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  1. #1
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    Wordpress vs handcoded site - Seo benefit?

    I am in the process of creating my freelance web design site. I have worked a lot with wordpress, and created a lot of sites in html/php/css from scratch. Was wondering if there is an obvious SEO benefit to creating my site within the wordpress cms framework? I could get the site up and running quicker by hand coding, but am willing to configure my site within wordpress if it is a benefit.


    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Wordpress doesn't have an innate SEO advantage or disadvantage. If it's properly configured, it will have good SEO, but the same things can be done with any CMS or HTML site.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by eruna View Post
    Wordpress doesn't have an innate SEO advantage or disadvantage. If it's properly configured, it will have good SEO, but the same things can be done with any CMS or HTML site.
    Thanks for the reply. The way I was initially told about why WP was good for SEO was the following analogy...

    Google is a car trying to find its destination (your information for SEO indexing), and wordpress on the map is similar to a route this car has traveled many times (very familiar with the structure of a wordpress site), whereas a handcoded site is many times like a road it has never traveled, therefore it may not get to its "destination" (indexing a lot of valuable information)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by noslenwerd View Post
    Thanks for the reply. The way I was initially told about why WP was good for SEO was the following analogy...

    Google is a car trying to find its destination (your information for SEO indexing), and wordpress on the map is similar to a route this car has traveled many times (very familiar with the structure of a wordpress site), whereas a handcoded site is many times like a road it has never traveled, therefore it may not get to its "destination" (indexing a lot of valuable information)
    Yeah, I think someone was reaching with that analogy... I highly doubt that Google's search algorithm actually has the wherewithal to compare sitemaps and then realize that hey, this is just like website #3345AE. It would be a waste of CPU cycles.

    An advantage that WordPress might give you and any CMS that has a URL re-writer can give you is keyword rich URLs. Also, a modular CMS provides you the option to add SEO modules for meta tags, XML sitemaps, etc... Do a search for "wordpress meta tags" and you'll find a link to the WordPress meta tag manager plugin. Same thing for "wordpress xml sitemap".

    Another advantage you'll have with a WordPress site is that you can update links online in realtime and provide 401 and 301 redirects from within the CMS to redirect links to old pages that no longer exist to new information rather than to "page not found error" pages.

    There are lots of SEO advantages to having a WordPress site but the analogy you were given isn't one of them.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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  5. #5
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    Wordpress have benefit of seo even if you don't do it. I have tried this practically.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshtimber View Post
    Wordpress have benefit of seo even if you don't do it. I have tried this practically.
    Based on what criteria?

    A WordPress website will definitely provide greater SEO value over not having a website or over having a single page website but there is no evidence that suggests that if you had two equally marked up websites one static and the other running WordPress that the WordPress site would provide better SERPs.

    Where WordPress provides value (and this isn't limited to WordPress) is in the ability to maintain your links, rapidly update content or new pages and sections and the ability to install SEO plugins and edit your meta data or XMLSitemap within the website instead of using FTP to download/upload your changes.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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  7. #7
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    The quality of code that Wordpress puts out is absolutely dire. If you're hand-coding your own site then you should be able to make it much, much leaner. That means it will load quicker, so you won't be hit by a penalty for being slow, and the content:code ratio will be much better. While that isn't the be-all and end-all of SEO, every little helps. If you're writing lean, mean and accurate code while someone else's Wordpress site is churning out tons of rubbish to get the same amount of content across, then all other things being equal your site should do better. Put it this way - there's nothing that a Wordpress site can do that a home-coded site can't.

    As a general rule, most plugins for Wordpress that claim to solve all your SEO needs tend to fall into one of three camps: (i) actively harmful for SEO, at least in the longer term, (ii) increase frustration for readers but no SEO benefit, (iii) no measurable difference. I would steer clear of these!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    As a general rule, most plugins for Wordpress that claim to solve all your SEO needs tend to fall into one of three camps: (i) actively harmful for SEO, at least in the longer term, (ii) increase frustration for readers but no SEO benefit, (iii) no measurable difference. I would steer clear of these!
    Really.... What type of plugins are these then?

