Bluepark vs ShopWired (2020) – Comparing two UK based Ecommerce Platforms

Bluepark vs ShopWired

Bluepark and ShopWired are two popular options when it comes to UK based ecommerce platforms but how do they compare?

Bluepark vs ShopWired: What is the Difference?

Both Bluepark and ShopWired are fully hosted ecommerce platforms but operate slightly differently. Bluepark is an all in one solution, meaning that all the features come pre-installed on the software for a fixed monthly price. ShopWired offers a core ecommerce platform that can be customised by installing apps and extensions and operate on a tiered pricing structure.

Disclosure – this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you sign up to services via a link in this post, I do receive a small commission. BUT and I cannot stress this enough, in no way does this influence my review of any platform, if I don’t like something then I will say so!

Pricing

bluepark logo

Retail

£24.99/m

Up to 500 Products
No Annual Turnover Limit
No Transaction Fees
500mb Data Storage
SSL Certificate £69.99
Standard UK Support
43 Free Themes
Unlimited Admin Accounts

Pro

Pro

£29.95/m

Up to 750 Products
Up to £75k Annual Turnover
No Transaction Fees
Unlimited Data Storage
Free SSL Certificate
Standard UK Support
15 Free Themes
2 Admin Accounts

Each platform has a different approach to their pricing and pricing structure. Bluepark use a fixed price structure, which starts from £24.99/m + vat, there are no turnover limits or transactions fees on top of this. With the larger packages, you do get more resources in terms of storage space and more features.

With all Bluepark packages, you do need to buy your SSL certificate in addition to your monthly payment. The price for an SSL for one year is £69.99+vat and for two years it is £119.99+vat.

ShopWired on the other hand use a tiered pricing structure, start from £29.95/m + vat and this means that when you hit certain turnover limits, you will automatically be moved up to the next package. This system is designed to provide you with more resources and support as your business grows.

Free Trial

Both platforms offer a free 14 trial so that you can try them out for yourself before committing to a paid plan.

Features

Both platforms come with a host of great ecommerce features, even on their basic packages but they don’t offer them in exactly the same way.

Bluepark

Bluepark take a different approach to the majority of ecommerce platforms, when it comes to offering features to their customers.

Instead of having to install apps or code in extensions, all of their features come pre-installed and ready to use. You are only limited by the package you are on.

Bluepark Features

Even on the basic Bluepark package, you get a lot of things as standard including:

Ecommerce Tools

  • Embed YouTube Videos in Listings
  • Onsite Product Comparison
  • Shareable Wish Lists
  • Product Labels
  • Auto Language and Currency
  • Related Products
  • Customers Also Bought
  • Digital Products

Marketing & SEO

  • Build an Affiliate Network
  • Built in Email Newsletter
  • Social Sharing
  • Coupon Discounts
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery
  • Google Shopping
  • Blog
  • Custom Meta Data
  • SEO Friendly URL’s

Reporting

  • Top Sellers
  • Referral Conversion Rates
  • Top Notification Requests
  • Top Wish List Additions
  • Google Analytics

Payment Gateways

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Worldpay
  • Sagepay
  • Barclaycard EPDQ
  • Amazon Pay (Coming Soon)

Bluepark do have a small number of third-party applications that you can integrate with.

ShopWired

ShopWired offer a mixture of in-built features but also additional ones that are either single click install apps or extensions that need to be coded in to your website.

ShopWired App Selection

Along with the core platform, the apps and extensions offer you the following features:

Ecommerce Tools

  • Multi-buy Offers
  • Product Extras
  • Multi-Currency
  • Product Reviews
  • Ebay Integration
  • Digital Downloads
  • Gift Vouchers
  • Reward Points

Marketing & SEO

  • Google Feed
  • MailChimp Integration
  • Discount Codes
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery
  • Create Sales
  • Social Share
  • Blog
  • Custom Meta Data
  • SEO Friendly URL’s

Reporting

  • Gross Profit Report
  • Sales by Product
  • Sales by Category
  • Payment Methods
  • Sales by Month
  • Failed Searches
  • Visitors

Payment Gateways

  • PayPal Express Checkout
  • Stripe
  • Amazon Pay
  • Klarna
  • Worldpay
  • Sagepay
  • Barclaycard EPDQ
  • Nochex

The only downside with the ShopWired apps are that on the basic package, some of the apps are charged monthly. None of the ones mentioned above are but if you want to integrate with your accounting software, then you will have to pay. With the larger accounts, you do get the apps included with your monthly price.

