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Should I sell on Etsy or my own website?

By Monika Sofrenovic
Marketing Specialist

Ah, the eternal dilemma of makers—to Etsy or to website, that is the question. Let’s take a closer look, shall we? Etsy, with its handy-dandy tools for managing and promoting your shop, is a great and easy way to start selling handmade items. But, if you’re a control freak (in a good way, of course) who wants to add their personal touch to branding or wants a better experience for users, then a website is your knight in shining armor. Here are some reasons why having your own website is better for your online store than an Etsy shop.

1. Reach a wider audience 

First, having your own website gives you more online visibility and SEO optimization than an Etsy shop would. Etsy is a great platform for discovering new products, but it’s not the best for SEO. When someone searches for your product on Google, your Etsy shop may not even show up on the first page of results. That’s because Etsy SEO prioritizes the platform’s internal search engine, meaning your content might rank higher on the Etsy website but not necessarily on the internet. When you compare Etsy’s 40 million users to Google’s 1 billion+ users, this can mean that you’re severely limiting your business’s online visibility—even if your Etsy shop is perfectly optimized! With a website and a custom domain name, you have more control over your SEO strategy and can optimize your content to rank higher in internet search results.

Not sure how to boost your website’s SEO ranking? Don’t worry, we’ve written an SEO strategies guide for you.

2. Build your online brand 

Imagine someone asking your customer where they bought your product—would you rather the customer say that they bought it from your business, or that they bought it on Etsy?

When you sell on Etsy, you’re essentially just a small fish in a big pond. A business website allows you to create a unique online presence, establish a consistent brand identity and showcase your products and services in your own digital space. 

Etsy is great for selling handmade goods but if you want to build a business that lasts, then it’s essential that you have your own website where customers can find out more about who you are and what makes your products special.

Plus, when you’re thinking about selling online, remember that it’s important to protect your business’s brand name and products. When you own your own domain, you can make sure that nobody else registers it (like a competitor). Check to see if your .CA domain is available.

3. Increased control and customization 

Etsy may have a few customization options, but let’s be real, you’re limited to their templates and branding guidelines. With a website, you have complete control over your design, layout, functionality and content. You can make changes to your site at any time, without having to wait for approval from Etsy or anyone else. You can also add features that aren’t available on Etsy—want to add a blog or integrate with your social media channels? No problem! With a website, the sky’s the limit.

And if you need a little help with your look, a web builder can offer you a quick and painless setup with a pre-built customizable template. No coding or design experience required! Check out our web builder comparison guide to see which platform fits your needs.

4. Collect analytics and insights 

Etsy is a marketplace—as such, it doesn’t offer any analytics or insights on how your business is performing. You have no way of gathering data on customer behaviour or optimizing your website for conversions. You can’t track website performance either—so if something goes wrong with your store, there’s no way for you to know what caused it and how best to fix it.

With a website, you have access to detailed analytics that can help you better understand your customers. You can track where your traffic is coming from, how long they’re staying on your site and which products are most popular. This information can help you make data-driven decisions about your marketing and product offerings.

5. Cost 

In general, setting up a basic website can be less expensive than selling on Etsy in the long run.

A website requires an initial investment to set up. This includes web hosting fees, which can run you anywhere from CAD$5-50 a month depending on your needs. You’ll also need to pay for your domain name, and a .CA usually costs $10-20 per year. However, once your website is up and running, you have more control over the costs and can choose affordable options to maintain it.

On the other hand, selling on Etsy involves fees for each transaction, as well as listing fees and a monthly subscription fee for sellers. These fees can add up quickly, especially if you have a high volume of sales.

Overall, the costs of running an Etsy shop versus a website can be similar depending on your needs and how much you invest in marketing and development. However, having your own website may offer more flexibility and control over your ecommerce business, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run.


Here’s the verdict on Etsy shop vs website, folks: having a website is like having a superhero’s utility belt. Not only can you sell your products and attract more visitors, it also doubles as a marketing tool! Plus, having your own domain name and email address is like having your own VIP pass to social media fame. It’s much easier for your fans to keep track of your future endeavors and sales. And don’t just take our word for it – check out how artist and maker Katrin Emery found success with her unique website after switching over from Etsy, saying “having your own website adds some legitimacy and professionalism. Anyone can be on a merchant website, but to have your own website shows that you put effort into your business and its image.” So, move over Etsy, it’s time to web-sling your way to success!

Ready to take the first step in building an ecommerce website?

See if your domain name is available as a .CA by doing a quick search!

About the author
Monika Sofrenovic

Monika Sofrenovic is the Marketing Specialist at CIRA. She is a recent graduate of Carleton University with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Marketing.