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To enable search engine-friendly URLs, you can tweak Joomla settings or install an extension. If you decide to fix it manually, mind that changing the setting often leads to broken link issues, which you’ll have to handle on your server side.
From an SEO standpoint, Shopify is quite good, but not as good as Magento.
Joomla is the second most popular CMS. Just like WordPress, it is open-source and free. Joomla also relies on themes and plugins, but they are called templates and extensions in this platform. Another difference is that Joomla is not as intuitive and easy-to-use as WordPress, which doesn’t make it such a good choice for newbies. Still, it’s more versatile.
The Metatag module will take care of your title tags, meta descriptions and canonical tags. Then, there’s the Pathauto module that will automatically generate SEO-friendly URLs for you. You’ll also need the Redirect, Simple XML sitemap and Accelerated Mobile Pages modules. The last one will make the mobile version of your website load incredibly fast. Its implementation is rather complicated though.
When it comes to website SEO success, a CMS can make it or break it. But which CMS is best for SEO? The answer is none. All the CMSs we’ve touched upon can be really SEO-friendly if set up properly. It’s just with some of them you’ll have more preparatory work than with the others. And if you decide to run your website on some lesser-known CMS, just make sure it has all the essential features I’ve highlighted in this post.
If you need to create a redirect for any reason other than changing the URL name, you won’t find it hard to do either. You just have to remember that Shopify has redirects under the Navigation tab, which, frankly speaking, does not make much sense to me.
To get a grasp of WordPress, you can use websites with respective tutorials such as WPKlik. Being guided by handy tips, you’ll be able to create amazing SEO-friendly websites on your own.
Sometimes, there is no need to keep a duplicate and it can be simply removed. In this case, you’ll have to use the 301 redirect. Setting up redirects is easy with some CMSs and it’s more complicated with others.
Now, let’s take a look at the most popular CMSs. For every platform, I’ll cover the set of features that come with a default installation as well the ones available with plugins/extensions. If some CMS features may hurt your SEO, I’ll elaborate on it as well. Now, let’s see if world-leading CMSs can tick off every point on our SEO checklist.
Here are the best SEO extensions for OpenCart: All-in-one-SEO (the most versatile extension), So Filter Shopby (more filters), AMP for Product Pages, SEO keyword generator (automatically generated and grouped keywords), XML Sitemap Generator, NitroPack IO (improving loading speed), and NewsBlog (unlimited posts).
OpenCart — decent CMS for online stores.
Finally, you can actually nip the problem of duplicate content in the bud. Just don’t let search engine index duplicates in the first place by blocking URLs for web crawlers via a robots.txt file. This is where you hide from search engines all the pages that need to be hidden, not just duplicate ones. A good CMS will let you easily generate and fine-tune a robots.txt file along with an XML sitemap. The latter helps Google find all the pages that need to be found.
Although OpenCart meets the search engine requirements quite well, you can face a problem with creating duplicate pages. This well-known bug was not fixed in new versions, making the system create duplicate product and category pages automatically.
Magento can also generate an XML sitemap for you, and you’ll be able to edit it under the Configuration tab. You can also adjust robots.txt file settings at any time.
While you are preparing your website for the Google Search updates, make sure that your content is also optimized for mobile. Google has been encouraging webmasters to optimize their websites for mobile for years. Now, as mobile search is steadily growing and mobile-first indexing is in full swing, you have no other way but to optimize.
Another thing to worry about is duplicate content. If several URLs of your website lead to pages that look identical or very similar, it’s just a minor concern. If you have many URLs of the sort, you can get hit by the Panda algorithm. To make it right, a CMS should allow you to mark the original URL with a “canonical” tag. That way, search engines will know which URL to rank and which to leave out of the index.
You can adjust a lot of things under settings that are called Configuration in Magento. This is where you will enable clean URLs and pick the right setting for canonical tags to curb duplicates. You can also enable caching and merge CSS and JS files to speed up your website.
I recommend you get at least two in addition to Yoast: Broken Link Checker and W3 Total Cache. The first name speaks for itself, and the second plugin will help you speed up your website by caching website pages.
Unlike all the ecommerce platforms covered above, Shopify is a commercial hosted CMS. Shopify was initially designed as an online store CMS, so it has a lot of e-commerce features built-in. While it is not as powerful as Magento, it is much easier to use. At the same time, to extensively customize Shopify, you’ll have to do some coding in Shopify’s own coding language called Liquid.
With an SEO-friendly CMS, you should be able to easily add and/or edit all the above-mentioned elements. A good CMS would also prompt you to adjust meta tag length or add more headings.
On the plus side, whenever you decide to edit the URL of an existing page, you can create a redirect by simply ticking the relevant box. That way, Shopify won’t let you forget to set up a redirect and get a 404 page.
