WooCommerce vs Shopify is a showdown between two popular ecommerce gladiators.
But if you’re trying to choose between WooCommerce and Shopify, how do you know which one is better?
Well, it’s not really a question of which one is better. They’re both powerful, but markedly different options if you’re looking to sell online. The bottom line is, which one is right for you will depend on your personal circumstances.
Shopify is for you if you need an all-in-one-package. You can build and publish your own online store entirely through Shopify, and make use of its neat features and apps.
WooCommerce is for you if you already have a website. It’s a plugin that works with WordPress, and helps turn your website into an online store.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to decide if Shopify or WooCommerce is right for you. You’ll find out the key differences, and how they should influence your decision.
Here at Website Builder Experts we give these reviews and comparisons the attention they deserve. That’s we conduct our own, real-life research, looking at the important factors that matter to you.
Our side-by-side comparison will compare WooCommerce and Shopify on:
- Ease of use
- Ecommerce features
- Design and appearance
And much more!
Before we look at WooCommerce vs Shopify in more depth, we’ll cover the major pros and cons of each option. If you’re eager to get started, you can try both Shopify and WooCommerce via the links below:
Shopify Updates: June 2020
Shopify recently announced some exciting updates — here are just five of the highlights we thought you might want to hear about:
- New tipping feature! Merchants can enable tipping during checkout, or customize the text to ask for donations to your business or favorite charity.
- New “Express” theme – designed to help non-traditional businesses like restaurants create an online store quickly and easily.
- Shop App. This new personal shopping app lets customers view their favorite Shopify stores, get product recommendations, and track orders. It’s already being used by over 16 million users!
- Curbside Pickup and Local Delivery. Merchants can now offer more flexible and contact-free shipping options.
- Shopify Balance (coming later this year). Shopify’s new account for small businesses — pay bills, track expenses, and apply for funding from your Shopify admin. You also get a Shopify card, which comes with a rewards program tailored to merchants’ needs.
- Make sure you’re picking a quality builder for your quality business – find details in our chart of the Best Ecommerce Website Builders of 2019
- Not sure which ecommerce builder is best for you? Read our review of the Best Ecommerce Platforms to find out!
- Find answers to your questions in our Shopify vs WooCommerce FAQ section
Shopify: Pros and Cons
|#1||Hosted ecommerce software|
Shopify takes care of the technical maintenance of running a store for you. Your Shopify plan includes hosting , as well as the necessary security certificates. What’s more, you can relax as your store grows because you know it won’t crash under the increased traffic and sales volume. Shopify is a scalable ecommerce platform because it can deal with any growth your store experiences.
|#2||Quality support 24/7|
One of Shopify’s unique selling points is the level of its customer support. We’ve found Shopify agents helpful, quick to respond and effective at resolving issues.
You can connect Shopify to various marketplaces and social networks (like Amazon or Facebook). This lets you sell your products directly through these other sites, giving you an almost limitless audience to advertise to.
|#1||Need to know coding to customize extensively |
To make serious changes to your Shopify store, you will need to learn the company’s own coding language, Liquid. This requires at least some technical skill on your part.
WooCommerce: Pros and Cons
As an open-source platform, the code is available. This means the customization possibilities with a platform like WooCommerce are inexhaustible. You can create a store with real personality. Little wonder that WooCommerce calls itself “the world’s most customizable ecommerce platform”.
|#2||Stylish, specially-designed themes WooThemes|
Specific, mobile-responsive WordPress themes exist for WooCommerce. There’s a huge selection to choose from and, because WordPress themes work with WooCommerce stores, your design options are never-ending.
Access to WordPress’ blogging infrastructure (more in our WordPress Review) and the ability to dig deep and edit your store’s metadata means WooCommerce gives you everything you need to harness the power of Search Engine Optimization and dominate those Google rankings.
|#1||Lack of customer support|
WooCommerce doesn’t provide phone support. Instead, you can submit tickets or try to find the answer to your problem on the forum. It’s a much more hands-off approach than Shopify.
