WooCommerce vs Shopify – Which one wins (2021 comparison)

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

What is better WooCommerce or Shopify?

Woocommerce vs Shopify, if you want complete control of your eCommerce business, and you’re looking for a cost-effective solution, then the best platform for you would be the WooCommerce platform.

However, if you want a completely hassle-free platform, then it’s better to use Shopify. It is reliable, easy to use and offers lovely templates. You will need to pay a monthly fee to use the platform though. 

Are WooCommerce and Shopify the same thing?

The primary purpose of these e-commerce platforms is to provide online merchants with a platform to sell. they both also provide:

  • Admin Dashboard to view orders 
  • New design for creating new stores
  • Customisable colours, layouts, colours, and icons
  • The ability to buy premium themes
  • Customisable widgets

They also provide online sellers with product options and:

  • 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.
  • They 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.
  • 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.
  • Add admin users to manage orders. Shopify does this by shopkeepers accounts, and WooCommerce achieves this by store owners.
  • More extensive than just a place to sell. You can create gorgeous looking landing pages, with beautiful user interfaces.

Both WooCommerce and the Shopify platform play an essential role in most eCommerce businesses today by allowing businesses to sell online. Features they have in common are:

  • Built on the very same principles to allow any brand to accept physical and digital products. Contrary to the myths both allow for unlimited 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.
  • You can 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.
  • Use code to make your store more personalised. Shopify use Liquid, WooCommerce is built on PHP. the source code both use HTML, CSS using
  • The integration of social media – you can integrate your store with Facebook, Amazon, eBay, and Pinterest, as well as advertise on them. Helpful as it allows you to advertise on more platforms.

Very useful things to have:

  • Send personalised email campaigns – it is possible to send personalised email campaigns with ease with the help of external plugins offering a wider range of email campaign features.
  • Personalised emails – helpful, especially when it comes to a customer who has abandoned their cart and you need to send cart recovery emails to bring them back.
  • Marketing Tools & Third Part Companies – marketing tools and third party companies can be integrated into both

What is Shopify offering that isn’t in Woocommerce?

Shopify Pros

  • Hosting, security, and everything else are handled by Shopify.
  • It’s quite easy to dropshipping with Shopify.
  • The pricing is fair because you know exactly how much you’ll be paying each month.
  • You can extend your store by using thousands of apps.
  • There are many themes to choose from.
  • The support is excellent – 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 in your e-commerce store.
  • It’s easy to launch a website with the Shopify setup. Think of the set-up as a painting by numbers, click, click done. 

Shopify Disadvantages

  • There might be a particular feature or certain options you were after which is not available unless you have the higher pricing plan.

Why Choose WooCommerce?

Woo has many strengths.

  1. It uses WordPress. Now, as you may know when discussing content management systems, CMS, WordPress is a key figure/household name and is frequently brought up. Why is this helpful? You dealing with a company with a great reputation, history and popularity which will see it continue for many years to come.
  2. Some of its features include a shopping cart with check-out with multiple payment gateways and transaction processing. You have the choice of themes that allow you to adapt the storefront layout to sell your brands best.
  3. 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 a 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.
  4. 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 or another third-party payment gateway such as Stripe).
  5. The flexibility of WooCommerce allows you to achieve success.

Woo Disadvantages

  1. WooCommerce is a self-hosted E-Commerce platform, and so you need to think about what hosting plan you are going to use. 
  2. Updating plugins can break your website. Out of the two Ecommerce platforms, Woo leaves it up to you to do it. It is advised you put your website in a staging environment first and test it. 

Is Shopify or WooCommerce better for SEO?

Shopify is simple and easy to use, so if you’re a start-up, it’s a good choice. If you are willing to spend more time WooCommerce is a better option.

Let’s compare the two and see which one is best for SEO performance WooCommerce or Shopify. Both allow for the integration of Google Analytics and Google search console. 

Is Shopify more SEO friendly than WooCommerce? No. I find WooCommercee to be more SEO friendly. SEO seems to be more 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 should be able to increase your search engine rankings.

Which platform is better for blogging Shopify or WordPress? If you’re looking for ways to improve your content, you’ll be happy to know that the WooCommerce plugin is built on WordPress. A company that made this name on allowing people to create their own blogs.

How hard is it to maintain a WooCommerce vs Shopify store?

WooCommerce is harder to maintain than a Shopify store. On both platforms, you need to update the store look, manage orders and handle the inventory management. 

Shopify is an all one system where your monthly feed takes care of the maintenance. WooCommerce as there is no monthly fee you have to carry out your backups, update your plugins (safely otherwise you might cause an issue to your live site) and make sure the uptime is monitored. 

WordPress WooCommerce website Safety Compared to Shopify?

All websites can be hacked regardless of what server and what platform they are on.

Shopify is done for you so you can trust the company protects your store.

WooCommerce uses the open-source WordPress platform so you will have to look after your store independently. If you know about internet security, that should be OK. If not you should read up on security best practices and security plugins. If enabled, both allow you for an SSL certificate which helps your store’s website’s ranking, as search engines look favourably on sites with SSL.

Is Shopify better than WordPress for dropshipping business? 

It’s easier to start a drop selling company with Shopify thanks to the integration with Oberlo. However, WordPress have their own which if you are happy reading upon the difference, of WooCommerce dropshipping plugins you will find there are companies like AliExpress which do the same. So, what is the difference between Oberlo and AliExpress Orbelo is for Shopify and AliExpress is for WooCommerce.

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 include Stripe, Paypal, credit card payment options such as 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.

Woocommerce vs Shopify pricing

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. Is WooCommerce cheaper than Shopify, yes? Woo is free. 

This then opens the question would people start to leave WooCommerce if Shopify is going open source? It would persuade more people to join Shopify but WooCommerce has a long history built on open-source software. So even if Shopify cancel their monthly fee the themes, apps and extensions will still cost money. 

Does Shopify convert better than WooCommerce?

To be honest with you I think it depends on the design and the development of the individual online store. If you have advanced Shopify technical skills you will also be able to take advantage of the custom coding, I think this one is a draw. 

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

WooCommerce provides a faster speed for users as it allows the store owner to pick their hosting. Whereas Shopify you’re stuck with what the platform provides WooCommerce allows you to shop around. It also provides a wide variety of caching plugins.

Why is speed important? 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.

So, Shopify vs Woocommerce speed. In my experience, 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.”

Which one allows you to switch?

If you make up your mind and go with one platform it’s important to know you can migrate to the other platform. 

Can you use WooCommerce on Shopify?

The Store Importer app can be used to migrate your product and customer data from the WooCommerce website to the Shopify website. Before you can import it to Shopify, you need to export your data. You will be able to send your WooCommerce products to Shopify

Should I switch from Shopify to WooCommerce?

If you wanted to benefit from:

  • You have more control over it.
  • There is a great deal of flexibility and personalization.
  • Access to a large group of people to help you out.

You can migrate from Shopify to Woocomerce by either the following:

  • Manual export your Shopify data and import the CSV file into WooCommerce
  • Hire a WooCommerce Developer
  • Use the Cart2Cart extension or you could use a hybrid approach. Sign up for the basic plan and use WooCommerce as your storefront. Shopify Connector for WooCommerce

Shopify Vs WooCommerce: So which is best?

My analysis concludes that WooCommerce is much more powerful. With its 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 the 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.