tech savy and on tight budget I next time I shall do my homework.

  14. Paul Kirk   •  

    We are a small company depending on website results. When Microsoft closed down the free small business websites I switched to Wix a month ago, and we’re still not in the search engines. All Wix say are they are working on it.

    I have asked for my money back.

  15. Danny   •  

    I have to agree as well.
    I have pressed Wix for more detail on this and their responses are always dancing around the issue. It’s like that with a few things (like why can’t users have the option to auto-save – hours of work can be lost if you forget to click the save button ..which often happens and then the flash component crashes and you lose everything).
    They claim that they are doing all they can but that doesn’t sound the same as “search engine friendly” which has now been changed to “Google Friendly”

    They do now offer the option of converting your flash site to HTML5 (then making adjustments to get it all as it should be).
    When I asked them if I would have more keyword options on converting to HTML5 this was their response…

    “We have a whole department dedicated to the research of SEO, not just for promoting itself on search engines but also for helping our users. From this research we learned that after a certain amount of keywords or characters for title/description it simply stops being effective for search engines.

    We are limiting the meta data sections because we are trying to encourage users to have good SEO, not to hinder our users in any way.

    We also spent a lot of effort in creating the SEO Monitoring Tool to help our users understand what needs improvement on their sites(for free of course)

    As for which is better (flash or HTML5), that’s a difficult question. We are working on improving the SEO functionality of both editors constantly. I would have to say that the HTML5 editor is probably easier to promote on search engines for our users but those who have a deep understanding of SEO can promote their site on Flash just as well (our home page is still in flash and we depend on users finding us online)”

    …I dunno. What you think?
    I do know that our website rank fell off the first page and we’ve been dropping ever since but I do have to make some changes as per the Wix SEO Monitoring Tool
    Available here for wix users:

    Hope that helps.
    A little while ago I came across a very similar website builder but it was HTML based and it looked great. I have bookmarked a website called but nothing shows up on that URL (not even an error message so I’m not sure what up there). In any case I can’t find this site again and if it’s not then do you happen to know what I may be referring to? I know it’s not Yola or Weebly (just checking out weebly and looking good but not sure about seo options)

  16. Caitie   •  

    I’d be super interested to hear what David has to say about Danny’s discussion with Wix…I’ve had a wix for a long time, but I’m working on a new site in WordPress exactly for the SEO of it…I’ve tried everything Wix suggests for SEO my page with them, but it’s been a total failure in rankings. Now I’m hearing that the HTML5 option they offer fixes this (from uneducated friends who also have wix accounts, assuming that HTML5 just *has* to index better), and I just don’t believe it. Googling for reviews on Wix’s new HTML5 format produces 2 very distinct sets of results: Wix & it’s writters shamelessly plugging it’s amazing “SEO Friendly” features, and freelance developers looking for any reasons to bash them. I assume the real answers are somewhere in the middle, but it feels impossible for the DIY tech-illiterates like me to try to educate themselves in this debate!

  17. James Tao   •  

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the post. This is is quite helpful to understand how they run. No wonder there was a screen full of codes when I viewed the source… Thanks!

  18. Dan Webster   •  

    Thanks, Dave. I’ve also been burned by Wix. There is NOTHING that replaces proper site planning, content writing, and design using professional tools. In the end, you’ve built it. You know it’s yours. WIX is nothing but a cheap, buggy excuse for good design.

  19. Joshua S   •  

    Hi Dave, we facing some of the problems that you mentioned above regarding Wix. Particularly –

    1)Limited keyword
    2)Page address limitation by character length..its way to short.
    3)Sitemap updation issues.
    4) Sometimes its hard to use wix editor.

    Hope WIx guys work this out.

  20. Carl   •  

    I actually like wix and I think they have come a long way apparently after reading these comments. Their seo wizard really is nice and made making necessary changes for improved seo easy and within 2 days of my site being up I’m on the first page of Google for an important keyword relative to my site. It is an HTML5 website which may be a bit easier than a flash site would be for seo possibly. I also had no problem getting Google Webmaster Tools to work..just added the txt record webmaster tools provided to the wix domain manager and bingo ..verified. The website I made using wix can be viewed at here

    The one thing i did notice is that the sitemap seems extremely void of content and I know my site is a splash page but I expected to see more content in the sitemap. with HTML5 and ajax maybe there are things to do with this I’m not fully understanding yet though and possible this is the way it is supposed to be.

    • David O'Donnell   •     Author

      Thanks for the update, Carl. I haven’t had any reason to review Wix again since my original post in Jan 2011. HTML5 is a million times better that flash, so that’s something!

