Date published: 11 June 2023
Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the most popular e-commerce platforms today, but how do they compare? In this article we will examine the pros and cons of both, helping you to decide which is the best choice for your requirements.
There are some features that WooCommerce and Shopify have in common. Here are a few:
- Sell unlimited products
- Create discount codes
- Set up custom shipping profiles
Domain and Hosting
Shopify is a standalone e-commerce solution. Once you create a Shopify account and choose a plan, you have access to everything you need to start selling online. There is no need to find a hosting provider, as Shopify hosts the site for you. It is recommended to connect a custom domain to Shopify, but it is possible to launch your store with the default
.myshopify.com domain. A free SSL certificate is provided.
WooCommerce, on the other hand, is a plugin which you can install on your WordPress website. If you don't have a WordPress site already, you will need to set up a domain and hosting before you can start using WordPress. Ensure that your hosting package includes an SSL certificate. Once the site is up and running, install the WooCommerce plugin to convert your site into an e-commerce store.
Shopify offers a range of pricing plans to suit businesses of all types and sizes. If you are just starting out on your e-commerce journey, I recommend choosing the Basic plan, which costs £25/month (discounts are available if you choose a yearly plan). On Basic Shopify, you will be charged 2% + £0.25 for each online transaction if you are using Shopify Payments.
The great thing about WooCommerce is… it's free! Yes, there are no monthly charges for using the platform. The main cost you need to consider here is the hosting fee for your WordPress website. You can accept payments via WooCommerce Payments; the transaction fee starts from 1.40% + £0.20.
The Shopify platform requires little maintenance, although occasionally theme developers release new versions of themes, so you will need to check in the Shopify admin if your theme needs updating.
Maintenance for a WordPress site however takes somewhat more time - you will need to ensure that all plugins, themes and WordPress core files are updated on a regular basis (I recommend weekly or monthly, depending on how often you edit the content on your site). You will also need to make backups of your website to prevent loss of data if your site crashed or an error occurred. Check out my article for an in-depth guide to updating your WordPress website.
A theme is a set of fonts, colours and layouts that determine the look and feel of a website. Thanks to these ready-made themes, you don't have to be a web designer or developer to create a beautiful e-commerce store!
Shopify has its very own Theme Store, featuring over 130 themes. 12 free themes are available.
WooCommerce also features a Theme Store, but it is less extensive, with just under 70 themes. 3 free themes are available.
Apps are useful if you need to extend the functionality of your e-commerce store. There are many different types of apps available, ranging from SEO apps to image gallery apps and so on.
With Shopify, you have access to the Shopify App Store which boasts over 8,000 apps! The prices for the paid apps vary, but most of them charge a monthly fee.
WooCommerce's equivalent to this is the Extensions Store, which is less impressive, with 824 extensions currently available. Most WooCommerce extensions are paid. You can also find additional plugins on the WordPress plugins site.
On Shopify you can benefit 24/7 from their very responsive support team, available via chat, phone, email and the community forums. Shopify provides very detailed documentation which explains how to use every feature.
WooCommerce also provides ample documentation for both merchants and developers. Their support team can be contacted via email, chat and the community forums.
Both Shopify and WooCommerce have some excellent features. If cost or flexibility is your main concern, then WooCommerce may be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if your main priority is ease of use, then consider Shopify as your preferred option. Whichever platform you choose, you can contact Sybiltec to help you develop and launch your e-commerce store.