To use any of the ShopWired extensions, you will need to code them into your site or pay the guys at ShopWired a one off fee to do it for you. Some are pretty easy to install and you can do them yourself by just following the documentation, some are a bit more tricky as they need CSS doing in order to work properly.

Theme Selection

Bluepark has a really good selection of 42 free, mobile responsive themes. If you want a bespoke theme, you can contact one the Bluepark design partners who will do it for you and prices start from £700.

ShopWired have recently (May, 2020) overhauled their theme selection due to the introduction of the new Version 3 framework. There are now a selection of 15 free, mobile responsive themes. All the themes have an upgrade option which includes a selection of extensions that come pre-installed and the upgrade costs £89+vat.

You can also have the ShopWired team build a custom website for you by choosing either the Pro (£3495+vat) or the Advanced (£3995+vat) design packages.

Support

One thing that both of these platforms does really well is supporting their users.

Bluepark offer a good selection of options when it comes to contacting their support, such as over the phone, by email or via live chat. If you contact them outside of regular business hours, they will get back to you as soon as they can.

Unfortunately, there isn’t the option of live chat directly in your admin dashboard but contacting the support team is very easy. This can be done by clicking the support centre or contact us links at the bottom of the admin dashboard and all the contact options will be readily available.

ShopWired also have very good support options including via love chat (which can be accessed within your dashboard), over the phone and via email. As with Bluepark, if you contact them outside of regular business hours, they will get back to you as soon as they can.

Hosting & Performance

On paper, there is little to choose between the two platforms when it comes to their hosting as both offer:

  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • PCI Compliant Servers
  • 99.9% Uptime
  • Most Importantly Fast Servers

But I want to know how they both performed in the real world, not just how good they say their hosting is. So I put them to the test, I took three of their customer example sites. To have a fair comparison, they were all in the same industries and had similar levels of content on the sites. I then ran them through Pingdom’s speed tool, once a day for three days to get some good data.

bluepark logo

Average Load Time

0.76 Seconds

Website 1: 0.85 Seconds
Website 2: 0.51 Seconds
Website 3: 0.91 Seconds

Average Load Time

Average Load Time

1.44 Seconds

Website 1: 1.43 Seconds
Website 2: 1.12 Seconds
Website 3: 1.78 Seconds

ShopWired have one of the best hosting set ups on the market and that is reflected in their 1.44 seconds average load time, which puts it near the top of the performance charts.

But it just goes to show how good the set up is at Bluepark, that their average load time is nearly half that of ShopWired. That is seriously impressive and puts them pretty comfortably at the top of the performance charts.

Ease of Use

When it comes to features and performance, there really isn’t much to choose between the three platforms. But how easy are they to use?

Getting Started

Bluepark

It is really easy to get started with Bluepark, as you only need an email address and create a password to get signed up to their free trial.

Once you have completed the sign up process, you will receive an email, which will provide you with a link to sign in to your dashboard.

On your first sign in, you will be greeted by a pretty comprehensive set up guide that takes you through pretty much everything you need to do in order to get started, they also display their support options, just in case you want to talk to someone.

Bluepark Set Up Guide

Bluepark changed their dashboard layout in 2019, from a top navigation menu with lots and lots of sub-sections to a simplified sidebar menu and it is definitely an improvement.

The old style was quite daunting to use and took a while to know what everything was and where it was located, the new layout though is really easy to use.

Bluepark still have quite a few sub-sections but they have been thinned out and also the section titles are more understandable now, this make navigating around the dashboard a much more pleasant experience.

ShopWired

ShopWired have also made it very easy to get started and once again you only need an email address and a password to get started.

Once you have completed the sign up process, you will be taken through to your dashboard and are greeted by a very good set up guide that takes you through nearly everything you need to do in order to get your site up and running.

*The only thing missing from both platforms set up guides, is a prompt to get your legal pages such as privacy policy and terms and conditions set up.

ShopWired Setup Tutorial

The ShopWired dashboard is very easy to use due to the sidebar navigation menu being clearly labelled, along with all the subheading within these sections.

It doesn’t take long to learn where everything is and it is very easy to move backwards and between sections.

Customising your Theme

Bluepark

Not only does Bluepark have a great selection of themes to choose from but it also has a very good customisation tools.

