Planning to launch an eCommerce site? There are several core options. This is when Shopify vs WordPress comes into the play. But don’t worry! This guide will help you decide.
eCommerce is synonymous with the modern business world. Many people who have physical shops are also going online to reach a broader audience and sell their products. With the help of eCommerce platforms, entrepreneurs from around the world can now start online stores effortlessly.
WordPress and Shopify are two of those platforms that people are using the most when taking their business online. These platforms are loaded with features that help you start and manage your eCommerce website.
But which platform are you going to choose, WordPress or Shopify? In this article, we will compare WordPress and Shopify. We will also try to figure out which one is more suitable for your business needs. So, let’s get started.
Difference between WordPress and Shopify
You have decided to start an eCommerce website. That is great! But do not rush into choosing your platform. This could be disastrous in the long run. Before choosing a platform, it is very important to know about the options and what benefits you might reap from your selected one.
WordPress (also called “WP”)
WordPress is the most popular website building platform in the world. More than 40% of websites all over the internet are powered by WordPress. You can use WordPress to build almost any kind of site you want.
Whether it is a blog, personal website, corporate website, eCommerce website, membership website, etc. WordPress is the CMS you can choose to build your website. The CMS itself can be used for free. There are numerous plugins and themes for you to choose from and build your eCommerce site.
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Shopify is a web platform exclusively focused on eCommerce websites. With Shopify, you can sell your physical or digital products online with ease. It is a perfect platform for those with no development skills. You can create your site and start selling products just with a few clicks. Also, you do not have to purchase any hosting plan, Shopify hosts your site for you. Shopify also provides a free trial.
There are over a million eCommerce sites developed and managed by Shopify. The above-mentioned features of WordPress and Shopify aren’t the only things that differentiate them. Let’s look at more features of these platforms and compare them and see which one aligns with YOUR business goals.
Shopify vs WordPress – Pricing
WordPress: As mentioned above, WordPress is free software. It doesn’t charge you to build your website. However, you do have to purchase your own domain and hosting plan before you start building your website.
Shopify: Shopify has 3 plans. The beginner or basic plan starts from $29 per month. The next subscription costs $79/mo. The most expensive tier of Shopify is the Advanced plan which is $299 per month. However, if users are not sure, they can try a 14-day free trial.
Takeaway: For most cases, WordPress would be a more economical choice. But you have to purchase your own domain and eligible hosting plan.
Learn More: 25+ Best WooCommerce Plugins (FREE and Paid) in 2021
Shopify vs WordPress – Flexibility
WordPress: As you already know, WordPress is the most popular and widely used CMS in the world. There are a large number of free themes and plugins for you to use and customize your website. This gives you better flexibility than any other CMS.
Because WordPress is customizable and you control your own host, you can personalize your site the way you want. There are several themes and plugins you can use to make your site work exactly the way you want it to.
Shopify: It is a great website builder. But you might not find it flexible enough for a long-term plan if your business is to grow and scale. You can use drag-and-drop features to create your entire site very quickly. But this also limits your choices. In order to gain more control, you may need to upgrade to a better plan. That might be expensive and not suited for many. But yeah, you can use third-party apps to add more functionalities to your site.
Takeaway: In terms of flexibility, you may find WordPress more welcoming. But it depends on what you want. WordPress offers great controls over design and functionalities. But Shopify is great if you want to spend less time in design/development and more time doing business.
Learn More: ProductX Review: WooCommerce Plugin to Beautify Your Online Store
Shopify or WordPress – Customer support
WordPress: The WordPress that we are talking about here is what you get on WordPress.org which is a self-hosted platform. WordPress.org has a large community, so the issue that you are facing might already have been found and resolved. There is no direct call support but you may refer to their support page or the support forum.
The other support that is available for you would be the eCommerce plugin (e.g. WooCommerce) or theme that you are using.
Shopify: On Shopify, you will always find their customer support. If you are using the ‘Basic Shopify’ plan which is the starting point for Shopify, you will find support through chat and email. For direct phone support, you have to upgrade to a higher plan. Shopify also has a support forum. But if you want to solve your problems quickly and easily, then talking to a real person is the best.
Takeaway: Nobody actually plans on calling for support unless they face a serious problem. Then calling support becomes the only viable option. WordPress does have a large community but talking to a real person about your problem is the best and most effective way of solving the problem. For this reason, Shopify’s customer support takes the prize here.
Shopify vs WordPress – SEO
WordPress: If you want your website to succeed then you must apply a proper SEO strategy. Many online store owners don’t consider SEO but it is crucial to business success. One of the best things about using WP is the WordPress SEO plugins. Yoast SEO, for example. This is one of the best and most popular SEO tools today. It analyzes the content of your website and helps you increase your SEO performance.
