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Google’s Mueller On Self-Hosted WordPress Versus Wix

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Google's Mueller On Self-Hosted WordPress Versus Wix


Google’s John Mueller answered a question on Reddit about moving an SMB site from Wix to a self-hosted WordPress environment. He offered his opinion on this specific scenario and within this context discussed the relative merits and shortcomings of managed and self-managed WordPress for SMBs.

Small and Medium Businesses (SMB)

SMB means small and medium businesses and what those sizes mean is not anything set in stone, there are multiple definitions.

In general small businesses are those with under 100 employees. Medium size businesses are those with between 100 to 500 employees and some definitions rank medium as high as 1,000 employees.

Managed and Self-hosted WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is a hosting environment where the web host takes care of all the technical maintenance related details of hosting a WordPress site.

Things like security, caching, Content Delivery Networks (CDN), security, updates and backups are all handled by the managed hosting company.

That allows an SMB to focus on their core business without having to hire and in-house web developer to maintain security and updates for the site.

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The trade-off (and also a benefit) for having the web host handle the technical details is that the managed WordPress host can impose limitations on what plugins can run on their environment in order to preserve security and improve performance for all of their users. This is a good thing, a positive feature of managed WordPress hosting and not a shortcoming.

Self-hosted environment is where a website publisher is responsible for backing up their sites and keeping it all up to date.

The trade-off here is that the self-hosted environment allows a business more freedom to use whatever solution is necessary, including using their own custom-developed plugins, which means having to hire or train someone inside the company to handle the maintenance and security chores.

Managed WordPress hosting costs more than self-hosted but it costs less than hiring or training someone to handle the technical issues.

An SMB Is Moving From Wix To Self-hosted WordPress

The person asking the question on Reddit explained that a neighbor was moving away from Wix to a self-hosted WordPress environment.

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They explained that the current Wix website performed excellently in terms of page speed and 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 may not be unreasonable to assume that the SEO building out the self-hosted WordPress website for the SMB is fixing something that does not need fixing.

It sounds like the business is doing just fine on Wix.

John Mueller Says Wix is Fine For SEO

Google’s John Mueller answered the question by first addressing the issue of Wix and SEO and then to discuss self-hosting a WordPress site, which is what the business moving from Wix to WordPress was in the process of doing.

Mueller said:

“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 next explained that a self-hosted WordPress environment may not be idea for an SMB that does not have a dedicated web support team.

I think it’s important recognize that Mueller’s answer was given within the context of a discussion of a specific SMB with limited web support moving from a well-performing Wix site to an unmanaged WordPress environment.

Mueller responded:

“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.”

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Google’s John Mueller Participating On Reddit

Managed Hosting or Software As A Service?

Companies like Wix and Squarespace offer a Software As A Service (SaaS) approach, where the platform is completely optimized for businesses, with the goal being to make it easy for businesses to get online and run their business, with the technology part getting out of the way so that the small business can focus on their business.

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Managed WordPress hosting accomplishes pretty much the same thing for businesses opting for a WordPress solution, but with some restrictions.

Wix may have an advantage over managed WordPress hosting because of their highly optimized improved SEO and page speed capabilities, which benefits small businesses who do not want to deal with the technical side of maintaining and ranking a website.

A managed WordPress host optimizes their hosting environment for speed and security. It’s perfectly suitable for businesses that eventually want to scale up or have total control over the technology and SEO.

One thing is clear, as John Mueller observed, that if Wix is working for the small business then there is no reason to move away to a different platform.

Citations

The original discussion is available here:

My older neighbor is having a company build a new website for his business…

John Mueller’s response can be accessed through his Reddit profile:

https://www.reddit.com/user/johnmu/

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Flash Dressed Crocodile Toy On Google’s John Mueller’s Desk

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Flash Dressed Crocodile On John Mueller Desk


John Mueller posted this photo on Twitter saying he found this Flash dressed crocodile toy by his desk when he was in the office the other day.

I am not sure if there is an inside joke here, hence the joke being inside… But is funny either way.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.





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Google Dedicated Local Ad Pack

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Google Dedicated Local Ad Pack


Google seems to be testing adding a local pack for ads along with a normal organic local pack, I believe. Here is a screenshot showing a local pack labeled as “Ads” that show a list of stores that have shoes near you.

You can click “more places” that will load more local ads. Below that is the local pack map, showing you organic nearby stores that have that product nearby.

Here is a screenshot I took from a Twitter video from Saad AK:

Here are more examples of this in action from Saad AK:

I think this is new but I can be wrong?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update: Supposedly this is not a new thing, according to Google.





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How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer’s Landscape

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How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer's Landscape


There is a new data revolution happening, and it’s sweeping across the industry so quickly that many SEO and digital marketers are struggling to make sense of the insights and intelligence at their disposal.

To utilize this opportunity, marketers need to evolve their mindsets and use technology to analyze multiple data formats and understand the new opportunities it can bring.

