How to Choose Secure & Fast
eCommerce Platform

  • Learn about the page load speed limitation of various website building tools
  • Realise that a skilful web designer can more easily improve the speed of the WordPress website
  • Find out that WooCommerce is a major security threat for WordPress websites
  • Learn about EcwideCommerce widget – and its integration with WordPress
  • Select WordPress – Kadence Theme – Kadence Blocks – Ecwid  for eCommerce
ecommerce security
eCommerce in WordPress. WooCommerce vs Ecwid.
Awesome- LiteSpeed testimonial

Summary

  • For rudimentary eCommerce functions, consider using the toolkit Dynamic Content for Elementor. You will be able to collect payments via PayPal or Stripe and set up automated invoicing and confirmation emails.
  • For a small online shop on a slow platform, choose Squarespace with stylish design templates or Weebly for faster page loading speed (but keep in mind the lack of undo and restore-from-backup functionality).
  • Build your sophisticated online shop using Shopify templates if you can tolerate using identical-looking web pages with the slowish upload speed.
  • If you want your new online store with flexible design customisation options and are confident in handling potential security compromise – use WooCommerce with WordPress but hire an in-house WordPress developer responsible for maintaining security and backups. Remember – 94% of hacked websites are built on WordPress.
  • Use integration with Ecwid as your online store back-office, keeping WordPress as a front-store. This solution is best for the simple online store’s template-driven design with uncompromised security on a blazing fast WordPress platform. Consider converting your website to a static (headless) WordPress to benefit from unprecedented static security.
  • Use the WP Shopify plugin for integrating with Shopify as a store back-office and the most secure eCommerce platform, but please select your web designer carefully! As a result, you will get a beautifully designed, fully adjustable, and bespoke WordPress online store with the blazing-fast upload speed and sophisticated business processing capabilities at the back office.
Both Shopify and Ecwid share the aim to be the back office for an online store – a place where inventory, sales channels, analytics and orders can all being kept in one place. Which one you prefer to use for your front-end WordPress shop is your choice. If you want to be guided by the crowd wisdom – go for Ecwid. If you wish complete design flexibility or are emotionally attached to Shopify – the good news is that WP Shopify will help you to stay loyal while relocating your front-end online store to the much faster WordPress platform. WebWhim can support your decision and develop a fast loading, trendy storefront integrated with the back office selected by your team.
23 minutes read | Last modified on May 30th, 2021

Introduction

Our Ambition: Design, Speed, Security

WebWhim provides web and graphic design services to SME companies located around Cambridge. We work hard to ensure that the new websites we build are beautiful, fast, and secure.
In 2004, when we completed our first web design project, we only used bespoke hand-coding (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) to mark up and automate our websites. Since then, web design trends, standards, and requirements changed tremendously. With it, clients’ requirements grew. Nowadays, clients want to equip a new website with all fancy and essential functionalities such as eCommerce, animations, and interactivity features. As a result, the web designer needs to have the skills and knowledge of a whole team of designers and developers – the task for superhumans. Alternatively, a web designer can master all tips and tricks of advanced Content Management Systems such as WordPress, SquareSpace, or Wix.
Many tools can be used to build a website, and especially an eCommerce website. We discuss below the techniques and resources used to balance bespoke web design customisation options with achievable speed and security and how their choice of tools affects the webpage performance.

Google requirements for website speed

Page speed is a critical element of Google’s “mobile-friendliness score”. Speed of loading, especially on mobile devices, affects search engine rankings. According to Google, 53% of mobile site visitors leave pages that take longer than three seconds to load. And if a mobile website takes more than ten seconds to load, you could be losing almost all of your potential customers and clients. Tough luck to many web businesses, as the average Speed Index values are 5 seconds on desktop and 12 seconds on mobile backlinko.com/page-speed-stats.

Bespoke hand-coding

Until the era of user-friendly CMSs, most web design companies, including WebWhim, hand-coded websites using simple HTML editors. Nowadays, frontend developers need to be fluent with JS libraries like jQuery, CSS3 and JS frameworks like Bootstrap and AngularJS, CSS preprocessors like SASS and LESS, JS runtime Nodes.js, and Gulp toolkit. All these tools improve the web developer’s efficiency but make it impossible to maintain the website for less experienced users. After all, even professional web developers in large corporations tend to switch to more straightforward Content Management Systems (CMS) like Drupal to simplify their website’s maintenance. The hand-coded websites are now out of fashion, and their share in the overall websites is in rapid decline, replaced mainly with user-friendly CMSs like WordPress.

