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Shopify vs WordPress (WooCommerce): Which is Better for Ecommerce?

Shopify vs WooCommerce

Shopify and WordPress are the undeniable leaders of the web design industry. The systems differ from each other in their functionality, pricing and customizability yet both of them use versatile approaches to the process of website development. When it comes to the creation and management of eCommerce websites, Shopify and WordPress have much to offer as well.

Shopify is the most popular eCommerce website builder, while WordPress is the most well-known CMS in the world. The platform also makes it possible to start online stores by integrating one of its eCommerce plugins. There are many of them out there, but the most popular is WooCommerce. The plugin lets you start a feature-laden eCommerce project, offering a variety of advanced features and tools needed to run a web store. That is exactly why, it makes sense to compare Shopify with WooCommerce, when it tackles the eCommerce aspect.

Website Builders Comparison Chart

ShopifyShopify vs Wordpress (WooCommerce): Which is Better for Ecommerce?
Our score:          
Best for:eCommerce projectseCommerce websites
Templates:Dozens of free and paid responsive templatesHundreds of free responsive templates
Technical Support:Help Center, Live Chat, Forum,
eCommerce University
Installation assistance,
email support, community support, FAQ section
SEO Options:Powerful SEO settingsYoast SEO plugin integration
Pricing:From $9/moThe plugin is free
More info:Shopify Review →WooCommerce Review →

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 Shopify vs WooCommerce comparison just cannot be honest a priori. However, we are sure that this topic is interesting to lots of users. Will WooCommerce be able to counterpose anything special to Shopify in the suggested comparison? Let’s find that out!

Shopify vs WooCommerce: General Overview

Shopify vs Wordpress (WooCommerce): Which is Better for Ecommerce?

Shopify has distinguished itself as the most world-popular eCommerce software and it’s no wonder. The platform is used exclusively for the development of online stores, which differ in complexity, functionality and size. By using the system, you can run even a huge hypermarket with thousands of products offered for sale. Shopify grants access to the impressive collection of eCommerce templates, professional web store management tools, advanced marketing and promotion features. They make it possible to bring your web store functionality to the brand new level.

The software was first introduced to the market in 2004 and it quickly gained worldwide popularity due to its professional eCommerce solutions. A truly impressive fact about Shopify is that it is currently ranked third in the list of the most influential and functional US-based online retailers. The first two positions are taken by Amazon and eBay. Statistics says that the number of live online stores created with Shopify currently constitutes more than 1,500,000, while the amount of merchants, who have signed up for the platform has exceeded 3,000,000 people.

If you decide to give preference to Shopify as your eCommerce website building tool, keep in mind that the software is not the cheapest platform you can find. There is no free plan to test the functionality of the service, but it is possible to figure out what each paid subscription has to offer by using the free trial it comes with.

WooCommerce is a WordPress eCommerce plugin, which lets you start and run the CMS-based web stores. Actually, it is now included into the list of the best eCommerce systems you can find in the modern web design market. It is reported that more than 350,000 web stores listed in the Top Million Rating are powered by WooCommerce.

The open-source eCommerce plugin is functional and quite convenient for users with diverse web design skills. What’s more, the extension is expendable, which means that you can additionally pick and integrate other WordPress plugins to enhance the performance of your project.

WooCommerce is a free shopping cart plugin. You can pick, integrate and use it at no cost at all for as long as you need. As soon as you decide to upgrade your web store performance, you will be able to select and use other plugins and extensions meant for WordPress. Many of them are provided at extra cost.

Shopify and WooCommerce are geared towards eCommerce website creation. Shopify is a simpler solution as this is the SaaS-based software that does not require installation. WooCommerce, in its turn, is the WordPress eCommerce plugin that requires preliminary download and installation. This may pose a problem for newbies.

Shopify vs WooCommerce: Which One Is Easier to Use?

Shopify vs Wordpress (WooCommerce): Which is Better for Ecommerce?

Shopify is a full-featured eCommerce software designed exclusively for online store development. Thus, the interface of the system, its dashboard and control panel come with a set of features, tools and options needed to complete this task. This is where you will be able to adjust your web store settings, create and manage product galleries, track user and sales statistics and run other web store-related processes. No wonder, the platform looks quite complicated and even a bit oversaturated with elements at first sight, especially for first-timers.

