Last Updated on August 13, 2019 by Timothy Ephraim
E-commerce has grown too much these days. Most online stores saw enormous growth and people also prefer buying online nowadays due to the huge savings they can get.
If you are someone who is looking to make an e-commerce website or even if you are an individual who is looking to sell his own products, you need to make an online website.
Now, assuming you did your research online, most probably your options are Shopify or woocommerce. So here in this article, we are comparing Woocommerce with Shopify and giving you our recommendations based on our tests. Still, recommending one can be tricky because it depends on your specific needs and your level of expertise.
Making a woocommerce vs Shopify comparison is pretty tough as both are equally good and established platforms. Thus we are trying to compare all the major aspects of these two incredibly good e-commerce platform.
Woocommerce is a free e-commerce plugin which runs on the famous WordPress CMS. Which means you need a WordPress installation to run woocommerce.
This makes woocommerce a popular choice of many and as a result, it got more than 3.7millions of downloads and around 28% of all online stores run on woocommerce
Woocommerce comes with add-on extensions which further extends the functionality of your store. Along with that, woocommerce comes with a plethora of other features.
Woocommerce is an open source project which means its transparent. And free to modify as per your needs. And the modular system helps anyone to add extra functionality easily.
You can sell anything from digital downloads to physical products or even more. Another huge advantage is, it is backed by a big community which is spread across the globe.
It comes with REST API, so much detailed and simple documentation and number of available extensions along with thousands of woocommerce themes makes woocommerce a favourite choice for many.
Shopify is another leading e-commerce platform which helps to make a beautiful professional website with zero knowledge in web designing and coding.
Many popular online stores run on Shopify platform and the number is growing rapidly. What makes Shopify so popular? I would say that their ease of use, incredible support and integration with existing apps and they also support seamless migration from other platforms.
Ease of Use
Both of these platforms have their own pros and cons when all aspects are considered. We will do a head to head comparison here to help you to understand them.
Woocommerce is pretty easy to use. Before discussing this, I would like to let you know that woocommerce needs a WordPress installation to work. Which means you need to get WordPress hosting from a shared web host or from a managed WordPress hosting provider. ( Our favourite WordPress hosting provider is Siteground. Read Siteground Review or Visit Siteground now). You can also try Wocommerce by going to their website.
After installing WordPress, you need to install woocommerce plugin from the WordPress plugin repository. During the installation process, the plugin will lead you through the initial setup and after that, you can start adding your products and make your store go online
Pretty easy and out of the box. Adding products is easy in woocommerce. All you have to do is to add product description, images, price and product categories and you are good to go. If you want a better-looking theme, you can always buy one from stores like Themeforest and Mythemeshop.
Shopify is a hosted service which means you do not need to get a web hosting from a web hosting as everything is included in the service. All you need to do is, head over to the Shopify website, choose a plan that fits you, add your product and you can start selling right away. Pretty easy.
If you want to try it, Shopify is offering 14 days free trial which you can try before buying. Click here to try Free 14 days trial.
Why ?: Because Shopify simple and easy to use and we can get started within minutes. For woocommerce, you need to find a web host and install WordPress first then install Wocommerce its time consuming and a little bit of knowledge in web hosting and coding is appreciated although not necessary.
While for Shopify, it doesn’t require any kind of coding skills, anyone can start an e-commerce website in no time, it will be helpful for newbies or those who doesn’t have much experience with websites or e-commerce stores.
Woocommerce is free to use. But you need a web hosting to run woocommerce. You need to purchase a shared hosting or a managed WordPress hosting. If your website is huge and you are expecting a huge influx of traffic or a fast-paced growth, you should probably consider a VPS or a Managed WordPress hosting. (As usual, we recommend Siteground)
After purchasing a hosting plan, you need to install WordPress and then woocommerce and then you can start using woocommerce if you need extra functionality you need to purchase additional modules which are paid. You also need to pay for the themes you purchase.
Shopify is a hosted service which means that you need not buy any web hosting. Just select a plan from Shopify website and you can get started right after that.
Their Basic Shopify plan which is the cheapest, sharts from $29/month. Advanced plan costs $79/month and their most expensive plan costs $299/month.