They use a block editor and this makes it very easy for you to make a multitude of changes to the look and feel of your site. You can easily add and remove blocks but what makes it a bit more unique is that you can also add and remove sidebars, along with being able to edit the content within them.

Bluepark Live Theme Custmiser

This means that the amount of options available to you is numerous and it isn’t limited to just the front page of your site, you can also edit your product, category and checkout pages so that fit your brand.

There is a live editor, which looks similar to the image above or you can edit the blocks in the backend of your site. I would recommend using the live editor.

ShopWired

Unfortunately, theme customisation is something that does let the ShopWired platform down as you are quite limited as to what you can actually do, even with the new Version 3 framework. Which is a real shame as their themes are really well designed and have so much potential, if only you could do more with them!

ShopWired Customise Theme

You are pretty much limited to changing colours and editing some of the text on your site. That is you want to delve into the websites code and change things in there but most people don’t want to do that. I really feel that this is one area where ShopWired need to improve.

Adding and Managing Stock

Being able to manage your stock efficiently and effectively is a hugely important part of running an online store and for me there are three main areas to this and they are:

  • Adding products
  • Organising your Products
  • Managing your inventory

Bluepark

Bluepark have also made their inventory management system pretty easy to use but it is not completely straightforward.

When it comes to creating a new product, they have gone for a tabbed page and there are multiple options on each page and it does take a little time getting used to working through these tabs.

One thing that is a bit strange with adding a new product is that the new product page doesn’t display all the tabs that are available. To do this, you need to create and save your product, then go back in and edit it and you will see options for related products, attributes and variants. This adds a couple of unnecessary steps when it comes to adding a new product.

Bluepark Add Products

Organising your products is very simple to do, they have opted for the tried and tested category and sub-category method but you can also create brands as well, this gives your customers an alternate way of searching through your site.

One thing I do like about Bluepark is that they have a single inventory page and on the page you can update quantities and they also have a quick profit calculator for each product, which is pretty nifty little tool to have.

ShopWired

ShopWired have made their inventory management nice and simple.

The add new product page is a much simpler set up than with Bluepark as it is all on a single page and you can do everything in one go, no need to go back in and edit it to get all the options. The page has a very nice workflow and is not overloaded with options.

ShopWired Create Product

Organising your products is also very easy as they have also opted for the main and subcategory method and it is very easy to set both types up.

The manage stock page allows you to quickly and easily update your stock levels without having to go in and edit the products individually. While this is a great tool, it would work better if it was integrated into main product overview page.

Managing Orders

When it comes to managing your orders, there really is nothing between these two platforms as they both have really good order management systems.

They both allow you to print orders, update statuses and export orders via CSV in bulk or individually. You can also easily go in and edit your orders if you need to make any changes or amendments.

Summary

Bluepark Summary

Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customisation
Support
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

Bluepark Pros

• Good UK based support
• Good theme selection
• Theme customisation
• Well laid out admin dashboard
• Order management
• Super fast page load speeds

Bluepark Cons

• Steeper learning curve
• Some features aren’t that user friendly
• SSL certificate not included

4.4

ShopWired Review

Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customisation
Support
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

ShopWired Pros

• Good UK based support
• SSL Certificate included
• Product management
• Order management
• Good performance
• Easy to use dashboard
• Apps selection

ShopWired Cons

• Poor theme customisation
• Having to code in Extensions

4.3

Conclusion

Choosing between these two platforms is not easy as they are both great options for building an ecommerce website but they both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Bluepark is a very good all round platform and you can do pretty much everything you need to within your dashboard and the theme customiser is a great tool but the platform does have a steeper learning curve, meaning that it takes a bit longer to get fully accustomed to the platform.

ShopWired is the easier of the two platforms to use and has a much shallower learning curve but the theme customisation really isn’t that good, which is a shame as the themes themselves are very well designed.

Honestly, my advice for anyone considering any or all of these platforms is to try them out for yourself as you may just click with one of them. If this happens, then you know that it is the right one for you and your business.

Try Bluepark for Yourself

Free 14 Day Trial, No Credit Card Needed!

Try ShopWired for Yourself

Free 14 Day Trial, No Credit Card Needed!

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Ecommerce Gold
Hi, I'm Paul, the Owner and Founder of EcommerceGold. I ran my own Ecommerce Business for over 7 years and now help others start their own online retail empires!
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