Etsy or Website

If you sell products on Etsy or other online venues, chances are you might have thought about what it would be like to have your own website.

In this article I’ll go over my experience with each and the pros and cons each has to offer.

Which venue is right for you?  Keep reading as I share my tips on going with Etsy or going with your own website.


When I first started selling online, I had an Etsy shop for YEARS (since 2013) before I decided to take it a step further with my own website.  I’m on my 3rd year of having a website and thought I’d go back through my numbers, to see how Etsy vs. my Website growth compares, and let’s just say the website wins, hands down:

This chart shows Etsy sales (in blue) vs. my website sales (in red), and the numbers speak for themselves! 

It’s interesting to see that the Etsy growth has been slow and steady.  While the website growth, although slower the first year, has far exceeded my expectations in the 2nd and 3rd years.  

Keep in mind, I had no idea how to make a website, and thanks to Renae Christine and her program Ultimate Architect, creating my website was a breeze.  I learned all the tech shortcuts and it’s been a blast having this website ever since.  Renae’s program, Ultimate Architect has been one of the best business decisions I’ve made!  You can find out more about Ultimate Architect and how to create your own website here

If not for Ultimate Architect, my sales would still be increasing at snail-speed on Etsy. 

Is a website right for you?

Here’s the one question I would ask to help you decide whether to go with Etsy or your own Website: 

What are your long-term goals? 

If your answer is: You KNOW you want to sell your products online for the long term – Get the website!   Why?

  • * Customers will see a website as more professional – usually individuals buy more and higher priced items through my website than through Etsy. The average order value is higher on the website vs. etsy.

  • *The sooner you get your products listed on a website, the sooner google will have time to index those products. It doesn’t happen overnight, but why wait to get started?

  • *In the long term you’ll pay less fees on your website, and be more profitable.  While the start-up costs on Etsy are minimal, in the long run you will be paying more via Etsy fees applied to every order, which are 5% plus .20 on every listing (and credit card fees but you’ll have to pay that on a website too).  With a website, the start-up costs might be more, but for the long term it is much more profitable.  The only ongoing fees are annual hosting and credit card processing fees, and as your sales volume increases, that 5% Etsy charges can add up to a lot of moola that I’m sure you’d rather keep in your own pocket.  You can do just that when items are sold through your own website. 

  • *There’s also a lot more things you can do with a website.  To name a few: selling affiliate products, selling products that aren’t handmade, embedding videos into your listings, having a blog – those are all things you can’t do on Etsy, but are free to do on your own website.

You might be thinking this is great and all, but HOW?

Like I mentioned before, creating my website was surprisingly easy, thanks to Renae Christine and her program Ultimate Architect.  I also did a video review of how UA worked for me here:

Or maybe your answer is: You’re not sure if you’re meant to have a business for the long term and you’re just wanting to test out the waters: try it on Etsy first.  Why?

  • * Etsy can be great when you are first starting out – I used Etsy only for years when I first started and I like to think of it like selling with training wheels.  I was a stay at home mom with 1 toddler and a baby on the way, when I first started with Etsy.  I wasn’t yet looking to go pro, but just dipping my feet into the entrepreneurial world (and kind of got hooked along the way LOL).  If this is you and you’re not sure a small business is for you, Etsy is a great way to test out the waters, without having to make an investment in a website.

  • * Since Etsy has some built in traffic, you can test out which types of products sell and how you feel about all the different aspects of managing an online store.  Once you know you love it, getting a professional website is the next step!  Having an Etsy shop first before a website is not always necessary, I know others who have gone through Architect and created awesome websites without having had an Etsy shop at all.

Etsy Conspiracy Theories

Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy!?  I plan to continue having an Etsy site and website, but here’s the thing: no one knows exactly what the Etsy search algorithm entails (meaning how certain shops are appearing first in Etsy search).

You could take courses and invest a lot of time in studying the Etsy search algorithm, and you could probably get your shop to the top of Etsy search when you work on the things people have studied about the search algorithm. 

But why put all that effort into a venue that will charge 5% on every order, when you could put the same effort in driving google search results and not pay for each order?

Despite all of that: you still have to think of it from Etsy’s view-point: they benefit by having more and more sellers. Yes, they benefit when each shop sells items, but it’s also in their long-term interest to have as many shops as possible.  

Do they spread the wealth around, alternating who appears first in search, so that everyone gets a chance?  Do they limit how much some sellers appear in order to give everyone a fair chance?  Etsy wants to keep all sellers happy, thinking they are making ‘just enough’ to keep going.  With Etsy, I question whether that practice caps the growth on some sellers. It’s also why it’s a great place to start out with, but long term could be hindering your growth.

With google, they have no interest in spreading the wealth or giving everyone a ‘fair’ chance at being in the top of search results.  Your spot is earned, and it’s done so in very different ways than on Etsy.

With a website – the sky is the limit. Google doesn’t have the same ceilings, the best in the market rises to the top. Will it be you, and your awesome website next?

By now you might be thinking: I need a website!

But the tech challenges involved have you shying away from the idea?  If you’d like to take advantage of the shortcut that Ultimate Architect can provide, I believe you can do this!  You can have your own gorgeous, designer website, and I can’t wait to see it!  Learn the details about what it takes to have a killer website here

Now it’s your turn – comment below and let me know what you think!  Do you prefer Etsy or your own website?  Have your tried creating a website but ran into tech troubles?  What do you think about the Etsy conspiracy theory?

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