Speed is a very important component when it comes to the success of a website as it is not only a ranking factor in Google but it also impacts on user experience, because people don’t like waiting for websites to load but which platforms perform the best?
Well that is what I have spent a lot of time testing out recently!
The Testing Method
Accurately testing platforms performance is actually not a straightforward task as there are quite a few elements that affect the performance of a website.
My standard testing method for all of my reviews is to take three customer example sites, which I found by viewing the showcase or examples section of their website and running them through Pingdom’s Speed test tool, using their London, UK server, once a day for three days.
But for this post, I wanted to go into this a bit deeper and extended this to Pingdom’s Washington D.C server and also Google’s Page Speed Insights tool, to get an idea of how well they score using Google’s own metrics.
As with my standard review test, this was done once a day for three days to get a good spread of data. I also aimed to pick sites in similar niches with similar levels of content to try and make this test as fair as possible.
I would then take an average score to see how well the platforms performed overall in that test.
The Ecommerce Platforms
For this test, I only looked at fully hosted platforms, no self-hosted platforms such as WooCommerce or Opencart as much of their performance is dependant upon the web hosting servers on which they are ran.
So which platforms did I choose? Well, I went for 10 of the most popular options for building ecommerce websites and the list includes a selection of UK and North American based platforms, which I have listed below in alphabetical order:
As you can see, there are some pretty big names on this list, so it is going to be interesting to see how they perform.
One name that I unfortunately couldn’t add to this test was Ecwid as they only had one of their customer example sites running on the Ecwid website builder. All of the others were integrated with other platforms such as WordPress, Wix and Squarespace so the results wouldn’t have been accurate.
For the results, I am going to break it down into four sections, the two Pingdom tests and the Mobile and Desktop scores from Google.
Result 1: Pingdom – London, UK Server
I think it is pretty unsurprising that the UK based platforms came out top in the performance of the UK server tests. Even though, the load times of the UK based platforms is still very impressive with all of the loading in under 1.5 seconds. Also a very strong showing from 3dcart and Shopify.
At the bottom of the list are two very big names in the world of ecommerce and website building. Both Bigcommerce and especially Wix were considerably slower than their competition,
Result 2: Pingdom – Washington D.C. Server
Pretty much a flip on the London server test, the top spots are dominated by the North American based platforms with Shopify taking the top spot from Squarespace.
Still a pretty respectable showing from the UK based platforms, especially Bluepark which achieved a sub 2 second load time.
Bringing up the back of the pack once again are Bigcommerce, who did see an improvement over the UK test but are still considerably behind their rivals. Wix once again performed very badly and averaged a slower load time than the UK based tests.
Result 3: Google Mobile
This is arguably the most important test out of all of them with the growth in ecommerce on mobile devices and Google putting more emphasis on sites that perform well on mobile.
Honestly, none of the platforms were what I would call amazing when it came to their mobile scores. A respectable effort from the top 4, I was a little surprised how Shopify and ShopWired performed in this test though.
Once again, Bigcommerce and Wix were at the bottom of the table, with really poor results on just averaging double figures.
Result 4: Google Desktop
A very strong showing from three UK based platforms, which all scored over 80, a good result also for Shopify on this one.
An average showing from the rest, except for Wix, that unsurprisingly by this point is propping up the list! A slight improvement by Bigcommerce as it has closed the gap a little in their rivals.
Some very interesting results from this series of testing and below is the where they rank after the four tests.
|Platform||Pingdom UK||Pingdom USA||Google Mobile||Google Desktop|
|Bluepark||0.76 Seconds||1.74 Seconds||66/100||88/100|
|Create.net||0.82 Seconds||2.04 Seconds||64/100||92/100|
|EKM||1.30 Seconds||2.19 Seconds||55/100||87/100|
|Shopify||1.60 Seconds||1.07 Seconds||38/100||80/100|
|3dcart||1.52 Seconds||1.21 Seconds||31/100||69/100|
|Squarespace||1.82 Seconds||1.20 Seconds||30/100||66/100|
|Volusion||1.89 Seconds||1.21 Seconds||54/100||62/100|
|ShopWired||1.44 Seconds||2.50 Seconds||24/100||53/100|
|Bigcommerce||3.42 Seconds||2.84 Seconds||12/100||48/100|
|Wix||6.29 Seconds||6.52 Seconds||12/100||28/100|
So the overall winner of my 2020 performance results is Bluepark, followed closely by Create.net.
Both EKM and Shopify also performed very respectably, being near the top in nearly all of the tests and finishing 3rd and 4th respectively.
The biggest surprise for me was how poorly Bigcommerce and Wix performed in every single test, never once moving from the bottom two places.
Obviously, speed and performance are only two of the elements you should consider when choosing an ecommerce platform but it is still useful to see how well these platforms perform!