WordPress

The most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) as we know them now have been developed during the last decade to allow the layperson to quickly build, edit, and modify websites. The most prominent of them – WordPress –  was initially designed to fill the custom content in the predetermined spaces in the theme layout. Since its release a decade ago, WordPress becomes more sophisticated. In 2020, Elementor Pro page builder had changed the game by providing the Theme Builder for developing dynamic and fully customisable WordPress sites, so they don’t look like just “another clone”. However, with each release of Elementor, the Google Mobile Page Speed Score for websites built with Elementor Pro continuously falls. The development team of Elementor derailed by focusing on extra functionality at the expense of performance for websites. Some web designers are adopting a newer page building tool, based on the Kadence Theme and Kadence Blocks, to recreate Elementor website designs. Kadence is a simple, easy-to-use platform that works great on mobile devices because it loads the jQuery library only when needed. Kadence’s menu is built without the use of jQuery. So, if you’re not loading carousels or galleries that support Masonry, the JavaScript in your page will run without jQuery for a perfect 100 score on the Google Mobile PageSpeed Insights test.

How secure are WordPress websites?

Small businesses generally don’t have the security of their websites high enough on the priority list until the first successful attack. Unfortunately, hacks are a reality, and their malicious nature can turn a successful website into a nightmare in seconds. Sadly, that is a consequence of the popularity and simplicity of using WordPress among the public, especially if combined with a free-to-use but highly vulnerable WooCommerce plugin.  When the attack is successful, there will most likely be data breach concerns, privacy issues, customers’ notifications, and government authorities’ reporting. It is not just a small hassle. 

Case Study

WebWhim had recently served a client whose brochure/WooCommerce website became very slow – about 25 seconds to open a page on a desktop device. After investigation, we identified that the client’s website was hacked at least four years ago and used as a farm for keeping a massive amount of backlinks by the blackhat SEO intruder. The size of the client’s database grew out of control to 15GB (with the typical limit of 1Gb for WordPress databases), adding every 3 minutes for the last four years a backlink and a related descriptive text.  

The good news is that we had managed to remove malware using WordFence. The bad news is that a hosting provider did not automatically notify a client that his database exceeded the size limit. There is no way to back up a database of this size using any regular tools or backup plugin. Without a backup, there is a significant risk to lose the whole website during the cleaning procedure with WP-Optimize or a similar tool. The time was ticking. Therefore the only solution that remained was to recreate this website anew manually, host it with a different provider, and add another security level – we had chosen WordFence.

This action alone improved website download time tenfold from 25 to 2.0 seconds. The client is now running his website in a much more secure environment. Nevertheless, the website is never safe if there is no routine security maintenance in place. The number of attacks on the client website is still very high and quite persistent – about one attempt per 30 minutes from the different IP addresses each day after the move. Fortunately, so far, the hoster and the Wordfence plugin are doing their job of blocking the hackers.

The next step will be to replace the WooCommerce plugin with Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart, move DNS hosting to Cloudflare, and add a scheduled weekly cleanup of the database.

To WordPress, or not to WordPress? That is the question.

If you are happy to follow a template-driven website design, you might be better off with an alternative platform like Weebly. It is a close-code platform optimised for a much faster upload speed than the typical WordPress theme-based website. However, the WordPress platform gives an advanced designer the power to develop any layout with a page builder without coding.  
A knowledgeable designer can hand-craft a very advanced WordPress website that will match the customer’s needs. Such a website will have a custom-built template with a dash of backend wizardry performed by carefully selected plugins.
Modern WordPress + Kadence Blocks page builder deliver you precisely what you want:
  • boosting the marketing by telling your story as it suits you
  • customers can easily update content – text, images, video – without the help of a “WordPress guru.”
  • gives your designer full control on developing an optimised User Interface
  • looks great and not like instantly recognisable template sites
  • scales up together with your business, so you are always ahead of the curve
Too good to be true? Correct! There are still two elements that need regular supervision – Speed and Security. The speed of loading your website can be anything from blazing fast to painfully slow. And it depends mainly on whether your designer has sufficient up-to-date WordPress knowledge and whether you have chosen the right hosting provider.
At WebWhim, we master a vast knowledge of improving the upload speed and page performance of WordPress websites. Our benchmark study of more than 400 web design agencies around Cambridge confirms that we are at the top 2% of this list by providing our clients with the best possible speed ranking for Google algorithms.

