WordPress VS Shopify: which one to pick for successful eCommerce development?

Shopify VS WordPress

Building your own online store has never been easier!

The increasing demands of online consumerism have fanned the flames of eCommerce in recent years. New and improved eCommerce development platforms are emerging as a result.

Market growth of eCommerce was gradually increasing since the beginning of the digital era. The outbreak of covid-19 has made it all the more necessary for businesses to invest in online stores, resulting in a staggering rise of the global eCommerce market.

eCommerce market.

Currently, two of the most trusted and leading eCommerce development platforms are Shopify and WordPress.

Business owners need to gain a deep understanding of WordPress and Shopify to meet their desired eCommerce development goals.
In this blog, we’ll go over a detailed comparison between two of the best eCommerce development platforms, WordPress VS Shopify, and answer frequently asked questions like:

  • What is WordPress?
  • What is Shopify?
  • What does Shopify do?
  • What is a WordPress website?
  • What is the main difference between Shopify and WordPress?
  • Is WordPress good for eCommerce?
  • Which is better between WordPress VS Shopify for eCommerce?

Let’s dive in!

Shopify VS WordPress Definitions

Let’s start with a simple explanation to answer the questions “What is WordPress?” and “What is Shopify?”

What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open-source and free eCommerce development platform. It is mostly used as a blogging platform due to its effective Content Management System (CMS). However, WooCommerce is a prominent plug-in used for developing eCommerce websites or feature-rich online shops through WordPress.

Initially released in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, WordPress is written in PHP programming languages along with MySQL and MariaDB databases. Its main features comprise plugin architecture and different themes, which acts as a template system for your online WordPress shop.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a closed-source hosted eCommerce development platform that lets you build full-fledged online stores without any technical expertise, handling every aspect of a website like domain, security, hosting, etc.

Founded in 2006 by Scott Lake and Tobias Lutke, Shopify charges a monthly fee to facilitate eCommerce businesses with a plethora of features helpful for eCommerce beginners and experts alike.

All you need to do is purchase the Shopify package to start your own online retail business.

Here’s a helpful video describing the difference between Shopify and WordPress by “Tooltester

Shopify VS WordPress Popularity

BuiltWithdata provides a deep insight into the popularity of WordPress VS Shopify in terms of usage:

WordPress (WooCommerce)has more than 3.4 million live websites globally.

Shopify has more than 3.2 million live websites globally.

eCommerce websites usage distribution in the top 1 million websites:

Shopify VS WordPress Popularity

Out of the 307k top 1 million websites, 28% is facilitated by WordPress (WooCommerce) and 20% by Shopify.

eCommerce websites usage distribution on the entire internet:

eCommerce websites usage

Out of more than 23 million websites around the globe, WordPress (WooCommerce) is responsible for 25%, while Shopify is used by 24%.

This data is represented by BuiltWith plaints a clear picture of the fierce battle between WordPress VS Shopify, the top 2 eCommerce development platforms. WordPress leads the overall usage popularity race, however, it is closely followed by Shopify.

When it comes to eCommerce development, it is abundantly clear that WordPress and Shopify are the first options for web designers and web developers.

Now that we have established the significance of WordPress VS Shopify, let’s compare and contrast their main aspects.

Shopify VS WordPress Pricing

WordPress (WooCommerce) Pricing:

WordPress is the best option for small businesses and start-ups as it has no initial downloading fee. WooCommerce is a free and open-source eCommerce development plug-in that integrates well with WordPress.

The open-sourced nature enables WordPress developers to customise the codebase as much as they want. This feature unlocks the door to a vast community of developers for discussing ideas about eCommerce website scaling and management.

Although WordPress is free to download and use, it is important to highlight that you still need to pay for a domain name and hosting. Additionally, more payments are required to avail of different themes, plug-ins, and extensions while using WooCommerce.

Shopify Pricing:

Shopify offers complete solutions with month-based or annual package deals, eliminating the extra payments for hosting and domain names. These packages are a one-stop shop for building full-fledged eCommerce stores.

Here’s the payment structure for Shopify:

Shopify Pricing:
  • Basic Shopify is ideal for starting businesses with a monthly charge of $29 which gets you the core functionalities of an eCommerce store;
  • Shopify Lite is the cheapest option for opening up an online store to sell as many times as you want with a price of just $7 per month. However, this option does not offer sustainability or scalability;
  • Shopify monthly plan worth $79 is best for businesses that are experiencing continuous growth with a need for high scalability;
  • With a cost of $299 per month, Advanced Shopify avails more features and functionalities for mid-sized to enterprise-grade eCommerce businesses;
  • Shopify Plus is the high-end option for large-scale and enterprise-grade eCommerce businesses. This monthly plan of $2000 provides many additional features like automation tools (Shopify flow), multiply payment options for various currencies, high-level security features, a dashboard for store management, analytics and more.

