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Shopify vs WordPress

Shopify is the most popular eCommerce website builder, while WordPress is the most well-known CMS in the world. The desire to compare these two great platforms in terms of convenience of online store creation is quite natural. You definitely know that people use WordPress not only to build blogs, but to design other website types as well, including online stores.

It goes without saying that Shopify is a specialized service that is used exclusively for online store creation purposes. Its extensive functionality serves this purpose only. So, this WordPress vs Shopify comparison just cannot be honest a priori. However, we are sure that this topic is interesting to lots of users. WordPress is a renowned service, the power of which is mostly based on plugins. Can this CMS counterpose anything special to Shopify in the suggested comparison? Let’s find that out!

1. Ease of Use

  • Shopify. To start using the service, you’ll need to register first. Having entered the system, you get directly to the dashboard, which has ergonomic appealing look and clear interface. Despite the impressive number of settings, it seems intuitive, simple and easy to use.

    Shopify Dashboard

    This is, probably, the most convenient eCommerce website builder of the top niche segment. Any user will master it, be it a newbie or a pro. It will take an inexperienced user around 1-2 days to explore all the options the system offers. Rich choice of information materials in the text and video formats will help learn all the nuances. You just need desire to do that.

    Shopify Product Editor

  • WordPress. This is one of the simplest CMS. The only problem is that it requires installation on hosting, which has to be purchased and setup first. This may be a challenge for newbies, even though, there are many tutorials in any format available on the web that will help you find out how to do that properly.

    Wordpress Editor

    Thus, it’s quite possible to master such nuances with no problems at all, if you have the desire. The system has minimum amount of settings – just those users need most often. The stock variant of this CMS is much simpler than lots of website builders. This simplicity, however, is deceitful: everything will change after plugin installation.

    Lots of sections with options will be added then, triggering the need to explore new WordPress features over and over again. This is just the CMS variant you will need to create an online store. So, it doesn’t make any sense to talk about simplicity and intuitiveness in this case. It’s possible to master everything, of course, but not all newbies will have desire, patience and time to do that.

Shopify vs WordPress. Website builder doesn’t require any installation on hosting. It is ready for work right from the start. This is what makes it simpler. The basic dashboard variants of both systems are structurally similar. The CMS dashboard seems much simpler due to the minimum number of settings. However, you’ll need to install around 15-20 plugins to give WordPress well-known Shopify functionality.

WordPress will look differently after that, while its complexity will become several times higher. What’s more, you’ll have to use coding, which will require additional skills from you. Thus, Shopify eventually seems much simpler and easy to use than WordPress in this respect.

2. Feature Set and Flexibility

  • Shopify. The service isn’t used for any other purposes, except for online store creation. You can add a blog here, of course, but it doesn’t have any functional value as an independent website. This is just an addition that will help publish your online store news, product reviews etc. That’s it.

    Shopify Theme Editor

    As to the online store functionality, Shopify has everything that can be offered in this website building niche, namely flexible settings, coupons, discounts, payment delivery and acceptance, extra fields and product search in them. It also allows import of positions from CSV, e-mail marketing (including the abandoned cart saver), sales via external services (Houzz, Amazon, BuzzFeed, Facebook), advanced reviews, billing and product cost taxes, stunning templates etc.

    Shopify Add Product Step 2

    An opportunity to install applications from the market found in the dashboard contributes to the general impression. There are hundreds of them here to come up to any topic: inventory management, marketing, SEO, tools, social media, product sourcing, shipping, accounting etc. If there is something missing for you in the stock functionality, you can be sure that you will find that in the apps section, whatever application you need.

    No coding skills are required to use the service, even though, they might be helpful. Shopify comes with uncompromising online store functionality. It has everything you need to get a decent resource.

  • WordPress. Stock CMS WordPress variant doesn’t imply an opportunity to create online stores, but you can install corresponding plugins to do that. There are dozens of them here. Just choose wisely and test them first. These are a few samples of the most successful online store plugins: WP eCommerce, WooCommerce, Shopperpress, MarketPress.

    The first two plugins are the most popular and free, while the rest are paid ($200 one-time payment and $79/mo correspondingly). Each of these plugins adds lots of online store features and settings to your website that can be compared with a separate website builder. These plugins imply shipping and payment settings, SEO and web design settings and even individual sets of niche templates that differ in quality and quantity. What’s more, plugins have extra extensions for functionality improvement.

    WordPress Woocommerce Dashboard

    Apart from the plugins offered, you’ll need to install something to work with SEO, breadcrumbs, interlinking, online store template mobile version, order and call back forms, product slider presentation etc. This is definitely a real problem for a newbie. The more plugins you install, the more database queries will be processed by the web pages before loading a website.

