Does Google Rank WordPress Sites Higher?

wordpress seo

There are many myths in the world of web design and SEO and misinformation is rife so it can be difficult to discern fact from fiction. 

Unless you are in the know you can quickly become bamboozled and befuddled and with such intense online competition it’s easy to get things wrong. 

One common phrase we hear so-called WordPress experts tell their clients is that websites created using this platform always rank higher than sites built using third-party tools like Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly. 

This sounds like a compelling argument right? WordPress is a well-known web CMS platform and has a huge customer base so it MUST be true? Surely the WordPress SEO expert wouldn’t lie to you?! Well, let’s get to the bottom of this mystery together and see if it’s fact or fiction.

wordpress website

WordPress Priority - An SEO Myth Debunked

After careful deduction, the short answer…. is NO. That was pretty anticlimactic – sorry! Simply put, Google does not give preference to WordPress websites and rank them higher. 

But why you ask would people tell you this is true? I have a few ideas! Perhaps they have brand loyalty and it’s the platform they prefer to work with? Maybe they simply heard someone else say it and are treating it as fact without doing any research? 

Whatever the reason it’s wrong and the main factor is usually the quality of your SEO and keyword research.

wordpress seo

The Benefits of WordPress

While Google doesn’t give any priority to WordPress it’s still a great platform and offers many advantages for business websites including: 

  • A huge array of plugins: The versatility of WordPress is why millions of businesses love it and it has a near-exhaustible plugin library. You can find plugins for anything from contact forms and chatbots to image galleries and social media sharing buttons. Compared to other web development platforms you simply have more opportunity to expand and grow your website. 
  • Integrated hosting: WordPress has a range of partner companies that provide reliable web hosting like Bluehost and this means you can keep the administration and site management grouped together instead of dealing with multiple companies. 
  • Easy to create mobile-friendly layouts: Google typically gives more weight to websites that are mobile responsive and have adaptive layouts for any display size. There are hundreds of WordPress themes that include mobile versions and don’t require any additional work from you. This means you can comply with Google’s wishes without having to create an entirely different mobile website. 
  • Great SEO tools: The availability of SEO tools and features could be where our myth comes from and WordPress certainly does give ample opportunity to improve your website’s SEO. You can install a range of SEO plugins like YOAST SEO to actively monitor your site and ensure every page is optimized for your desired keywords.

The Drawbacks of WordPress

Despite these benefits, this development platform isn’t perfect either and there are some drawbacks you must be aware of:

  • Ongoing maintenance: There is typically more maintenance and upkeep involved in running a WordPress website. This is because the CMS platform itself has regular updates that need installing but plugins you use often have new version releases too. If either component is out of date the functionality of your website can be broken.
  • Loading speeds can be slow: If you have multiple plugins installed on your WordPress website it can decrease page loading times. This has a two-fold impact as it firstly negatively impacts user experience but can also influence SEO rankings.
  • Hacking vulnerabilities: As WordPress is one of the best-known website development platforms in the world it is a prime target for hackers. When new security threats arise there is a higher chance that cybercriminals will try to exploit WordPress weaknesses as opposed to custom HTML websites.
  • Initial Learning Curve: For the uninitiated WordPress can be intimidating at first glance and it has a steeper learning curve than using a drag-and-drop editor like Wix. Drag-and-drop editors are typically created in such a way that anyone can use them without an ounce of web design knowledge. With WordPress it takes more effort, but ultimately you are rewarded with greater flexibility and potential.

Google Always Prefers Sound SEO - Not the Platform You Use

It’s tempting to be swept away by enthralling web jargon and believe every word people tell you but in this case, the myth is firmly busted. Google gives no preference to WordPress websites and ranking is mainly determined by the quality of your SEO. 

If you have a WordPress website with missing META tags, poor mobile responsiveness, and no keyword utilization competing with a Wix website that has all these things, which do you think would rank higher?

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.