Shopify Vs Woocommerce

By Ten Squared, posted on the 9th of August, 2021 · 3 minute read

Both Shopify and Woocommerce are designed to make running an eCommerce store as straightforward as possible, but which platform did it better? Shopify was built from the ground up with eCommerce in mind, Woocommerce is an extension of WordPress designed to add on Ecommerce functionality. How do these two different methods stack up?

Shopify

Based on our experience Shopify is easier to use, has more well-designed themes, better support, quality plugins and a world of integrations. So why are there so many benefits? Well, Shopify is a paid platform whilst Woocommerce is free.

Despite the incredible benefits, Shopify is more expensive, Shopify has the power to shut down your store, many integrations cost more on Shopify than on Woocommerce (however they do work better). Shopify also charges fees on third-party payment processors, this means you pay Shopify and the third party processor.

Pros:

  • Hosting included
  • Security managed
  • Quality plugins
  • Hundred of integrations
  • Less likely to break
  • Marketing and SEO plugins
  • Set multiple currencies, shipping rates and websites
  • Discount codes
  • Blogs
  • Numerous high-quality themes (9 free themes, paid themes, and 12,000 third party themes)
  • Built-in reporting
  • Easy to get started (free trial)
  • Easy to managed orders
  • Easy to upload and update products
  • 24/7 support

Cons:

  • More expensive
  • You do not own your site
  • Your site cannot be transferred to another platform
  • Some limitations when it comes to customisation
  • Card processing fees
  • Shopify apps often require paid plans

Woocommerce

Woocommerce is a free plugin for any WordPress site. However, you need to pay for hosting and security, this still leaves you ahead then when it comes to Shopify. Woocommerce also allows you to customise everything, if you want to change it you can change it. Additionally, Woocommerce sites will not be shut down. Finally, Woocommerce is based on WordPress which has great blog functionality, this can be incredible for content marketing.

Now the biggest drawback of Woocommerce has to be the lack of support. Many hosting companies also make you pay for a year of hosting upfront meaning although over time it is more affordable, there is a slightly higher upfront cost when compared to Shopify. You are also far more likely to have technical difficulties with Woocommerce. It is incredibly common for checkout to stop working for days. This can result in incredible indirect costs as a result of lost sales. Whilst Shopify manages your transactions, you need to set these up yourself and very similar fees exist on both these platforms for payments.

Pros:

  • More affordable
  • WordPress is great for blogs
  • You own the website
  • Blogs
  • More affordable themes (quality not guaranteed)
  • You can change hosting
  • Marketing and SEO plugins
  • Reporting
  • Free plugins (although limited)

Cons:

  • Lack of support
  • Self-managed hosting
  • Self-managed security
  • Credit card processing fees
  • Page speed is more varied (more manual optimisation required)

Which is best for you?

Depending on the number of sales you expect and your expertise the obvious choice is clear. If you have little technical expertise then Shopify is going to be the best option. There is so much support and overall Shopify has a user-friendly interface. To put it simply, less will go wrong with Shopify. If you have more time, don't expect to make as many sales and are willing to put up with a few headaches, then Woocommerce can be the best option. With greater customisation, more affordable costs and numerous themes to choose from.

In essence, Shopify is a great starting point, you will likely save lots of time and time is money. Woocommerce takes a lot longer to learn but will save you money in the long run making it a great option for low volume stores.