WooCommerce vs Shopify is becoming the most talked-about comparison over the internet for quite some time now. When you plan to launch an eCommerce store you will certainly come across these two platforms. However, you will see many others also. But WooCommerce and Shopify are two top contenders in this category. So, in this guide, I will walk you through the key features of both platforms and the reason why you might choose one of them over the other.

Building an online store has never been easier. There are many platforms out there and that can be the root cause of your confusion to choose the best eCommerce platform. But you will be amazed to know that not every platform including WooCommerce and Shopify is best for everyone and every business. It’s all about your individual needs.

However, both WooCommerce and Shopify offer beautiful designs, marketing features, distinct shipping rates, several payment gateways, search engine optimization, various useful extensions, and many other features to help you create and expand your business with ease. But that’s the question, how can you know which is the best choice for your business according to your needs?

Now, that’s where I come in. I am doing this comprehensive comparison for you. It will help you decide which one is an ideal eCommerce platform choice for your online business.

Let’s dig into WooCommerce vs Shopify battle.

WooCommerce vs Shopify – A Brief introduction

What is WooCommerce?

woocommerce

Before you learn about WooCommerce, it makes sense to first understand WordPress a little. WordPress is the most popular and widely used content management system. It is a perfect CMS used by both beginners as well as professionals to create their websites. And it supports a wide range of plugins to extend the functionality. Now coming back to what is WooCommerce, and where WooCommerce exactly fits 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 transform your WordPress site into a full-fledged online store. You will not have to spend anything. Except for the fact that you will have to spend something to buy a good web hosting. However, Bluehost is one of the most recommended WordPress hosting you will get to see.

Although WooCommerce is a free plugin it still offers some premium extensions to improve site performance and scale your business.

What is Shopify?

shopify

Let’s talk about Shopify, the other top contender in the eCommerce business. Shopify isn’t far behind then WooCommerce. Shopify is the best online platform for dropshipping and multi-channel selling. However, WooCommerce is not an open-source platform rather it comes with a variety of features to cater to all your online needs.

It is an online eCommerce solution which means you will not 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 against many important aspects. And with that, we will see which platforms you should use.

WooCommerce vs Shopify – Ease of Use

WooCommerce

When it comes to working with WooCommerce the initial step, of course, is to download and install WordPress. Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, having WordPress installed is a prerequisite for installing WooCommerce to your WordPress site. However, installing WordPress is not tough. WooCommerce is an open-source and self-hosted platform. Therefore, you need to set up web hosting, buy a domain name, and other plugins you need.

However, setting up all the things won’t take up much time. Moreover, it doesn’t even require core technical skills to set up everything. If this sounds intimidating, then you can choose a hosting provider that comes with 1-click WordPress install such as Bluehost, SiteGround, and many others. This way you can skip the installation process.

Shopify

Shopify is simple to use platform. It is designed in such a way that it gets really simple to use this platform. Once you are done with the initial set up process you are ready to use it. Setting up and selling products is quite simple with Shopify. The Shopify dashboard is highly sophisticated and easy to use. You can quickly manage things like orders, shipping, products, etc.

Shopify comes with automatic product updates, therefore you don’t have to worry about the updates.

Customization

WooCommerce

When you choose a platform the ability to customize makes it even more useful. WooCoommerce is an open-source platform so anybody using the platform can customize it as per their requirements. Thousands of themes are there which you can easily customize and make them match with your business. There are plenty of customization options to help you. The user interface is modern yet so simple to use.

Shopify

When it comes to customization in Shopify, it has several things up. The Shopify dashboard includes several options to customize themes. Right from the dashboard, you can edit the pages and add or delete products to your store. Shopify is inherently much easier to design with as compared to WooCommerce. However, if you want you can also add blog posts and pages to your Shopify website.

Integration

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is coupled with over 400 official extensions. However, there are many unofficial extensions to use. Taking your store to social media can help you increase the traffic to a great level. Thus, you can include social media integration to your e-store. Integrations such as Google Ads and Mailchimp can give you a wider reach. WooCommerce is a developer-friendly platform. It is built with the REST API, WooCommerce is highly scalable.

Shopify

Shopify comes with over 3,000 various useful integrations. There are apps also that you can use to enhance the Shopify store experience. You can integrate with Shopify cart abandonment software. Moreover, you can automate your Shopify store using many other features.

Pricing

WooCommerce

If you are wondering that WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin, then why am I comparing the price? Then let me tell you that however, WooCommerce is free to use, but money is still involved. And that is required to purchase web hosting. The best WooCommerce web hosting is all you need to run your store. You may like to add some premium WooCommerce extensions or add-ons. So, that will need some dollars to spend.

