Friday, April 9, 2021

Wix and Their Dirty Tricks

Matt Mullenweg:

Wix, the website builder company you may remember from stealing WordPress code and lying about it, has now decided the best way to gain relevance is attacking the open source WordPress community in a bizarre set of ads. They can’t even come up with original concepts for attack ads, and have tried to rip-off of Apple’s Mac vs PC ads, but tastelessly personify the WordPress community as an absent, drunken father in a therapy session. 🤔


They are so insecure that they are also the only website creator I’m aware of that doesn’t allow you to export your content, so they’re like a roach motel where you can check in but never check out.

Via Nick Heer:

Much like those recent Intel ads that also parody the Mac vs. PC campaign, Wix’s ads do not make much sense if you give them even a little extra thought. Take the one where a low-budget Bryan Cranston, playing the part of WordPress, collapses to the floor under the weight of forgotten maintenance and implores the site owner to switch to Wix. Sounds promising, except it is comparing a self-hosted software package to a managed platform, so it is not honest. Maintenance is not inherent to WordPress and, if you would prefer not to deal with it, there are managed options available through Automattic and many third-party providers.


I am not sure what these mean-spirited ads are supposed to achieve, but they do not make me want to recommend Wix to anyone. Quite the opposite. Other platforms are for nice people.

Roger Montti:

The campaign seemed to actually backfire by causing many to express negative reactions toward Wix.


Update (2021-04-14): Avishai Abrahami (via Hacker News):

Dear Matt,

I just finished reading your post, and I see that there is a lot of anger and many half-truths that you said. Wow. I guess that we touched a sore point there.

Why are you so angry? Don’t you agree with the shortcomings of WordPress that we raised? We really tried to be fair and only speak about what we know to be a consensus.

It’s kind of amazing that this is real. Tone aside, he’s not helping his case by misrepresenting various issues, including the GPL one:

This isn’t the first time WordPress and Wix have been at odds. In 2016, Matt Mullenweg called out Wix for copying GPL code from the WordPress mobile app and distributing it in its proprietary app. This rendered the entire app in violation of the GPL. Instead of complying with the GPL, Wix responded by removing the GPL-licensed code and forking the original MIT-licensed library that the WordPress mobile app code was built upon. The fork was relicensed under an absurd modification of the MIT that prohibits the code’s redistribution under any copyleft license.

And then he says that it’s not true that Wix doesn’t export because in fact it doesn’t block third-party importers from scraping.

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The sad part is that their tactics will work.

Like Nick, I'm unsure what the goal is. Is there a large segment of users thinking "I used to self-host my blog, but that's too much hassle, and rather than check if I can get managed hosting for WordPress, I'll… try a competitor"? (And of those people, won't most choose the one that's been heavily promoted on podcasts for years?)

I have tried to become a Wix power-user, but it simply is not performant, and I'm frankly tired of wasting time on it. Oddly, there are no preloader animations for long page loads. Perfectly doable, but Wix is marketed toward dev/design novices.

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