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WooCommerce vs Shopify is becoming the most talked about comparison on the internet for quite some time now. When you plan to start an eCommerce store you will surely come across these two platforms. However, you will see many more. But WooCommerce and Shopify are the top two contenders in this category. So, in this guide, I'll walk you through the key features of both platforms and why you might choose one over the other.
Building an online store has never been easier. There are many platforms out there and this can be the main cause of your confusion in choosing the best eCommerce platform. But you will be amazed to know that not all platforms, including WooCommerce and Shopify, are the best for everyone and for every business. It's about your individual needs.
However, both WooCommerce and Shopify offer beautiful designs, marketing features, distinct shipping rates, different payment gateways, search engine optimization, various useful extensions, and many more features to help you build and expand your business with ease. But that's the question, how can you know which is the best choice for your business based on your needs?
Now, this is where I come in. I'm doing this full comparison for you. It will help you decide which eCommerce platform is ideal for your online business.
Let's break down the battle between WooCommerce and Shopify.
WooCommerce vs Shopify: A Brief Introduction
What is WooCommerce?
Before getting to know WooCommerce, it makes sense to understand WordPress a little first. WordPress is the most popular and used content management system. It is a perfect CMS used by both beginners and professionals to create their own websites. And it supports a wide range of plugins to extend functionality. Now let's get back to what WooCommerce is and where exactly does WooCommerce fit in ?. Basically, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that adds eCommerce functionality to your simple WordPress site.
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that can easily turn your WordPress site into a real online store. You won't have to spend anything. Apart from the fact that you will have to spend some money to buy a good WooCommerce web hosting.
Although WooCommerce is a free plugin, it still offers some premium extensions to improve site performance and scale your business.
What is Shopify?
Let's talk about Shopify, the other top contender in the eCommerce sector.
Shopify isn't far behind WooCommerce. Shopify is the best online platform for dropshipping and multi-channel selling. However, Shopify is not an open source platform, but a SaaS service, and it comes with a variety of features to meet all of your online needs.
It's an online eCommerce solution, which means you won't have to worry about web hosting, security, payment gateways, and many other factors while using Shopify. You can easily use this platform to create an online marketplace, dropshipping site, or any eCommerce store you like. It is a highly flexible platform.
WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which is the Best eCommerce Platform?
Here I will compare both of these platforms with many important aspects. And with that, we'll see which platforms you should be using.
WooCommerce vs Shopify - Ease of use
When it comes to working with WooCommerce, the initial step, of course, is to download and install WordPress. Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, installing WordPress is a prerequisite for installing WooCommerce on your WordPress site. However, installing WordPress isn't difficult. WooCommerce is an open source and self-hosted platform. Therefore, you need to set up web hosting, purchase a domain name and other necessary plug-ins. You can read how to add Woocommerce subscriptions and how to speed up the Woocommerce store .
Shopify is a simple to use platform. It is designed in such a way that it is really easy to use this platform. Once the initial setup process is done, you are ready to use it. Setting up and selling products is quite simple with Shopify. Shopify's dashboard is highly sophisticated and easy to use. You can quickly handle things like orders, shipping, products, etc.
Shopify comes with automatic product updates, so you don't have to worry about updates.
When choosing a platform, the ability to customize makes it even more useful. WooCoommerce is an open source platform, so anyone using the platform can customize it according to their needs. There are thousands of themes that you can easily customize and adapt them to your business. There are many customization options to help you. The user interface is modern yet so simple to use.
When it comes to customization in Shopify, it has several things to do. The Shopify dashboard includes several options for customizing themes. Right from the dashboard, you can edit pages and add or delete products in your store. Shopify is inherently a lot easier to design than WooCommerce. However, you can also add blog posts and pages to your Shopify website if you wish.
WooCommerce is coupled with over 400 official extensions. However, there are many unofficial extensions to use. Bringing your shop to social media can help you increase traffic to a great level. Therefore, you can include social media integration in your e-store. Integrations like Google Ads and Mailchimp can give you a broader reach. WooCommerce is a developer-friendly platform. It is built with the REST API, WooCommerce is highly scalable.
Shopify includes over 3.000 different useful integrations. There are also apps you can use to enhance the Shopify store experience. You can integrate with Shopify cart abandonment software. Additionally, you can automate your Shopify store using many other features.
If you are wondering that WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin, then why am I comparing the price? So let me tell you, however, WooCommerce is free, but the money is still involved. And this is required to purchase web hosting. The best WooCommerce web hosting is all you need to run your store. You may want to add some premium WooCommerce extensions or add-ons. Hence, this will need a few dollars to spend.
