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Dear Matt Mullenweg: Another open letter from Wix’s CEO, Avishai Abrahami

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.

Considering you started talking negatively about Wix from the beginning, I find it to be a bit hypocritical.

I believe in friendly competition. Competitors push each other by competing. When you guys wrote about issues with Wix, like SEO and performance, we didn’t complain, we owned it and worked hard to fix it. Now we have great SEO, and performance is almost where it should be - so thank you WordPress for pushing us to be better.

We only wrote about valid issues with WordPress: high maintenance, issues with plugins, memory issues and security (adding the links for anyone who doesn’t know what we are talking about).

So, why don’t you do what we did? Admit it, Own it, Fix it. Even you guys at WordPress have things you need to fix and improve. Instead of writing nasty blog posts, fix those problems.

And yes, I really care about these things. I mostly care about WordPress' security. WordPress is so popular, I’m sure my credit card details are on many WordPress websites. It’ll be great if you fix security so we can all feel safer.

If you don’t think these are real issues, I’d be happy to hear why. And if we agree, I promise to publish a public apology.

I’d like to talk about some of the things you published about Wix because I think that people deserve the full picture.

You wrote a post that blamed Wix for stealing WordPress code. I’d like to remind you that the code wasn’t developed by WordPress - it was General Public License (GPL). We didn’t steal it, and we gave it back according to GPL (JavaScript is not linked). As a reminder, here’s my reply to you about it from 5 years ago.

You also blamed Wix for stealing your brand. Your brand was all about blogs, not websites. Our homepage was never a copy of yours. If anything, it was the other way around.

A quick search on the internet shows that WordPress also has pages that compare Wix and WordPress, with a very negative sentiment towards Wix.

So, as your competitor, I thought it would be fair that Wix talks about WordPress issues, just as WordPress talks about Wix issues. We even tried to make it funny and lighthearted (yes, I’m aware that not everyone found it funny, but we tried). Yet, you seem to be so angry about it.

In your recent post, you wrote that Wix makes it “difficult to leave” for customers, but this isn’t true. If someone wants to cancel the subscription, all they need to do is click the button, “Cancel Subscription”. If a customer cancels within 14 days of a purchase, getting a refund is automatic, so I’m not sure what you meant.

Then, you wrote that Wix locks users’ content, or steals it. Wix Terms of Use clearly state that: “As between Wix and you, you shall own all intellectual property pertaining to your User Content and to any other materials created by you, including to any designs, images, animations, videos, audio files, fonts, logos, illustrations, compositions, artworks, code, interfaces, text and literary works. Wix does not claim ownership rights on your content.”

Here’s the link if you’d like to check it:

You also claimed that we don’t allow customers to export their content. There are many tools that make it easy for our users to take their content and move to other services - we never block them nor have we prevented anyone from using other services.

One way that users can export content from Wix was even developed by WordPress:

Do you remember this? So why did you write that we lock our users in the basement?

You also wrote that other platforms allow you to take your site and use different hosts.

Shopify is an eCom platform, but you can’t take the eCommerce functionality to another host - you always have to run the eCommerce from Shopify servers and pay them a monthly fee. In fact, it’s very hard to export your full Shopify site, with the databases, transactions and plugins data.

With Squarespace, you can’t export your designs, templates, applications inside the website, databases for the applications, and as for the eCommerce, you can only export your static content, so to move from Squarespace, you have to start from zero on another platform.

Shopify, Squarespace and Wix offer software as a service (SaaS). This architecture means it’s not possible to take the software as it is running from the company server - that’s the downside. But it also has many advantages - easy software upgrades, a better security model, and less maintenance issues. Does this sound familiar?

Like every architecture, it has benefits and drawbacks. I’m a strong believer in SaaS and I think the benefits for users are bigger than the drawbacks.

Our campaign about WordPress didn’t twist the truth. We published what many in the WordPress community will agree to be the valid shortcomings of WordPress.

But I’m pretty sure you already know all of that. What I’m not so sure is, why are you twisting the truth?

And let me say it again, I believe in friendly competition. I really do believe that it makes us both better. We tried to make the ads funny, and I think you can also admit that the problems we talk about are real. However, if it offended you, I’m sorry.

I am really tempted to say here, if you guys stop writing bad things about us, we won’t publish the bad truth about you, but that sounds kind of childish, don’t you agree? And let’s face it, talking about each other's flaws pushes us both to be better and we both have that obligation to our customers.

Finally, during the last few years, I reached out a couple of times to try to meet with you but you declined, so I guess it’s our fate to continue the fun that is chatting over the internet, instead of over a cup of coffee.



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