Market Share For Competing Website Building Tools

Let be clear – WordPress, without a doubt, is now the world’s most popular way to build a website. The mighty power of the WordPress ecosystem had already resulted in its absolute domination above any other web technologies (data below are from w3tech )
WordPress Market Share Timeline
WordPress Market Share Timeline
WordPress has at least four times larger share of the market than the combined share of other four significant competitors like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and Shopify.
Wix, the more flexible platform, provides its customers with a dubious privilege by delivering the world’s slowest websites. The page ranking benchmark of various platforms performed by BackLinko had firmly put Wix to the bottom of the list. Wix has almost zero technical support even on the most expensive plan, with the technical tickets answered by the software bots. The backend web design tools provided by Wix are painfully slow to use for any sophisticated design development. Most Wix users are relocating to WordPress once their initial honeymoon period with the Wix page building tool is over. In hindsight, the clients will save the cost by deciding to use WordPress from the start of their project.
The upload speed of websites build with Squarespace is faster, according to the above-cited Backlinko study. Still, another study suggests that the Google speed score of Squarespace websites is similar to the one for Wix.  It isn’t easy to trust the figures shown on the web. But luckily you can check it yourself. For instance, you can select websites listed on BuiltWith:
Wix stores
Shopify
Squarespace-Add-to-Cart
Weebly-eCommerce
The Google speed score for each platform can be evaluated by selecting just about five websites on each platform. Most websites show pathetically slow performance, and there is a range of readings for websites made using the same platform. We have observed that the Wix and Shopify speed is similar, but Squarespace delivers even slower performance, especially for mobile users. Weebly speed is slightly ahead of all of the rest.
As discussed in our separate post, “How to select a web design agency? Benchmark of 400 web service providers around Cambridge”, the speed of WordPress websites can vary a lot. It depends on many factors, such as your web design agency’s skills and selecting the appropriate hosting provider. Both parts of the equation can be optimised separately. We discuss issues related to the hosting provider’s selection in another post, “How to select a WordPress Hosting Provider“. In the same post, we describe a new winning combination of two technologies –  LiteSpeed Web Server and NVMe SSD storage – which boost fourfold the performance of the server. Neither of them is used on Wix, Weebly, Shopify, and Squarespace servers. You can have a blazing fast website developed with WordPress if you select your providers carefully. However, you are not in control of the speed improvement steps if using other webpage building tools. Wix, Weebly, Shopify, and Squarespace are not publishing data relating to the hardware of their servers as well as the resource allocation limits for individual accounts. Thus you should expect outdated hardware with severely limited resources per account. What is even worth, the code generated by those website building tools is tuned for desktop devices only, and they fail to provide a reasonable mobile page load speed experience for your website’s visitors.
There is another dimension rarely discussed when choosing the most appropriate website building tool for your new website. When you subscribe to the fully hosted website building service, you have waived your freedom to select the original server’s location, and you are not able to choose which Content Distribution Network (CDN) provider to use. Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and Shopify are hosting their websites in the USA. It is the worst possible choice for websites with potential clients predominantly in the UK or Europe. It is an especially questionable choice for the eCommerce website which will have to request HTML files from the origin, bypassing the cache. The issue is discussed in details in our separate post, “How to select your CDN provider“. For a website with a low amount of internet traffic, a specialised push CDN architecture improves the cache hit ratio to about 100% of page loading requests. This push CDN option became available only since the end of 2020, and, unsurprisingly, all fully hosted platforms are still using pull CDN architecture. As a result, any content cached in the local CDN server will be cleared if the webpage is not requested by a local user again in a few hours. The actual situation with the CDN services used by the above companies is even worse. From 50% to 70% of all requests go to the original server even when the local cache is pre-heated by high traffic on the websites. Below we show the deficiency of the CDN services measured with https://www.fastorslow.com from 18 separate locations worldwide. The measurement is done six times before recording the final map to ensure that the local cache is warm. We show three maps for specific websites on Wix, Shopify, and WordPress website (served using free Cloudflare CDN). What a huge difference it makes to serve the end-users with the proper CDN provider like Cloudflare!
Map of requests to the origin server for the Business VIP account on Wix
Map of requests to the origin server for the Business VIP account on Wix. About 2/3 of global requests are served from the original server in the USA.
Map of requests made by the Shopify store
Map of requests made by the Shopify store. More parallel execution servers in the USA are involved in serving global requests.
WordPress website using free Cloudflare CDN service.
WordPress website using free Cloudflare CDN service. No requests are forwarded to the original server.