SEO marketers of today and digital marketers of tomorrow will need to extract, structure quickly, and manipulate data to drive the most critical business outcomes.

Data has always been mission-critical to digital decision-making.

The Economist, back in 2017, declared it the world’s most valuable resource.

Fast forward to today and the future, and we can see that the exponential growth of data fuelling this revolution is staggering.

According to the IDC, the amount of digital data created over the next five years will be greater than twice the amount of data made since the advent of digital storage.

Think about that for a second!

Flash drives, for example, were introduced in 2000.

This means that in the next five years, marketers will have to analyze and make sense of 2x the data created in the last 22 years!

The Data Revolution Means More Sources & Complexity For SEO

The data revolution has gone on for some time now, and it’s changed our concept of what counts as “data,” rightfully so.

In the past, we thought only numbers mattered.

But, in this new digital world where everything is converted into ones and zeros, data is broader and contains text, audio, and visual information – all bits waiting to be processed!

  • Machine-based and human-generated data are growing at a rate of 10x faster than conventional business data.
  • Machine-created data is increasing exponentially at a 50x the growth rate. This data revolution is primarily marketing-driven and consumer-oriented who are “always on.”
  • In just the last 18 months, the volume of site processing data we have been generating at BrightEdge has increased by 11x!

As a result of these increasingly demanding trends, SEO and digital marketers need to adapt and become more like data analysts and scientists in approaching the extraction of structured data insights and business intelligence – without adding more manual work.

Fortunately, SEO is well-positioned to take advantage of this new data revolution.

  • Increasing your keyword universe – More keywords mean more data points to look at with reporting and fuelling insights. While focusing on conversion rate metrics is very important, it wouldn’t be possible without opening the scope of your audience and getting more people in the door. SEO has drifted away from writing for a primary dedicated keyword and is now way more advanced with advancements in search engines like Google’s understanding of intent of searches through RankBrain and BERT.
  • Increasing your search footprint – will also help you discover unexplored of informing your future content strategy or ideate new keyword ideas. However, sometimes you might miss the boat, like the transition of Content Management Systems slowly turning into “Experience Platforms” as they offer more functionality to meet the needs of today’s webmaster or marketer.

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Data Is The Currency Of An Accelerated SEO & Digital Age

By 2025, Worldwide data will reach 175 zettabytes.

But unfortunately, the human brain can’t process, structure, and analyze all that data.

So technology engines have to help, and digital marketers should be the driver.

There is a massive opportunity for companies that can utilize data to create more engaging experiences.

A recent study showed that 95% of business leaders recognize this as their biggest growth lever over the next three years, which means there’s plenty at stake here!

Robust data analysis ensures decisions are evidence-based and have more accountability.

Drawing on existing and new data sources to fully integrate business acumen and analytical skills into decision making, sourcing, managing, and analyzing large amounts of unstructured data will ensure continued use and success.

SEO began with data and has evolved.

From the introduction of real-time SEO in 2019 and Page Experience Updates in 2021, SEO’s future lies again with data and the creation of intelligent systems. Here marketers can leverage combined data sources that structures data for them.

As a result, they can achieve business objectives and stay ahead during all data and digital transformation stages.

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Technology & AI Are Helping SEO Evolve

Advancements in technology and, in particular, AI and Natural Language Processing has meant that SEO and digital marketers can become data analysts without having to become an actual data scientist.

This is key to unlocking structured insights from your company’s big data to make more precise predictions about what is coming next based on existing information.

Digital marketers can evolve, understand key trends, and learn in new areas such as:

  • Predictive modeling of future trends and forecasting based on multiple types of data.
  • Real-time identification of opportunities and intelligence.
  • Digital research at scale with both historical and real-time data.
  • Leveraging automated visualizations for various stakeholders.
  • Improved data security and compliance.
  • Market and business intelligence at a macro level.
  • Consumer behavior at the most granular level.

SEO and digital marketers can learn critical skills such as statistics, data analysis, data visualization, and strategy.

AI, NLP, and machine learning are helping them do this without needing expertise in computer programming and software applications.

What digital marketers must do is combine their communication skills and analytics skills with stakeholders who cannot think outside of the advertising box.

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Data Analysis & Intelligence As Competitive Advantage

The application of technology will be the driving force behind the next generation of data analysis technology.

Therefore, SEO and digital marketers of today should learn how to better utilize insights from data analysis.

It’s becoming more apparent that the marketing platforms of tomorrow will require the capabilities of data analysis and science infrastructure at their core.

The future of marketing will blend technological know-how, business sense, and an understanding of data analysis.

The next generation of SEO will touch all components of marketing, from video, email, and voice, to digital performance of content.

SEO and data science will converge into one evolved discipline that drives omnichannel acquisition and democratizes data.

Marketers who embrace this new era of SEO will be well-positioned to succeed in the years to come.

Data is reconfirming its role as the new competitive advantage, and as SEO and digital marketers, you must evolve if you want to be part of the future.

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Featured Image: ra2 studio/Shutterstock





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