Shopify Dashboard

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. 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 comes with a convenient editor that lets you control the entire process of web store development. Additionally, there is a helpful wizard that guides a user through all the steps of the web design process. It lets people, who don’t have any web design skills, start and customize a quality eCommerce project.

Another highlight of the platform is its customer support team, which comprises a vast Knowledge Base, an informative forum, a Help Center and even a Live Chat, where you can apply for immediate assistance of the system professionals. Shopify also involves the eCommerce university, where you can boost your web store design proficiency.

WooCommerce has a narrow specialization, which implies web store development. Thus, its feature set and functionality are geared exclusively towards the completion of this task. One of the highlights of the plugin is the fact that it’s absolutely free and quite easy to manage. You don’t need any coding skills to get started with your eCommerce project development. Just follow the guidelines the plugin generates in the automated mode and keep working on your web store creation.

WordPress Woocommerce Dashboard

WooCommerce works best for small and medium businesses, who plan to start selling online and don’t intend to spend a fortune on their projects on the initial stages of the web store development process. As your online store grows, you will be able to pick and integrate other WordPress plugins to boost your web store performance.

Customer Support of the plugin helps with product installation and settings configuration needed to properly manage a web store. They also help fix the bugs (if any) in the shortest time possible. The support service also provides access to the community forum and FAQ section and there is also an opportunity to pick and integrate extra customer support extensions (both free and paid) developed specifically for WordPress.

When it comes to the ease of use, Shopify seems to be a simpler solution. There is no need to integrate it as the software is SaaS-based. It also comes with powerful support service and automated wizard that simplifies the entire web store development and management process. WooCommerce also allows starting a quality web store without deep coding skills required, but it takes more effort and time to master the nuances of working with the plugin.

Shopify vs WooCommerce: Design and Flexibility

Shopify vs Wordpress (WooCommerce): Which is Better for Ecommerce?

Shopify and WooCommerce both excel at eCommerce functionality. These are full-featured platforms that help start and manage all types of web stores, irrespective of their size, complexity and integrated functionality. To detect the system that delivers more extensive eCommerce options, it initially makes sense to compare their major web store creation parameters.

eCommerce Functionality

Shopify isn’t used for any other purposes, except for online store development. 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.

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 lets import positions from CSV files, make use of the e-mail marketing feature (including the abandoned cart saver), organize sales via external services (Houzz, Amazon, BuzzFeed, Facebook), advanced reviews, billing and product cost taxes, stunning templates etc.

Shopify Add Product Step 2

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.

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 quality resource.

WooCommerce is all about starting professional web stores that excel at functionality and customizability. The plugin makes it possible to effectively handle a variety of eCommerce tasks. These include product catalogue creation and management, search filters set up, completion of user registrations, acception of order/online payments, tracking orders and user behaviour by means of using integrated and external analytics tools, adjustment of payment/shipping/tax settings with regard to the geolocation factor.

WooCommerce Product Editor

Additionally, it is possible to set up loyalty and discount programs, implement special offers, display top selling products as well as similar and most popular offers via widget integration and boost customer loyalty by means of organizing online mailouts etc. All in all, it is possible to effectively start a web store encompassing around 2000-3000 products with WooCommerce. Mind, however, that your web store should be hosted with a reliable provider to make the plugin function flawlessly.

If you plan to start a web store with WooCommerce, you don’t have to possess any special skills or preliminary web design expertise. To install the plugin, you should initially access the WordPress catalogue, find WooCommerce plugin there and then integrate it into the selected template. This doesn’t usually take much time, skills and effort.

When it tackles the eCommerce aspect, both systems have much to offer. Shopify is the best eCommerce software, which abounds in tools, features and options required for the development of small to large projects. WooCommerce also has a strong eCommerce focus, thus making it possible to run a professional online store, even if you are a non-coder.

Third-Party Apps and Extensions

Shopify offers an opportunity to browse its extensive App Market, where one can find and integrate lots of applications and widgets to boost web store performance. These extensions are both free and paid, while each of them serves the completion of a certain task, be it traffic/sales volume growth, completion of marketing/business tasks and what not.