When using Cloudflare CDN, most geolocations are served from the nearby server network except for Bahrain(served from Germany), India (served from Singapore) and South Korea (served from Japan).

Using the WordPress platform, you can benefit from:

  • choosing your origin hosting server geolocation close to your users
  • selecting modern hardware and software for your server backend
  • configuring the push CDN for achieving the best page loading speed for international users of your website even with a modest amount of internet traffic
  • Using page builder capable of generating much cleaner code for speeding up mobile websites
From the timeline data shown in the enclosed Figure, it looks like several competing platforms like Wix and Squarespace, are slowing down.
From the timeline data shown in the Figure, it looks like Squarespace is slowing down. Other sources suggest much higher numbers for Wix and much lower for Shopify.

The Squarespace customer base is stagnating for the last couple of years. Unless Squarespace manages to deliver new features, it might start to decline. The niche offering – a stylish website with limited customisation options – is also under attack by Weebly, who provides free hosting but nevertheless struggles to offer exciting new features to eCommerce users since its acquisition by Square in 2018. The sites built with Weebly show substantially faster speed than Wix, Shopify, and Squarespace, but its market share is about three times smaller. And there is a good reason why most users stay away from Weebly. The Weebly platform is famous for its decision to make any changes to the website as final and irreversible. The user does not have to save their editing as it is done automatically. But the platform has no option to undo the changes or restore from the backup if something goes wrong. WordPress users have access to the unlimited undo function using the long history of changes in the Elementor Pro editor. We are enjoying the staging environment for making changes to the design before applying them to the working website. We have for granted regular automatic backups performed by the hosting provider and the capability to restore from the selected backup in the CPanel.  It is incomprehensible to consider moving from WordPress to Weebly as you will have to have the bomb disposal squad member’s nerves to work with Weebly.

The Shopify platform’s impressive recent growth evident in the timeline Figure is mostly related to their extensive support for a dropshipping business model. This alone will help grow their user base even without improving slow page loading speed on mobile devices.

If you decided to update your old website, make your choice:

  • For a stylish great looking website developed without using a designer – choose Squarespace or Weebly. But be prepared that many websites will look very similar to yours.
  • For flexible page builder with painfully slow backend, with the lack of technical customer support, and ultimate slow website – choose Wix.
  • If you have a large shop or building a dropshipping business, you can consider using Shopify.
  • If you have big plans for your website – go with WordPress. The number of options does not even compare with the competition. You can have a uniquely designer-built, fully customisable and fast website – but it must be built by the web designer proficient with achieving fast loading speed. Decide to do it yourself or use an inexperienced WordPress designer – and you will end up with one of the slowest website ever built.
And please remember, because you own a rifle doesn’t make you a hunter. Just because you own a car doesn’t make you a racing champion. Owning a website building tool doesn’t make you a skilled web designer.