    This slows down the speed of website working. You need nice and quick hosting for normal online store functioning. Proper website optimization is also required here, but this is the topic of a separate article.

    Sure, WordPress makes it possible to create nice (at least, visually attractive) online stores, but this task can be solved by experienced users only. A newbie may buy, install and setup a plugin, of course, but he/she will further face problems that can’t be solved without coding or extra plugins. As a result, a WordPress-based online store is a real challenge for the majority of users.

    You can create it by using the required functionality, but it’s actually hard to use and optimize it to meet your needs. This is a variant for the professionals or desperate newbies, who are ready to learn forever.

Shopify vs WordPress. There is a simple rule, which works almost everywhere and anytime: specialized tools are always much better than any other services. This is exactly the situation observed with Shopify: the platform is much better than WordPress online store plugins in terms of convenience and quality. You’ll get everything you need to create a large-scale, functional and appealing online store.

It’s theoretically possible to install any functionality by using plugins in CMS. The only thing is that it doesn’t always work properly and often requires complex settings or even coding improvements.

Shopify stores work much quicker than lots of those created with WordPress stuffed with plugins. This proves the following: yes, it’s possible to bring CMS eCommerce functionality to the high level of a specialized platform, but it really makes sense to adopt a smart decision right from the start. In this case, we talk about Shopify.

3. Designs

Number of Themes:5910 000
Free Themes YES YES
Paid Themes Cost:$140-$180$25-$299
Responsive Design YES YES/NO
Sort by Industry: YES YES
CSS Code Editing: YES YES
  • Shopify offers users the set of 59 responsive templates, the cost of which ranges from $100 and up to $180. Free templates are also available. There are 10 of them here. Paid themes look more versatile due to their quantity, but they are also very similar in quality. It is on the high level in both cases.

    Each template has its own customization settings, which are very flexible. You can change color scheme, add new blocks, edit header and footer content, work with typography, setup the design of each block and shopping cart format here. Apart from that, you may edit the code of any template right in the dashboard, which unveils extra customization opportunities that are almost unlimited.

  • WordPress contains the inbuilt free template store. Some of these templates may be used for eCommerce purposes. The most popular plugins include template sets to meet our task. Their quality differs a lot. You can also buy your online store design from any web studio.

    Many of them offer such services and their choice is really tremendous. Prices differ as well. They may range from $20 and up to several hundreds. As a rule, all the templates have individual customization settings. There is no need to talk about standardization here: every developer realizes the settings differently. Generally, they are quite rich: you can change the block structure, fonts, design and content of sections, colors, spaces etc.

    WordPress also gives access to the codes of any elements right from the dashboard or through FTP. Thus, there are no problems with design here. If you have desire and skills, you can create frontend design of any complexity level.

Shopify vs WordPress. Both website builders have decent look from this point of view, even though, their approaches differ a bit. To use WordPress, it is preferable to look for a suitable online store template created by other developers. You can also use one of those themes included into plugin set. Shopify comes with a nice basic “Debut” template, which can come up to the needs of many users after the customization.

Shopify paid samples appeal to users due to their versatility and quality, just like in WordPress. Design codes may be edited in both services. Customization settings are almost on the same level as well. The assortment of templates is better in WordPress, while Shopify is the leader in the convenience of choice and ease of use. Generally, the systems are almost identical, when it comes to template designs.

4. Customer Support

  • Shopify has a well-developed tech support. You are offered e-mail support, live chat, phone assistance as well as active forum, where you can find answers to all your questions and read the opinions of real users. The service has its YouTube channel offering a decent amount of brand video tutorials.

    Having watched them you won’t have any questions left. There is also a blog and multiple text FAQ. Tech support quickly reacts to the inquiries of users and provides quality assistance. There are no problems here.

  • WordPress is an open-source CMS. This means that it doesn’t offer centralized tech support, just because no one pays for it. Instead, the service has an official forum and multiple user communities, where you can get answers to any questions, irrespective of their complexity. WordPress can boast a powerful community of web developers.

    That’s why, you won’t face problems when looking for scripts, templates and plugins. YouTube abounds in millions of uploaded video tutorials on how to work with the system. That is, you will have to work independently searching for suitable materials in CMS. Fortunately, there are many of them, even though, their quality varies a lot. You need to choose wisely.

WordPress vs Shopify. It goes without saying that Shopify is a leader in the comparison of this parameter. When using WordPress, you will have to rely on your own skills and knowledge or look for the help of other users in case of a problem. If you website stops working for some reason, no one will be responsible for that. This won’t happen in Shopify.

5. Pricing Policy

  • Shopify is a paid website builder that offers 14-day free trial. WordPress is a free CMS, but you need to buy separate hosting and domain name to use it. The final cost may also include a paid template, plugin and, maybe, even programmer services or any other scripts.

