HomeBlogEcommerceShopify Vs. WordPress (WooCommerce) – Best eCommerce Web Builder?

Shopify Vs. WordPress (WooCommerce) – Best eCommerce Web Builder?

When it comes to choosing the best eCommerce web builder, the debate between Shopify Vs. WordPress (WooCommerce) is a common one. Both platforms provide distinct advantages and benefits that can assist in establishing a thriving digital store, but ultimately you always have to choose one. 

In this blog post, we will provide an in-depth comparison of these two popular eCommerce platforms, Shopify Vs. WooCommerce!

WooCommerce Overview

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WooCommerce is a free open-source software integrated into the popular WordPress content management system that allows users to convert their existing website into an eCommerce store using the WooCommerce extension. It offers limitless customization options with over 100 payment gateways available, making it an attractive choice for businesses looking for flexibility and control.

Free Open-Source Software for eCommerce Integration

The primary advantage of WooCommerce lies in its free and open-source nature. Unlike Shopify, which charges a monthly fee based on your chosen plan, you can set up a fully functional ecommerce store with WooCommerce without any upfront costs (excluding web hosting fees). This makes it particularly appealing to startups or small businesses operating on tight budgets.

Over 100 Payment Gateways Supported

In addition to its cost-effectiveness, another major selling point of WooCommerce is its support for numerous payment gateways. With over 100 payment gateway integrations available, online store owners have ample choices when it comes to selecting how they want customers to pay for their products or services. This includes popular options like PayPal, Stripe, and Square, as well as lesser-known alternatives catering specifically towards niche markets or specific regions.

WooCommerce presents a cost-efficient option for companies wishing to construct an online store with extensive customization capabilities. With its extensive range of supported payment gateways and compatibility with the widely-used WordPress platform, it’s no wonder that WooCommerce powers over 3 million eCommerce stores worldwide. However, this level of customization can come at the expense of user-friendliness when compared to Shopify’s offerings – which we will explore further in the next section.

Shopify Overview

Shopify is a complete ecommerce solution created by Tobias Lutke and Scott Lake that provides a quick-start online store design wizard for startups and small businesses. With its built-in multi-channel integration (including marketplace sales integrations), stylish themes, transparent pricing plans (starting with a 14-day free trial period), mobile app support, along with virtual assistant features – Shopify caters well to those looking for an all-in-one platform.

Quick-start Online Store Design Wizard

The online store design wizard offered by Shopify makes it easy for users to set up their fully functional ecommerce store in just a few simple steps. This user-friendly approach allows even the most inexperienced entrepreneurs to create professional-looking websites without any coding knowledge or technical expertise required.

Built-in Multi-Channel Integration

In addition to providing an intuitive website builder, Shopify also offers seamless integration with popular ecommerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace through its multi-channel sales feature. This enables online store owners to manage all of their product listings from one centralized location while reaching out to millions of potential customers across various marketplaces.

Email Marketing & Product Pages Optimization Tools

  • Email marketing: 

With native email marketing tools such as Shopify Email, users can create and send personalized email campaigns to their customers, helping them stay engaged with the brand.

  • Product page optimization: 

Shopify offers a range of apps like Product Reviews and Social Proof Popups that help improve product page conversion rates by showcasing customer reviews and social proof elements.

Similarities Between The Two Platforms!

  • Digital Goods: 

If you’re selling digital goods such as ebooks or software downloads through your online business, both platforms offer dedicated solutions tailored specifically towards these types of transactions.

Shopify is also well-suited for selling digital goods such as ebooks or software downloads, thanks to dedicated apps like Digital Downloads.

  • In-Person Sales: 

Both Shopify and WooCommerce provide tools designed explicitly around facilitating in-person sales at brick-and-mortar locations – including integration with POS systems and hardware devices like barcode scanners and printers.

  • Product Marketplaces: 

Both platforms also allow for seamless integration with popular product marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy – making it easier than ever before to reach new customers through multiple sales channels.

How Many People Use WooCommerce and Shopify?

According to colorlib.com, WooCommerce powers around 6.3 million websites worldwide. 

Shopify offers advanced features compared to WooCommerce, which is just a plugin built on top of the WordPress CMS. DemandSage estimates that Shopify powers over 6.45 million websites 

Pricing: How Much Does it Cost to Use Shopify and WordPress?