eCommerce

Alternatives to WooCommerce

A sophisticated dynamic emerges if we go more deeply in the fight for the eCommerce share.
Shopify’s rapid growth during the last couple of years exposes a well-hidden secret issue with the WordPress platform – its compromised security. WordPress accounts for 94% of all hacked websites, with its vulnerable plugins the prime attack vector. Especially attractive for hackers are WordPress websites with vulnerable WooCommerce plugin.
The statistics from BuiltWith show that about 1/3 of WordPress users don’t ever update their core files. About 1/4 of WooCommerce users also neglect to install updates, which can be dangerous for both the security and functionality of a website.
With over 4.5 million installations (or about 16% of all WordPress websites), WooCommerce is the most popular but also one of the most vulnerable eCommerce plugin ever. Since it is designed to handle and accumulate customer’s personal and payment details, this plugin remains very attractive to hackers. The attack points are the WooCommerce Checkout Payment Gateway plugin, an XSS vulnerability in the cart plugin that allows remote injection of arbitrary web script, and a flaw in the WordPress permission system used by these plugins. For example, in April 2020, researchers from security firm WebArx reported that Hackers are actively attempting to exploit numerous flaws in the Discount Rules for WooCommerce. Please don’t be surprised if your WooCommerce site is HACKED.
The Wix has brilliantly parodied WordPress in the timeless classic trashing video campaign. The story starts with this hilarious video and continues to YouTube. In his blog, Wix CEO wrote: “I mostly care about WordPress’ security. WordPress is so popular; I’m sure my credit card details are on many WordPress websites. It’ll be great if WordPress fixes security so we can all feel safer.”
One might think that criticising WordPress is fair, but it becomes even funnier when these criticisms come from a competitor like Wix. The protagonist in the video jokes, “But the Wix? Seriously? You’re killing me!” We believe that this is true – there’s no reason to use an ultra-slow and unresponsive Wix website when you can ask your design agency to fix the security of the WordPress website using several options explained in this post.
The business also must be prepared for the attack, which can knock down their WordPress hosting provider. The customers of A2 Hosting learned that lesson the hard way in April 2019, after the A2 Hosting had lost user data on most of their servers during a large scale ransomware attack. After several weeks of waiting, the eCommerce websites were restored from the backup files taken by A2 Hosting anytime from one week to one month before the ransomware attack.
Technologies used for online stores in 2020 UK
Technologies used for online stores in 2020 in the UK.
The main competitors to WooCommerce shown in the pie chart are Wix, Shopify, and Squarespace platforms. They provide fully hosted eCommerce websites, and by being a closed-source platform, presents a much more secure environment than WordPress. The top three options, such as WooCommerce, Wix, and Shopify are on the growing trend. The Squarespace is stagnating. The fifth option, Magento, is continuously shrinking– reducing its share fivefold during the last five years. It looks safe to recommend that no new online stores should be based on Magento in 2021.
The future of the Shopify platform is not without clouds. Their online store themes are restricted to basic customisation to improve the upload speed, similar to what you will experience with your Amazon and eBay marketplaces. As a result, too many online stores look identical to each other. However, Shopify clients are still suffering from the slow upload speed. The website loading speed is especially frustrating on mobile devices, severely undermining business revenue and dissatisfying users. For this moment in time, the issue has not yet been fixed by the company developers.
For those who are happy to keep using the standard eCommerce design template, the platforms from Weebly provide a faster page loading speed. Slow pages never rank high in organic results and are less efficient in converting paid clicks – and this issue is even more important for the eCommerce websites owners. But please be mindful of the lack of undo and restore from backup in the Weebly platform’s functionalities.

Ecwid vs WooCommerce

But what if you want your online store to be fast, bespoke and look nothing like someone’s else? Is there an alternative secure and faster option for eCommerce within the WordPress environment?
The fastest and easiest way to speed up WooCommerce is don’t use WooCommerce. Patrick Gallagher, CEO at GridPane
While no website is immune to hacking, the client’s data and revenue can still be protected. The trick is to separate the inventory and checkout of your eCommerce from your WordPress website. If you take eCommerce out of the WordPress equation, it will reduce the number of potentially vulnerable plugins you need. The removal of WooCommerce will save on costs to set up firewalls,  implement ongoing security patches and malware remediation. It will also dramatically improve your page loading speed and increase your Google ranking leading to more organic traffic and better conversion of paid clicks.
There are at least two options: Ecwid and underutilised WP Shopify.
ecommerce security
eCommerce in WordPress. WooCommerce vs Ecwid.

What is Ecwid – ‘eCommerce widget’?