    Pricing Plans:✔ Lite ($9/mo);
    ✔ Basic Shopify ($29/mo);
    ✔ Shopify ($79/mo);
    ✔ Advanced Shopify ($299/mo).
    ✔ CMS – Free;
    ✔ WooCommerce – Free;
    ✔ Hosting + domain – $100/year.
    WooCommerce Extensions:
    ✔ Order CSV Export – $79;
    ✔ Table Rate Shipping – $99;
    ✔ Dynamic Pricing – $129;
    ✔ Checkout Field Editor – $49;
    ✔ Smart Coupons – $99;
    ✔ Shipment Tracking – $49;
    ✔ Composite Products – $79;
    ✔ Google Product Feed – $79;
    ✔ Tab Manager – $99;
    ✔ Social Login – $79;
    ✔ Google Analytics – $29;
    ✔ Chained Products – $49.
    Features:✔ Real time shipping quotes;
    ✔ Free SSL-certificate;
    ✔ Fraud analysis;
    ✔ Abandoned cart recovery;
    ✔ Discount codes & Gift Cards;
    ✔ Live Support.
    ✔ Custom tax calculations;
    ✔ Search Engine Optimisation;
    ✔ Discount coupons and codes;
    ✔ Reduce page loading (using AJAX);
    ✔ Shipping Calculations.
  • WordPress. Thus, it’s really complicated to calculate the cost of launching an online store with WordPress. Each case is individual and depends upon the set/cost of paid components.

    Basically, you can make use of free plugins and templates only. The cost of creating an online store in this case will be comprised of hosting and domain name expenses, that is, around $100/year. This is not much, but your expenses will hardly be limited by this sum, considering the specifics of the WordPress. A newbie will invest much more time and effort – education, functioning and optimization of an online store will take much time that will depend upon the skills and desire to learn.

    That’s why, a WordPress-based online store is a very expensive option. No one knows how much you will have to pay. The eventual cost will be formed in the process of working on your online store creation.

    We’ll still try to provide the estimation, taking WooCommerce WordPress plugin as an example. Its stock variant is free, but it lacks functionality (Shopify offers more out-of-the-box features). So, you’ll need to install the extensions, many of which are very expensive.

    As of today, there are 323 extensions available out there. However, you will hardly need more than twenty of them, but this is also a notable investment.

    According to the chart, we see that WooCommerce is a free plugin, but this is just the basis for online store creation. To bring its functionality to that of Shopify, you will need to purchase, download and install a number of extensions (some of which are free). We’ve already specified the basic set of extensions.

    Thus, the cost of a WordPress online store created with WooCommerce may reach and even exceed $1,000 depending upon the number and type of extensions you will need. This is not to mention the cost of individual plugin improvement performed by a programmer. The cost may be twice higher.

Shopify vs WordPress. Shopify has lots of benefits in terms of an online store cost. All the required elements and already installed here and they are ready for work. Yes, the cost of some applications may reach $300-400, but it’s not obligatory to use them. The basic functionality will easily cope with the major task – helping you sell your products.

To sum it up, the cost of an online store created with WordPress almost equals that designed with Shopify. The only difference is that you will invest much more effort and time, when working in WordPress (the only choice and setup of plugins/extensions is very time-taking). As a result, an online store created in this CMS loses its cost-efficacy right from the start. Shopify is definitely more beneficial to use, having considered all the nuances.


WordPress cannot even be considered Shopify competitor in the eCommerce niche. WP is a powerful blogging platform, but it requires notable financial investments and poses lots of difficulties, when it comes to creating an online store here.

All plugins and extensions you will install in WordPress to improve online store functionality, affect website safety and speed of work. The more you install – the worse the result is. However, you will not go without installation. Otherwise, you won’t be able to create an online store in WordPress.

The only solution to the problem is quick hosting and nice optimization through coding. This also costs much. Beginners won’t cope with the task on their own. This is possible only to the professionals, whose services are very expensive.

Shopify is easy to master and use even by newbies. It’s much more convenient to use the service, when launching an online store. WordPress doesn’t have anything to counterpose here, except for the deceitful absence of fees and theoretic choice of options. In this comparison, Shopify is definitely the leader. This is obvious to the majority of users, judging by the reviewed parameters.

Overview Comparison Chart

Ease of Use:Shopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPress
Features:Shopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPress
Designs:Shopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPress
Customer Support:Shopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPress
Pricing:Shopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPress
Overall Score:Shopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPressShopify vs WordPress


About the Author

I'm Howard Steele, the founder and editor-in-chief of this website. With over 10 years of web building I know how complicated and tiresome this task can be for a non-IT person. Can’t decide which service to choose? Feel free to ask me for advice. Just describe your website needs, and I’ll gladly help you.

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