Shopify Pricing

Shopify offers five different pricing plans:

  • Starter: $5 per month for embedding products on an existing site or selling via social channels.
  • Basic: $25 per month for a fully functional ecommerce store.
  • Shopify: $65 per month for additional features like gift cards and professional reports.
  • Advanced Shopify: $399 per month for advanced reporting tools and third-party calculated shipping rates.
  • Shopify Plus: Customized enterprise-level solutions with tailored support and more extensive features than the other plans; price varies depending on business needs, approximately $2000/month

It’s important to note that paying upfront annually can reduce fees. For example, the Basic plan costs only $19/month when paid annually instead of monthly. Additionally, there is a free trial available where users can test out all of Shopify’s features before committing to a plan. 

Ecommerce Features Included in Each Plan

Here are some notable differences between each Shopify plan: The Starter Plan includes:

  • Embedding products and product catalogs on an existing site via a Shopify ‘buy button’
  • Selling through social channels

The Basic Plan includes:

  • A fully functional ecommerce store with unlimited products, file storage, and bandwidth.
  • 24/7 support via live chat or email.

The Shopify Plan includes:

  • All features in the Basic plan plus professional reports and gift cards.

The Advanced Shopify Plan includes:

  • All features in the previous plans plus advanced reporting tools, third-party calculated shipping rates, among others.

WordPress (WooCommerce) Pricing

Unlike Shopify’s pricing model, which is based on subscription fees for access to their platform’s servers, WooCommerce is free open-source software that can be installed as a plugin on WordPress. However, there are still costs associated with using WooCommerce: – 

Web hosting: Prices vary depending on your chosen web host provider. 

Domain name: The cost of registering your domain name varies by registrar. 

On average, the cost of hosting a website is $120 per year. Additionally, purchasing a domain can cost around $15 on average. However, if buying from a private seller, the price could be much higher.

Payment gateways: Fees may apply when processing payments through services like PayPal or Stripe. – 

On average, the cost of shipping ranges from $0 to $108 per year. Payment gateway costs typically include a fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents per sale, as well as a monthly fee ranging from $0 to $30 per month on average.

Themes & plugins: Additional functionalities require premium themes or paid plugins.

The annual cost of premium WordPress and WooCommerce themes ranges from $20 to $100, depending on the chosen theme.

Running WooCommerce Store Cost

The cost of website essentials can vary depending on the type and quality of services you choose. 

  • Communication tools, such as email and messaging, can be free or cost up to $348 per year.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) services range from free options to paid plans that may cost up to $79 annually. 
  • Security measures for your website also come with varying price tags, ranging from no-cost options to premium plans that could set you back up to $300 per year. 
  • While SSL certificates are typically available for free, some providers may charge up to $65 annually for this essential security feature.

In conclusion, Shopify’s pricing plans offer different features at varying prices, while WooCommerce offers free open-source software but requires additional expenses such as web hosting and payment gateway fees. Ultimately, it comes down to what suits your business needs best.

User-Friendliness Comparison

Comparing user-friendliness is an important element when selecting an eCommerce platform. Both WooCommerce and Shopify offer excellent choices in terms of multilingual stores and affiliate/referral systems; however, they differ significantly in terms of their respective dashboard designs.

Dashboard Design Differences Between the Two Platforms

WooCommerce: As an extension of the popular WordPress content management system, WooCommerce’s dashboard can be somewhat cluttered for users who are not familiar with WordPress. This may lead to a steeper learning curve for those new to website building or managing an online store.

Shopify: On the other hand, Shopify has designed its platform specifically for eCommerce purposes. The result is a sleeker layout that makes it easier for online store owners to navigate through various settings and options without feeling overwhelmed by unnecessary features.

Official Support Channels Comparison

In addition to design differences, another aspect that sets these two platforms apart is their official support channels available to users:

  • Email Marketing: Email marketing services like Mailchimp integrate seamlessly with both platforms making it easy for you as a business owner or marketer to manage your email campaigns directly from either WooCommerce or Shopify’s app store.
  • User Support: With WooCommerce being open-source software, users are primarily reliant on community forums and self-help resources for support. While this can be helpful, it may not provide the immediate assistance that some online store owners require. Shopify offers official support channels, including live chat calls & emails, available 24/7. This means Shopify users don’t have to rely solely on community-driven help but can access dedicated customer service representatives who are knowledgeable about the platform and its features.