WordPress seems like the obvious cheaper option between Shopify VS WordPress pricing. Nevertheless, running and maintaining a mature eCommerce WordPress website costs almost the same as Shopify.

Even though Shopify requires monthly or yearly payments up-front, you need to make extra payments while working with WordPress for additional extensions, plug-ins, themes, etc.

Shopify VS WordPress Ease of Use

WordPress Ease of Use:

You need to manage a few things on your own while using WordPress (WooCommerce). Installation, updates, backups, hosting, security, and maintenance needs to be handled on your end because WordPress is not a hosted platform.

5 simple steps for setting up an online WordPress shop:

  1. Purchase a WordPress Domain Name
  2. Get a Hosting Account
  3. Install WordPress
  4. Choose and install a theme from WordPress
  5. Install the WooCommerce plug-in on the WordPress platform

After activating WooCommerce, you need to complete a few additional steps on your on-screen setup wizard to start running your eCommerce store.

Shopify Ease of Use:

The in-built and almost all-inclusive online store is one of the core perks of Shopify. Setting up and managing online stores on Shopify is a piece of cake due to its efficient and seamless user interface.

Setting up with Shopify is as easy as one-to-three. Sign up on Shopify.com, follow the set-up instructions and start running your eCommerce store. Shopify exhibits maximum usability as it requires no coding or technical expertise.

In terms of usability, Shopify wins the round. WordPress caters to skilled web developers, while Shopify is designed for everyone.

Shopify VS WordPress Design, Themes & Templates

WordPress has a wide range of themes and designs to choose from, as beautiful and eye-catching templates for different types of businesses and websites. The features and designs are customizable as it is open-sourced, giving you the freedom to tweak and edit the given templates and designs.

WordPress Themes example:

WordPress Themes example:

Shopify has limited options when compared to WordPress, yet it offers many variations of elegant and user-friendly themes. Shopify themes can also be modified like WordPress with the help of a theme editor.

Shopify Themes example:

WordPress Themes example:

Shopify VS WordPress Inventory Management

WordPress (WooCommerce) offers a lot of flexibility in many aspects, and the same is true for inventory management. Users can form the inventory reports and modify the product descriptions and attributes. Third-party apps can also be integrated for optimum results.

The opportunity for modifications and creating product variations is truly limitless.

Shopify VS WordPress Inventory Management

Inventory management of Shopify is quite similar to WordPress, providing complete control to the users over the management and tracking of products. Shopify inventory management allows you to track inventory, get re-stocking alerts, revenue reports, purchase order automation and more. You can also add item information, customer data, orders and other information regarding your business. Many inventory apps can also be used with Shopify to run day-to-day business operations with ease.

Inventory management of Shopify

Shopify VS WordPress SEO

Shopify VS WordPress SEO or Search Engine Optimization ability is a significant aspect of Shopify VS WordPress for eCommerce businesses. SEO-centric features help your website rank higher on SERPs like Google, which boosts visibility and brand recognition.

Let’s examine Shopify VS WordPress SEO:

SEO is a major advantage for WordPress (WooCommerce) as it is already a dedicated blogging platform. You can utilise the WordPress editor to modify and optimise website content, redirections, URLs, meta tags, meta descriptions and other website aspects to boost your online store to a higher rank on SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).

WordPress also allows the use of various SEO plug-ins to optimize your online store, Yoast SEO is one of the most-used SEO plug-ins.

On the flip side, Shopify has limited resources for SEO purposes. It has a fixed URL structure, making it difficult for users to modify or optimize URLs. Also, it is not ideal for building sub-categories.

However, Shopify provides enough features to optimize content for eCommerce purposes, straightforward SEO apps are available for Shopify as well.

Shopify VS WordPress Apps, Plug-Ins & Extensions

Even all-inclusive eCommerce development platforms require additional apps, plug-ins and extensions to enhance the online retail experiences. For example, tools for generating leads, marketing, analytics, payments, shipping, etc.

WordPress VS Shopify, both platforms offer a plethora of additional tools. Let’s discuss this.

WordPress (WooCommerce) Tools:

WordPress provides more than 50,000 plug-ins and 600 extensions to serve a wide range of categories. This feature helps you run your eCommerce store easily and efficiently, delivering exceptional user experiences at the same time.

WordPress (WooCommerce) Tools

Shopify Tools:

Shopify has more than 2,400 apps and nearly 4,000 plug-ins in its app store. From inventory management to shipping, there is a plug-in, app or extension to serve every purpose. This feature helps you track your eCommerce business’s growth and attract more traffic at the same time.

Shopify Tools:

Shopify VS WordPress for DropShipping

DropShipping is the process of ordering and purchasing items without the need of a merchant with stocked goods. When a purchase is made by a customer, the retailer gets the product from a supplier and delivers it to the customer. DropShipping is slowly gaining popularity, making it a viable option for the future.

