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Dear Matt Mullenweg: An Open Letter from Wix’s CEO (wix.com)
93 points by dardagoi 6 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 76 comments

> Wow. I guess that we touched a sore point there.

> Why are you so angry?

> So, why don’t you do what we did? Admit it, Own it, Fix it.

> So, as your competitor, I thought it would be fair that Wix talks about WordPress issues, just as WordPress talks about Wix issues.

> Yet, you seem to be so angry about it.

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

> 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?

> 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.

Not a good look. The merits of the argument are sandwiched between projections and immaturity.

Just stick to why you're better and focus on your own business. You can't control what others do.

> So, why don’t you do what we did? Admit it, Own it, Fix it.

Honestly, at that point I stopped reading. I am not a fan of the WordPress dev scene, I spent about a year heavily involed within that scene and I noticed time and time again bugs getting patches and those patches not getting applied and then new patches getting created and not getting applied. Then I seen the whole "I've been here for X so I am more important" or "We don't like you so you're never getting commit rights even tho you do really valuable work on WordPress".

But one thing they do do is admit there is an issue and fix them. WordPress' core security seems to be really good, I can't remember the last time they had a flaw. 3rd party plugins can't be helped, really. There are quite a few plugins specifically to help secure Wordpress sites. So it seems WordPress as a project have dealt with their security issues and the community help deal with the stuff that is outside the scope of the WordPress project.

Then you have the memory issues and what not. WordPress scales really well the last time I checked. So I am not really sure what they expect WordPress to do.

I seen the Wix ad on twitter and I literally thought "Yep target people who don't know any better"

I'm still in awe that this is real. It's almost like they intentionally chose the worst style, tone and words to write a rebuttal...

I think Matt hit a sore point.

I disagree. I didn't know about Wix until just now. After having read this I'm extremely positive towards their CEO, their service and, simply put, I like their style. While Wordpress is acting like a child, Vix comes off as the adult in the room.

I couldn't disagree more. Vix's behavior here is so bad that it's actually hard to believe anyone would genuinely hold the belief that they're "the adult in the room." I'm embarrassed for them.

He shows a little bit of humanity by engaging in a childish brawl with the notion of "friendly competitiveness" and comes off as "the good dad", to me.

I read the "friendly competitiveness" line and rolled my eyes, because it is just so transparently disingenuous. There's nothing friendly about the things Wix is saying in this exchange, but framing it that way is an attempt to appear as though they're taking this in a friendly spirit when they clearly are not. It's just very, very juvenile behavior.

If acting like an angry 12 year old troll is "the good dad"...

I generally don't expect adults to speak like the first 10 or so lines of that post unless they're trolling, antagonizing, or both. None of which I find as favorable traits from a CEO. I'm now more curious how he treats hostile investor relationships or disagreements in the workplace.

wat? Is this sarc? The guy just posted:

> "y u so mad?"

at some nonsense that his marketing team instigated.

Terrible. Barely adolescent.

I've never much liked Wix for all of the obvious reasons, but I now have an absolute anchor in my head to discourage anyone I talk to who might ask me if Wix is a worthwhile option.

Crazy enough the CEO posted a similar open letter back in 2016: https://www.wix.com/blog/2016/10/dear-matt-mullenweg-an-open...

It's written in the same obnoxious tone as this latest post.

Discussed on HN here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12826088

The tone of this feels like in was stolen from the bad guy in an 80s coming-of-age movie starring Molly Ringwald.

Holy F, I just watched Pretty in Pink on Saturday. Yep.

It's amusing though

If it was just the commercials, I'd agree. They're actually very well done, as slightly-below-the-belt mockery goes. I even agree with them with respect to Wordpress' weaknesses. Vix's attempts to lower it to the level of an internet message board shitfight are embarrassing, though.

Seems like an ad disguised as dumb internet drama. https://wptavern.com/wix-takes-a-jab-at-wordpress-with-bewil..., for anyone as confused as I am. And the previous post that this responds to: https://ma.tt/2021/04/wix-dirty-tricks/

Wow, Wix took 1 week to respond and came up with this? Bizarre.

Which ever way the Wix CEO tries to spin it, they did just do a very expensive, weird, obnoxious and confusing guerilla marketing campaign, implying it was a message from WordPress instead of an attack ad: https://wptavern.com/wix-takes-a-jab-at-wordpress-with-bewil...

And Wix also used WordPress’ editor in their mobile app, arguably in violation of the GPL license.

So this genial blankness “I don’t understand why you’re angry” is just gaslighting BS, and really makes me think the Wixxer CEO is a total douchebag.

I also like how he gets defensive about the GPL violation:

> its not even your code!

Talk about missing the fucking point...

Yikes. At first when reading this, I wanted to give Wix the benefit of the doubt. However, I can only imagine they hoped people would never see the original events that transpired around this.

See the post it’s responding to: https://ma.tt/2021/04/wix-dirty-tricks/

And even worse, this article about their off-putting ad campaign that they brush off so quickly: https://wptavern.com/wix-takes-a-jab-at-wordpress-with-bewil...