Their basic theme comes with good functionality and great appearance but if you want a better-looking theme, you should pay for that too.
Shopify also has an enterprise-level plan called Shopify gold which is suitable for bigger websites and of course which is expensive too.
Why ?: Woocommerce is free to use and technically, all you need is a WordPress hosting which is as cheap as $3.95/month from Siteground. While Shopify plans start from $29/month for the basic plan.
You can find thousands of free and paid themes which supports woocommerce plugin. Free themes come with a limited and simple design. If you need a better-looking website, You have to purchase woocommerce themes from a reputed theme store such as Themeforest and Mythemeshop.
Default Shopify theme looks pretty good and comes with a great and simple design. But if you are not satisfied and needs some extra functionality, you need to purchase a theme from their theme library.
Why ?: Because both platforms follow the same trend. You get a pretty basic theme default. If you need some extra features, you should purchase a theme.
Availability of thousands of themes from various vendors gives woocommerce an edge over Shopify but in my view, both are equal in this area.
Woocommerce is an opensource platform as we already mentioned. They do not provide any live help. You need to get support via tickets or via a forum. As its a free and open-source service, we can not expect anything more from them. But they have an efficient team and a huge forum to support you.
While considering woocommerce, you need to consider support from your web host too, So you need to take two kinds of support into account, support from Woocommerce and support from your web host.
Shopify provides 24/7 live human support and a dedicated account manager. If you fall into trouble, you can contact them anytime. They are always available to help you anytime with all kinds of queries and grievances.
Why ?: Shopify provides 24/7 help. You can approach them with any kind of queries and issues. They will even help you with your products and sales apart from technical things.
When all aspects are considered, Shopify is the clear winner here.
SEO is always a plus point of WordPress as its SEO friendly and easier to do SEO yourself even if you are not an expert. You can expect the same benefits of SEO from a Woocommerce based store as its running on the top of WordPress.
The well-known SEO plugin Yoast does wonders for many and Yoast also makes a Woocommerce SEO plugin which you can try in your store.
Shopify is almost equal to woocommerce when SEO is considered. It can do SEO pretty well. You can define your own title tag and meta description. Also, the availability of free SSL with each plan and fast servers give Shopify an edge over woocommerce.
Why?: In my take, the winner is Shopify as everything is easier with Shopify. Shopify provides SEO built-in. The also provides fast servers and free SSL which is crucial for SEO.
With woocommerce, you need some plugins and pretty good amounts.
of SEO ideas and expertise to do the SEO yourself. If you cant do it.
yourself, you need to hire an SEO expert which is again, expensive.
Making a conclusion is again going to be hard as each platform has its own pros and cons. I will list out the pros and cons of both.
If you are on a tight budget, Use Woocommerce, you can make an e-commerce website by simply grabbing a shared hosting as low as $3.95/month and also a domain.
While Shopify plans starts from $29/month. Which includes web hosting and other essentials such as SSL.
Control and ownership
Woocommerce is easy and you have total control of your store while Shopify doesn’t offer anything like that as its a hosted service. If you require flexibility and total control over your store, choose woocommerce.
If you need great support, Choose Shopify. They offer great support round the clock which means that if you have any doubt or runs into any trouble, they are there to help you.
With Woocommerce, support is a bit slower as you will get support via tickets and forum only. Which will take time and may not feasible if you need emergency help.
Ease of use
If you are someone who doesn’t want to manage an e-commerce website yourself and wants to focus on your sales and promotion, Go with Shopify as they do everything for you, you can focus on your business.
With Woocommerce, you are responsible to manage your store as well. You may find its hard to manage an e-commerce website and sometimes, you might need a dedicated staff for that purpose which is not always feasible for startups and small businesses.
So, these are our thoughts about a Woocommerce vs Shopify comparison and hope that this is helpful. If you have a different opinion or want to tell us about something we have missed, please comment it contact us to share your idea.
If you are on a tight budget, I would always recommend Interserver. They have a cheaper plan, unlimited resources and great speed. You can read our Interserver review or visit Interserver and get shared hosting and VPS for just $0.01 for the first month with the exclusive coupon code “INFOLYTE”.
If you decided to use Shopify, Goto Shopify.