Shopify: The options for SEO on Shopify are very limited. While creating a clean URL is hard, Shopify gives you an option for using SSL. If you do use it, an XML Site Map is automatically created for you. You can create 301-page redirects if you wish to change your website in the future. So this feature is really helpful. There are also many apps for Shopify to help you with SEO.
Takeaway: Even though Shopify has many apps to help you with SEO, they barely compare to Yoast and its best counterparts. So, WordPress is better when it comes to SEO.
Learn More: 10+ Best eCommerce WordPress Themes 2021
WordPress vs Shopify – eCommerce features
WordPress: WordPress offers a wide choice regarding eCommerce features. Once you install a plugin like WooCommerce or EDD, you can control everything. You can have your own online store customized within hours. There are many themes and plugins to help you with your eCommerce store.
Shopify: Shopify also has an amazing collection of eCommerce features for its users. Some of these are available for all the plans. These features include:
- Unlimited products
- 24/7 customer support
- Manual order creation
- Discount codes
- Gift cards
- Shipping labels
- Sell in 133 currencies
These are only a few features. Shopify has many other useful perks that you would like for your online store.
Takeaway: WordPress gives you a lot of options to create and customize your own online store. Shopify also has plans specifically designed for your eCommerce website. With this, you can focus more on your business and worry less about the technicalities. The choice is yours.
Other eCommerce platforms
WordPress and Shopify aren’t the only platforms that offer eCommerce tools. There are various other platforms that have great eCommerce features: Let’s take a look at a few:
Squarespace is an all-in-one solution for building your online business. It is a cloud-based platform and has a CMS (Content Management System) of its own. You don’t require much technical knowledge to set up your eCommerce site with it. Some of the core advantages of Squarespace are as follows:
- You don’t have to be tech-savvy to learn the CMS. It takes about 1-2 hours to get familiarized with the CMS.
- Offers a drag-and-drop builder. You can use this to build your site easily.
- No need for granular maintenance as your site will be hosted by Squarespace.
Learn More: 8 Best WooCommerce Alternatives & Competitors in 2021
Weebly advertises its brand mainly as a web hosting service company. But it is also a powerful web builder. In fact, it is compared with the top website builders like WordPress, Joomla, Wix, etc. It also has added features for eCommerce. Let’s take a look at the functionalities that make Weebly a notable player in the eCommerce field.
- Websites built and hosted with Weebly have a quick loading speed.
- The CMS is user-friendly and doesn’t require much technical knowledge to use.
- You get a lot of flexibility when designing your website. There are also multiple themes you can use.
- Weebly allows code customization as well. So if you are a developer, you can customize your site the way you want!
- Weebly has a mobile application. You can build and manage your website from your mobile phone.
Learn More: AliDropship – The WordPress Dropshipping Plugin Review
This might come as a surprise, but LemonStand is a really good shopping cart builder. It has great flexibility that gives the users the ability to customize their eCommerce site as they want. LemonStand has also a great customer review. Let’s take a look at some of the features that make it great:
- LemonStand has comprehensive customizing options. You can even design the shopping aspects such as checkout and content outlook. Plus, add product features like color, style, material, etc.
- No hidden charges. On some shopping cart platforms, you are charged with hidden costs where you have to pay per sale. LemonStand doesn’t have any hidden charges. So you can relax and keep doing your business.
- The scalability that LemonStand offers you is amazing. LemonStand is built with features that can handle even the most complex storefront. You can upgrade or downgrade your plans whenever you wish
- LemonStand is highly secure. It has a 256-bit SSL encryption system. No credit card information is stored.
Learn More: 13 Best WordPress Restaurant Reservation Plugins (Free & Paid)
There are various tools out there with which you can create and manage your eCommerce site. Before starting your business, you should look into all your options and see which one is best suited for YOUR business specifications.
WordPress and Shopify are both great web platforms. But when choosing one, you have to first understand your business goals. Then find the platform that suits your needs.
WordPress has great flexibility and a huge number of plugins and themes to help you build your eCommerce website. But it does take some development skills to work with the CMS. If you have the time to learn WordPress (or have a team) and you want more flexibility with your designs, then WordPress is the answer.
Shopify however, has features that are specifically built for eCommerce websites. You also have 24/7 support. So, if you don’t care much about flexibility and want to focus more on your business, then Shopify is the platform for you.
Everyone has different business goals. No matter what platform you choose, make sure to justify which one is better suited for your needs.
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