WooCommerce vs Shopify – Which one wins (comparison)

WooCommerce vs Shopify laptop with shopping card with person holding credit card

WooCommerce vs Shopify short answer – WooCommerce beats Shopify by a small margin in terms of features. If you hired me for web design you will find I use WooCommerce in all my projects.

When you download the WooCommerce WordPress plugin, you get a whole new world of functionality that Shopify does not have. Before we delve into that, let’s compare what they both have in common:

Shopify vs WooCommerce: Things in Common

The primary purpose of these e-commerce platforms is to provide online merchants with a platform to sell their products which also provides buyers with a variety of ways of getting to the work.  

Both WooCommerce and the Shopify platform play an essential role in most eCommerce businesses today. They both allow online sellers to create a collection of products and then add different categories to their shop using the available products. 

With several online retailers and businesses like Apple, Amazon, etc., people are more and more looking for a platform which can give them a quick and easy way to sell products without having to hire an entire warehouse team. 

Features they have in common are:

  • Admin Dashboard to view orders 
  • New design for creating new stores
  • Customisable colours, layouts, colours, and icons
  • An updated theme
  • Customisable widgets

Both platforms out of the box provide you with all of the features to start selling, being able to start immediately means you get a better user experience without having to download multiple add ons. Both platforms allow you to add more functionality via the use of third-party development. You can pick from WooCommerce plugins and Shopify add ons from a large inventory although most of these are additional money the added benefit is it provides other functionality.

Both platforms allow for zero codings, and it not necessary for custom development. If you wanted to use a programming language, both also allow you to customise further and add code if you desire and have the technical know-how.

Both allow you to use free and custom fonts by import/ buying a premium fonts extension. Premium or free Google fonts can be used for the page background, text, and even colour theme. 

Both platforms allow you to add admin users to manage orders. Shopify does this by shop keepers accounts, and WooCommerce achieves this by store owners.

Both stores are more extensive than just a place to sell. You can create gorgeous looking landing pages, with beautiful user interfaces, abiding by all my web design guide techniques, and write blogs all to help promote and sell your products.

Both systems are built on the very same principles to allow any brand to accept physical and digital products. 

Shopify and WooCommerce allow end-users to have an enjoyable shopping experience. To find the product to purchase, you can browse the website, search, choose a product type, pick a category and add it to your cart. 

They both allow you to download an app on your mobile phone and gives you control to run your business from anywhere. The WooCommerce app and Shopify app will enable you to see orders and process items.

woocommerce vs shopify mobile phone with shopping cart
Shopify and WooCommerce allow end-users to have an enjoyable shopping experience.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Differences

Why choose Shopify?

Both eCommerce platforms come with support; however, (as you’re paying for a monthly fee to use their platform) can provide a faster response time when you raise a support ticket. Getting support is helpful if you ever have something broken on your e-commerce store. WordPress does have a large community who can help in various forums. 

However, having a developer like myself at hand, your queries will be answered immediately, and I handle all ongoing maintenance.

Why Choose WooCommerce

There are many strengths to building in Woo for your eCommerce store. The plugin platform that offers custom eCommerce integrations with WordPress, a key figure/ household name commonly brought up when discussing content management systems (CMS). 

Some of its features include a shopping cart with check-out with multiple payment gateways and transaction processing. You have the choice of themes which allow you to adapt the storefront layout to sell your brands best.

A good reason is it’s an open-source platform, so it is cheaper to run. When your web designer charges a monthly fee, it will be less expensive if you have WooCommerce store as the developer does not need to include the Shopify fees. They need to work on the user interface for those buying your products and the maintenance. 

Great news, if you are considering running an online business Woo does not take any per cent of sales. You get to keep all the money (besides the transaction fee such as PayPal).

shopify vs woocommerce mobile phone with credit card next to it
Woo does not take any per cent of sales

Shopify or WooCommerce: Which Is the Best E-Commerce Platform?

There are several things you should be aware of while building a Shopify or WooCommerce site. 

Shopify like WooCommerce has a step by step guide with the bonus of an exemplary user interface assisting you with your new online shop. Think of the set up as painting by numbers, click, click done. For that privilege, they charge money to use their platform, whereas WordPress is free.

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, and so you need to think about what hosting you are going to use. If you choose me, I will sort the online hosting provider out for you and makes sure you get one with a good server response time. If you are doing it yourself, you will need to bear this in mind when creating your e-commerce site even if it’s a simple shop, make sure it has fast load times.

In regards to search engine optimisation both allow for Google Analytics integration, but I find SEO to be more of limiting on Shopify due to the URL structures of the site. I have had more search engine success in WooCommerce by using SEO Plugins such as Rank Math and Yoast SEO. I find the SEO functionality to be well suited for gaining search visibility.

Now there are lots of different ranking signals, and it can get complex and complicated, but if you’re writing good content, and putting the user first you could easily argue that both are a valid option, but it thinks Woo has the edge.  

shopify or wordpress computer screen displaying stats
Both allow for Google Analytics integration

Shopify VS WooCommerce: Cost

Cost of ownership is an important thing to consider when setting up a new store. Shopify set up costs are $29, $79 and $299, and the billing cycles are monthly or annually depending on what plan you pick. An aspect I like about WooCoommerce is it’s free!

Woocommerce vs Shopify: Payment providers

Sellers can upload the goods on Woocommerce and Shopify using a simple user interface and then they can sell it in their shop.

Shopify and Woocommerce offer different payment methods and from a variety of known payment providers which include Stripe, Paypal, credit cards and Debit/Savings Cards.

As business owners, you should be aware all of these payment methods come with a transaction fee or credit card rates unless you are accepting payment by cash in person or cheque.

wordpress woocommerce vs shopify credit card, master card, visa card
A variety of known payment providers

What’s the fastest? Shopify vs WooCommerce – Core web vitals

Google has announced that its core web vitals will be a ranking factor. This essentially means they want websites to load fast and for their performance to be well, speedy.

By trying to improve on the core web, vitals web developers will create a better user experience. Plus the bonus of abiding and striving to get good scores on the core web vitals is that the faster your website, the more people will click on links as things will load faster. Even on slow internet connections, they will be able to connect around more and ultimately spend longer on your site.

The websites I created for my customer’s e-commerce store using WooCommerce are fast and gets good speed scores when measured against the core web vitals. I use tools such as Google Page Insights, lighthouse and GT Metrix.

Google states “53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load.”

Shopify Vs WooCommerce: So which is best?

My analysis concludes that WooCommerce is much more powerful. With it’s a large inventory of plugins you get many extra advanced features and eCommerce functionality. A shop owner selling products online has a better chance of growing their e-commerce store into something they’re proud to call your own. 

WooCommerce is open source, and therefore the initial cost is lower as your WooCommerce Developer (like me) will not need to pay a SaaS monthly fee. The running costs are a crucial factor when reviewing from a financial point of view. It’s as simple as Free vs Shopify Plus plan which makes WooCommerce cost-effective. Maybe it’s this reason which offers doubts on which one is best! Woo have less money in their marketing budget to throw at ads.

I hope this comparison article on Woocommerce vs shopify has been useful! Please let me know which eCommerce solution you plan to use for your e-Commerce store or have used in the past. At the risk of a shameless plug, please keep me in mind as I have the technical knowledge and experience of helping starts up create an online presence and maximise online sales. 


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