Shopify app store

WooCommerce also allows enhancing the eCommerce potential of web stores it powers. It is possible to expand the eCommerce functionality of the plugin by means of integrating other extensions you might find useful for your project. Some of the best examples include WooCommerce Multilingual (for the development of multilingual web stores), Yoast SEO to boost web store promotion and AMP extension for faster loading of web store pages. The final choice of plugins depends upon the result you wish to obtain and the functionality you expect to get from your online store.

Integration options of both systems are pretty extensive, yet WooCommerce grants access to the more impressive selection of plugins. They are available at different cost and each of them serves the completion of a certain web design task.

Template Editing

Shopify offers users the set of more than 70 responsive templates, which are both free and paid. The cost of premium designs ranges from $100 and up to $180. They look more versatile due to their quantity, but they are also very similar in quality. It is on the high level in both cases. Additionally, there is an opportunity to pick one of the third-party designs created by other developers specifically for WordPress. Their choice is impressive and currently encompasses hundreds of templates available online.

Shopify Free Templates

Each theme has its own customization settings, which are very flexible. You can change the color scheme, add new blocks, edit header and footer content, integrate media files and images, work with typography, set up 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. To see the way your project looks on a certain stage of its development, you can make use of the preview feature available in the real-time mode. Template switch option is provided here as well, making it possible to pick another design at any stage of the development process.

WooCommerce template selection is more extensive as the CMS makes it possible to pick and customize almost any design created for WordPress. What you can do to sort out the themes compatible with the plugin is to type the “WooCommerce” search inquiry in the required field and watch the result. The use of external WordPress templates is allowed here as well.

WooCommerce Themes

As to the web store design customization options, they are quite similar to those available in any WordPress website. The plugin makes it possible to create and edit web store menus, integrate widgets to all web pages, customize web store design etc. Alongside, you can use the add-ons WooCommerce offers for some of the designs to enhance their visual appeal.

To ensure deep web store design customization, the plugin allows for code editing. You need to possess some of the CSS, HTML or JavaScript programming skills as well as the experience of working with the CMS to make serious website edits in the integrated system editor. Mind that WooCommerce themes are available with system files that describe product card and shopping cart design, the order or web store pages and other must-have parameters.

As to the design editing options, WooCommerce ensures deeper flexibility. There is an opportunity to set up and edit website design here with regard to your skills and needs. Shopify doesn’t provide such an extensive flexibility, limiting your design customization solutions to the integrated set of tools and features.

Shopify vs WooCommerce: General Pricing Comparison

Shopify vs Wordpress (WooCommerce): Which is Better for Ecommerce?

Shopify is a paid website builder that offers a 14-day free trial to test the system, irrespective of the plan you decide to go for. Upon the end of the trial period, you will be offered to upgrade to one of the paid subscriptions based on your web store requirements and expectations. Currently, the eCommerce software offers the following pricing options:

Shopify Pricing

  • Shopify Lite ($9/mo) – unlimited product amount, 70+ payment gateways, global tax and currency support settings, sales tracking and “Buy” Button option etc.;
  • Basic Shopify ($29/mo) – website and blog integration, free SSL Certificate connection etc.;
  • Shopify ($79/mo) – professional reporting option, gift cards etc.;
  • Advanced Shopify ($299/mo) – real-time carrier shipping, advanced report builder etc.

Unlike its alternatives, one of the highlights of the system is its transaction fee-free approach that lets you save the budget when working with your online store. At the same time, Shopify charges credit card transitions for each sale made with the platform.

WooCommerce is a free plugin that can be downloaded from the standard WordPresss catalogue or directly from the official website. The extension also allows enhancing the eCommerce potential of web stores launched with it by means of integrating other WordPress plugins. They may be free and paid, which depends on their characteristics and implication.

Along with extra plugin integration, WooCommerce requires hosting and domain name connection. Their cost depends upon multiple factors, such as domain name zone chosen, pricing policy charged by the hosting provider, web store size etc. When it comes to hosting choice, Bluehost remains the best solution. This is the official WordPress hosting provider that ensures multiple advantages. These include one-click WordPress installation, free SSL Certificate connection, 24/7 customer support and more. The cheapest plan offered by Bluehost costs $2.95/mo only. Additionally, the system offers the 30-day money-back refund policy to those users, who are not satisfied with the plan they have initially picked for some reason.