The first company that tried to introduce the isolation barrier between the website frontend and eCommerce backend functions was Ecwid  (‘Ecwid’ is abbreviated ‘eCommerce widget’). It is a closed-source platform, and Ecwid’s team invests heavily in security. The idea is to let people display their products on an existing website linking them to the secure marketplace via provided simple snippet of JavaScript code.
Ecwid designers
Ecwid designers
Although WebWhim is continually improving its WordPress security know-how and doing its best to harden client’s websites against hackers, we are not as sophisticated as the Ecwid security team’s professionals. Therefore, we highly recommend everyone who is thinking of establishing an online store to trust its protection to the Ecwid team.
With Ecwid, you get all the functionality of an online store. Your site visitors can search your products, filter products by categories, sort products using available properties, pay with preferred currency and do other familiar UI/UX actions. Everything happens on your site, including the checkout page design, making for a smooth and satisfying user experience. Ecwid is the easiest to use and the most affordable e-commerce solution; you can enjoy a free version if you sell no more than ten products.
Ecwid is a popular eCommerce option on Wix due to the deficiencies of the native Wix Store platform. About 60% of all Ecwid websites are using Wix as a front-end. The 15% of overall Ecwid stores are hosted using WordPress, slowly gaining its fan club there. The remaining 25% of the Ecwid eCommerce store’s instances are implemented on fully customised hand-coded fast websites.
Ecwid offers an online shop functionality using its own back-end servers without requesting access to the local database at your origin server. Therefore it is ideally suited for resilient static WordPress websites. Such websites are developed using the WordPress platform, the page builder plugin, and some other plugins. Then they are fully cached and delivered as the static pages disconnected from the database, eliminating a range of vulnerabilities. The commercial platform for simplifying such an approach is Strattic, which provides tons of advice on implementing dynamic functions such as forms, search, chats, automated emails and everything else required on your static pages. Alternatively, much faster loading pages can be developed using pure HTML and CSS WordPress builder LiveCanvas, based on Bootstrap open-source front-end toolkit. LiveCanvas can natively export the website with a clean code as a static, stand-alone version hosted outside of the WordPress environment. Using software stack such as WordPress – PicostrapTheme – LiveCanvas – Microthemer CSS editor – Ecwid integration code – Rank Math SEO – WP2Static – BunnyCDN, the user of WordPress platform can quickly develop clean static online shop hosted directly on BunnyCDN geo-replicated storage. Such a website will run without loading the bloated jQuery library, which is an essential major step for achieving superfast JavaScript evaluation and parsing. This “headless” website approach will provide improved protection against security threads typical for dynamically-served WordPress websites. But most importantly, your website will have blazing fast loading pages even on mobile devices. You can still have some “dynamic” style functionalities like Search, Comment, Contact Form 7, Users, and WPML – but for Comments and Contact Form, you will have to follow instructions available here to set up restricted access to the database of your original WordPress installation. You will need to use the Multiple Domain plugin and set up all required permissions and restrictions using VPS hosting for your original WordPress website. To follow this path, you have to involve a web design agency comfortable with editing HTML, CSS, adjusting JS, following technical instructions for setting up VPS permissions and maintaining regular backups.
headlessArtboard 6
Suppose the worst has happened and hackers destroyed your dynamic WordPress or static website. In that case, the business can recover its website from the server backup. However, your eCommerce data will remain in safe hands – Ecwid stores your customer’s data as entirely separate from the WordPress environment and uses independent authentication. It ensures that customer’s data and all transactions logs are safe.
Another benefit of using Ecwid is a reduced load on the web hosting server. Many shared hosts limit or suspend websites that cause much load on the server, and so all of a sudden might start returning the “error 503” messages. Ecwid will process all required amount of customer requests on their servers build precisely for this purpose. Therefore you can convert your cheaper hosting provider into a stable platform that doesn’t crush under pressure.
Technologies used for online stores in WordPress
Technologies used for online stores in WordPress https://trends.builtwith.com/shop
Looking at this chart, are you still surprised that hackers choose the WordPress-WooCommers combination as their target? The appalling thing is that WP and WooCommerce have not done more to protect their users
Ecwid was created with a small business in mind. The platform is user-friendly and allows anyone with any level of experience to use it with ease. At the same time, the platform is powerful enough to handle eCommerce application. It is simple to learn Ecwid compared to WooCommerce. Using Ecwid reduces running costs for small businesses whose staff will quickly understand how to operate the system. In Ecwid, each backend setup of a client store is essentially the same. Ecwid provides detailed documentation and the “Help” directory. Clients can also get technical support directly from their Ecwid dashboard. Effectively, Ecwid is a “hub” for online multi-channel sales integrating business website, Amazon, eBay, and social media platforms like Facebook. Using Ecwid will save your budget. The initial development phase can be completed much faster. Online shop integrated with Ecwid will not require advanced maintenance by an external “WordPress guru”. Business owners can enhance their eCommerce operations independently from the WordPress installation. If the business decides to change WordPress developer, Ecwid will keep your eCommerce backend unaffected.
On a technical level, it is worth to emphasise the integration of Ecwid with the Guttenberg block editor, Kadence Blocks, Elementor Pro, Automatic Platform Optimisation (APO) service from Cloudflare, and Google Merchant Center. Using Ecwid instead of WooCommerce will accelerate your website’s page load speed and, therefore, will help gain at least 50% more business with the users. WooCommerce has a terrible reputation as the most resource-intensive plugin in the WordPress ecosystem.
Cloudflare study
Cloudflare study
Similar to Google’s stat about conversions dropping by 12% for every second of load time, Akamai comes to the table with another time-is-money figure. According to their research in 2017, 100 milliseconds can decrease conversion rates by 7%!