So what do the pros and cons tell us about WooCommerce vs Shopify?
Whether WooCommerce or Shopify is right for you boils down to a few core differences.
Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce offering served up to you in white gloves. Everything you need to sell online is ready to go. WooCommerce is a self-hosted ecommerce platform. This means you can access the code and have great customization potential. But it also means you’re responsible for the technical aspects of your store, such as setting up hosting.
We’d recommend powering your WooCommerce store with Bluehost. It’s our top-rated web hosting provider and it’s been endorsed by WooCommerce itself. What’s even better, prices for new customers start at just $6.95 per month (usually $13.99). By using Bluehost, you get access to:
- WooCommerce auto-install
- Free domain name and SSL certificate
- Storefront theme pre-installed
- 24/7 support from in-house WordPress experts
So does this mean you should choose WooCommerce or Shopify?
If you don’t want to worry about the technical running of your store, Shopify is right for you. And it’s the same answer if you want ecommerce tools that are ready to use straight away. But if you’re technically-skilled and want a hands-on approach, WooCommerce might be a better option.
To use WooCommerce you need an account with WordPress. So if you already have a site built with WordPress, WooCommerce is worth a shot.
If you’re starting out for the first time then a more intuitive platform like Shopify is a good option. If you’re undecided, keep reading for our in-depth WooCommerce vs Shopify comparison.
What should you look for in an ecommerce platform?
When choosing the perfect ecommerce platform for your business you need to think about your own technical skill, your budget, and your business plans. For example, do you want to expand or sell across social platforms?
Once you’ve got these set in your mind, you need to look out for the right qualities in your ecommerce platform – for example, if you don’t know how to code, you’ll want to go for a ‘drag-and-drop’ option.
Look out for features which will be important for your business, such as abandoned cart recovery, shipping, and inventory management. Calculate costs and find one which has plans to match your budget.
Don’t forget about design! Do you want to base your storefront on a professionally made template, or build it yourself from scratch?
Lastly, make sure there are plenty of quality support options in place to help you out if you ever get stuck. Whether you prefer phone support or reading help articles, make sure there are proper help resources which suit your needs.
When it comes to features, WooCommerce vs Shopify is a tight-run contest.
Here’s the thing to remember: both provide the features you need to build an effective online store. If you’re looking to sell products on the internet, or get a small business online, neither will let you down.
Where WooCommerce and Shopify differ is in the features you get included as standard.
In a nutshell: Shopify comes with far more ecommerce tools in-built. Sign up with Basic Shopify and you’ll get impressive features to help you sell, including:
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Discount codes
- Unlimited products
- Website and blog
- Over 100 payment options
Features Shopify include can cost you money in WooCommerce’s Extensions store. For example, accepting payments from Authorize.net.
From our research and testing, Shopify’s sales features are second to none. Find out more in our Shopify Review. It’s a dedicated online shopping platform. Everything aims to help you sell and Shopify bases features on what it knows works. It’s why they’ve helped businesses generate over $55bn in revenue!
One strength of WooCommerce is flexibility. Because it’s an open-source platform, developers add custom-built plugins to the store. Add-ons are up-to-date, but to get the most out of the service you need to invest time (and money) to develop your store.
Key WooCommerce features we like are:
- Built-in blogging
- “Unrestricted customization” – you can edit anything from the homepage layout to the ‘buy’ button.
- Ability to embed products and checkout onto wider range of store pages
- One-click refund for customers
Abandoned Cart Recovery
One feature Shopify includes as standard that WooCommerce doesn’t is Abandon Cart. When thinking about WooCommerce vs Shopify, this is important. It allows customers to complete an abandoned order without filling out their details again. It also sends a gentle email reminder inviting them to finish the sale. Having an Abandon Cart option is like fixing a leak in your pipe – sales aren’t going to slip through the cracks!
