In the digital era, an online presence is indispensable for any business. Platforms like Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace have democratised website creation, enabling businesses to set up their sites with minimal technical know-how. While these platforms offer user-friendly interfaces and comprehensive features, they often fall short when it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO) when compared to WordPress. For businesses with a strong focus on SEO, these platforms present significant limitations that can impede visibility and growth.

Limited Technical SEO Capabilities


Shopify is renowned for its robust e-commerce capabilities but is not particularly strong in SEO customisation. One of the primary limitations is its rigid URL structure. Shopify automatically adds certain prefixes like /products/, /collections/, and /pages/ to URLs, which can hinder SEO performance. Customising these URLs for better keyword optimisation and simplicity is not an option.

Moreover, Shopify’s handling of canonical tags is automated, which might not always align with the best SEO practices. Users have limited control over these tags, which can lead to issues like duplicate content—a known detriment to SEO.


Wix has improved its SEO features over the years, but it still lags behind more flexible platforms. One significant issue is its sluggish page load times. Fast-loading pages are crucial for SEO, as search engines prioritise sites that offer a good user experience. Wix websites often suffer from bloated code and scripts, slowing down page speed and negatively affecting SEO rankings.

Additionally, Wix’s custom URL structures can be cumbersome. While users can now edit URLs, the platform used to have a history of poorly structured URLs, which can still affect older websites.


Squarespace is known for its beautiful, design-centric templates, but it has its own set of SEO drawbacks. The platform’s lack of control over technical SEO elements is a major issue. For example, Squarespace limits the ability to fully customise meta tags and relies heavily on user input for SEO settings without providing the flexibility to implement more advanced techniques.

Additionally, Squarespace does not support structured data out of the box, which is essential for rich snippets and better search engine visibility. Users need to add this manually, which can be daunting for those without technical knowledge.

Insufficient Flexibility and Customisation


Shopify’s environment is highly controlled to ensure stability and ease of use, but this comes at the cost of flexibility. The platform does not allow for extensive customisation of the backend, limiting the ability to implement advanced SEO tactics like custom sitemaps or advanced schema markup. Shopify’s apps and plugins can extend functionality, but they often come with additional costs and may not fully integrate with the core system.


Wix’s drag-and-drop builder is fantastic for beginners, but it sacrifices flexibility. The platform uses AJAX crawling, which is not ideal for SEO. This method can make it difficult for search engines to index content properly. While Wix has made strides in improving its SEO capabilities, it still does not provide the level of control needed for thorough SEO optimisation.


Squarespace’s restrictive template system makes it challenging to customise beyond the provided options. While it supports some basic SEO practices, it lacks the depth required for more comprehensive SEO strategies. The platform’s limited access to the HTML and CSS of templates restricts users from making necessary adjustments that could significantly enhance SEO performance.

Subpar Mobile Optimisation


Mobile optimisation is crucial for SEO, given the increasing number of users accessing websites via mobile devices. Shopify provides mobile-friendly templates, but customising these templates for better mobile performance can be challenging. The platform’s reliance on apps to enhance functionality can also lead to slower mobile performance, impacting SEO.


Wix has made efforts to ensure mobile responsiveness, but the platform still struggles with truly optimising for mobile SEO. The custom mobile view sometimes does not reflect changes made to the desktop site, leading to inconsistencies. Additionally, Wix sites can suffer from slower load times on mobile devices, a critical factor in mobile SEO rankings.


Squarespace templates are responsive, but they are not always optimised for speed and performance on mobile devices. The platform’s heavy reliance on high-resolution images and dynamic content can slow down mobile loading times. This lag negatively impacts user experience and, consequently, mobile SEO rankings.

Scalability Issues


For large-scale businesses, Shopify’s scalability can be problematic. While it handles small to medium-sized stores well, it struggles with the complexities and custom needs of larger enterprises. Advanced SEO requires a platform that can scale without compromising performance. Shopify’s limitations in database management and customisation can hinder the SEO growth of large businesses.


Wix is excellent for small businesses or personal websites, but it lacks the robustness required for scaling SEO efforts. The platform’s limited control over server settings and backend customisation means that as a business grows, the SEO requirements may outstrip what Wix can offer. This can result in slower site performance and decreased SEO effectiveness over time.


Squarespace is similar to Wix in that it serves smaller sites well but falters when it comes to scalability. The platform does not offer the advanced features needed to support large-scale SEO campaigns. Its limited integration capabilities and the difficulty in customising templates for extensive SEO work make it less suitable for growing businesses aiming to dominate search engine rankings.


While Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace offer many advantages in terms of ease of use, aesthetics, and quick setup, they fall short in several key areas critical for SEO-focused businesses. Limited technical SEO capabilities, insufficient flexibility and customisation, subpar mobile optimisation, and scalability issues are significant drawbacks for any business aiming to enhance its online visibility and performance through SEO.

For businesses where SEO is a priority, considering a more robust platform such as WordPress is a far better choice. WordPress offers greater control, flexibility, and advanced SEO capabilities, enabling businesses to implement comprehensive SEO strategies effectively and stay competitive in the digital landscape.

Published On: May 12th, 2024 / Categories: SEO, Websites / Tags: , , , , /

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