WooCommerce vs Shopify: which eCommerce Platform is Better?
The commerce on the internet is expanding with each passing day. There Constantly appeare new online stores that offer unique products or services. WordPress is also a very popular platform to accommodate online store. There are many different approaches to creating and maintaining your own online store. Today we look at the two most popular methods that involve the use of WooCommerce and Shopify platforms.
The choice between WooCommerce and Shopify should be based on a conscious campaign, that is why we will try to highlight the most important moments for every online store owner. It should also be noted that the choice of a specific eCommerce platform should be based on the individual needs of each business line. However, in this article we will try to give a sufficiently comprehensive overview of the general characteristics of each platform, so you can make the right choices of your own.
WooCommerce Short Overview
WooCommerce is the most popular solution for online shops on WordPress platform. About 39% of all the websites that sell products or services online, use WooCommerce as a main working tool. WooCommerce`s popularity is justified first of all by its range of opportunities. WooCommerce is available as a plugin for WordPress and is a free product. There are also premium paid addons for WooCommerce to extend its functionality with more features.
WooCommerce is owned by Automattic, which is a division of the grand WordPress team. Thus, WordPress and WooCommerce are developed by adjacent teams of specialists. This fact allows the WooCommerce to be at a maximum compatibility with the WordPress platform.
Shopify Short Overview
Shopify is a separate and self-contained product that allows you to run an online store from scratch even if you do not have a domain and hosting for the site. Like any simple, easy and comprehensive solution, Shopify is a paid service.
Shopify provides huge potential for the creation and customization of any online store. On the other hand, Shopify is a closed ecosystem that does not allow you to connect any interesting plugin or addon you wish. Thus, Shopify is perfect for start-ups, who are willing to buy a ready-made solution for their development.
Comparing WooCommerce and Shopify
Let us come to the comparison of WooCommerce and Shopify as business people. For this purpose we need to discard all unnecessary and subjective factors, leaving for comparison only with clear and objective criteria. These criteria are: the cost of the project scope, the basic principle of the interaction with the platform and the ability to customize it at different stages of the site development.
The cost of online store development is a crucial factor for its profitability. It is necessary to take into account all the nuances of doing a web project – from buying a domain name and hosting to the choice of an eCommerce platform (which we will help you to choose in this article). Let us deal with it in succession to WooCommerce and Shopify prices.
The core WooCommerce plugin is free. This means that you can install the plugin for any WordPress site without any material costs. However, the WordPress site must have dedicated hosting and a good domain name, in order to successfully sell products or services. This will require a different material investment, depending on the individual needs of your business. In addition, the process of registering a domain name and buying a hosting may seem too complicated for beginners. WooCommerce also has paid addons, which enhance the functional and can be extremely useful for your store on the internet. More details about the extensions will be discussed in a later section of this article.
Shopify is a paid tool. Clear and transparent subscription system lets you choose the service package, depending on the pace of your business development – from $29 per month for the basic package to $299 for enterprice adition with full stack of possible features. It is understood that the management of the online store using Shopify does not require any additional costs from the business owner. All have is included to the monthly subscription and you can start creating sales cards for goods and services directly after payment.
WooCommerce has an impressive set of features to customize a wide variety of online stores. In addition, WooCommerce takes full advantage of the free WordPress platform that is extremely user friendly and allows you to add the administrators, moderators and managers in virtually unlimited quantities. The reverse side of the flexibility of WooCommerce is certain difficulties in installing and configuring the required features. If you are already an experienced WordPress administrator, this process will not take you any effort. But for beginners, some moments can be complex and require additional study.
Shopify focuses on providing the simplest and intuitive service for eCommerce. Here, every beginner can easily create an online store to your liking and add any number of items. Take into account that the connection of additional users to Shopify system will require a shift to more expensive tariff plans. For this reason, Shopify is ideal for novice businessmen, who want to manage the store without further difficulties. Developed enterprice system often opt for WooCommerce because of the savings on the use of a large number of system user subordinates.
WooCommerce is designed to work with different extensions. This is the essence of any WordPress project`s work. With the help of plugins and addons you can get almost any result or effect at your online store. The variety of plugins for WooCommerce is constantly expanding under the growing needs of business owners. Most modern WordPress themes and plugins are compatible with WooCommerce platform.
Shopify provides only the templates and capabilities that are enclosed within the service. Of course, their diversity also is sufficient for most online stores. But if you need something exotic, the connection of any third-party plugin is impossible. This is both an advantage and disadvantage for novice users. On the one hand, everything you need is already included in the Shopify system, and you do not need to look further for necessary elements. On the other hand, all the features outside the Shopify are unavailable to you for study and work.
It should also be noted that Shopify provides solutions lighter than the standard monthly subscription for the online store. These solutions are suitable for example for those who want to sell via Facebook. Shopify has individual solutions for smaller problems than the creation and maintenance of a full-fledged online store. But these services are also paid.
As a result, WooCommerce more is suitable for developing projects that want to continuously introduce new features to its users. A Shopify is a perfect solution for beginners businessmen who want to protect themselves from unwanted probelms in creation and configuration of the online store from scratch.
So, let us summarize all the above data. For ease of comparison, we present the data in a table:
|Requirements||Self-hosted WordPress site||No requirements|
We can formulate a conclusion as simply and briefly to distribute the capabilities and features of WooCommerce and Shopify in accordance with the following groups of interested business owners:
- Shopify is suitable for novice owners of online stores that are willing to pay for a simple and clear system of conducting their business on the internet;
- WooCommerce is an excellent solution for those looking for maximum customization and want to save on connecting more users to business management.
To me it’s easier to start a small business with WooCommerce, but for a grown corporate, Shopify is the better choice.