Shopify

Shopify has the advantage that everything is bundled together. You can use your existing domain name with Shopify. Or if you want you can purchase the new domain as well. Other things that can be chargeable are themes that you use for your store. However, Shopify offers three plans Basic Shopify for $29/month, Shopify for $79/month, and Advanced Shopify for $299month.

Security

WooCommerce

Since WordPress is a WordPress plugin, you can not make use of PCI. However, you can use many other external security plugins. You can exclusively purchase plugins and other add-ons to enhance the functionality and empower your site security.

Shopify

When it comes to security leave everything to Shopify. Every Shopify store includes a 256-bit SSL certificate. All your site pages, content, credit card information, transaction information is entirely protected by the same level of security. Shopify is level-1 PCI compliant, thus, you can be worry-free about the information security.

WooCommerce vs Shopify  – Pros & Cons

WooCommerce and Shopify both are full of features. 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 know them before you pick up any of them. Let’s begin with WooCommerce first.

WooCommerce Pros

  • WooCommerce is a free and open-source eCommerce platform.
  • It provides 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 nicely organized reports.
  • Your store will be completely mobile-optimized.

WooCommerce Cons

  • In order to use WooCommerce, you need to have WordPress installed.
  • You need to purchase hosting externally.
  • It doesn’t even have an SSL certificate integrated.

Now, let’s see how Shopify stands.

Shopify Pros

  • Shopify comes with free hosting.
  • It has a three-tiered pricing system.
  • It includes many SEO options and useful social links.
  • Shopify has a user-friendly interface to work with.
  • It beautifully integrates with several third-party apps.
  • It is coupled with unlimited bandwidth.
  • Your eCommerce store will be entirely responsive.

Shopify Cons

  • As compared to WooCommerce, Shopify provides you less control over your store.
  • You can choose from the predefined payment gateways only.
  • It comes with monthly plans.

When to Choose WooCommerce?

woocommerce graph usage

I am sure by now you must have got a clear understanding of when WooCommerce should be used. However, there are certain situations when 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 wish to customize the code.
  • When paying monthly rents is not your cup of tea.
  • It can help you with complex things.
  • If you are on a low budget, it’s very pocket-friendly.
  • When you want a small to medium size e-store.
  • For users with little technical knowledge.
  • WooCommerce can give you greater customization options.

When to Choose Shopify?

shopify graph usage

Shopify, on the other hand, is a robust solution that can get you a complete online store without much effort. However, unlike WooCommerce, Shopify is a paid solution. But worth every single penny spent. You can use Shopify when:

  • When you want to start a huge online marketplace.
  • If you don’t have a website yet and you want to start from scratch.
  • When you want a quick and super easy solution for your online store.
  • When you have no idea about the hosting an all and you wish a complete solution.
  • Shopify is a hosted platform that sets you free from the web hosting burden.
  • If you want a simple and easy to set up solution.
  • For users who want a ready-to-use store.
  • If you want a store with a locally targeted audience.

WooCommerce vs Shopify Comparison Table 2020

woocommerce vs shopify differences

Key Differences WooCommerce Shopify
Free Plan Available Not Available
Basic Plan Free $29/month
Ease of Use Simple to use Moderate to use
Themes Free/Paid Free/Paid
Installation It is free to install It’s an online platform
SSL Integration N.A In-built
Money-back N.A 90-day

 

So, Which Out of WooCommerce vs Shopify You Should Choose?

Well, the selection between WooCommerce vs Shopify boils down to the fact that what exactly you want from your eCommerce store. Or if I actually oversimplify it, then you are better off following one of the options. However, if you are already having a WordPress website and you want to expand it as an eCommerce store now, then WooCommerce without a doubt is a great option for you.

This is a general scenario that if you already have a WordPress site then use it. You should go for WooCommerce. It will be a quick and affordable option, to begin with. Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, it won’t be tough to include it in your already running WordPress site.

Whereas, if you want to start from scratch and build your online eCommerce store, then Shopify probably is the best choice for your store. This way you will not only save your time but you will not have to invest much effort as well. So, you can choose accordingly.

WooCommerce vs Shopify – In Conclusion

Both WooCommerce and Shopify are two powerful and incredible eCommerce platforms to build an online eCommerce store. It doesn’t matter if you already have a website or you are just starting out, you can pick any of them over the other however you like. However, the only concern is that Shopify has a learning curve and beginners may take time to get familiar with ins and outs of Shopify. Whereas, if you are already familiar with WordPress, then working with WooCommerce shouldn’t be that challenging. Whichever platform you choose ultimately you end up with a fully functional eCommerce store. So, which platform did you choose? Do tell me in the comments below.