Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that makes it easy for you to create an online store, accept payments, and manage your inventory all from a single platform without ever worrying about the technical aspects of managing a website such as web hosting, security, caching, etc.
WooCommerce on the other hand is an open-source eCommerce plugin built for WordPress. It allows you to leverage the most powerful content management system (CMS) and use it to run an online store.
Because of the open-source nature, you can customize every aspect of your store and easily build custom extensions. The decision to choose between the two platforms depend entirely on your needs and skill level.
There are certain key factors which will help you to decide which platform is better suited for your needs, these key factors are as follows:
- Ease of use: It should be easy to use even for absolute beginners.
- Payment Methods: It should have support for multiple payment methods (e.g. PayPal, Stripe, other merchant processors).
- Budget: The initial cost of starting a fully functional ecommerce store.
- Integrations: Number of services and third-party tools you can integrate to grow your business.
- Scalability: The platform should be able to scale as your business grows.
These are the very basic requirements that all online store owners must consider. However, depending on your needs, you may also want to look at other options like shipping, inventory management, invoicing, taxes, drop shipping, etc.
Difference between the two: SHOPIFY VS WOOCOMMERCE
When you search through Google for reviews of WooCommerce and Shopify, you’ll find a lot of opinions from different business owners. While these insights can be helpful, the truth is that whether you choose WooCommerce vs Shopify will boil down to a few core differences.
For instance, the main difference between WooCommerce and Shopify is that Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce solution designed to give you everything you need to get started online.
Shopify takes the complications and technical aspects out of running an online business and replaces them with easy-to-use tools. Your Shopify store can be set up and running in a matter of minutes.
However, this also means that you’re not going to get as much granular control over your site. Shopify is your choice if you want an all-in-one package for your ecommerce store that gets you up and running quickly with lots of great features and apps.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for more customization options, WooCommerce is a self-hosted software for eCommerce. This means that you can tap into the code and access various parts of your store. WooCommerce gives you a lot of freedom to build everything into your store, that’s crucial for your team.
It also means that you can run your business in conjunction with a WordPress blog. However, when you compare Shopify vs WooCommerce, remember that the freedom that you get from WooCommerce comes at a price. In other words, you need to know how to handle the technical side of your site and keep it safe.
If you’re starting out with a beginner, and you don’t want to look at things like web hosting and hosting provider details, then Shopify is a good choice.
If you want more freedom to experiment with your site, and you already like using WordPress, opt for WooCommerce. WooCommerce is for you if you already have a WordPress website and you don’t mind taking more control over your store.
Shopify : Pros & Cons
- You know exactly how much you’ll be paying every month and the pricing is fair.
- There’s access to thousands of apps to extend your store.
- The themes are plentiful and beautiful.
- Shopify handles everything for you from hosting to security.
- It takes just a few minutes to launch your store.
- Dropshipping is rather simple with Shopify.
- The support is the best in the business.
- You don’t have as much control over your site with Shopify.
- Customization is better with other platforms.
- You’re stuck with a monthly payment that’s only going to get higher.
Woocommerce : Pros & Cons
- WooCommerce offers complete customization and control.
- WordPress has a huge community online.
- The themes and plugins are endless, since just about anyone can make and sell them online.
- WooCommerce is simple to configure on WordPress.
- The WooCommerce plugin is free.
- WordPress does have a bit of a learning curve.
- You may find that WooCommerce ends up being more expensive due to plugins, themes, and hosting.
- You’re stuck managing everything from hosting to security, and maintenance to backups.
Shopify Vs WooCommere : Key Differences
One of Shopify’s greatest selling points is the visual quality of its themes. In my opinion, they look absolutely great out of the box. Shopify comes with more than 54 different store templates, of which 10 are free. What’s more, is that each of the Shopify themes has unique variations.
Therefore, you’re technically getting more than 100 separate designs. The best part is that they are all mobile responsive and have a variety of different colouring options.
They have a fashionably sleek and clean aesthetic, which makes it perfect for modern, forward-thinking websites. Shopify’s designs aren’t created in-house, by the way. They’re outsourced to a group of professional web designers who ensure they’re as current and as engaging as they can be. We like this approach because you get creativity from a wide variety of companies and people, making for a better selection.
Unfortunately, the price tags on the premium Shopify themes go as high as $180. But what you get in exchange is a great design. The instant attraction of Shopify designs can cause many webmasters to select the same themes. Some Shopify users who have designed a site themselves have later complained of looking a little too similar to other websites. For that reason, customization is encouraged.
