How do Squarespace and Wix sites compare in terms of speed and performance in China? If you're asking this question - you're not the only one!
Here we'll compare a number of websites in terms of their performance metrics including full page load time, time to interactive, incompatible resources and visual-based experience.
Note: Neither Wix or Squarespace sites work well for China off the shelf. However, Chinafy works with both kinds of sites to optimise for speed, compatibility and user experience in China. This article is to purely access how these sites perform without any China-specific optimisations, from China.
Both Wix and Squarespace have a number of incredible templates for visitors to choose from. We'll take a look through the three key types of templates that both website builders offer including -
Business & Portfolio sites, where the primary objective is informational and brand awareness The call to action here is often to contact the company via a form or a phone call.
E-commerce, where the primary goal and clear call to action is to make a purchase.
Portfolio, where the objective is to showcase a rich visual body of work. Similar to a business site - where the visitor may not transact - the call to action is to contact that the Portfolio owner directly.
In order to have an effectively performing business site, it is critical that the company leave a strong first impression and is easy to navigate.
When translated to performance metrics and website components, this means ensuring that the website's cover image and text components load quickly and fully.
Template: Pacific Family
Key components: Menu, photos, contact and or booking form.
The Freemans site took an average of 38.1 seconds to load in China versus 1.8 seconds in California.
Looking into the resource waterfall, we can see that the Freemans restaurant uses this Resy's reservation widget for restaurants - which as an active widget, contributes to the overall page load time.
Even discounting this 'trailing' resource, we can see that the other items on the site take between 20-30 seconds to load from Squarespace's media domains (e.g. assets.squarespace.com, static.squarespace.com).
In terms of code compatibility in China, this Squarespace site has issues common to most other sites in terms of blocked resources that contribute to a further delay in page load if not incomplete pages.
From this China Code Test snapshot - which takes a sample of a site's various pages to scan for incompatible resources - we can see that this site uses Google Fonts, Instagram, and a slow Squarespace asset library. While these issues affect nearly all the pages found, fortunately they are all relatively easy to resolve using the Chinafy platform's automated rules.
Key components: Menu, photos, contact and or order form.
The RabaAnna's site's order page (below) took an average of 21.5 seconds to load in China versus 4.8 seconds in California.
While unlikely that a visitor in China will order a cake via this Order form, one Google API that could affect visitors in China for any business site is the use of Google reCaptcha (which is a blocked in China like a number of other Google APIs).
The use of this resource among others, could affect how well a visitor is able to interact and achieve the final call-to-action of getting in touch with the website owner.
View RabaAnna's China Visual Speed Test here
An estimate of three quarters of online shopping is performed through mobile devices in China vs less than half in the US.
The two important criteria for a high-performance e-commerce site in China is
Mobile-friendly and super fast, if not mobile-first
Has China-friendly transaction options
Three quarters of online shopping will be performed through mobile devices in China, compared to less than half in the US.
Mobile visitors tend to have less reliable and slower connections. As a result, there is mobile shoppers have a lower tolerance for slow websites when it comes to shopping.
In China, where 90% of payments in China are through mobile payment platforms and at least 577.4 million Chinese consumers use mobile payment systems - the negative effects of a slow checkout experience is multiplied.
90% of payments in China are facilitated via mobile payment platforms and at least 577.4 million Chinese consumers use mobile payment systems. - eMarketer
First, some key feature differences between Squarespace & Wix Ecommerce Templates
Ability to sell services. Wix requires that services are sold via their Bookings app.
Live Carrier Cost calculator for FedEx & UPS
Abandon Cart Recovery
Wix Features E-commerce features (that Squarespace doesn't have)
Ability to sell offline (cash or payment upon delivery)
Payment gateways other than Stripe & PayPal
Key components: Shop, Checkout Page, Transaction Options