Now, let’s talk about side load speed and mobile optimization. As a hosted solution that uses CND technology, Shopify is really fast. At the same time, platform infrastructure does not allow for leveraging browser caching. As for mobile optimization, Shopify currently only accepts themes with a responsive layout.
You can’t build a good Drupal website without at least some coding experience. The platform is getting more user-friendly with each edition, but there is still a gap that has to be covered with manual work.
OpenCart also falls behind when it comes to page speed. Although you can boost the speed of your website with the help of paid plugins that enable caching and ignore unnecessary JS and CSS, it is still not enough to compete with most other websites created with other platforms.
In this article, we discuss the ten most popular content management systems from a standpoint of SEO — advantages, disadvantages, and what it would take to optimize a website on each platform.
And if you are lacking advanced SEO features, you can always turn to WordPress plugins. One of the more popular SEO plugins is Yoast SEO — it covers everything from metadata to keywords to robots.txt files. There are also smaller plugins that focus on narrow aspects of SEO, like image compression or code minification.
Although CMS platforms are not exactly interchangeable, let’s stack them up against each other, just for fun:
Content management systems are here to simplify the way we build websites. The problem is that sometimes they go too far. There are certain customization options that we’d keep rather than have them decided by the platform. Here is what we want to in an SEO-friendly CMS:
Joomla! is often referred to as WordPress for big websites. The platform is used by 2.1% of websites worldwide, including the likes of IKEA, LINUX, and Lipton Ice Tea. Lately, Joomla has made leaps in search optimization and is now as SEO-friendly as WordPress, if not more.
Simple website structure is generally considered to be an advantage in SEO, but Blogger takes it too far. Designed for the most basic of websites , Blogger does not allow website structures other than homepage > post page . The themes do not offer many customization options, so there is really no way to build anything other than a blog.
The ability to generate XML sitemaps.
Joomla’s main advantage is its architecture. Built for large websites, it allows managing a ton of pages without affecting website structure and speed.
Simple and scalable website structure;
Possibility to set up 301 redirects;
Out-of-the-box blog option;
Squarespace SEO guide says they run a clean architecture and all you have to worry about is content. They do take care of stuff like sitemaps, robots.txt files, and 301 redirects for when you activate an SSL certificate, which can be done in one click.
Key SEO disadvantages.
If your Magento plan doesn’t include cloud hosting, you may find it hard to set up an SSL certificate . In addition to above-average coding skills, you will have to create a Magento support ticket to inform them about your certificate and let them track and process the changes.
Customizable titles, meta-descriptions, headings, and alt texts;
When it comes to on-page SEO, there is an intuitive editor, which let’s build your page block by block and adjust URLs, meta description, and other meta tags.
WordPress does not provide an SSL certificate — you have to get that from your hoster. Once you get a certificate, you’ll have to set up 301 redirects from the previous pages, which can’t be done without a plugin.
Much like WordPress, OpenCart offers many plugins that can boost your SEO capabilities. These plugins let you add SEO-friendly blog modules, set up additional analytics, enable caching options to make your website faster, enable rich snippets by adding schema markup, create more advanced navigation menus, and so on.
Not all themes are responsive , especially when it comes to the free ones. Magento frontend developer guide suggests using its own Blank and Luma themes as a starting point for building a responsive website. Paid themes are mostly responsive but pretty costly.
What makes an SEO-friendly CMS?
One of the problems when managing a big site on WordPress is the lack of scalability . Designed as a blogging platform, WordPress was not supposed to be used for big websites with complicated structures. So, as you scale up, your website gets slower, you experience crawling issues and problems managing large files.
Bare OpenCart versions lack certain SEO features. Without the plugins, you will not be able to set up 301 redirects, define canonical tags, edit metadata without coding, and start a blog.
Nearly half the web is built on WordPress, including giants like Sony Music, The Walt Disney Company, and The White House. WordPress is often referred to as the best website builder. The platform is free, beginner-friendly, and allows you to build any type of website.
WordPress SEO guide recommends focusing on clean code and good content, as other aspects of SEO are supposedly taken care of. This is mostly true. WordPress allows editing titles, alt texts, headings, and URLs. Canonical URLs are set automatically. Website structure and navigation are easy, so no indexing issues.
Finally, Blogger doesn’t let you create a sitemap . The .xml file generated by Blogger only features recent posts, thus most of your older posts may not be indexed at all. This may be fixed with some third-party sitemap generators that let you create a full sitemap file to be further submitted into the Custom robots.txt field.
Blogger is a CMS for blogging that belongs to Google. It is used by 1% of websites, is free and self-hosted. As a blogging platform, it is mostly used by beginner bloggers of small scale.
With OpenCart, you can assign keywords to the product pages. The tool will analyze the content against the keywords and provide some optimization suggestions, which a unique SEO feature among CMS platforms.