For those looking for a more streamlined experience with dedicated customer service options, Shopify may be the better choice; however, if you prefer an open-source solution with greater customization potential at your fingertips (and don’t mind navigating a cluttered dashboard), WooCommerce could still be a viable option for your online business needs.

Scalability Factors

WooCommerce: Being an open-source platform built on the popular WordPress content management system, WooCommerce boasts a vast array of free plugins available for download from the official WooCommerce repository or third-party developers. This allows users to customize their ecommerce site without spending too much money.

Shopify: Unlike Shopify’s open-source counterpart, most add-ons available for this platform come with a price tag. Although Shopify’s app store features some free apps, many essential tools required by online stores are premium ones that require monthly subscriptions or one-time fees.

Theme Quality and Customization

When it comes to theme quality and availability, both Shopify and WooCommerce offer a variety of ready-to-use premium templates/themes for your online store. However, some argue that WooCommerce’s selection isn’t quite up to par with Shopify’s offerings. Despite this, most WordPress themes can be customized without any coding knowledge, which may level the playing field somewhat.

Comparing Theme Selections Between Platforms

  • Shopify: The platform boasts an extensive collection of over 70 professional-looking themes in its official theme store. Themes are tailored to eCommerce stores, offering features like responsive design, customizable product pages, and SEO optimization. Some free options are available, but most require a one-time payment ranging from $140 to $180.
  • WooCommerce: As part of the WordPress ecosystem, WooCommerce users have access to thousands of themes available on the official WordPress repository or third-party marketplaces like ThemeForest. While not all these themes are optimized for eCommerce functionality out-of-the-box, many popular ones do provide seamless integration with WooCommerce plugins.

Product Tracking and Migration Tools

Both WooCommerce and Shopify offer reliable solutions for managing inventory, order processing, and customer data. In addition to these essential tools, there are options available for migrating from one platform to another without losing valuable information or experiencing significant downtime.

Available Product Tracking Features on Each Platform

  • WooCommerce: WooCommerce offers a built-in system for managing products, orders, customers, coupons, and more. With the help of various plugins like WooCommerce Stock Manager, you can enhance its functionality even further by adding advanced features such as bulk editing of stock levels or setting up low stock notifications.
  • Shopify: Shopify’s robust inventory management system allows online store owners to track their products with ease. The platform also provides detailed reports on sales trends and customer behavior patterns that can be used to optimize your eCommerce business strategy effectively. Additionally, the integration of third-party apps like Inventory Management Apps makes it possible to automate tasks related to product tracking efficiently.

Migrating from One Platform To Another: Tools & Tips

If you decide at some point that switching platforms is necessary for your business growth or finding a better fit for specific needs – don’t worry. There are migration tools available that can help you make a smooth transition without losing any data or facing significant downtime. Some popular migration tools include:

  • Cart2Cart: This automated shopping cart migration service supports both WooCommerce and Shopify, allowing for seamless data transfer between the two platforms.
  • LitExtension: LitExtension is another reliable solution that offers comprehensive eCommerce platform migration services, including product, customer, and order data transfers.

Before starting the migration process, it’s essential to follow these best practices:

  • Create a backup of your current store’s data to ensure no information is lost during the transition.
  • Test the new platform thoroughly before going live with your online store to avoid potential issues affecting user experience or sales performance.

Which Platform Is the Most Search Engine Friendly?

Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer features that can help improve your website’s SEO, but which one is more search engine friendly? Let’s take a closer look.

WooCommerce: Optimized for SEO Out-of-the-Box

If you’re looking for a platform that prioritizes SEO, then WooCommerce might be the better choice. The code used by WooCommerce is optimized for search engines right out of the box. This means that you don’t need to do much work to ensure your website ranks well in Google searches.

In addition to this, WooCommerce allows users to customize their URLs and add meta descriptions and titles on product pages easily. These measures are essential when it comes to improving your chances of appearing in relevant search results.

To further enhance its SEO capabilities, there are plenty of plugins available specifically designed for optimizing websites built with WordPress content management system (CMS). Some popular ones include Yoast SEO and The SEO Framework – both offering powerful tools that give you more control over your on-page optimization efforts while providing actionable tips based on industry best practices.

