Surprising Reality of Small Business Websites cover image

The Surprising Reality of Small Business Websites in 2023

Ethan Leonard
Categories: Small Business Marketing, Website Development
Aug 21, 2023

I've often found myself wondering what the average small business website looks like in terms of performance, tech stack, and content. That was until last week when I took it upon myself to take 50 or so local small businesses spread across different industries and do a deep dive on what those previously listed stats looked like. The results? Pretty surprising.

My Findings At a Glance

The result that I was most surprised at was how poorly the average small business site was performing on mobile. To give some context, a few years back Google began ranking sites based on their mobile scores first, meaning if your mobile site wasn't fully optimized you were shooting yourself in the foot. So let's take a look at some numbers to help break this down.

The Average Site had a Mobile Score of 46.1

This was across all of the industries I looked at, here's a breakdown of the 4 industries I was researching and how they each match up:

Accounting Services

  • Mobile Performance Score: 39.1
  • Desktop Performance Score: 66.2

Advertising & Media

  • Mobile Performance Score: 46.6
  • Desktop Performance Score: 68.5

Home & Garden

  • Mobile Performance Score: 42.8
  • Desktop Performance Score: 75.8

Restaurants, Food & Beverages

  • Mobile Performance Score: 55.9
  • Desktop Performance Score: 83.8

Unsurprisingly restaurants was leading the charge in terms of score, why? Because it's vital for customers to be able to view menus, order, and contact the restaurant all from their phone.

How Each CMS & Tech Stack Performed

If you read our Blog Post on why websites matter (you can read it here) then you'll know I have a bit of distaste for Wordpress and how a lot of agencies utilize it to make it easier in the short term but in the long run you can end up with a bloated mess of a site. So here are some fun results about which no-code CMS perform better and worse than others.

Fastest CMS (by Load Time):

  • CMS: Wix
  • Load Time: 0.93 seconds
  • Mobile Performance Score: 60.67
  • Desktop Performance Score: 92.00

Slowest CMS (by Load Time):

  • CMS: WordPress
  • Load Time: 2.88 seconds
  • Mobile Performance Score: 44.85
  • Desktop Performance Score: 69.54

Other CMS Performance Metrics:

  • Compucast:
    • Load Time: 2.30 seconds
    • Mobile Performance: 64.00
    • Desktop Performance: 87.00
  • GoDaddy Website Builder:
    • Load Time: 1.10 seconds
    • Mobile Performance: 63.00
    • Desktop Performance: 91.50
  • Squarespace:
    • Load Time: 2.17 seconds
    • Mobile Performance: 35.86
    • Desktop Performance: 67.86

The key factor in all of these stats is that websites NEED to be monitored, optimized, and routinely cleaned to stay healthy.

What Waldheim Digital Does Differently

We code our sites manually, ensuring that we add only what is necessary and having full control over optimization & functionality. Our aim is to provide a higher quality website than anyone else and by studying other small business websites we know exactly how we can do that. If you have any questions about the data, our processes, or just general inquiries, feel free to contact me at