Shopify has the advantage that everything is bundled together. You can use your existing domain name with Shopify. Or if you want you can also buy the new domain. Other things that may be chargeable are the themes you use for your store. However, Shopify offers three Basic Shopify plans for $ 29 per month, Shopify for $ 79 per month, and Advanced Shopify for $ 299 per month.
Since WordPress is a WordPress plugin, PCI cannot be used. However, you can use many other external security plugins. You can only purchase plug-ins and other add-ons to enhance the functionality and security of your site.
When it comes to security, leave it to Shopify. Each Shopify store includes a 256-bit SSL certificate. All pages of your site, content, credit card information, transaction information are fully protected by the same level of security. Shopify is PCI Level 1 compliant, so you can rest easy on information security.
WooCommerce vs Shopify: pros and cons
WooCommerce and Shopify are both feature-rich. But as they say, there is no universal platform that anyone can use for any type of business. However, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. And you should get to know them before you get any. Let's start with WooCommerce first.
- WooCommerce is a free and open source eCommerce platform.
- It gives you complete control over your online store.
- WordPress has one of the largest plugin libraries.
- There are hundreds of integrations available to scale your site.
- WooCommerce can be easily installed on your WordPress site.
- It comes with rating and review options.
- WooCommerce has well-organized relationships.
- Your store will be fully optimized for mobile devices.
- To use WooCommerce, you need to have WordPress installed.
- It is necessary to purchase the hosting externally and possibly performing.
- It doesn't even have a built-in SSL certificate.
- It must be managed at the development and system level by competent professionals
Now, let's see how Shopify stands out.
- Shopify comes with free hosting.
- It has a three-tier pricing system.
- It includes many SEO options and useful social links.
- Shopify has an intuitive interface to work with.
- It integrates beautifully with several third party apps.
- It is coupled with unlimited bandwidth.
- Your eCommerce store will be fully responsive.
- Compared to WooCommerce, Shopify gives you less control over your store.
- You can only choose from the default payment gateways.
- It comes with monthly plans.
- You will never have the source code
- It can be binding and vendor locked if you want to migrate to new solutions
- It can be problematic to block or reject certain product categories such as medical and surgical medical devices.
When to choose WooCommerce?
I'm sure by now you must have a clear understanding of when to use WooCommerce. However, there are some situations where WooCommerce is the best platform. So, you should WooCommerce when:
- When you already have a WordPress website.
- When you want to have full access to your code.
- If you want to customize the code.
- When you pay your monthly rent it's not your cup of tea.
- It can help you with complex things.
- If you are on a low budget, it is very affordable.
- When you want a small to medium sized e-store.
- For users with little technical knowledge.
- WooCommerce can offer you more customization options.
When to choose Shopify?
Shopify, on the other hand, is a robust solution that can offer you a complete online store without much effort. However, unlike WooCommerce, Shopify is a paid SaaS solution. But it is worth every single penny. You can use Shopify when:
- When you want to start a huge online market.
- If you don't have a website yet and want to start over.
- When you want a fast and super easy solution for your online store.
- When you have no idea about hosting and want a complete solution.
- Shopify is a hosted platform that frees you from the burden of web hosting.
- If you want a simple and easy to set up solution.
- For users who want a ready-to-use shop.
- If you want a shop with a targeted audience locally.
WooCommerce vs Shopify Comparison Table
|Free plan||Available||Not available|
|Basic plan||Free||$ 29 / month|
|Ease of use||Simple to use||Moderate to use|
|Theme||Free / paid||Free / paid|
|Installation||It is free to install||It is an online platform|
|SSL integration||N / A||Integrated|
|Refund||N / A||90 days|
So which of WooCommerce and Shopify should you choose?
Well, the selection between WooCommerce and Shopify comes down to what exactly you want from your eCommerce store. Or if I actually simplify it too much, then it's best to go with one of the options. However, if you already have a WordPress website and want to expand it as an eCommerce store now, WooCommerce is undoubtedly a great option for you.
This is a general scenario where if you already have a WordPress site, use it. You should choose WooCommerce. It will be a quick and affordable option to begin with. Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, it won't be difficult to include it on your already running WordPress site.
Whereas, if you want to start from scratch and build your online eCommerce store, Shopify is probably the best choice for your store. This way you will not only save time but also won't have to invest a lot of effort. So, you can choose accordingly.
WooCommerce vs Shopify - In conclusion
Both WooCommerce and Shopify are two powerful and amazing eCommerce platforms to build an online eCommerce store. It doesn't matter if you already have a website or are just starting out, you can choose any one of the other as you like. However, the only concern is that Shopify has a learning curve, and beginners may take some time to familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of Shopify. Whereas, if you're already familiar with WordPress, working with WooCommerce shouldn't be that challenging.
Whichever platform you choose, you will eventually end up with a fully functional eCommerce store.