That’s why Shopify VS WordPress for dropshipping is another major aspect of comparison. Let’s discuss.

WordPress for DropShipping

WordPress DropShipping:

WordPress (WooCommerce) is ideal for dropshipping companies. Drop shippers can utilize different plug-ins that support product imports and fulfil orders from your eCommerce website. With more than 8k active installations, DropshipMe is an effective solution for dropshipping through WooCommerce.

Shopify DropShipping:

Some apps can be easily integrated with Shopify for the most popular dropshipping markets. Whatever app (Yakkyofy or Printify) you choose for dropshipping through your Shopify online store, the benefits of Shopify’s feature-rich environment cannot be undermined.

Syncee is a B2b dropshipping application with a collection of dropshipping features for eCommerce stores, and it can be integrated with both WordPress and Shopify.

Shopify VS WordPress Security

An online eCommerce business cannot run without durable security measures. Customer database, product information, payment information, and other sensitive information must be kept securely. An eCommerce company can suffer a heavy blow to their brand loyalty and credibility with weak security measures.

Let’s see who wins the round of security between WordPress VS Shopify

WordPress Security:

You are responsible for the security features while using WordPress (WooCommerce). WordPress eCommerce development requires you to get website security plug-ins, SSL certificate, PCI compliant, 2-factor authentication and other security measures for a safe online retail experience. Also, the open-source nature of WordPress makes it all the more vulnerable to notorious hackers.

Shopify Security:

Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce store, providing adequate updates and security features in-built. It already comes with an SSL certificate and already runs on a PCI compliant server, encrypting all of the transferred data between server and client and providing safe payment options.

Between WordPress VS Shopify for eCommerce, Shopify is a much more secure option for eCommerce website development with in-built security features.

Now that we have discussed the main difference between Shopify and WordPress, let’s examine further and discuss the pros and cons of WordPress VS Shopify.

Shopify VS WordPress Advantages

Benefits of WordPress (WooCommerce)

  • Free to use and download, making it beneficial for new businesses and start-ups;
  • Open-source nature provides 100% customizations, letting the developers tweak the codebase with ease. Also, WordPress offers a wide range of high-quality templates and themes;
  • There are a plethora of useful plug-ins and extensions for simplifying various tasks;
  • Mobile-friendly themes and designs are also available in WooCommerce;
  • flexible inventory management system that allows owners to stay up-to-date with their re-stocking needs;
  • SEO-centric plug-ins that let you modify HTML links, meta tags, meta descriptions and other website content to rank higher on search engines;
  • Multiple currency support and flexible payment gateways.

Benefits of Shopify

  • Attractive and mobile-friendly themes that provide a professional look for your online store;
  • In-built security features for the safety of customer database, product information, payment information and other sensitive data;
  • In-built App Store for a wide range of plug-ins and extensions to simplify eCommerce business procedures;
  • Personalized Domain that lets you modify your domain site and your domain store;
  • Useful analytics for tracking consumer behaviour, customer feedback, inventory, conversions and ROI;
  • Efficient Customer Service via phone calls, FAQs, emails and chats;
  • High Scalability to handle sudden growths in traffic and anticipate future plans.

Shopify VS WordPress Disadvantages

Drawbacks of WordPress (WooCommerce)

  • Lacks advanced features that could make online store management much easier;
  • Frequent updates are a continuous hassle for eCommerce businesses;
  • A steep learning curve as you need the technical knowledge for developing eCommerce websiteson WooCommerce;
  • Using a lot of plug-ins can hold your online store back due to performance glitches;
  • Insufficient security features.

Drawbacks of Shopify

  • A monthly or yearly fee is required to download and use Shopify;
  • Limited customizations because it is a closed source platform;
  • Difficult to modify website content for SEO purposes;
  • Poor Content Management System (CMS); making it difficult for business owners to promote their products and services through quality content like blogs or vlogs;
  • Product categories and filtering aresubpar which deteriorates the online retail experience.

Final Thoughts

Shopify VS WordPress for eCommerce has been a long-standing debate between web developers and business owners.

There can’t be a conclusive winner between the two because WordPress and Shopify both have their specific advantages and disadvantages. The final decision boils down to your eCommerce development requirements.

WordPress is a more flexible eCommerce platform with high customization possibilities, while Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce solution.

Our eCommerce development experts have compared every important aspect of WordPress VS Shopify, and we hope it helps you make better eCommerce business decisions in the future.

If you have further queries or need assistance with eCommerce development, feel free to contact us.

Communication Crafts is an experience-led eCommerce development company with an enviable list of clientele. Our expert Shopify developers and WordPress developers analyze your business goals and target audience to deliver cost-effective and future-proof eCommerce solutions.

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