    • David O'Donnell   •     Author

      Thanks Jacob, but;
      1. My original post is well over 2 years old now, I have no idea what kind of improvements they’ve made in that time.
      2. Looks like your site ranks #2 after Facebook, and that is for a very low competition phrase I haven’t even heard of before, not a stellar example by any means.

  21. Omid S   •  

    Hey it’s David from moz! I was wondering you looked so familiar 🙂

    I suggest you do an update review of these people as they are far far far friendlier with SEO and SEs compared to 2011 or even 2012 this time.

    I do know their SEO weaknesses (lack of proper 301s, no canonicals, and a few more as mentioned above) but I feel professional opinions such as yours that rank #1 on Google for “why not use wix” or similar terms, just do this start up an injustice if not updated as they HAVE improved. They may not be at your wordpress level of friendliness with search yet (with full set of needed features), but they have come a long way. I definitely say they are search engine friendly, even their flash was pretty nice since I got to know it and learned their tips about it (separate master pages, etc)

    We have enough experience with the system to know that rankings, even for highly competitive terms are no different than any other proper CMS so long as link building and outbound activities are done properly to bring in some inbound traffic. Google and bing/yahoo can 100% read these sites just fine now in 2013 (not flash, html5).

    But just about anyone (who goes by SEO as title) I ask, picks on !# hasbangs for no good reason apparently, they never back that up with anything after they say it and as far as I can tell, most popular online services no longer have issues with hashbangs, definitely not google. 301s can be done with them as well. I just never see the down site of hashbangs anymore per! (notice google’s own use of #! in general, I have seen it more and more in their help pages, etc recently)

    So, maybe you can check out their HTML5 situation and do an update, after all, this 2 year old post, is top ranking for skeptics, and kind of outdated completely. They now host some 34 million websites, have a fully working html5 version, are about to go for IPO, have a gazillion “apps” and a developer API backend for further apps…. just pointing out that an update to this post is past due and a 2nd look totally justified.

  22. David O'Donnell   •     Author

    Hey Omid,

    You’re right, my review is completely outdated, it is two and a half years old now after all! Regarding updating the review, sounds like you’ve done it for me, so, thanks 😉

    All facts considered, I still recommend a self-hosted WordPress installation over Wix. It is simply more powerful, completely customisable and has no real restrictions. Building on Wix is inherently risky in some respects as you don’t control the platform you’re building on.

    The only scenario I can consider recommending Wix would be for absolute, complete newbies who want to build a website, fast and dirty, without regard for the long term – testing the market before building on another platform perhaps. OR for someone interested in testing just how well it measures up these days – that would be very interesting to experiment with.

    Lastly, this has nothing to do with their service, but I find their overtly sexualised Facebook ads to be in poor taste. Just sayin!

  23. Drew   •  

    I might also add that Wix pages show up totally blank if you have javascript disabled in your browser. That, and there’s no viewable source, so if you need to match a third-party shopping cart or other service to look like your website, it’s not possible. I work for a company that serves job boards for recruiters and whenever we have a new client with a Wix site they are forced to have a job board that doesn’t match the site very well because Wix prevents us from copying anything.

  24. J.   •  

    Thank you for this, David. It has been very insightful. I was going through the templates on the Wix site and quite liked them and was considering using their services for my online portfolio. I have gone through all of the above comments as well and have decided to stick with the WordPress platform, like I have for my other sites.

  25. Douglas   •  

    I’ve been using Wix for almost 4 months and what’s crazy is I paid for Wix and the apps they offer on a monthly basis, and to this day have had only a handful of visitors. I know alot about SEO, the Wix editor reads error but doesn’t make any sense when the error report returns. I think I’m gonna switch to WordPress. I’ve Wasted too much money with Wix, my suggestion is don’t make the same mistake, go with WordPress!!!!

  26. Jim   •  

    Thanks for a great article. It’s been my personal experience that ‘free’ website-builders do not offer any quality search engine optimizations nor traffic. After the initial giggly freebie, the user alone must provide and direct traffic to his/her own site, which is a monumental task in itself. Free site-builders don’t typically exist to help out users with their online store but to encourage them to upgrade to a more costly experience.