WP Shopify: WordPress and Shopify Integration

With the rise of Ecwid, Shopify had been forced to offer a similar capability. Shopify focuses on providing a platform that allows users to create a brand new, standalone online store fully hosted by Shopify.  But a couple of years ago, Shopify had developed a Buy-Button option to embed your Shopify product catalogue on an existing site or sell on social media platforms like Facebook. So far, this option is not widely used and is failing to attract business users.
Shopify appeal to WordPress users is reduced even further after Elementor Pro had introduced an alternative version of a Buy-Button. The new PayPal Button Widget in Elementor Pro allows users to collect single payments (for a product) or recurring payments (for an annual or monthly subscription-based service) with the click of a customisable button. This new widget appeals to customers who are less comfortable sharing credit card details online with a small eCommerce website. It simplifies the payment process with one of the world’s most reputable online payment systems, famous for protecting users from online transactions problems. Elementor Pro gives any website the potential to become a lite eCommerce provider without installing any third-party plugins by enabling a simple setup for single and recurring payments. Suppose you need a slightly more sophisticated option. In that case, you should consider toolkit Dynamic Content for Elementor, which adds Stripe payments alongside PayPal and provides a choice of sending automated emails with attached autogenerated PDF invoices.
The native Shopify integration with WordPress provided primitive, non-sophisticated functionality. For an outstanding user experience, businesses need a new third-party plugin WP Shopify. It is utilising SDK tools from the Shopify platform for WordPress. WP Shopify is an advanced WordPress plugin that allows selling Shopify products via a WordPress site. Unfortunately, such a path will leave you tied to the excessive fees charged by the Shopify platform. It is the main reason why only 7,000 users have tried this plugin during the last two years, and we should guess that only about 3,000 shops are using it worldwide.
With the WP Shopify, your team will be able to use the powerful & sleek product management features of Shopify for managing products listed on your fast and fully customisable WordPress website. For example, when you change the product’s price or title on your Shopify platform, this change will be replicated on your WordPress website. You do not need to worry about how to handle online payments. Once the buyer hits the checkout button, they are redirected to your Shopify checkout page to complete the transaction. In other words, you will use the Shopify server to process payments.
Shopify and WordPress are two major platforms that pop up when it comes to managing an eCommerce store. WebWhim could combine these two platforms with building the ultimate online store via a WP Shopify. Linking the formidable e-commerce functionality of Shopify with the powerful CMS features of WordPress, we can develop an online store that will have blazing fast page loading speed.
The WP Shopify plugin is closely integrated with the Guttenberg block editor, Kadence Blocks, and Elementor Pro Theme Builder. You still manage your products and prices from within Shopify. All those changes being seamlessly synchronised with the WordPress database, where product data are saved as posts. The fact that product information is cached locally in the WP database allows for faster page loading speed. The posts’ fields can be integrated into the fully customised product page layout using a vast ecosystem of tools like Elementor Pro, Advanced Custom Fields, Dynamic Conditions, Dynamic Content, Custom Skins, and additional widgets provided by WP Shopify. This allows customising every design and layout detail of the product display.
With WP Shopify, customers can enjoy attractive and familiar effects such as cart slide-out. Whenever the user is ready to make the purchase, the user is redirected to the default Shopify checkout page. The online-shop owner does not need to worry about building a dedicated checkout page. You just need to use your account at Shopify to customise the checkout page layout to assure design consistency with the store cart implemented on the WordPress website.
According to Patrick Gallagher, CEO at GridPane, the move from the WooCommerce website with its dull checkout page to the highly streamlined and beautiful checkout page of Shopify, will increase the conversion rate by up to 10%. Such a conversion bump of the Shopify experience is worth it all by itself.

