I love selling on Etsy but can I open up my own online website as well?
Creating your own website is a bit simpler than you think. Find out what web hosting service works best for your budget and skill set. Discover the pros and cons of transitioning to your very own website. It might be easier than you think. READ ON….
Well, the first thing to note is that you don’t need to make a straight switch! It’s far better for your business if you keep your Etsy site open while you begin to create your site. That way, you’re able to make a smooth transition. You may even find you would like to keep both your shop and your new website. As a business owner the choice is all yours alone.
Excited now? Okay, great! We’ll dive headfirst into the nitty-gritty details.
The Best Platforms To Use For Your Website
If you have already started thinking about transitioning to your own website (or if we’ve just sparked the idea), then deciding on a platform is probably the first thing you pondered. And to be honest, you’ll likely spend many more hours after reading this trying to decide.
However, we hope to make the process that little bit easier by showing you the best of the best website platforms (in our humble opinion, of course).
The best course of action is to just jump straight in, so let’s get started!
Bluehost is a web hosting service that gives you a free domain, as well as the ability to build your website from the ground up. Alongside this, you get unmetered bandwidth, 24/7 live chat, and five email accounts. Yep, even if you choose the cheapest plan!
For your online store, it might be worth just focusing on the eCommerce side of things first, before you dive into all the other elements of a website. In which case, you should check out the Starter, Plus, and Pro plans targeted toward small business owners like yourself.
Before we review the cost of Bluehost let me give you some full disclosure here. This blog is hosted with Bluehost. I found using Bluehost straightforward and easy to set up. There has been a few times I needed to call support, and they could not have helped me enough. I found their support line outstanding. Bluehost had everything I needed on my small budget with room to grow. Look over your options before you make your choice. There are some other great platforms for you to review before you decide.
Let’s take a look at the prices, shall we?
Monthly Plan Cost
|Plan||Price Per Month||Features|
|Starter||$6.73||1 online store 100GB storage Free SSL Domain privacy and protection Free setup phonecall Storefront theme install 1 Microsoft 365 email (free for the first month)|
|Plus||$8.68||Everything from the Starter plan Unlimited online stores Unlimited storage CodeGuard backup basic|
|Pro||$12.55||Everything from the Plus plan Bluehost SEO Tools|
Anyone who uses the internet regularly has more than likely seen an advert for Wix. The drag-and-drop website builder is everywhere.
The best part? It has three plans that are geared toward eCommerce so you can choose the one that’s right for you!
Even if you go with the cheapest one (Basic), you will receive phone and email technical support, plus access to their member’s knowledge base. Oh, and the builder gives you advice as you go through the motions!
It’s super easy to create a strong brand image since every part is 100% customizable. Whether you want to add product videos or produce beautiful automated confirmation emails, Wix can help you do it.
|Plan||Price Per Month||Features|
|Business Basic||$16.89 with the yearly term||20GB storage 5 hours of video Unlimited bandwidth All business apps Unlimited listings 0% sales fee Wix Payments, Strip, and PayPal 3 email campaigns per month|
|Business Unlimited||$20.79 with the yearly term||Everything from the Basic plan 10 hours of video 35GB storage Subscriptions and recurring payments Different currencies 100 transactions per month auto sales tax Label printing Dropshipping up to 250 products 1000 product reviews|
|Business VIP||$28.58 with the yearly term||Everything from the Unlimited plan 50GB storage Unlimited video 500 sales per month auto sales tax Unlimited dropshipping products 3000 reviews Custom reports Priority support|
Just because Weebly isn’t super popular, doesn’t mean it isn’t any good. In fact, quite the contrary!
Each of its 4 plans supports eCommerce and you can start selling with their cheapest (i.e. free) option. Of course, the specific plan you choose depends on the size of your online store. But since you’re just making the transition from Etsy, the free one will give you more than you bargained for.
There are lots of great apps you can add to your store when using Weebly. Whether you want your Insta feed on your homepage or fancy having a swanky FAQ page, the apps can make it happen.
|Plan||Price Per Month||Features|
|Pro||$12||Free domain $100 Google Ads credit Free SSL Connect custom domain Remove ads Search function Unlimited storage Square and 3rd party payment providers SEO Advanced Stats All support|
|Business||$25||Everything from the Pro plan Inventory management Auto tax calculator Reviews Coupon codes Gift cards Shipping discounts Pop-up notifications|
|Business Plus||$38||Everything from the Business plan Abandoned cart emails $96 worth of email marketing Real-time shipping|
Stitch is another website builder (shocker, right?). But, it does have a little bit of a twist. What’s the twist, we hear you ask? Well, this platform is targeted toward those selling customized shirts and tailored suits. If you’re a fashion merchant, it is one of the most cost-effective solutions to selling your wares online.
