It is no secret that when it comes to eCommerce platforms, both Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the most popular options available. Both platforms offer a wide range of features and benefits that can help businesses succeed online.

However, when it comes to choosing between the two, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your business. In this article, we will compare both these platforms in terms of their features, pricing, ease of use, and more.

Shopify vs WooCommerce Comparison

Shopify and WooCommerce are both excellent for building eCommerce websites and online stores

Source: Trendingideas

Overview

Obviously, both these platforms target different groups of users because of their respective approaches:

Shopify:

This is a comprehensive eCommerce platform that offers everything you need to create and operate an online store. It is suitable for businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises. Assuming you need a website up and going in a short span of time with limited technical know-how but still want sleek templates that are easy to customize, then the this platform is the ideal choice

WooCommerce:

This is a WordPress plugin that turns your WordPress website into an online store. It is best suited for small to medium-sized businesses. You need to have some degree of technical competency; however, if you want to build a large-scale online store selling in numerous regions, then WooCommerce is the better bet.

Pricing

Pricing is an important point of difference because it can have a big impact on your business. The need to evaluate the cost of getting started, while still keeping in mind the variable costs for add-on services and software, forms the criteria for selection.

Shopify

Shopify has a subscription-based pricing model. There are five plans:

  • Basic Shopify: With $29 per month, you get all the core eCommerce functionalities
  • Shopify: Costs $79 per month and gives you everything you need for a growing business
  • Advanced Shopify. The price is $299 per month and comes with the most advanced features. This plan is fit for medium- to large-scale businesses.
  • Shopify Lite: Costing a mere $9 per month, it allows you to sell an unlimited number of items; however, it is not suitable for a fully functional store in the long run.
  • Shopify Plus is the choice enterprise or high-volume businesses with a starting price of $2000 a month.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free plugin, but you will need to pay for hosting, a domain name, and other plugins or extensions. The cost of setting up a WooCommerce store can range from $25 to $500 per month. Typically, the costs are divided as follows:

  • Hosting ($35 – $50/month)
  • Security ($0 – $200/year)
  • Domain ($10 – £20/year)
  • Extension fees ($0 – $100/month)\

Page Speed and Performance

Page speed is crucial deciding factor when designing a website

Source: Flowmatters

If your site is slow loading, you stand to lose not only current but future customers as well. Additionally, if you are stuck on a page for more than a few seconds, your bounce rate is going to increase as well. Thus page speed and performance is further requirements that are vital.

Shopify

Shopify is a cloud-based platform, which means that it can scale easily and handle large amounts of traffic. It has a built-in content delivery network (CDN), which means that your store’s files are cached on servers around the world. This makes your store faster and more responsive, especially for visitors who are located far from your server. Shopify’s web pages load in 309 milliseconds, the ideal loading time for any website since Google recommends an average of 500 milliseconds of loading time

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, which means that your store’s performance will be affected by your hosting environment. If you don’t have a good host, your store may crash during peak traffic times. WooCommerce does not have a built-in CDN, but you can use a third-party service like CloudFlare. Additionally, he average page loading time of all monitored stores reached 776 milliseconds, and the average cart page loads in 1.32 seconds

Ease of Use

Most users who use these platforms are not designers or developers. Even users who are familiar with basic concepts need a platform that is easy to use and gets out of their way.

Shopify

Shopify is a turn-key solution that is easy to set up and use. Shopify’s interface is designed for non-technical users, which means you don’t need to install, manage, or update any software. Additionally, you also don’t need to worry about security, performance, backups, and compatibility issues. You can also add products, process orders, and manage your store without any coding knowledge.

Additionally, from your domain name and hosting to any security (SSL) certificates, Shopify has got you covered.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that requires a bit more setup. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, so it inherits the same user interface like WordPress. If you’re familiar with WordPress, then you’ll feel right at home with WooCommerce. Otherwise, you may need to do some research to figure out how everything works.

WooCommerce is not a hosted platform. Therefore,so you have to handle a couple of things like install, manage updates, keep backups, and also make sure that your store is secure.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is integral to eCommerce websites

Source: Gadotgroup

Dropshipping is a business model in which ecommerce entrepreneurs sell products without having to carry any inventory. When a store owner receives an order from a customer, they simply contact the supplier, who will then ship the products directly to the customer’s doorsteps.

Shopify

Dropshipping with Shopify is probably the easiest way to get started with your own eCommerce store. Shopify also has integration apps for several popular dropshipping marketplaces like AliExpress, Oberlo, Printify, and more. However, you need to keep in mind each of these product marketplaces has their own membership fees, shipping, and other charges.

WooCommerce

There are plenty of WooCommerce dropshipping plugins available. With WooCommerce, dropshippers can pay for plugins that support instantly import products, complete orders from your website, and so much more more.

Themes and plugins

Themes and plugins are vital in deciding whether you go with shopify or woocommerce

Source: Freepik

Both platforms offer a variety of themes and plugins to gove your eCommerce site a professional feel.