Luckily, Shopify themes are easy to change. You can quickly adjust colours and styles, while more adept developers can utilize the platform’s specialized ‘Liquid’ language to make more substantial changes and really make a brand stand out. And even better, they do offer a Theme editor within the platform that you can use for customization.
You can choose to hide sections within the theme editor without removing them. Hidden sections will still be customisable in the theme editor but not visible on the store front-end. This allows you to start sections for future releases and remove the need for theme duplications.
WooCommerce is a plugin created by the developers from WooThemes. As such, it doesn’t deliver any specific design traits on its own. What it does is provides you with the means to sell products and services online. The design part, however, is left to your current or future WordPress theme.
WooCommerce has been built to cooperate with most themes on the market, provided that they follow the standard recommendations and best practices. This means that, in most cases, you are able to select any WordPress theme that you like, and still make it work together with WooCommerce.
However, you will also come across themes that have been built with WooCommerce in mind from the get-go and are tailor-made to make all your product/service listings look great. If the design of the eCommerce store itself is particularly important to you, you should look for themes that are specifically made for WooCommerce.
The place to start would be Woo’s own default online store theme called Storefront (free). It’s a really efficient creation that puts the focus on all the important elements of an eCommerce store. You can also get a range of child themes for Storefront in case you want to customize the look of your store further.
Most of the child themes are available at $39 a piece (occasionally, though, there are WooCommerce themes with price tags as high as $119). If you’re a developer with ecommerce clients, they have a package for $399 where you get all of the themes in the library. part from that, you can also look into marketplaces like ThemeForest where they have hundreds of other WooCommerce-compatible themes.
WooCommerce is an opensource so tons of developers sell (or give away) incredible WooCommerce themes for all sorts of industries and purposes.
WooCommerce is a free open source software plugin.
Yes, the plugin is free, but then you have to consider the additional costs that go along with making an online store. WordPress is free as well, but you have to consider things like hosting, the cost of a theme, a domain name, any additional extensions and an SSL certificate.
Shopify is all about delivering you a single, out-of-the-box solution with just a few pricing packages. You sign up, then you get to use your shiny new eCommerce store right away since everything you need is included from the get-go.
Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer you a handful of options to upgrade your version of the platform depending on the type of your business, the scale of your sales, etc.
To simplify this comparison, I’m going to focus on the cheapest path, what it costs, at the minimum to have a working eCommerce store with WooCommerce vs Shopify. When we sum things up, the above translates into:
Shopify eCommerce store running on a top-level domain: $29 / month.
WooCommerce store on the same setup: $5 / month (a modest $5 hosting, domain, SSL).
But that’s not all.
With WooCommerce, you might also have to factor in the additional extensions for things like SEO, more payment gateways, and so on.
Those extensions are usually around the $49-79 mark (one-time payments). What it all comes down to is that although WooCommerce is technically the cheaper solution, it will require much more work to set it up, and you’ll need to be more careful not to go over your budget, as every additional extension comes with a price tag.
In the end, with WooCommerce, you’re spending more time on setup and management, which translates to dollars. Shopify boasts a much more conventional pricing structure.
It has a sliding scale of packages which offer users a range of different features up front – Lite ($9 per month,) Basic Shopify ($29 per month,) Shopify ($79 per month) and Advanced Shopify ($299 per month).
Last but not least, there are the transaction fees. In essence, whenever you sell something with either of the platforms, they will charge you a small fee (for processing the payment, delivering the money to your account, etc.).
Those fees change quite often, so I won’t get into that here, but just be aware that they exist. Usually, they sit around 2%-3% per transaction but make sure to check the exact numbers before signing up with either of the platforms.
Ease of Use
The main strength of Shopify is that it’s a subscription-based online tool. In other words, to use it, all you need to do is visit Shopify.com, click the signup button, go through a basic setup wizard, and you’re done. Shopify is going to help you along the way, asking about the purpose of your store.
Once you get through that initial wizard, you will get access to the main dashboard. It’s from there that you can create your new eCommerce store, add new products, and so on. Overall, the whole process is very straightforward, and most importantly, you don’t need any design or site-building skills in order to get through it.
Basically, since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin and not a subscription-based solution like Shopify, this means that you need to handle a couple of things before you ever get to work with WooCommerce itself. Mainly, you need to complete the following:
- Get a domain name
- Sign up for a hosting account
- Install WordPress
- Find and install a WordPress theme
It is only after you have those four taken care of that you can install the WooCommerce plugin on your WordPress website and start getting through the configuration of your online store.
Unfortunately, those steps do require some level of comfort around web-related things. After all, it involves setting up your web server, redirecting your domain to said server, and lastly getting WordPress properly installed and made operational.