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Revealed: Which CMS Is Finest For Search engine optimisation In 2022?

Which CMS is best for SEO?

In the course of the previous months, we’ve been testing the Search engine optimisation capabilities of the world’s hottest CMS programs.

We’ve been revealing the outcomes of our particular person exams as we go. And it’s protected 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 consider would be the greatest Search engine optimisation alternative for content material primarily based websites in 2022

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

However hey, we all know you may be busy. So for those who’re simply searching for a fast reply… properly, right here it’s!

Fast reply

The perfect CMS for Search engine optimisation proper now

The perfect CMS for Search engine optimisation in 2022 can also be the world’s hottest: WordPress. Joomla (notably model 4) runs it shut. However when mixed with the YOAST Search engine optimisation plugin, WordPress’s out-the-box velocity, full management over all on-page Search engine optimisation fundamentals, and large neighborhood help give it the sting.

The perfect web site constructing platform for Search engine optimisation

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 Search engine optimisation 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 preferred content-focused CMS programs by market share (with one exception).

Why do we are saying content-focused?

Properly, technically Shopify is a CMS. Certainly, in response to w3techs it’s at the moment the second hottest CMS on the planet. However we’re positive most would agree that Shopify is best 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 following hottest content-focused CMS system by market share is at the moment Drupal (2%). However we consider that a lot of this share is prone to be made up of legacy websites. Google Developments exhibits that its recognition has been on a critical decline for the previous 10 years.

drupal google trends

So as a substitute 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 general market share (0.4%), we really feel that it’s prone to embody a disproportionately excessive variety of small companies.


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

They’re going to be getting their CMS in entrance of plenty of small enterprise homeowners, lots of whom shall be trying 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 and marketing is, the more practical it’s.

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

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

Now let’s have a look at how we carried out our exams.

How we examined the Search engine optimisation capabilities of every CMS

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

The CMS system you select is just an element — even perhaps a small one — of whether or not or not your web site shall be profitable in search.

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

…you ain’t going to rank.

In different phrases:

A web site working on the “worst” CMS for Search engine optimisation might nonetheless outrank a web site working on the “greatest” one.

However what we are able to say is that the CMS you select will both assist or hinder your Search engine optimisation 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 Search engine optimisation 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 also be going to be theme and (in some instances) internet hosting dependent.

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

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

server setup

Every web site 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 commonplace Search engine optimisation plugin on each WordPress (YOAST) and Joomla (4SEO), and have additionally really useful a few picture compression plugins.

As soon as our demo websites had 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 sluggish) was every CMS?

Velocity 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 yr, its significance is just 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 web site — working the favored GeneratePress theme — was quickest general. However Joomla ran it shut. Each CMS programs had been tremendous fast out-the-box and handed Google’s Core Net Vitals (CWV) exams with flying colours.

Squarespace, Wix, and GoDaddy alternatively all suffered velocity points and can be prone to fail CWV.

So what was slowing them down?

Properly, whereas all of them had their very own little quirks (you possibly can learn the person critiques 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 web site regardless.

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

That is clearly lower than ideally suited, and results in this…

minimize main thread work - google pagespeed insights

Virtually 5 seconds evaluating scripts, most of which we most likely don’t want.

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

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

squarespace slow load times

Which is a LOT.

May the velocity points be resolved?

In case you’re on GoDaddy… you’re most likely screwed.

In case you’re on Wix or Squarespace, you ought to be capable of velocity up your web site with some technical information, time, and (most likely) some spare money for an extension or two.

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

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

And in our opinion, that sort of consumer is prone to make up most of Wix and Squarespace’s shopper base. In any case, launching a web site rapidly, and never requiring technical information are the promoting factors of these platforms, proper?

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

We also needs to 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 definitely be capable of get them to run even quicker.

Help for On-Web page Search engine optimisation fundamentals

Now let’s flip our consideration to regulate of a few of the basic on-page Search engine optimisation elements.

And since an image tells a thousand phrases, we’ll begin with a visible abstract, which incorporates an general 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 rather more management.

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

Observe: Having management of an Search engine optimisation rating issue just isn’t equal to its optimization. Search engine optimisation audit instruments like Seobility supply recommendation on the way to correctly optimize every component, and discover errors in optimization which can be holding again your web site. See our Search engine optimisation audit information for extra info on the way to totally optimize your web site.

Search engine optimisation Titles and Meta Descriptions

page title and meta description control

A web page’s title continues to be some of the vital on-page rating elements. And a well-written meta description may also help you get extra click-throughs (though Google received’t at all times use it).

What had been we searching for?

Naked minimal? The flexibility to create customized Search engine optimisation titles and meta descriptions for every web page.

However we additionally wished to see search snippet previews (cell and desktop) and a method to template title and meta descriptions.

How did the CMS programs carry out?

WordPress (with YOAST) was the one CMS that gave us every part we wished.

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 method to create templates. Though it may be finished with some easy code.

And Wix and Squarespace additionally carried out fairly properly, with solely cell 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 web site, as the choice is lacking on weblog posts.

They get slightly credit score for desktop snippet previews (no cell), however aside from that, it was a giant fats fail.

Study extra about Search engine optimisation Titles and Meta Descriptions

Web page slug / URL

page slug control

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

What had been we searching for?

The flexibility to set a customized, Search engine optimisation-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, apart from…

…you guessed it, GoDaddy.

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

Study extra about URL slugs/permalinks

Canonical URLs

canonical url control

On smaller websites, you most likely received’t want to fret about this.

However when you’ve got a collection of comparable pages in your web site — i.e. focusing on the identical key phrases, or with very small variations in content material — there could also be instances while you’ll need to set a canonical (grasp) URL.