The design is simple but very intuitive. All the websites that have been created via Stitch are incredibly easy to navigate and oh-so-stylish. Honestly, what more could you want, right?
Now, let’s talk money.
Stitch differs here too. You won’t be paying monthly for the service. Instead, you’ll make a one-off payment to purchase one of two plans. Yes, the price is pretty high but again, it’s a one-off payment.
|GoQuick||$999.00||CMS system Unlimited products and categories Reviews Ratings Wishlist management system Full source code Editable design Discount code management|
|GoCustom||$4,999||Everything included in the GoQuick plan Loads of customization features, apps, and options|
Zibbet is a fab Etsy alternative. Why? Because it has a smart Etsy Import feature to decrease the time it will take you to set up shop.
Their website builder has a range of customization options, so you can create a storefront that truly represents your brand. Plus, all your products are placed on the Zibbet Marketplace. This means that they’ll drive traffic for you, ensuring you don’t see a loss of business after you’ve closed your Etsy store.
|Plan||Price Per Month||Features|
|Starter||$4||No listing/transaction fees Up to 50 items 4 images per item Basic stats Free custom domain|
|Pro||$8||Everything from the Starter plan Unlimited items 8 images per item Create coupons and discounts|
|Unlimited||$16||Everything from the Pro plan Premium themes Remove all Zibbet branding Full customization|
Plan Your Site
You have pretty much all the practical tools now. It’s just a case of doing it (which is the hardest part!).
Since building a website, whether it’s drag-and-drop or not, is no quick feat, you need to have a good plan to stick to.
We suggest marking one- or two-hour blocks out of your day as “website time”. Then, do this 5 days a week until you’re ready to launch! Once you get started, you’ll have a good idea about how long it will take you.
Alternatively, you can broadcast your launch day to your customers and then work hard to meet the deadline you’ve set for yourself. We know a few business owners who worked this way and found it useful. But for us, we prefer to give ourselves as much time as possible to avoid unnecessary stress!
The Pros and Cons of Selling from Your Own Website
Okay, this is the make or break moment. Do the pros outweigh the cons?
We’ll take a good look at both sides so you can come to a firm decision on the matter.
Be Your Own Boss
Yes, you are your own boss when you run an Etsy store. However, you are limited by their rules and regulations. Thus, striking out on your own means you can set up your shipping policies, shipping guidelines, customer care procedures, and so much more.
No More Pesky Fees
This might be the main advantage of setting up your own website for the majority of you! And for good reason too. Etsy’s fees seem to have just been increasing over the years which have drastically eaten into shops’ profits.
Of course, you’ll have to pay for the website builder you use but other than that, there will be no extra fees to get your website up and running.
You Have to Drive Your Own Traffic
When you sell via Etsy, the platform itself drives traffic every single day. But, when you go at it alone, you will need to generate this traffic yourself.
If you already have a decent social media following and repeat customers, this will be a lot easier than if you’re completely new to the market. You can promote your new site across all your platforms and even produce an exciting countdown calendar so people can get excited about your new e-commerce store. You can build your website and then be concerned after the fact about build up traffic to bring views into the site. It could take up to 6 months to see organic traffic to a new website. Thanks to Pinterest and or Instagram you can give your new site a boost in views. Promoting your new website to build monthly views and loyal followers with social media is a great way to ensure success.
Should You Keep Both Your New Website and Etsy Shop Open Simultaneously?
Let’s face it, creating and maintaining a website is time-consuming. In addition, as we all know keeping up with listings in Etsy and selling can also be a grind. If you are up for the challenge of keeping both up to date it is doable but you need good time management.
Case Study: Here’s A Great Success Story For You
Case in point: Planlucky.com
I love this success story! Take Ashley owner of Etsy shop LuckyLittlePlanner.
Ashley is a mom of 4, website owner and successful Etsy shop owner. She managed to open up her very own stand-alone website for her planner sheets. I love her website layout. I am a repeat customer of Ashley’s. As you can see from her website and Etsy shop she is a self-starter and leader in her field. She shows us that you can have a stand-alone website and an Etsy shop as well if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to make it all work.
The Bottom Line
Transitioning from Etsy to your very own website is super rewarding. Not only will you decrease your fees, but you will be able to customize everything from the search bar to your contact forms and everything in between.
We’re not saying it’s going to be a piece of cake. But, with a bit of hard work and dedication to your business, you can do exceptionally well striking out alone.