WooCommerce or Shopify? They’re two e-commerce titans that are often pitched against one another. And with good reason: Shopify claims to be the most popular e-commerce platform on the web, with over 800,000 online stores. WooCommerce also claims to be the most popular e-commerce platform on the web, with WordPress (the base of WooCommerce) running 35% of the web. So how do you choose?
- Limitless customisation – due to the fact that it’s an open-source platform. This means that you can use CSS and other coding languages to create a really unique e-commerce website.
- Excellent value for money – it’s free to set up, and the plugins are generally affordable, allowing you to expand the store’s features at a low cost.
- Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce is not beginner-friendly, so unless you have any coding experience, you’ll fail to create the online store you want. This is the great benefit of having Drew on hand to set your store up and guide you through the process of managing it. So not something you need to worry about!
Ease of Use
There’s no denying that WooCommerce has a steeper learning curve than Shopify, and based on our experience, Shopify is much easier to grasp for a “normal” customer. According to tests that were carried out by Website Builder Expert (source), Shopify received a 4.1/5 rating and WooCommerce received a 3.5/5 rating.
It all comes down to the fact that Shopify is a hosted e-commerce platform. This means it handles a lot of the technical aspects of an e-commerce website. Shopify has you covered for everything from your domain name and hosting (where your site resides online) to any encryption (SSL) certificates.
You also don’t have to install, manage, or update any software when you use Shopify. There’s also no need to be concerned with backups or protection.
In comparison, with WooCommerce, you’ll need to do a little more legwork. But this extra work is offset with the unlimited customisation of WordPress and great SEO benefits compared to Shopify.
WooCommerce and WordPress are the types of platform that will grow with your business. Shopify may be easier initially but in our experience you will quickly bump up against the limitations of service.
|Offers three different plans for its users, starting at $29 (£21) per month.||It’s completely free, but you’ll have to pay for your own hosting. Drew recommends Siteground who are some of the best in the business at great prices. Cheaper than the basic Shopify plan.|
|Allows for unlimited products to be added to your store.||Also allows for unlimited products to be added to your store.|
|Charges specific fees for every payment you get through the store.||Payment fees are determined by the payment processors you choose to use. Many more payment options compared to Shopify.|
|The platform has its own app store, which users can use to expand the functionality of their stores for free or for a fee (usually monthly).||It comes with an extension system (similar to WordPress plugins) that adds extra functionality to your store. Extensions are available in both free and premium versions.|
|Shopify has good documentation and basic support through a helpdesk.||WooCommerce’s creators provide users with support through a help desk and comprehensive documentation.|
Drew is also on hand to answer your questions throughout the build and we have great support packages for once you’re up and running.
|There are plenty of premium templates to choose from to personalise the look and feel of your website. However, the templates can be restrictive, for example, only allowing for 5 image sliders or 8 blocks on a page.||Works with any WordPress Theme. Will be integrated into a custom Drew WordPress site. And with the endless customisation of WordPress, the sky is the limit. This is why Drew loves WordPress and Woocommerce.|
|Includes a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate alongside all its plans if you are using the .myshopify domain ONLY||SSL support is included (as long as you have your own certificate)|
|Features its own analytics system, and can also be integrated with Google Analytics.|
SEO is generally the biggest downside of Shopify. You will have to invest more work to get less return on SEO.
Editing site metadata is very difficult.
|WordPress is much better for SEO in general, especially organic SEO. The customisation available in WordPress makes tweaking the site for SEO a breeze. There are also great plugins like Yoast SEO which make it easy to handle adding keywords to content in the WP Editor.|
There are always little extras too:
Subscriptions: neither service offers subscription products out of the box. In WooCommerce it is a $199 add-on and Shopify has many third-party options available, most paid.
Pre-orders: neither service overs pre-ordering products out of the box. In WooCommerce it is a $129 add-on and Shopify has many third-party options available, most paid.
Product Reviews: not a feature for either by default. Both have many third-party plugin options. WooCommerce integrates very easily with Trust Pilot and Google Reviews which are the Drew recommended approaches.
For as long as Drew has been around we’ve been building websites. We have delivered projects from Wix to Webflow, Squarespace to WordPress, and everything in between. This many varied and challenging projects over the years have allowed our technical knowledge to grow and we are confident whatever your technical problem is, we can find the right solution for you. You are welcome to get in touch with us anytime – book a chat using this link: Drew Calender.
We constantly share our knowledge: it helps our friends and clients make informed choices.
If you’d like to read a little demystification of WordPress, here’s one of our previous posts.