Breaking Down Etsy vs. Shopify vs. Having Your Own Website

The good news is that when it comes to creating an online store, you have a lot of options. From Etsy to Shopify to having your own website with custom code or using a content management system, you can find something that works with your budget. But it can be tricky to figure out which…

Hey there and welcome back.

When it comes to creating an online store, you have a lot of options to choose from. You’ve probably heard of Etsy from other friends who have bought and sold items online. You also might have come across Shopify in your research. And you’ve always known that it’s an option to have your own website, whether it’s using HTML, CSS, JavaScript or PHP, or a content management system.

But what are they good at? What are they bad at? And which one is right for your business?

So today let’s take a deeper dive into Etsy, Shopify and just having your own website to figure out which one is going to be the best when you’re selling online for yourself or your business.

Before we get started, if you want to see more videos about ecommerce, digital marketing, web design and other website-related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and to ring the bell for notifications.

Now let’s get started.


If you’re just getting into the online selling game as a hobby, you’ve probably heard of Etsy. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s essentially an online marketplace where you pay to list your products for people to then buy. And it’s a pretty good way to earn a few bucks.

It’s great for people who are just looking to turn in that hobby they have on the side into a few extra dollars. It’s easy to create an account and get started. And you don’t have to worry about any of the technical things of selling online. Etsy does all of the hard work for you. You can start selling within 30 minutes of watching this video.

But the main issue with Etsy is that it’s not a great place for people or small businesses to sell online if selling online is how they survive basically. The transaction fees, listing fees and really the competition of it being a marketplace website as opposed to your own website don’t really bode well for longevity. If you fit this description, I recommend looking elsewhere.

But if what you’re doing right now is just a hobby and you’re hoping to make a few extra dollars from that hobby, then Etsy is probably a good place to start.


Next up on the list is Shopify. It’s similar to Etsy in that you pay however many dollars a month to sell your products online. But that’s where the similarities end. Shopify allows you to actually create a website of your own to sell products online compared to the marketplace setup of Etsy.

Because of that it’s a much better option for those who are getting serious about selling online for more than a hobby. And it works great with those looking for something a little bit better than Etsy but don’t have the time to create everything from scratch. And if you’re a small business just looking to try out the waters of selling online, it’s a really good starting point.

That being said, it’s not really a great fit for larger businesses that want to have complete control over the website and what they can do and sell. So you might be better off with a custom website with a content management system in that case.

Still if you want an actual online store without the competition of a marketplace and something that’s pretty easy to set up, Shopify is a good place to go.

Your own website/CMS

Finally, we have the tried and true basic website that you own and control. You can create this through either HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP built by a developer or using a content management system like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla and then plugins and extensions to create the ecommerce functionality, which I recommend if you’re going this route.

This is the perfect option for businesses of all sizes that want to control what they can do on their website. You control the design, the number of products you can sell and so much more. You play by your own rules. Plus, it’s great for larger businesses with a lot of products. Plus, you can really work on building your SEO and digital marketing. And overall it’s a better experience.

At the same time, there are some drawbacks. First, for the most part this will technically be the more expensive option, at least in the beginning. You’ll have to purchase a domain and own web hosting to get going. And if you don’t have the time or really want to work on and manage the technical aspects of your website, it might not be the option for you. You’re going to have to manage your website on a day-to-day basis to make sure that a) it’s still running and b) that nothing is broken and that they can still buy through your website.

Still, if you’re really serious about creating an online store for your business and growing your business through that website, this is going to be the option for you. It’ll take some time to get going, but in the end you’re going to see a much bigger payoff.


So what questions do you have about any of these options? Be sure to leave them down in the comments section below.

On Wednesday, we’ll go over some of the top WordPress themes from the theme directory. And on Friday we’ll discuss how you can select the perfect domain name.

To see those videos and more videos on web design, ecommerce, digital marketing and other website-related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and to ring the bell for notifications.

Until next time, I wish you and your business the best of luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.