  27. Qthazam   •  

    I use the wix free version and I personally think it isn’t half bad, and i certainly describe two small advertisements as “plastering” my website. about 50 people view my site daily through search engines such as Google or Yahoo. I have also looked up my website for myself and even saw it listed. It is not false advertisement, it is just a means of what search engine you use (for example, my website wouldn’t show up on Bing). Although wix sites don’t show up on a minuscule amount of search engines doesn’t mean you should write an entire topic on why wix “sucks” and how you should go with more expensive, less user-friendly, alternatives. As for the other problems listed, none have ever happened to me, and my website has remained the same since i made it. The only problem I will point out is the inability to post downloads straight from the website, other than that I would recommend wix to anyone who wants a simple, quick way to create their own website.

    • David ODonnell   •     Author

      You’re way off the mark friend.
      For one, WordPress is completely free.
      Two, you don’t even have a custom domain, you have ‘wix’ in the domain you posted with your comment, which in my opinion, appears unprofessional.
      Three, I haven’t seen a website as ugly as your since 1998. I literally had to scrub my eyeballs with bleach after seeing it.
      Never fear though, no one else shall be harmed seeing as though your site will never be found organically, hazah!

  28. joey   •  

    Hi, may I know if this website is created using Wix?
    I am planning to build my own personalised website on wix but I am afraid that after becoming a premium member, there will still be “This site was created using Create your own for FREE ” and “Create a Wix Site!” on top and bottom of my page..


    • David ODonnell   •     Author

      It was definitely not. This is a self-hosted WordPress Install – as recommended in the post.

  29. Mark   •  

    As a premium client of Wix perhaps I can offer a few observations. First, it is true – it is a horrible construct for SEO, what on earth were they thinking. And second, their customer service is just as bad – ask anything and you get a pat on the head or “Wix cant do that”.

    Having said that, I am not a big fan of SEO either. and I spent over 20 years in enterprise development. Seriously, I dont believe SEO consultants anymore than I believe Wix. So I play with them….as in Fine, want my business, get me on page one, then we’ll talk. Otherwise its all snakeoil sales to me.

  30. Keith   •  

    RE your comments regarding Wix website where that may have been the case a while back currently you can now verify the site with Google verification etc via Wix built in site Verification. I have done this one 3 different sites now) also using an iframe free plugin you can set Google code for using Google stats as well each page can have unique keywords, page title, and description so they have improved somewhat.

    • David ODonnell   •     Author

      Thanks for the update, Keith. This post is almost 4 years old now so the information is quite dated. Sounds like you’re happy with Wix, so keep at it 🙂

  31. Romy   •  

    Hi David
    It would be great if you could update this article.
    I have made a few affordable websites for small local groups and artists and I am now working for a local company who are more of a ‘big player’ and so search engine optimization is a lot more important.
    I thought I’d better do a little research before thinking of using Wix for the bigger company and came across this article but of course it was written 3 years ago. Any chance of an update?

    • David ODonnell   •     Author

      Hey Romy,
      I just might do that.
      I’m quite sure that WordPress is miles ahead in every conceivable way, but it would be good to present an updated review of Wix.

  32. Bill Begbie   •  

    Hi David,

    I have had a Wix site for several months now. It is the first site I have built.
    I have tried everything that to get it on Google and it is nowhere.
    They advertise that anyone can buld their own site and then come at you with Meta Tags and such like.
    Your average business person does`nt have this vocabulary, so it means a lot of research and time.
    My design business is a new business and depends on being found, nationally, in Scotland.
    Wix is a complete waste of time and money. I can`t even access my site in order to edit it.
    The Wix page just tells me I do not have a site.
    They do not answer your questions either.
    I am going to instruct my credit card company to reclaim the funds.
    For anyone reading this. Your credit card company has to pursue this on your behalf.
    It is upt to the card user to push them for the refund, as far as I know.

    • David ODonnell   •     Author

      Sorry to hear about your troubles with Wix. Good luck Bill!

  33. bridgett   •  

    Hi just wanted to see if it is true when building a new FREE website that it can take up to 3 months for it to appear in google search engine? I created a website through wix and they say my website has been published but I can’t find it, maybe if I pay will it show up? Or is there a FREE website builder that will appear automatically on google search engine after I click publish?

    • David ODonnell   •     Author

      If you want to see if your site is indexed try typing in (replace with your actual domain). If no results are returned, then your site has not been indexed. If you want to help Google discover your site, verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools and submit an XML sitemap. Additionally, create a Google+ page for your site, and verify the link.
      Good luck!

  34. user   •  

    I have used to make two homepages. Both sites have never been exposed to the target audience (English speakers in any countries) because does not support hreflang tag option while Google requires this tag to show my website to the target audience.