Simply put, this post doesn’t need a follow-up. It needs to be taken down. Period.

Should Wix see this thread and think it’s a good idea to say, jump in here and try to defend yourself... it’s not. This is not a good look.

Not sure what either of these millionaires have against each other, but I don't really care.

Have you every seen a Wix website? It is literally everything wrong with a page builder in a single application.

The code it spits out is basically unreadable, a mix of position absolute garbage and weird grid with margins??? I am fairly certain frontpage and any other page builder out there spits out better code then Wix.

They market to people who have no idea how to build sites, and you end up with actual garbage. Using their text editor is probably the worst thing I've ever had to use.

Moral of the story is I hate Wix.

Let me throw out a hypothetical, you're helping a band get off the ground.

They just need a landing page for people to find out about the shows and by merchandise. Wix and other website builders work fantastically for this. I consider myself a pretty decent programmer, but I absolutely hate front end development so I tend to use a website builder. The only thing you need for my website is a link to my privacy policy ( Apple makes you create a page for this ) and a link to download the game.

I actually did work with a band once and the leader got mad with me when I suggested hosting our own thing. He prefer to pay the $20 a month for Wix and so we went

I have NO problem with a basic page builder, let me get that out there and if I made it seem like I did, apologies.

My problem is specifically with Wix and the garbage they produce.

I've done hundreds of Squarespace, Webflow, etc etc sites and they are perfectly fine. I see no reason a band needs to pay someone or have an agency build a site for them.

My problem is a company marketing themselves as the next best thing, when really it's probably one of the worst products I've ever used (even spinning up a WordPress instance, installing a random page builder plugin is better then the results you get from Wix).

To be completely frank, to the layman Wix gets the job done.

In a perfect world they'd spend less money marketing and more on building good products, but they're aiming for non-technical people who will create a Wix page and then forget about it.

I don't like Wix ether, but their business model is definitely working.

So does uploading a PDF as your whole site. Or calling up Yellowpages and getting a site from them.

These are all options, but just because George down the street uses them doesn't mean they should be suggested.

>So does uploading a PDF as your whole site.

To do this you need to register the domain, and then point your domain to an S3 bucket hosting the PDF. I have numerous friends who I consider to be extremely smart, but will never any day of the week be able to figure out how to do that.

I think I agree with you, Wix is better at marketing than website design. But functionally as a business, they're making fantastic profits.

It's hard to even call them websites. Right click doesnt work right. New tab doesnt work. Links dont go to anchors. They are as bad as any of the "flash websites" from back in the day.

Wordpress.com has hosted wordpress also.

Thoughts on squarespace? I’ve had a simple enough no-fuss WYSIWYG experience to date for static site creation for a relative’s business.

> 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)

This doesn't really address Matt's point that the Wix app should be GPL licensed and that attribution should be given in order to comply with the library's GPL license. If anything, this response from Avishai just makes Wix look worse.

"We didn't steal it and we gave it back" - whoever wrote this sentence doesn't understand the GPL at all, and maybe not even software in general.

I shall return momentarily. Linking JavaScript.

> "it wasn't even yours in the first place!"

Is this satire? Is the CEO really lashing out in retaliation, just below a "tough guy" photo of himself?

It's the presumably extremely expensive watch front and centre that particularly irritates me.

I don't get that shit.

This came across as really petty. It's a better idea to write things like this in your diary than to publish them to a website.

> It’ll be great if you fix security so we can all feel safer.

:eyeroll: - Regardless of past drama, this is an unacceptable way to treat any opensource contributor. Fuck this guy.

Exactly, if you're a business FOSS user and you want a feature, you hire someone to build and contribute it. Wixbro doesn't seem to understand that.

I have read all the the response from Wix, then all these comments. I have even more distaste for Wix now than I did before and will more strongly dissuade friends from using Wix.

Particular points that triggered me is the claim that there are _other_ people/companies who wrote export tools for Wix, but Wix themselves still do not offer such tooling.

Then they still are not open-source, lame.

Lastly, the fact that the CEO needed to post a picture of himself with arms crossed as the main image in the article, not cool in the tech world, maybe some BS business world that flies, but not here.

Childish regardless of whether he's right. It's a fucking software package, grow up

Advertisement in disguise regardless of its childliness ;)

Not sure if they still do it but Wix use to run like 10 different tracking services on every single one of their clients websites.

Weird post to read, not very CEO like to be spitting the dummy like that.

I give this blog post a 7/10 on the Oracle blog post disaster scale ( see https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/08/oracl... ).

Wix is an unethical company. They lure less tech savvy users in, get their content, and provide no way to export the data. They effectively own your content, it is terrible.

Where was the RSS feed eliminated? It should be there - https://support.wix.com/en/article/wix-blog-connecting-your-...

The Wix post above seems to contradict you, Are the tools Wix mentions for exporting data not working?