Shopify: Basic Optimization Features Available

While Shopify doesn’t have as many built-in optimization features as WooCommerce does out-of-the-box, basic optimization features like creating descriptions and titles for product pages are still readily available through its user-friendly interface.

The Shopify App Store also offers several helpful plugins, such as SEO Booster, which scans stores and generates detailed reports about potential optimizations needed so online store owners can implement them into their strategy.

WooCommerce vs. Shopify: How Secure Is Each Platform? 

When it comes to running an online store, security should be a top priority. With the rise of cyber threats and data breaches, protecting your customers’ information is crucial for building trust and maintaining a successful business. 

Shopify’s Built-in Security Features As a hosted platform

Shopify takes responsibility for securing its users’ stores against hackers. The platform offers some essential security features built-in, including an SSL certificate that encrypts sensitive customer data during transmission. 

Moreover, Shopify regularly updates its software to address any potential vulnerabilities or security issues that may arise. Additionally, all payment transactions on Shopify are processed through their own payment gateway called “Shopify Payments,” which meets the highest level of Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance standards. 

Securing Your WooCommerce Store 

WooCommerce does not come with built-in security features like SSL certificates or firewalls. You will need to take extra steps yourself by installing various WordPress plugins designed specifically to enhance your site’s overall protection from hackers and malware attacks. 

One such plugin is Sucuri Security Suite – a popular option among eCommerce businesses using WordPress as their CMS. This plugin creates ‘known good’ classifications for all directories making up your online store, so if there are any suspicious activities detected within these files, then Sucuri notifies you immediately about them.

International Shipping 

Now let’s compare WooCommerce and Shopify’s international shipping capabilities.

International Shipping Capabilities Comparison

WooCommerce, being a free open-source software integrated into WordPress, allows for greater flexibility when it comes to international shipping options. You can choose from various shipping methods, including flat-rate shipping or live rates from popular carriers like UPS or FedEx. Additionally, you can also integrate third-party plugins that help manage customs documentation and taxes more efficiently.

In contrast, Shopify offers its built-in solution called Shopify Shipping, which simplifies the process of setting up domestic and international shipping rates by partnering with major carriers such as USPS, DHL Express, UPS & Canada Post, among others. However, this service is only available for merchants located in certain countries (Australia, New Zealand, The United States, and Canada).


If you’re looking for a user-friendly platform with built-in features and don’t mind paying monthly fees, choose Shopify. 

If you prefer a free open-source option with extensive customization possibilities but require more technical expertise, go for WooCommerce.

WooCommerce can be the preferred choice if you want full control over your website’s design, functionality, and hosting environment. It also integrates seamlessly with existing WordPress sites and has no ongoing subscription costs apart from hosting expenses.

It may be worth considering if managing updates or troubleshooting issues in WooCommerce becomes too time-consuming or complex. Additionally, switching to Shopify could simplify store management due to its integrated features like payment processing and shipping solutions.

The Verdict: It Depends on Your Needs

So which eCommerce platform comes out on top? 

The answer ultimately depends on what you’re looking for in an online store builder. If ease of use is a priority and you don’t mind paying transaction fees, Shopify might be the better choice for you. 

But if customization options are more important and you want complete control over your online store without having to pay extra fees per sale, then WooCommerce could be the best option.

However, it’s important to note that using Shopify does come at a cost – you don’t own the platform and must pay transaction fees on every sale made through your site unless you use their proprietary payment gateway.

The downside of WooCommerce lies in web hosting requirements. As WooCommerce is a self-hosted solution, you’ll need to choose your own web host and ensure it’s optimized for eCommerce in order to get the most out of this platform.

If you’re still unsure which platform to choose for your online store or need help optimizing your current one, contact Us! Our team of experts can provide guidance on how to maximize the potential of either Shopify or WooCommerce based on your specific business goals.

Youssef Hodaigui is an entrepreneur, blogger and SEO expert with a strong track record of success in launching and growing blogs and websites. He has a deep understanding of search engine algorithms and the latest digital marketing techniques, and he is committed to helping bloggers and entrepreneurs achieve their online business goals.

The Wall is a digital blog that helps the marketing, media and communications industries to understand the effects of emerging technology and media change. From ecommerce and email, to search and social media, The Wall features expert commentators and analysis of digital developments.


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