Wix, Weebly, Shopify or Squarespace? It’s a common decision faced by many people when they are looking to set up an online store. Let’s compare these four.
Wix, Weebly, Shopify or Squarespace? An Unbiased Comparison
These days, many business want a simple ‘out of the box’ eCommerce solution. The main players in this field are Wix, Weebly, Shopify and Squarespace. Firstly, we need to start by saying that we have no affiliation to any of these! We just wanted to make an unbiased report. Also, we wanted to use actual test data to help you make a better choice. The internet is full of with long, useless spam articles written by affiliates. These authors don’t care about your success, they only want you to buy a subscription so they can take a cut. So, those articles don’t really give you an objective comparison and often make only superficial comments. We are going to help you today, by showing you some proper test results based on real world use of these sites. We looked at months of data to make this article!
They are all big, but Squarespace has grown fast to lead the market. When combined, these guys control 4% of a $136 billion dollar market. Make no mistake, eCommerce hosting is a massive industry in 2019. All these brands seem to have a clean, professional and modern image. Though, its worth noting that all of them have been around for more than a decade, and they all have great experience. Any choice you make here will probably be OK. Finally, your decision is going to be personal, and it’s going to come down to small details.
Wix, Weebly, Shopify or Squarespace? Who’s Faster?
Wix is pretty awesome, Shopify is very nice too! To put things in perspective, the mighty Google responds in a shade under 0.2s on average, with Ebay and Amazon being in the 0.1 to 0.4 second range. These speeds do depend on where you’re accessing it from. Speeds are often faster in North America and slower in more isolated parts of the world. Basically, if you choose Wix or Shopify, you are in the same ballpark as the real tech giants in terms of speed.
When it comes to eCommerce, speed is a crucial factor in making sales. If a shopper can quickly and easily browse through your products and quickly add things to the cart you are going to make more sales. Having said that, the industry average for web hosting is 0.89 seconds, so Squarespace and Weebly are still reasonable choices, but there will be a little bit more lag when browsing these shops when compared with Wix or Shopify.
How Much Does Speed Matter?
You might be thinking, what difference does a few tenths make? We are living in a world where customers expect things to be instant! Just adding half a second of lag can cost you around 5% of your page views and cost you 3-4% of your sales. Think about that in terms of your revenue, for every $1k revenue a month that your site makes, half a second of lag means $30-40 dollars of lost sales… If you’re serious about your online business and are intending to do high volumes of sales then a faster site will totally pay for itself, while a laggy site will hurt your brand’s overall value.
We got this data by monitoring sites with using Pingdom monitoring services. We’ve gathered nearly 3 months of data here in 2019 to base our comparisons on. Pingdom’s numbers are based on accessing sites from multiple locations around the world. They have servers in North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Australia. In conclusion, these results show the average of your world wide user experience.
Uptime – How Reliable are They? Weebly and Squarespace had some downtime…
Again, our tests show Wix and Shopify doing the best work with their server reliability. It’s no surprise that the fastest services were also the most reliable. This shows that Wix and Shopify are doing a better job with their backend systems. Having said that, Squarespace and Weebly are by no means bad choices. Squarespace had 22 minutes and Weebly 38 minutes of downtime. This is OK considering it is for a whole month. The industry benchmark is 99.9% uptime, which all of these services comfortably achieve. We can say that any of these options represent a pretty reliable choice.
Note that these tests were based on data that we have so far for 2019, so nearly 3 months worth. This is enough to make a good comparison. However, note that even big tech giants like Facebook can experience sudden and prolonged outages. Having just a couple hours of technical trouble due to an random crash can really throw these numbers around.
Price and Value
Wix is great value, but Wix is a more general purpose web hosting provider. While Wix does let you set up a nice looking online store for only $18 per month, it doesn’t have many advanced eCommerce features. Shopify is a more focused on eCommerce so it does cost a little more than the others. A nice thing about Wix is that it doesn’t take any transaction fee when you make a sale, unlike Shopify. One thing worth noting is that Wix has Etsy integration included, making it a great choice for the arts and crafts niche.
Shopify has some more powerful features for Ecommerce. So, if you’re running a more advanced business such as Amazon fulfillment or drop shipping then Shopify is going to fit your needs better. Shopify also gives you native Facebook and Instagram integration, which is a feature Wix still doesn’t have.
Wix, Weebly, Shopify or Squarespace? Who do we recommend?
We are happy to recommend either Wix or Shopify. The choice depends on your needs! You just need a simple online store? Then, we would highly recommend the value and performance of Wix. You need of more advanced and powerful eCommerce options? You don’t mind the extra costs involved? Then, look at Shopify. One nice thing about Wix is there is a free plan available. So, you can have a look at how it all works without actually having to open your wallet. Then, if you do decide to go ahead and start a store, there is a 14 day money back guarantee.
Shopify, also has a 14 day free trial, which is plenty of time to set up a store to suit your needs. We’d really recommend trying out both if you’re not sure. Things like the website builder, user interface and the look of pre made themes really come down to personal preference.
Remember – WordPress is still another option for advanced users!
Keep in mind that the scope of this article was to compare commercial ‘out of the box’ eCommerce solutions. Of course, its possible to do any of this with WordPress or other open source solutions. However, this assumes you have technical skill. Or you’ll need a budget to work with people who do! Are you a more advanced user? Do you have some prior experience in the world of web design? Then you’re probably better off staying away from these commercial options. Just go for an open source solution. It’s always nice to be able to tweak a site just to your own specifications. Even so, there is a lot to be said for being able to open an online business with out any real technical skill. So hats of all these companies, Wix, Weebly, Shopify and Squarespace for bring these options to the market!
Hope you enjoyed reading our comparison! Hope it helps your decision making when setting up your next project!
Want to share this information? we have made a summary infographic on imgur – check it out here!