    This is a serious problem that all potential users must know before they purchase the service from I just wasted longer than 1 year because my homepages have never been exposed to those target due to the hreflang tag problem with I am being forced to purchase other web building service after I spent so much time and energy to build those two websites. I will never recommend for this reason.

    • David ODonnell   •     Author

      Thanks for your input, kind stranger. Yet another important shortcoming of their service. I expect Wix will roll out hreflang tag support early 2021.

  35. lisa theoharris   •  

    Ohhh God, I feel like an idiot!
    I just got half way through manually uploading half of all of my inventory before reading this.
    I don’t know much about seo and websites and thought it was an easy straightforward way of making a business website WRONG!
    Quite obviously after doing my research no one who wants “Visitors” the their site should use WIX.
    I was so proud of myself and now I like I wasted time and money on building a stupid useless website with Wix.

    Any advice would be so very good 🙁

    Feeling deflated, Lisa.

    • David ODonnell   •     Author

      Something is better than nothing, right?
      Leave it for a while, when you have the time and resources, redevelop the site properly. Good luck.

  36. Beth   •  

    I am looking to build a website for a business and I am looking at wix, which I have no experience with. It doesn’t sound great from this article and all these comments. I HAVE however used Wirdpress and had clients Wirdpress sites hacked. There are major security holes I. WordPress and hackers are always targeting holes in WordPress. Wiz seems to have a security department. How are you dealing with the terrible lack of security in your WordPress sites?

    • David ODonnell   •     Author

      Hi Beth,
      In my experience this is mainly an issue when WordPress and plugins are not kept up to date. There are managed WordPress hosting solutions that can manage this for you OR you can set WP and plugins to update automatically. Additionally there are security plugins that block known sources of brute force hacking attempts, and change some of WP’s default settings, such as login URL which helps. Anyone interested may want to look into WordFence and/or BulletProof WP Security plugins.
      Thanks for your comment.

  37. steve   •  

    I have used Wix for a little over a year. I sell insurance, so it’s important that I am able to include outside HTML in my website, to have visitors click on a link and be brought to another website where they can get quotes and buy insurance instantly. But the HTML code that I insert into my Wix quote pages does not work in Internet Explorer.

    It does work in Chrome and Firefox, but it just doesn’t look professional when I have to include a disclaimer on the front page that says the site may not be compatible with internet explorer. Embarassing. Wix support is useless, as you have to submit a ticket, wait for a response, only to hear they don’t support outside HTML and there’s absolutely nothing they can do to help.

    A few years ago, I tried to create a website using WordPress, but it was very difficult to figure out and the results were hideous, so I gave up. I later discovered Wix, and while you can create a stunning website, it does have problems. For example, the pages have funky looking symbols in the browser, such as!commercial-auto/c8p7, instead of just Wix says it’s because of the HTML5, and once again, there’s nothing they can do about it.

    I guess I’ll just have to continue the battle, or try another website builder like weebly. I would not recommend Wix for business purposes. If you want to just fart around, it works ok for that. nn1

  38. Amanda   •  

    I want to know what you think of Joomla? 🙂

    • David ODonnell   •     Author

      Technically, it’s fine.
      User interface is horrible in my experience, unnecessarily complicated.

  39. chris   •  

    Hi David

    We are in process of creating a website for a business, much like the above comments, the website is critical. How do you know if a host like wix or crazy domain is a good one? When signing up last week we saw a “site booster” free app to go with any premium site? I am just not entirely sure what that means?

    • David ODonnell   •     Author

      ‘site booster’ sounds like an upsell, probably worthless.
      Re affordable hosting in Aus, I recommend Servers Australia.

  40. heiko   •  

    I think that wix people have read your message after 4 years of its creation.
    They have optimised their SEO and worked hard on it.

    But Wix is only guided! If you integrate html and cms, they will not be able to sell their expensive apps with expensive monthly fees, that you can develop yourself or get it for free.
    They don’t let develop the part that you need, and that part that make a huge added value in the website.
    It is their marketing strategy to sell apps after getting hooked with domain by dictatorship of apps acceptance and forbidding apps developpement. It is their economical models and how they make money.

  41. Laurie   •  


    What website builder do you recommend for a small business with a small budget. Paid service of course. I Was looking at Wix until I read your article.

    • David ODonnell   •     Author

      WordPress is free. You can spend around $55 on a theme, then perhaps $100-$200 to get it fully customised. Then there will be no ongoing costs other than your yearly hosting fees with whichever host you choose.

  42. JT   •  

    Now that this article is 5 years old, how about an update.

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