Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the most popular e-commerce platforms to help launch your online store. Both are equipped with powerful features to cater to your requirements.
If you can’t decide between Shopify Vs WooCommerce, here is a comparison you can read to make your decision easier:
- Initial Setup
Launching an online store on each platform involves different procedures. Here is a comparison to determine which e-commerce platform offers the easiest path.
It is rather easy to get started on Shopify. It is a subscription-based tool where you can begin as soon as you click on the sign-up button. All you have to do is:
- Sign up for a Shopify account
- Choose and buy a domain or sync an existing domain name
- Select a theme
If you choose to use Shopify’s own payment getaway, it will accept credit card payment gateway.
Starting with WooCommerce is slightly more complex than its counterpart as it tends to involve additional steps. In order to set up WooCommerce, you have to:
- Purchase a hosting service, such as Pantheon WordPress or WP Engine.
- Install WordPress. If you are not familiar with this Content Management System (CMS), you can easily look up online tutorials.
- Install and configure the WooCommerce plugin
Shopify is clearly easier to set up and launch as compared to WooCommerce. WooCommerce involves extra steps, such as installing and learning WordPress and installing and configuring WooCommerce.
Although launching your store through WooCommerce is not particularly difficult, it does prove to be more time-consuming. With Shopify, you can immediately set up a functional online store that can process orders and take care of payments.
- Ease of Use
Both platforms have a similar interface, with a menu on the left that allows you to select what to edit and control settings. Their approach to publishing is also more or less the same. You can find and edit your content in the back end before previewing and publishing it.
Shopify has a user-friendly interface that is simple to use. For example, to introduce a product to your Shopify store, simply click on the “Add Product” button, which will lead you to a page where you can enter your product details.
It is similarly simple to check your store analytics in the Analytics tab. The clean and easy interface makes it quick and easy to figure out vital information regarding your sales, sessions and other aspects.
To change the look of your web store, click on “Customise Theme”, where you will see various customisation options, such as changing your theme, adding a blog post, etc.
When using WooCommerce, you will be able to view the different options on your WordPress dashboard, including add products, coupons, etc.
Similar to Shopify, you can simply choose the “Add Product” option to add product details. Click “Publish” to finalise once you are done. You can customise the appearance by hovering over “Appearance” and selecting “Themes”.
As far as usability is concerned, both platforms have their pros and cons. If you are not a web designer and do not have designers or developers in your team, it will be easier for you to use Shopify.
Shopify has a simple user interface and allows you to manage your online store easily without back end developer skills. However, this approach comes with a disadvantage, which is that you will be restricted to the options available on Shopify and will be unable to use third-party add-ons.
WooCommerce provides you with a better variety of options, but if you do not have a developer experience, this can prove to be a learning curve for you. If you are willing to spend time trying to educate yourself, then WooCommerce is a good option as it has a wider scope of customisation and access to hundreds of third-party plug-ins.
Cost is one of the first aspects anyone launching an online store would consider. Here is a general breakdown of the pricing policies of Shopify and WooCommerce.
Shopify has a transparent pricing policy. It offers differently priced plans that you can choose from.
The benefit of opting for Shopify is that you don’t have to bother about third-party hosting, themes or plug-ins because everything that you require is already a part of your package. The Basic Shopify plan is catered to small stores and start-ups, the regular one for emerging businesses and the Advanced Shopify plan is for scalability.
WooCommerce is technically free, as it costs nothing to start using it. Downloading a WooCommerce plug-in for your WordPress costs $0.
However, to run an efficient online store, you are bound to pay for additional features, such as web hosting, domain name, premium themes and plug-ins.
If you choose Shopify, you may soon realise the need to shift to the Advanced Shopify plan, which can prove to be pricey. Moreover, it is likely that you will not use all the features provided in the plan, implying that you may be paying for some resources that you may never need.
WooCommerce is a more efficient platform in this regard as it offers you complete control of your resources. You can ensure that you are only paying for the tools you are utilising. Shopify offers limited control and makes you pay a fixed amount irrespective of usage.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is vital to improving the ranking of your website on the search engine results page and generating more organic traffic towards your website. Both Shopify and WooCommerce ensure that your online store is easily available and accessible for the right audience.
Shopify offers a variety of plug-ins, such as the SEO Booster, which is free of cost. It inspects your store and provides solutions for any problems that may be affecting performance.
It is simple to add basic SEO information to your websites, such as titles and descriptions of products, images, and pages. Moreover, Shopify offers fast page loading speed, which helps your website rank higher and makes customers convert.
WooCommerce allows you to enter detailed meta descriptions and titles to your web pages. A useful feature includes customising your URL to help search engines locate your page more easily.
WooCommerce is optimised for SEO and has the advantage of being integrated with WordPress, which offers a wide variety of SEO plug-ins. Additional third-party plug-ins, such as Yoast SEO, have impressive advanced options.
WooCommerce | WordPress narrowly wins in this category. It provides access to a variety of SEO plug-ins as it is built on WordPress. WooCommerce offers a more comprehensive list of features, such as URL customisation and SEO guides and prompts.
On the other hand, Shopify offers restricted SEO options in comparison. While Shopify has the advantage of offering great page loading speed, which is an important factor in SEO it fails as a website CMS to provide full FTP access which is critical if you take SEO and future business growth seriously and want a reputable SEO Agency to deliver the strongest results possible.
Shopify Vs WooCommerce: Which One Should I Choose?
A major advantage of Shopify is that anyone with basic knowledge of web development can use it. Shopify can be installed quickly and is rather easy to use.
It is a good content management system for businesses if you do not have a website but would like to get an online store running as soon as possible. It offers a turnkey approach where you can simply sign up and follow easy guidelines to launch your web store.
WooCommerce by WordPress however is a powerful e-commerce platform that gives you access to hundreds of themes and plug-ins, and there are countless more experienced WordPress Website Design agencies to custom design and support a WordPress website.
If you are well-versed in website design and development, it is best to opt for WooCommerce as it offers better control where you can fully utilise the features you are paying for. In case you already have a WordPress site and wish to launch an online store on top of it, WooCommerce is the obvious choice.
Winner of WordPress vs Shopify: WordPress Wins
Our conclusion is that in a world where your website is the most critical lead generating asset for business growth and the fact that SEO attracts 5 times the traffic Adwords does, you cannot ignore the limitations Shopify has in granting full FTP access to drive the strongest results possible in SEO.
It is for this reason that our page #1 ranked ‘SEO Agency’ TopRankings does not take on any clients whose websites are designed and built-in Shopify. Yes, SEO has many facets and techniques to drive page #1 results, but for the best outcomes and zero limitations to site speed tasks by a reputable SEO Agency – WordPress is the clear winner.
Conclusion: WordPress wins as it strikes the best balance of design and business growth opportunities for your business. It is probably evident to be the clear winner – backed by the fact that world wide, WordPress is the largest used content management system compared to any other CMS.