Shopify vs WooCommerce – Comparison
Ease of Use
If you are looking for an intuitive and user-friendly interface, then you should know that Shopify is easy to set up and operate without any special technical knowledge. It is an all-in-one package including hosting and security providing you with the ability to fully focus on running your business, managing your products, and processing payments very smoothly.
On the other hand, WooCommerce, being a WordPress plugin, requires a self-hosted WordPress installation. You also need to manage updates, keep backups, and take care of the security of your website. Therefore, if you are new to WordPress, a certain level of technical knowledge is necessary to set up and maintain a WooCommerce store. However, a steep learning curve for beginners can be paid off by some of WooCommerce’s other features, so keep reading.
Flexibility and Customization
These are the aspects, where WooCommerce clearly prevails. Since WooCommerce is built on WordPress, it provides flexibility and customization options beyond compare. You have full control over your online store’s design and functionality, so you have the options to meet your specific needs making it suitable for businesses with unique requirements. Whether you want to add custom features or integrate third-party services, WooCommerce provides the tools to seamlessly do so.
While Shopify offers a range of professionally designed themes and templates, customization options are somewhat limited compared to WooCommerce. Users may find it challenging to achieve a completely unique design for their online stores.
What is also discouraging, is that Shopify requires online development and when you want to change or custom develop something in a Shopify theme, these changes and developments will not remain after publishing an update of the theme. In contrast, the possibilities of using plugin editors in WooCommerce are endless and a lot easier.
And the last thing to mention in this category is that once, you have Word Press, you can use it to create a variety of websites or blogs, not just e-commerce.
Shopify has a very simple pricing system offering you three plans for monthly subscription: Basic, Shopify and Advanced with an option of a free trial and first 3 months for 1 €/mo. These pricing plans start from more than $30 up to above $300 and always check their fees for accepting credit cards and for using external payment gateways, which differ among the plans. To extend the functionality of your store, you can use their extensive apps from Shopify App Store – both free and paid, usually as monthly subscriptions.
It may surprise you, but WooCommerce is free to use, which is a significant advantage for small businesses or those just starting. However, keep in mind that you will need to purchase WordPress hosting to run your WooCommerce store. You can find various pricing plans – some of them are very affordable. And what is more, there are no percentage fees on transactions. However, additional costs may arise if you opt for premium themes, plugins, or extensions, which can be quite expensive, but are often sold as one-time licenses and therefore they will pay off in the long run or you can find a lot of free alternatives.
Online payments can be performed via many gateways, but some of them may not be suitable for your business or they may not be accessible to your customers, so it is always handy to have multiple options. Shopify provides a wide range of built-in payment gateways, such as PayPal, stripe, Amazon Pay, or Authorize.Net. They even have their own system called Shopify Payments (powered by Stripe), which is without any transaction fees (except for credit card fees).
Similarly, WooCommerce also supports numerous payment gateways, including those mentioned with Shopify and it comes with its own solution called WooCommerce Payments (powered by stripe), as well. And what is more, it even supports regional or less known payment systems.
Support and Security
As a fully hosted platform, Shopify controls its software, which means that it takes care of security, updates, and backups for you. In case of trouble, you can either use its 24/7 customer support via phone, live chat, and email, or an extensive knowledge base, tutorials, and community forums for self-help.
Since WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, the issues of server should be supported by your hosting provider and additional products, such as themes or extensions by their creators. However, being part of the WordPress ecosystem, you have access to a vast community of developers and resources for support, for example on freelancing websites.
Shopify an WooCommerce are both excellent platforms and the choice between them depends on your specific business needs, technical expertise, and budget. If you prioritize ease of use, a streamlined setup, and do not require extensive customization, Shopify may be the better option for you. On the other hand, if you value flexibility, control over design, customization options, and you are not afraid of its requirement for more advanced technical skills, WooCommerce is worth considering. In the long run, WooCommerce can be even more cost-effective than Shopify, especially as your business grows.
WordPress expert. Divi user since 2014. I blog about WordPress and Divi, my favorite WordPress theme. When I’m not working with WordPress or writing an article for this blog, I’m probably learning Italian. You can read more about me here.