On Reddit, Google’s John Mueller responded to a question regarding migrating a small business website from Wix to a self-hosted WordPress environment. He shared his thoughts on this specific issue, as well as the relative benefits and drawbacks of managed versus self-managed WordPress for small businesses.
Small and Medium Businesses (SMB):
Small and medium businesses are referred to as SMBs, and the sizes of these businesses are defined in a variety of ways.
Small firms, in general, are those with less than 100 employees. Medium-sized firms have between 100 and 500 employees, while some definitions put the number as high as 1,000.
Managed and Self-hosted WordPress Hosting:
Managed WordPress hosting refers to a hosting environment in which the web host is responsible for all technical aspects of hosting a WordPress site.
The managed hosting business is in charge of security, caching, Content Delivery Networks (CDN), security, upgrades, and backups.
This frees up an SMB’s time to focus on their core business rather need to pay an in-house web developer to keep the site secure and up to date.
The trade-off (and advantage) of letting the web host handle the technical aspects is that the managed WordPress host can place restrictions on which plugins can be installed in order to maintain security and improve performance for all of their customers. This is a good thing, not a flaw, and it is a benefit of managed WordPress hosting.
In a self-hosted environment, a website publisher is responsible for backing up and maintaining their content.
The trade-off is that a self-hosted system gives a company more flexibility to utilise whatever solution it needs, including custom-developed plugins, but it also entails hiring or training someone inside the organisation to handle maintenance and security.
Although managed WordPress hosting is more expensive than self-hosted WordPress, it is less expensive than hiring or training someone to handle technical concerns.
An SMB Is Moving From Wix To Self-hosted WordPress
A neighbour was switching from Wix to a self-hosted WordPress environment, according to the individual who asked the issue on Reddit.
According to them, the current Wix website performed admirably in terms of page speed and search engine rankings.
The person starting the discussion noted:
“…his current website scores a 98 in SEO on lighthouse, and clients tell him all the time that he is the first local company that pops up in results.”
It’s not unreasonable to believe that the SEO working on the SMB’s self-hosted WordPress website is addressing something that doesn’t need to be fixed.
It appears that the company is doing well on Wix.
John Mueller Says Wix is Fine For SEO
Google’s John Mueller responded to the query by first addressing the issue of Wix and SEO before going on to self-hosting a WordPress site, which is exactly what the company was doing when it switched from Wix to WordPress.
“Wix is fine for SEO. A few years back it was pretty bad in terms of SEO, but they’ve made fantastic progress, and are now a fine platform for businesses. The reputation from back then lingers on, but don’t be swayed by it.
What they’ve done in recent years is really good stuff, including making it trivial to have a really fast site (as you see in the Lighthouse scores — admittedly, speed is only a tiny part of SEO).
If Wix works for them, and they don’t need more, there’s no reason to switch.”
John Mueller Discourages Moving to Self-hosted for SMBs
Mueller went on to say that for a small business without a dedicated web support team, a self-hosted WordPress environment would not be the best option.
It’s crucial to remember that Mueller’s response came in the context of a debate about a small business with little online assistance going from a well-performing Wix site to an unmanaged WordPress environment.
“In particular, do not move to something self-hosted.
Hosting a site yourself comes with a million tiny hassles, and a business without a dedicated support team will struggle doing the right things, and end up getting hacked + have to invest a ton to improve infrastructure over time (speed, security, functionality).
Some people like the challenge, but if your neighbor likes running a non-IT business, then they should not run their own server (eg, host WordPress themselves).
I know running WP yourself is still somewhat popular, but for a SMB that has other things on their mind, it’s absolutely a bad thing to do.
There are hosted & managed WP setups, they cost money, but they do these things for you.
Wix also does all of this for you. Squarespace, etc – similarly.”
Google’s John Mueller Participating On Reddit:
Managed Hosting or Software As A Service?
Companies such as Wix and Squarespace take a Software As A Service (SaaS) approach, in which the platform is completely optimised for businesses, with the goal of making it simple for businesses to get online and run their businesses, with the technology part getting out of the way so that small businesses can focus on their business.
Managed WordPress hosting accomplishes the same thing for businesses that choose to use WordPress, but with certain limitations.
Because of their highly optimised improved SEO and page speed capabilities, Wix may have an advantage over managed WordPress hosting, which advantages small businesses who do not want to deal with the technical aspect of maintaining and ranking a website.
The hosting environment of a managed WordPress server is optimised for speed and security. It’s ideal for firms that wish to scale up or have complete control over technology and SEO in the future.
The original discussion is available here:
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