    I'm a Drupal guy but I've noticed that Drupal and WordPress modules tend to crossover so that what's available in Drupal is often available in WordPress and vice versa. In Drupal you get the XML-Sitemap module that will craft an XML sitemap that is made specifically for search engine consumption and will not affect visitors. Then within the same admin screen you can alert the search engines of your choice about the xml-sitemaps. Wikipedia link regarding XML Sitemaps The other key module is the node-word module that lets you add meta tags for your content. You can get as granular as you like or automate the creation of the meta tags. You can create your own tags on a per page basis or just tell the module to create tags based on the content in the page. Both of these modules should also be available as WordPress plugins as well and neither will affect the website's visitors.

    As far as markup goes, yes... I have seen some of the garbage markup that comes out of CMS packages but if you depend on some rubbish theme, you will get rubbish markup. On the other hand, if you are a developer of WP, Joomla, EE, Drupal, etc... then you should be able to create your own theme with tight markup and then override the functions that create the dynamic markup to produce clean semantic and valid code.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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  9. #9
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    wordpress has search engine friendly architecture, With the help of some SEO plugin you can easily achieve your seo goals with wordpress. Personally i believe it is the most seo friendly CMS out there

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    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Anything you can do with WordPress can be done with hand coded pages. Not everything that can be done with hand coded pages can be done with WordPress.

    Therefore the only people who will gain any SEO benefit from using WordPress rather than hand coding are beginners who have not learnt enough to be able to do those things that WordPress does for them without using WordPress to do it.
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  11. #11
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    In terms of SEO the best option would be handcoded page but also handcoded pages will bit hard to maintain. Wordpress is fairly SEO friendly and very easy to maintain. With some SEO plugins You can easily optimize your wordpress site

  12. #12
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    The advantage of using wordpress is that it is much easier and faster that hand coding.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member Eyewebmaster's Avatar
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    You're right, but for those who don't have much time and money to do hard coding you might use Wordpress... But if you have this capabilities to do it through extensive coding it is the same. As long as you follow SEO capabilities your site will still be easily crawl by the search engines.

  14. #14
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    But the real advantage of using something like wordpress is that you can make site-wide changes through a web browser without having to edit each page and then FTP.

    For example, you decide to add a new section to your website which adds a new menu item to the main navigation. On a static site you'll either have to edit every page that has that main navigation or at least edit an main navigation include file if you're using server-side code to control your navigation. Even if you're using Dreamweaver templates, you'll have a bunch of additional cleanup after you create the new section because you'll have to upload a bunch of changed files. With a platform like WordPress you'll just create a new page and add it to wherever you want it to go and presto, everything is updated. Also if you use an XML-Sitemap plugin it will be updated dynamically to reflect new content. On a static site you'll have to update that manually. Meta tags can also be managed remotely via the meta tag manager plugin rather than editing manually on a static site.

    It's not hard to code a static website, it's just time consuming. If you are proficient in HTML/CSS and you know how to work with the CMS of your choice you can build a light fast loading website plus have the advantage of automating a great deal of aspects that are related to SEO.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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  15. #15
    SitePoint Member Eyewebmaster's Avatar
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    That is true! If you use CMS it will be much easier to change your themes so that user can easily see what they wanted for a certain site.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast jamhassan's Avatar
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    ya its easier to change your theme but CMS creates lots of code that contains w3c validation error . but if it is a simple HTML, Server side you can manage it easily to produce minimum Code

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamhassan View Post
    ya its easier to change your theme but CMS creates lots of code that contains w3c validation error . but if it is a simple HTML, Server side you can manage it easily to produce minimum Code
    Not if you know what you're doing with the CMS. You install the CMS, you build the theme... It's up to you to make the theme's markup valid. The only reason my sites won't validate is if the person editing does something like inserting images without alt values or inserts links with target attributes in an xhtml strict document. That said, it's not the end of the world... I call those soft errors.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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  18. #18
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    Working on wordpress is quite easy, you have lot of options there to choose your theme. no panic to add widgets many are available free, instead in handcoded sites everything is not that easy. specially if you talk about widgets.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Addict Newviewit's Avatar
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    It's not worth coding a site from scratch just for seo reasons. Both are good options but if you don't really know what you're doing then I would stick with wordpress with a seo plugin such as platinum, yoast, or all in one. it's too easy to miss something or make mistakes coding yourself... wordpress is already built and millions of wordpress sites are ranking high in search engines.
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  20. #20
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    Handcoded sites can be good for security .As well as SEO If you follow the basic principles of SEO like headings,Tags Etc


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