Bluehost Pricing

Shopify and WooCommerce both offer versatile pricing policies to come up to the needs of any target audience. Shopify plans are fixed, while the cost of starting a web store with WooCommerce will eventually depend upon multiple factors like hosting/domain name price, cost of extra plugins, template price etc.

Shopify vs WooCommerce: Which One Is the Best for SEO?

Shopify vs Wordpress (WooCommerce): Which is Better for Ecommerce?

Shopify is a SEO-friendly software, which lets you create, organize and effectively promote web stores of different sizes and specialization. To set up SEO parameters for your eCommerce website, you should just reach the dashboard and fill out corresponding fields available there. These include titles, descriptions, ALT tags for images and more. You can assign these parameters to separate web pages, sections and to the entire website, if needed.

Shopify SEO Preferences

Additionally, the software grants access to integrated statistics tracking tools that make it possible to check current web store stats and fix the problems on time. If required, Shopify also allows connecting third-party marketing applications and statistics services that contribute to better project promotion. Another highlight of the platform is that it automatically generates sitemaps for online stores created with the system. These sitemaps come with ready-made web pages, products, blog posts and other elements, which matter a lot for any eCommerce project.

WooCommerce makes it possible to adjust SEO parameters by means of integrating one of the best SEO plugins. This is Yoast SEO plugin, which allows filling out the required parameters (mostly the metadata) for better project optimization in the search engines. Among the data you should fill out here, it makes sense to mention title and description only. The plugin even allows not to specify the keywords, but you can still add them, if you wish.

WooCommerce - SEO

Another thing you should obligatory do here is setting up a human-friendly URL for your project. The problem is that WooCommerce adds a product-related prefix to the URL by default, but there is an opportunity to fix the problem in two ways – either by using the free Permalink Manager Lite extension or by using the paid plugin. The first extension implies additional set up and manual editing of products you have uploaded before.

The next step you may undertake to boost your web store SEO positions is creating faster versions of products cards and main web pages. This can be done by integrating the AMP plugin that has special add-ons for WooCommerce. This can be done in a few simple steps and this does not take much effort, skills or time.

When it comes to web store SEO optimization, both platforms provide worthy results. Shopify delivers integrated SEO functionality, while WooCommerce requires integration of extra SEO plugins. The second option takes more time and effort, but the result is still worth that.

Which One is The Best for Ecommerce – Shopify or WooCommerce

Shopify vs Wordpress (WooCommerce): Which is Better for Ecommerce?

Shopify is the world-popular eCommerce software, the only implication of which is online store creation. Thus, the entire functionality of the system is geared towards this task. Shopify abounds in features, tools and elements that contribute to effective and rewarding development of small-to-large web stores (see the Shopify store examples collection). The integrated functionality of the system encompasses multiple high end order/product management options, safety measures (SSL Certificate connection Fraud Protection etc.), multichannel and multilingual support, synchronization solutions and many more.

Shopify stands out from the crowd due to its impressive eCommerce features. What you can also do here is setting up abandoned checkout recovery options, using integrated AR feature, applying advanced sales/stats tracking tools, trying marketing and promotion features as well as professional web store/product management tools to mention a few. The software makes it possible to pick and customize one of its templates, which are eCommerce-related and can be used to start different types of online stores from scratch. These are only some of the high end features that make Shopify a worthy eCommerce solution.

WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin designed specially for WordPress. The plugin is geared towards creation of professional online stores featuring high end performance. It allows developing and customizing small to mid-size eCommerce projects to come up to users’ needs, requirements and expectations. Among the tasks you can complete here, it is initially worth to mention product catalogue creation and management, user sign up process, acceptance of online payments and customer orders, tracking web store statistics, setting up tax/shipping/payment parameters etc.

If you feel that integrated WooCommerce functionality is not enough to comply with your web design/business expectations, you may enhance your web store performance by means of integrating external plugins. This refers to your web store SEO optimization, advanced web store management solutions, customer loyalty enhancement and other nuances that have notable impact upon your eCommerce project development.

