If you’re looking for options to make an e-commerce website and create your online store, then you must have heard of the two rivals, WordPress and Shopify. These two best website-building platforms make online selling relatively simple and flexible.
However, both the competitors differ in many aspects. The rivalry between Shopify and WordPress is a gigantic one. To help you decide which one is better for your business, let’s do a “WordPress vs Shopify” comparison and take a deeper look.
What is WordPress?
First, let’s talk about the WordPress content management system which is used to create a variety of blogs and websites. It is a hosted system, which requires you to buy a domain and hosting to create a website.
You must be wondering if it is a website builder then how can we compare it to an eCommerce platform, right? Well, WordPress offers a plugin named “WooCommerce” that helps you build an online store. WooCommerce comes with important tools and various customization options for setting up an online store.
Now that we know what WordPress is, let’s have a look at WordPress and WooCommerce’s pricing. While WordPress and WooCommerce are both free and open-source, you will have to pay for hosting which is $10 per month, and buy an SSL certificate which costs $10 per year. Along with these, the pricing would vary depending on how inclined you’re to purchase components for your online store.
The other components include a domain name ($8-$10 annually), paid plugins, and themes. If you’re not willing to buy a custom theme, you can buy an off-the-shelf theme for around $30-$200 to give your shop a unique look.
WordPress is relatively simple to set up. In an hour or two, a competent developer will have a WooCommerce site up and running. If you don’t have a developer on your team, you may be tempted to follow the 5-Minute WordPress install instructions tutorials (it actually won’t take you 5 minutes).
After you’ve made it this far, you’ll need to install the WooCommerce plugins, as well as your custom theme, SSL, and WooCommerce pages. There will be no hand-holding if you go about it alone, and you’ll probably need to contact your hosting company a few times. It will undoubtedly be a little, if not a lot, frustrating.
It’s all downhill from there, once you’ve got a WooCommerce store up and running. The WooCommerce admin features are extremely well-designed out of the box.
As WordPress is designed to be a basic blogging platform, if you need eCommerce features, you would have to add related plugins. For now, WooCommerce is considered to be the most helpful WordPress eCommerce tool. It provides almost all the features that you get with Shopify.
The features include:
- Customer accounts.
- Adding products to specific categories for easy navigation.
- Geo-location tools to track customers and ship their orders.
- Discounts and deals for customers.
- Product review options that enable the user to leave product reviews.
- Analytical tools to help you track profits, web traffics, etc.
Now that you have opted for an eCommerce platform and you’re willing to pay and enhance your store in any way, of course, you would expect responsive and friendly customer support to help you out wherever you get stuck.
But in this matter, neither WordPress nor WooCommerce would be able to help you as they don’t provide customer support services to their valuable customers. However, they do offer how-to guides and other resources. If you face a technical problem, you can also get help from WordPress forums as it might’ve happened with some other person before.
What is Shopify?
Moving on to Shopify, it’s a self-hosted eCommerce platform that enables users to create their own online shop. There are several hosted solutions available nowadays, but Shopify is specifically designed for e-commerce stores. Famous social media and online marketplace sites can be integrated into Shopify as well.
It includes various models that can be tailored to suit the needs of individual companies and branding requirements, as well as the ability to sell both physical and digital products. This makes Shopify ideal for newcomers and fast-growing businesses.
Unlike WordPress and WooCommerce, Shopify isn’t free. Shopify has three plans to offer which cost $29 per month, $79 per month, and $299 per month. With these plans, you won’t have to pay for a separate hosting or SSL because it’s a software-as-a-service model that provides you a Shopify account, which can be accessed anywhere via the internet.
However, like WordPress, you would also have to pay for the domain names, premium themes, and transaction fees for each plan.
A plus point is that Shopify has a lot of great themes and you do not need to buy anything else right away. Actually, they offer a $14 per month Starter package with card fees, but this plan does not allow you to customize the look of your store’s template.
When it comes to setting up your store using Shopify, it is all very simple. You just have to sign up and follow the user-friendly instructions to set up your store. All else is handled by Shopify. There is no need to code.
Shopify offers a variety of free templates to give your store a unique look. As you set up your store, Shopify provides you with 9 free themes that can also be customized according to your taste.
If you can code, Shopify lets you edit the HTML and CSS of your website, so you can customize the store even more.
As Shopify was designed to enable users to make eCommerce websites easily, it offers all the features that you expect from an eCommerce website. Just as you log in to your account, you get everything whether it’s sales data, your inventory, product information, email details, customer reviews, and more.
The features that Shopify has to offer include:
- Staff log-in options for the staff members to perform their responsibilities.
- Customer and order details to help you track and ship the orders.
- Tools to organize categories that help the customers navigate between the products easily.
- Tools to organize and manage your inventory.
- The option to add new web pages and blogs to help you make a positive impact.
- Include detailed product specifications, images, and pricing information.
Shopify clearly beats WordPress when it comes to in-person support. Shopify provides 24/7 customer support to its users. Live chat, email, and phone support, all these options are bundled with Shopify plans except for the “Lite” plan which only provides live chat and email support. However, if you encounter any problems, the Shopify team has your back.
Besides Shopify’s customer support, you can also check Shopify Forums to find answers to common questions or issues, before contacting anyone from Shopify’s team.
WordPress vs. Shopify: Which is best for you?
We’ve summed up pretty much every important thing in this WordPress vs Shopify comparison. Since both WordPress and Shopify are best on their sides, they clearly have a lot to give to entrepreneurs who want to start and run their own eCommerce stores. You can make a decision depending on the type of eCommerce website you want to make. The good news is that both tools have a rich set of features, a large number of templates, along with many other useful features.
However, WordPress is a free platform that was originally designed to create blogs and is now used as a content management system for websites. WordPress is made for small content pages. Many people who work with WordPress are not programmers, making it difficult to find good WordPress professionals.
Shopify is possibly the most feature-rich ready-to-use eCommerce platform available. It includes all of the essential features that a small business might need, such as product cards, orders, Customer Relationships Management (CRM), built-in analytics, payment gateway integration, fraud analysis, a forum, and social media integration, and much more.
If you want complete control over your store’s customization, you have some coding experience, the financial means to hire a developer or if you want to create a large online store that sells goods in several countries, WooCommerce is the best solution for you. However, you should expect to pay a high price for a high-quality eCommerce platform. You’ll have complete control over your site’s customization and an almost limitless range of theme and plugin choices.
If you want to get your website up and running quickly and aren’t especially professional, Shopify is the way to go. It’s ideal for someone who wants to start a small online business.
Here’s a tip, other than going for one, you can try both out as both of them are available for a free trial. Head on to the WordPress and Shopify websites and register an account. This would definitely help you make up your mind.