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.
But I decided to use two of the most reputable and popular tools online and they are Pingdom’s Speed Tool, using their Washington D.C and San Francisco server and Google’s Page Speed Insights.
The reason why I chose these two tools is that they give a good indication of the load speed of the site but also how Google scores the sites performance.
To get a good spread of data, I ran each site through the chosen tools, once a day for three days. I then take the 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 6 of the most popular options for building ecommerce websites and 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 : Pingdom – Washington D.C. Server
It is really close between the top four on this test and very impressive that they were all only just over the 1 second mark, but Shopify does just edge it to come out on top.
Bringing up the back of the pack are Bigcommerce, who are quite a bit off the pace of their rivals and Wix whose performance was really poor!
Result 1: Pingdom – San Francisco Server
A little bit more of a spread on the San Francisco test and only Shopify improved over the Washington test. Still a good performance by the rest of the top four, with them all loading in under 2 seconds.
Once again, at the bottom of the list are Bigcommerce and Wix who performed worse on the San Francisco 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. Volusion topped the list with a respectable 54/100 but there is significant room for improvement for all the platforms.
Once again, Bigcommerce and Wix were at the bottom of the table, with really poor results that just averaged double figures.
Result 4: Google Desktop
Shopify were the clear winner on this test with a very respectable 80/100. The next three did ok by getting into the 60’s but still some room for improvement.
Bigcommerce weren’t as bad in this test as the previous 4 but they were still the wrong side of 50 and unsurprisingly by this point, Wix were firmly rooted to the bottom of the table with a really poor 28/100.
Some very interesting results from this series of testing and below is the where they rank after the four tests.
|Platform||Pingdom (D.C)||Pingdom (SF)||Google Mobile||Google Desktop|
|Shopify||1.07 Seconds||0.98 Seconds||38/100||80/100|
|Squarespace||1.20 Seconds||1.47 Seconds||30/100||62/100|
|Volusion||1.21 Seconds||1.51 Seconds||54/100||62/100|
|3dcart||1.21 Seconds||1.95 Seconds||31/100||69/100|
|Bigcommerce||2.84 Seconds||3.43 Seconds||12/100||48/100|
|Wix||6.52 Seconds||6.72 Seconds||12/100||28/100|
Shopify was the clear winner here by finishing top in 3 out of 4 tests, a strong performance all round with only the mobile score really letting the platform down.
Not really much to choose between the next three as they were pretty even across all three tests. 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!