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HomeSEORevealed: Which CMS Is Finest For Search engine optimization In 2022?

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

Which CMS is best for SEO?

Throughout the previous months, we’ve been testing the Search engine optimization capabilities of the world’s hottest CMS methods.

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

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

  • evaluate the CMS methods we examined head-to-head, and
  • reveal the CMS we consider would be the greatest Search engine optimization selection for content material based mostly websites in 2022

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

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

Fast reply

The perfect CMS for Search engine optimization proper now

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

The perfect web site constructing platform for Search engine optimization

Whereas WordPress and Joomla may be labeled as fully-fledged CMS methods, the opposite three platforms we examined (Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy) are higher labeled into the subcategory “web site constructing platforms”. Wix was the clear winner on this subcategory, providing a lot larger management over Search engine optimization fundamentals than its friends.

How we chosen the CMS methods to check

There are a ton of CMS methods on the market.

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

Why do we are saying content-focused?

Effectively, technically Shopify is a CMS. Certainly, in line with 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 methods in w3techs high 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 reputation for choice.

The following hottest content-focused CMS system by market share is presently Drupal (2%). However we consider that a lot of this share is more likely to be made up of legacy websites. Google Developments reveals that its reputation has been on a severe 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 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 website on GoDaddy (presently 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 loads of small enterprise house owners, lots of whom can be seeking to launch an internet site rapidly, merely, and fuss-free. That’s the proper 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 seemed like.

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

Now let’s have a look at how we performed our checks.

How we examined the Search engine optimization capabilities of every CMS

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

The CMS system you select is simply a component — even perhaps a small one — of whether or not or not your web site can be profitable in search.

As a result of in case your content material sucks, you disregard Search engine optimization 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 optimization may 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 optimization efforts.

Which is why we determined to give attention to measurable, platform particular metrics. Primarily:

  • The out-the-box velocity of a CMS (and Core Internet Vitals efficiency)
  • Assist for Search engine optimization fundamentals (i.e. are you able to do X, Y, Z on the platform)

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

For that purpose, we once more used reputation 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 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 potential.

Though we did set up an trade customary Search engine optimization plugin on each WordPress (YOAST) and Joomla (4SEO), and have additionally beneficial a few picture compression plugins.

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

  • handbook assessment
  • working the location by way of our personal Search engine optimization audit instrument, and
  • utilizing third occasion instruments corresponding to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix

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 indicators that Google has confirmed influences rankings. And with Core Internet Vitals rolling out as a part of the Web page Expertise replace final yr, its significance is simply going to extend.

We measured the efficiency of every of our take a look at 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 methods.

Our WordPress take a look at web site — working the favored GeneratePress theme — was quickest total. However Joomla ran it shut. Each CMS methods have been tremendous fast out-the-box and handed Google’s Core Internet Vitals (CWV) checks with flying colours.

Squarespace, Wix, and GoDaddy alternatively 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’ll be able to learn the person opinions for extra element), there was a standard 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 methods is heavy and bloated, and there’s no easy strategy to flip issues on and off.

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

minimize main thread work - google pagespeed insights

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

That individual take a look at is from our GoDaddy Web site Builder web site, which was by far the slowest platform. However the identical situation affected Wix and Squarespace.

For instance, on our Squarespace web site, we may 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?

When you’re on GoDaddy… you’re most likely screwed.

When you’re on Wix or Squarespace, you ought to have the ability to 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 person, 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 seemingly going to hinder rankings.

And in our opinion, that sort of person is more likely to make up most of Wix and Squarespace’s consumer base. In spite of everything, 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 have the ability to get them to run even sooner.

Assist for On-Web page Search engine optimization fundamentals

Now let’s flip our consideration to regulate of a number of the elementary on-page Search engine optimization 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’ll be able to see there was a big disparity within the capabilities of the platforms, with the self-hosted CMS methods (Joomla and WordPress) providing far 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 optimization rating issue is just not equal to its optimization. Search engine optimization audit instruments like Seobility supply recommendation on tips on how to correctly optimize every factor, and discover errors in optimization which can be holding again your web site. See our Search engine optimization audit information for extra data on tips on how to absolutely optimize your web site.

Search engine optimization Titles and Meta Descriptions

page title and meta description control

A web page’s title continues to be one of the vital necessary on-page rating elements. And a well-written meta description can assist you get extra click-throughs (though Google gained’t at all times use it).

What have been we on the lookout for?

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

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

How did the CMS methods 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 strategy to create templates. Though it may be accomplished with some easy code.

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

How about GoDaddy?


It’s not even potential 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 just a little credit score for desktop snippet previews (no cellular), however aside from that, it was a giant fats fail.

Study extra about Search engine optimization 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 on the lookout for?

The flexibility to set a customized, Search engine optimization-friendly URL for every web page.

How did the CMS methods carry out?