This helps to keep away from duplicate content material points.

What had 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 had been capable of set a customized canonical URL for every web page.

setting a canonical URL in Wix

However on our SquareSpace and GoDaddy websites, we had 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 identify=”robots” content material=”index, comply with”> – index this web page please Google
  2. <meta identify=”robots” content material=”noindex, comply with”> – ignore this web page please Google (however comply with the hyperlinks on it)

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

What had been we searching for?

The flexibility to regulate indexing (by 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 cause didn’t give us the choice on weblog posts.

squarespace noindex

However at the least this was higher than GoDaddy’s Web site Builder, which didn’t give us a straightforward method to noindex any of our web site’s pages.

Chances are you’ll 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 matter(s) of your web page.

They need to be correctly nested.

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

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

<h2>Goldfish</h2> (subtopic)

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

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

<h2>Cats</h2> (subtopic)

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

What had 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 acquired the complete vary from H1-H6.

Wix allowed us to go right 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 scorching mess.

On common pages, there’s no method 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 best way down)

Study extra about heading tags

Structured information (aka schema)

structured data control

Structured information (also called schema) may also help Google perceive:

  • the kind of content material on a web page (i.e. recipe, evaluate, product, article),
  • the entity behind the web site (i.e. group),
  • and can be used to indicate further search options (wealthy snippets)

In case you’re not conversant in structured information and its impression on Search engine optimisation, we advocate studying our wealthy snippets information.

What had 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 glorious help for schema.

For instance, YOAST consists of customized blocks for Gutenberg that assist you to 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 beneath superior web page settings.

squarespace schema

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

There is no such thing as a easy manner so as to add schema markup to a web page on a GoDaddy web site. Shocked? By this stage, most likely not.

Study extra about structured information and wealthy snippets

Picture Search engine optimisation

image SEO control

The three most vital parts of picture Search engine optimisation are:

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

What had been we searching for?

Usually, we had 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 robotically create and serve optimized WebP variations of uploaded photographs (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 robotically compress your photographs. However Imagify for WordPress, and Picture Recycle for Joomla are broadly used, and can do the trick properly.

Study extra about picture Search engine optimisation


HTTPS support

HTTPS has been a confirmed Google rating sign since 2014.

And in 2022 there’s actually no excuse for any web site to nonetheless be working over HTTP. However any Search engine optimisation advantages, it’s unsecure.

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

In case you’re on WordPress or Joomla, then setting it up shall be your accountability.

Study extra about HTTPS

Robots.txt file

robots.txt control

A robots.txt file permits you to cease search engine bots from accessing sure areas of your web site.

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

What had been we searching for?

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

How did the CMS programs carry out?

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

However for those who’d relatively edit by the admin space, 4SEO additionally has a pleasant built-in editor.

4seo robots.txt

And there are a number of free plugins (like this one) accessible for WordPress.

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

wix robots.txt

Nonetheless, sadly there’s no method to edit the robots.txt file on a Squarespace or GoDaddy web site.

Study extra about Robots.txt

XML Sitemaps

XML sitemaps control

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

What had 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 had been included.

Study extra about XML Sitemaps

Cellular pleasant

mobile friendliness

When designing your web site, there’s a great probability you’ll be specializing in the way it appears on desktop.

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

Whether or not or not your web site is cell pleasant is extra prone to come right down to theme alternative, relatively than CMS.

So for those who spot any cell usability errors in Google Search Console…

mobile issues search console

…the very first thing to test needs to be your theme.

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

Observe: HTTPS and mobile-friendliness are each vital Google rating elements, which is why we included them in our exams. Nonetheless, we didn’t issue them into the general scores as they don’t actually present extra Search engine optimisation 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 special URL. From an Search engine optimisation perspective, they’re vital as they will move on the relevance and hyperlink juice of a web page to its new URL.

4 out of the 5 CMS programs we examined assist you to 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 completely different.

Study extra about 301 redirects

In abstract: Self hosted platforms nonetheless lead the Search engine optimisation manner

Let’s end by summarizing our findings.

There’s a clear divide within the Search engine optimisation 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 ‘beneath 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 greatest CMS for Search engine optimisation, Wix is the clear winner within the “web site constructing platforms” class

As we stated at the beginning in our fast reply, WordPress is the general greatest CMS for Search engine optimisation, at the least out-the-box. However for those who’re technically minded you’re going to have the ability to optimize a Joomla web site each bit in addition to a WordPress one.

Are you able to optimize a Wix web site to the identical degree? Maybe, maybe not. However both manner, for those who’re tech-savvy sufficient to try 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 plenty of points, we had been impressed by how a lot Wix has matured prior to now couple of years. It’s definitely not the Search engine optimisation horror story it as soon as was.

The truth is, it’s the clear Search engine optimisation winner within the “web site constructing platforms” subcategory. So for those who don’t need the trouble of managing your personal code/server, and simply desire a platform the place you possibly can rapidly launch a web site, deal with content material, and management most Search engine optimisation fundamentals, then it might be a stable alternative.

Squarespace lags Wix by way of Search engine optimisation performance. However it’s what it’s, and also you’ll definitely be capable of optimize plenty of vital on-page elements.

In case you’re on GoDaddy’s Web site Builder…

…good luck!

Right here’s our general scores once more.

CMS systems on-page SEO control

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

final scores

You possibly can learn our full critiques of every CMS system by clicking the hyperlinks under.

PS: Get weblog updates straight to your inbox!

David McSweeney

David combines 20+ years of expertise in Search engine optimisation with the fervour for educating you guys the way to optimize your web sites the suitable manner. Unsurprisingly he loves Search engine optimisation and writing. That is why David focuses on the notably superior Search engine optimisation matters on the Seobility weblog.

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