Ecwid vs WP Shopify

Integration between Shopify and WordPress requires an annual subscription which costs around $250. The subscription includes a Shopify Light account, a WP Shopify Pro subscription, and an Elementor extension from WP Shopify Pro. Of course, you can start with a free WP Shopify subscription if you will be OK with a more limited set of tools for your initial design for product pages. You will have to budget for a much higher fee to Shopify if your online shop succeeds to generate a substantial volume of business. On the other hand, you will benefit from solid Shopify back-office tools to automate your business processes.
The starting cost of integration with Ecwid is zero if you sell less than ten different products  (each product can have unlimited customisation selectors). Ecwid is not charging any extra fee on top of the third-party payment gateways. Shopify charges an additional 2% fee at the lower-tier plan. Thus most clients will prefer to start with Ecwid unless they are willing to stay with their preferred back-office Shopify platform or like to have complete freedom in designing their online shop layout. If you unsure which choice is better for your online business, please refer to the review on the Ecwid website. Any company using Squarespace Add to Cart or Wix Stores must seriously consider moving to WordPress with the Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart plugin to improve significantly their website’s Core Web Vitals score. This will automatically improve both the Google ranking and the conversion rate of their visitors.

Next steps

Choosing the right website hosting provider can make a huge difference to your business. As your online store grow and become more established, it is important to have a reliable hosting partner that will be able to handle your traffic spikes when they happen. Although this is just a first step in the right direction, you must also look to hosting your website on a fast server using modern technologies such as LiteSpeed Web Server and NVMe SSD storage. To appreciate the changes that are happening in hosting and the disruption to the industry, please read our report “How to Choose a WordPress Hosting Provider“.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best hosting providers for eCommerce websites so you can make an informed decision. If you are looking for a USA host with good prices, we recommend NameHero. Professional WordPress users love that it provides modern hardware and the best software, which helps ensure your site will perform well even when exposed to high traffic volumes from an online store. NameHero Turbo Cloud package starts at just $8 per month. A fully managed VPS Hero 6GB Cloud plan with 6 CPUs will cost just $40 per month in the first year. You can also benefit from their highly- reliable hosting because their servers are collocated at the Liquid Web Data Centers. NameHero is hosting 500,000 websites and has received recognition from the users base by winning the 2020 Best Web Hosting Company award.
To build an outstanding website, you need to find the best web design company in town. The increasing number of designers without proper expertise in website development is leading to many failures. You might be surprised to learn that most of them are unable to design for page loading speed. We wrote a post, “How to choose a web design agency”, on how you can evaluate your short-listed agencies.
WebWhim is a design company based in Cambridge, UK, offering global website development services. We are experts in graphic design and web development. We have over 15 years of experience in the field. Our business offers personalized service to meet all of your needs. To provide our clients with a comprehensive design process for their company, we have created an affordable web design package. You can learn more about what we offer on our website design page.
Our design services include web and graphic design. We help with everything, from logos for your company to eCommerce stores. We offer advice about web hosting solutions, as well as technical search engine optimisation. We might be a small company, but we are more than able to accommodate all your needs.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] if you need any assistance.
Get more information about WordPress by visiting our research portal. We’ve interviewed numerous WordPress hosting providers and plugin developers to provide six articles that will help you understand the WordPress ecosystem. Proper server software, plugins, hosting and CDN are all important, but a knowledgeable web design agency is needed to deliver blazing-fast pages. Without these basics, your website will not pass the new Page Experience signals introduced by Google.