All of the CMS methods we examined allowed full management over URLs, apart from…

…you guessed it, GoDaddy.

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

Study extra about URL slugs/permalinks

Canonical URLs

canonical url control

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

However if in case you have 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 occasions once you’ll wish to set a canonical (grasp) URL.

This helps to keep away from duplicate content material points.

What have been we on the lookout for?

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

How did the CMS methods 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 identify=”robots” content material=”index, observe”> – index this web page please Google
  2. <meta identify=”robots” content material=”noindex, observe”> – ignore this web page please Google (however observe 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 have been we on the lookout for?

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

How did the CMS methods carry out?

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

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

squarespace noindex

However no less than this was higher than GoDaddy’s Web site Builder, which didn’t give us a straightforward strategy to noindex any of our web site’s pages.

It’s possible 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 subject(s) of your web page.

They need to be correctly nested.

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

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

<h2>Goldfish</h2> (subtopic)

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

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

<h2>Cats</h2> (subtopic)

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

What have been we on the lookout for?

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

How did the CMS methods carry out?

No points with WordPress and Joomla, we obtained the total 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 strategy to set the heading tags you need, GoDaddy will simply select one for you. They typically selected improper.

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 knowledge (aka schema)

structured data control

Structured knowledge (also called schema) can assist Google perceive:

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

When you’re not aware of structured knowledge and its impression on Search engine optimization, we advocate studying our wealthy snippets information.

What have been we on the lookout for?

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

How did the CMS methods carry out?

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

For instance, YOAST contains customized blocks for Gutenberg that 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 instrument for producing schema in JSON-LD format.

There isn’t 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 knowledge and wealthy snippets

Picture Search engine optimization

image SEO control

The three most necessary parts of picture Search engine optimization are:

  • Alt textual content (description of the picture for display readers and serps)
  • File measurement (smaller = sooner = higher)
  • File identify (we advocate utilizing descriptive file names)

What have been we on the lookout for?

Usually, we have been on the lookout 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 methods 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 pictures (as will Wix).

However earlier than we get forward ourselves…

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

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

Study extra about picture Search engine optimization


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 optimization advantages, it’s unsecure.

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

When you’re on WordPress or Joomla, then setting it up can be your accountability.

Study extra about HTTPS

Robots.txt file

robots.txt control

A robots.txt file means that you can cease search engine bots from accessing sure areas of your web site.

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

What have been we on the lookout for?

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

How did the CMS methods carry out?

As WordPress and Joomla are self-hosted you’ll be able to entry your web site’s robots.txt file by way of FTP.

However should you’d moderately 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) obtainable for WordPress.

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

wix robots.txt

Nonetheless, sadly there’s no strategy 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 have been we on the lookout for?

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

How did the CMS methods carry out?

Whereas all of the CMS methods 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 web site, there’s an excellent likelihood you’ll be specializing in the way it seems to be on desktop.

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

Whether or not or not your web site is cellular pleasant is extra more likely to come right down to theme selection, moderately than CMS.

So should you spot any cellular 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 methods are completely able to internet hosting a mobile-friendly web site.

Observe: HTTPS and mobile-friendliness are each necessary Google rating elements, which is why we included them in our checks. Nonetheless, we didn’t issue them into the general scores as they don’t actually present extra Search engine optimization management for customers — hey are both coated by the platform or not. In any case, each elements are coated by all of the CMS methods 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 unique URL. From an Search engine optimization perspective, they’re necessary as they will move on the relevance and hyperlink juice of a web page to its new URL.

4 out of the 5 CMS methods we examined help you arrange 301 redirects on the platform itself or by utilizing 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 optimization manner

Let’s end by summarizing our findings.

There’s a clear divide within the Search engine optimization capabilities of the self-hosted CMS methods (WordPress and Joomla) and the platform-hosted methods (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 methods: WordPress and Joomla
  2. Web site constructing platforms: Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy

Whereas WordPress is the general greatest CMS for Search engine optimization, Wix is the clear winner within the “web site constructing platforms” class

As we mentioned at the beginning in our fast reply, WordPress is the general greatest CMS for Search engine optimization, no less than out-the-box. However should you’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, should you’re tech-savvy sufficient to do this, we’d query why you’d wish 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 various points, we have been impressed by how a lot Wix has matured previously couple of years. It’s definitely now not the Search engine optimization horror story it as soon as was.

The truth is, it’s the clear Search engine optimization winner within the “web site constructing platforms” subcategory. So should you don’t need the effort of managing your personal code/server, and simply need a platform the place you’ll be able to rapidly launch a web site, give attention to content material, and management most Search engine optimization fundamentals, then it could possibly be a strong selection.

Squarespace lags Wix by way of Search engine optimization performance. However it’s what it’s, and also you’ll definitely have the ability to optimize various necessary on-page elements.

When 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 summary 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 under.

PS: Get weblog updates straight to your inbox!

David McSweeney

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


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