I am currently manually copying a website off of Wix after trying to find a tool that does an export.

I took it over from a client after their previous webdesigner very obviously struggled to make a half decent website with it.

The whole thing is a bunch of images, a menu and maybe one page worth of text alltogether - basically a small product catalog. But even that ,because of the convoluted code Wix creates, is impossible to export in a half-maintainable way.

And I have checked - it´s not just the webdesigner´s fault - I mean, I´ve tried to open the wix editing tool, and it uses so much memory that it regularily crashed the chrome tab that I had opened it in.

It´s really one of the worst tools that I have ever used (I am sure there is worse - but I haven´t used it).

And to quote from their documentation:


  Wix does not support the exporting of files created using Wix to an external destination or host. All   
  Wix creations are hosted on Wix's servers. The advantages of using Wix as your host include 
  improvements to your site's loading time, search engine optimization and more.

So I don´t really know what he is even talking about in that "Open letter"

Edit: and to add "improvements to your site's loading time, search engine optimization and more." my ass...

> I am currently manually copying a website off of Wix after trying to find a tool that does an export.

You may want to have a look at this Github repo:


The Wix documentation is pretty clear that you can't export your site.


> Your Wix site and its technology is hosted on Wix's servers. You can connect a domain to your Wix site and host the domain with another provider, however, your Wix site must remain hosted on Wix's servers.

They then go on to say that the reason you can't export is due to the nature of SaaS, which is just hogwash. It's a lock-in decision they made, which many of their competitors (E.g Squarespace, Webflow) did not make.

There is a fundamental difference between natively offering data export vs referring your users to third party scrapers with no direct support.

He even said it himself - they haven’t “turned them off” or limited them but that tells you all you need to know about their perspective on those “export tools”.

The point is that these are third party tools. If Wix actually cared about their user experience, they would allow exporting of account content.

whoa. wix doesnt allow you to export. Had absolutely no idea. not nice.

This is unbelievably cringe. We're all adults, keep it professional.

This is petty and very awkward to read, sounds like something you’d find on someone’s Facebook feed. I wonder who proofread this and thought “yup, this will bring us good publicity and solidify us as the good guys”

It's hard to see anything about the ad as playful or light-hearted. And Matt has one of the best reputations in the business...

You can always make your bones off of someone else's back - it's just not a good look. I put up a Wix site for my wife last year, now I'm going to have to go through the trouble of moving it off wix.

Wix is the worst page builder I've seen so far. It's fun, even their own company blog doesn't make it to 40/100 in lighthouse.

I dislike page builders, but I'd use Elementor or Gutenberg any day over Wix.

I did not see Mullenweg's resopnse but the letter reads like half motivation is to cast Mullenweg as the bad guy in the conversation because he got angry. I have no respect for that kind of behavior.

The fact that the CEO of a company spent even a minute writing something like this is silly. Concentrate on your own customers, this doesn't look good.

What a gross way to get your name into the conversation. I've never heard of Wix, but I'm sure to never pay them for anything in the future

NAPA filters are rebranded Wix filters. Quite good, actually.

This is a cooked-up piece to get people to believe that wix.com somehow competes with weirdpress.com, by stirring a controversy out of thin air. The absurd details and language don't matter as long as it gets clicks.

So while I'm absolutely no fan of WP at all, still you can self-host it, unlike Wix' builder. Don't fall for this kind of marketing.

I absolutely detest when millionaires trash talk each other. WordPress and Wix are not competitors.

If I want to spin up a WordPress instance, I have to put in much more work than creating something with Wix. I have much more control, I don't have to worry about having to completely rebuild my website to switch host.

That's sad, Wix actually isn't all that unique. A multitude of cheaper website builders exist, like for my products I'm ultimately not building a website. I just need a web page to host my privacy policy and it serves a landing page if you Google my product.

For my needs even Wix is too much. I like


Fraction of the cost and gets the job done.

They are absolutely competitors, https://wordpress.com/ offers fully hosted websites https://wordpress.com/create-website/

Christ, what an asshole.

A friend of mine did her page with Wix, and asked me to help her out because she was having some issues. Oh boy. I'm all for letting people build simple things without having to pay for developers, but they give the users a bunch of "blocks" that are turns out really difficult for them to use. She tried to build a bunch of carousels and lightboxes and the outcome was fairly comical. tl;dr Wix left a really poor impression on me.

Internet drama is so lame, oh my gosh. Why would they even write this?

This is written in the style of someone who spends 20 straight hours at a time edit-warring on a wiki.

Is it a planned PR?

Any commercial blog post is PR.

When I see "Why are you so angry?", I know some very good points are about to be made. (Not.)

You know it's a good rant when you start mansplaining capitalism to another business owner.

WordPress powers roughly 40% of websites out there. What reach Wix has?

Apparently wordpress also powers Wix, so attacking them is really pretty dumb.

2.4%, apparently

Downvote to oblibion; but I've tried so many times to post stuff on HN, and this is the kind of useless trash that 'sticks' ...

rant out!

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