Shopify

Shopify creates a unique and professional-looking website using a wide range of themes and templates(70 free and paid themes). Shopify has a limited number of plugins available. While this may seem like a disadvantage, it actually is not. The limited number of plugins available for Shopify ensures that all the plugins are of high quality and are well-maintained by the developers.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce, on the other hand, is a more customizable platform, allowing users to create a completely custom look for their online store. You can select any WordPress theme and still make it work with WooCommerce. When it comes to plugins, WooCommerce has a lot more to offer than Shopify. WooCommerce adds any desired functionality to your website using the thousands of available plugins.

Integration     

Integrations with other apps and software is important becasue it allows you to automate various tasks, saving you time and money.

Shopify

Shopify also offers integration with a number of third-party services, but the number is not as high as that of WooCommerce. Shopify is a great platform for those who are looking for an easy-to-use and integratable platform.

There are also Shopify apps for search engine optimization, product reviews, discounts, and countdowns. Shopify’s app store contains both free and paid apps. These free apps are usually created by third-party services that have their own pricing, and this app only integrates your store to their APIs. Pricing for paid add-ons varies and most of these apps offer monthly subscriptions.

WooCommerce

It is another area where WooCommerce has an advantage over Shopify. WooCommerce can be easily integrated with a wide range of third-party services, such as Amazon, eBay, and Google Analytics. However, when you compare the two platforms, it is clear that WooCommerce is the better option, especially for those who are looking for a more flexible and customizable platform.

However, WooCommerce is the better option for those who are looking for a more flexible and customizable platform.

Security

Security is excellent in both Shopify or Woocommerce as they are responsible for financial information

Source: mycnknow

Security is another important factor to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform.

Shopify

It is a hosted platform. This means that it is responsible for the security of your store. The platform takes care of the security. Because it’s a hosted eCommerce platform, Shopify is in charge of handling any security breaches, and makes sure your site is safe from hackers. The platform’s free built-in SSL certificate encrypts all data transferred between you and your clients the platform’s free built-in SSL certificate.

WooCommerce

It is a WordPress plugin, which means that it benefits from the security features that WordPress offers. In more detail, you will have to get your own SSL certificate, configure your site security plugins, two-factor authentication, PCI compliant, and some other things to protect your site, all by yourself.

Tech support

This is also a choice that affects a lot of decisions

Shopify

It offers 24/7 customer support, which can be a big advantage for businesses that need help setting up or troubleshooting their online store. This, along with a few helpful guides, a community forum, and a setup wizard, Shopify can’t do enough for you.

WooCommerce

Like most of the open-source eCommerce solutions out there, WooCommerce doesn’t support live chat, phone, and email. The platform provides assistance in  WooCommerce Docs and an FAQ section where you could find answers to almost every common question.

SEO

SEO is an important deciding factor in choosing the platform as this is an important requirement for eCommerce websites

Needless to say, without SEO, we would not know about either of these latforms themselves.

Shopify

With a mind for SEO, Shopify takes care of all the technical aspects of SEO, so you can focus on creating great content for your store. Shopify, meanwhile, does have a range of SEO plugins in its App Store.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce does not have as many built-in SEO features as Shopify. However, there are plenty of plugins that can help you with SEO. WooCommerce uses a code  optimized for SEO. Then, it integrates with WordPress along with its impressive range of SEO plugins. You can dig deep and add detailed meta descriptions and titles to your pages, to tell Google what they’re about.

Payment gateways

This is vital as how else would you be collecting your proceeds.

Shopify

It offers more payment gateway options than WooCommerce. This can be a big advantage if you’re looking for a specific gateway. This means that Shopify’s platform, for example, charges 2% per transaction if you use a third-party gateway. You can reduce this by upgrading to a more advanced Shopify plan, or get rid of them completely by using in-build platform payments gateway.

WooCommerce

It does not charge its own transaction fees when using a third-party payment provider. With WooCommerce’s platform, bank charges will still apply, as will charges from a payment provider (like say PayPal or Stripe). Since there is no barrier to entry, every payment company builds and supports add-ons for WooCommerce. Your payment gateway or bank only charges you transaction fees.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, it really depends on what your specific business needs are. If you need an all-in-one solution that is easy to use and set up, mostly preferred by small to mid-sized businesses, then Shopify’s platform would be the better choice. However, if you are looking for more control over your store and are willing to put in a bit more work to get it up and running, most likely in the case of businesses with more experience, then WooCommerce would be the better platform for you.

We hope this article has helped clear some things up. No matter which platform you choose, make sure to do your research and compare the features and pricing of each before making your final decision.

In case you need some help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Pixel Street. We specialize in website and eCommerce development and we will be happy to help navigate your way through both these platforms.

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Khurshid Alam
Founder

Khurshid Alam is the founder of Pixel Street, a web design company. He aspires to solve business problems by communicating effectively digitally. In his leisure, he reads, writes, and occasionally plays a game of table tennis.