Speaking about eCommerce functionality, it’s difficult to single out the undeniable leader. Both systems are powerful and both of them have much to offer to users. The only difference is that Shopify comes with fixed integrated functionality provided by default, while WooCommerce makes it possible to integrate external services to enhance web store performance.

Key Differences Between Shopify and WooCommerce

Ease of Use:Shopify is a convenient and quite simple eCommerce platform. Its only sphere of application is web store development and this is where the software doesn’t have any rivals at all. The dashboard of the system is intuitive and understandable, while the drag-and-drop editing process helps reach great result with minimum investment of effort and time.WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that allows creating quality online stores. The plugin works best for small and medium businesses, providing a rich selection of eCommerce features and tools. It allows for convenient project customization and it’s quite easy to manage and set it up, even if you are a non-coder.
Functionality:The software grants access to myriads of eCommerce-specific features and tools. These are required for effective product and web store management, sales/clients tracking and quality design customization.The plugin delivers high end eCommerce functionality. You can create and configure your web store here, making use of the tools and features available in stock. Additionally, there is an opportunity to enhance your eb store performance by means of integrating multiple extra plugins available on the web.
Design:The template collection of the system is not rich, but all the templates are of high quality. There are over 70 free and paid themes here, all of which are customizable and responsive.WooCommerce ensures complete web store customization and it’s also possible to edit HTML/CSS codes here. The plugin comes with more than 500 eCommerce themes that are responsive by default.
eCommerce:As the eCommerce software, Shopify abounds in features and tools that help create, manage, update and promote even large hypermarkets.WooComemrce excels at eCommerce functionality. The plugin lets you work with product catalogues, manage user registrations, set up payment/shipping/tax parameters, accept online orders, track web store statistics etc.
Blogging:The platform encompasses a pretty nice blogging engine, which lets you connect and manage a feature-laden blog. It helps boost user engagement rate, keeping customers aware of your industry news and updates.Blog creation is realized via integration of corresponding plugins into your web store.
Small Business:Shopify can be a good choice for those small business websites, which are planned to be transformed into large eCommerce projects. For this category of websites, Shopify is a great solution.Woocommerce is a nice pick for small and medium businesses, who intend to sell their products online. To get the most out of your business performance, it makes sense to integrate extra plugins into your project.
Pricing:Shopify has a 14-day free trial and four paid subscriptions. Their prices start from $9/mo.WooCommerce is a free plugin but it’s possible to pick and use other paid extensions as well.
SEO:Shopify is a SEO-friendly software, which makes it possible to optimize web stores created with it for the search engines by filling out special parameters, using Analytic and statistics tracking tools.WooCommerce web stores are optimized for the search engines. It’s possible to avail such a result by means of integrating Yoast SEO plugin, which is one of the best SEO extensions developed for WordPress.
Customer Support:Shopify Help Center, Rich Forum, eCommerce UniversityQuick plugin installation assistance, extensive community and tech email support, FAQ section

Which One Is Better for Online Store: Shopify or WordPress?

Shopify and WordPress are two powerful platforms popular around the world. Comparison of their integrated eCommerce functionality makes it possible to figure out the implication of each platform, their features, flexibility and customizability. Each system is worth user attention as each of them has much to offer in terms of eCommerce.

Shopify is a professional eCommerce software, which is easy to master and use even by newbies. It’s much more convenient to use the service, when launching an online store. The platform comes with a ready-made set of eCommerce features that are provided by default and can be used to enhance web store performance with regard to users’ needs.

WordPress is the CMS, which realizes its eCommerce potential via WooCommerce plugin integration. The plugin is free and it lets you start/customize online stores, getting the most out of their performance. The actual advantage of the plugin is the opportunity to use external extensions designed for WordPress that help enhance a board range of its parameters.

Which platform is the leader of the comparison? It’s difficult to identify the undeniable winner as both systems are worth user attention. WordPress, however, is still more powerful due to its unlimited integration options. This is what makes the CMS prevail over its competitor.

  • The best eCommerce software
  • Powerful eCommerce features
  • Advanced synchronization options
  • Multiple niche-specific integrations
  • Free Shopping Cart WordPress plugin
  • Allows for multiple integrations
  • Feature nice SEO optimization
  • Quality customer support

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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