While both platforms meet the selling needs of merchants, Shopify’s features are in-built. They’re ready to use from the moment you sign up.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Features: The Verdict
This is a close one, but we’re giving it to Shopify. Having features in-built and ready to use makes Shopify more accessible. Important features like abandoned cart recovery are vital to any big business and that’s something WooCommerce doesn’t offer.
WooCommerce vs Shopify is, of course, far more than a beauty content.
However, both WooCommerce and Shopify’s stylish themes give your store a professional look and feel.
Shopify’s theme store has over 60 free and paid themes for you to choose from. If you include variations, though, the real figure is over 100. Shopify’s themes are very polished. Because it’s a dedicated ecommerce platform, they’re designed to help you sell.
Premium themes start from $140. While this may seem expensive, it’s a one-off payment that you should see as an investment in your store. If it helps helps you generate more revenue, it will pay for itself (we’ve got more on pricing later). And if you’re working to a tight budget, there are plenty of free themes to start with.
WooCommerce’s entry theme, Storefront, is fully-responsive on mobile devices. It also comes with a clean and fresh layout.
To develop your theme, it’s up to you to add child themes (from $39) and extensions (ranging from free to $69 for a bundle).
How good your design looks on WooCommerce depends on the hours you’re willing to put in. Plus your technical skill level.
With designers creating new themes for WooCommerce, the sky feels like the limit. ThemeForest, for instance, has over 1000 specific ecommerce themes for you to peruse. There are so many it can be easy to feel a little lost.
While the breadth of WooCommerce is fantastic, Shopify’s offering is very filtered. It has taken the time to select the themes that are going to work best for your store. If you’re a fresh-faced entrepreneur hoping to sell online, a library that cuts through the noise will save you time.
Choosing a great theme is only part of the WooCommerce vs Shopify battle. It’s also about how much you can customize that theme.
And that comes down to ease of use.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Design and Themes: The Verdict
Another close one but WooCommerce edges it here. WooCommerce gives you limitless customization so, if you’re technically competent, you can tailor your theme to your exact liking. Shopify is a great out-the-box solution but for limitless control, WooCommerce wins out.
This is important to consider when comparing WooCommerce vs Shopify. Or any website builders in fact; it’s why we’ve taken the time to test them ourselves.
OK, so WooCommerce vs Shopify, which one is easier to use?
There’s little doubt that WooCommerce has a steeper learning curve than Shopify. From our testing, Shopify is definitely easier to get to grips with for a ‘regular’ user.
But don’t just take our word for it. We got regular, everyday people to test Shopify and here are some of their thoughts:
I was able to create a far cleaner website than I thought I could that has really made my products stand out by using Shopify.
I really liked how you supplied the information and the products you wanted to display and then Shopify more or less just created a website for you.
Shopify is a hosted ecommerce platform. That means it takes care of a lot of the technical side of operating a store. From your domain name, hosting (where your site lives online) to any security (SSL) certificates, Shopify has you covered.
On top of that, with Shopify, you don’t have to install, manage or update any software. Or worry about security or back-ups.
By contrast, with WooCommerce you need to do a lot more of the legwork yourself. WooCommerce can feel a little bewildering. Especially if you’re a first-time store builder or not the most technically-confident. But using a hosting provider like Bluehost can make the process a whole lot easier. Bluehost’s dedicated WooCommerce plans come with handy features such as WooCommerce auto-install, as well as a free domain name and SSL certificate.
Shopify designs its dashboard to help non-technical users manage their store. For example, you can change a product’s price, name or image from one screen. You don’t need to navigate around different pages. There’s also tons of help widgets to guide you through editing and personalizing your store. Designing a customer-winning product page is a piece of cake with Shopify!
This isn’t to say you cannot design a stylish WooCommerce store unless you’re an MIT-level computer technician. But, if you’re starting out selling online, there’s no doubt Shopify is the smoother option.
To sum up this section of our WooCommerce vs Shopify comparison, let’s take a look at a store we crafted in Shopify. We’ve included a cutaway of the editing sidebar, so you can see how easy it is to chop and change sections.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Ease of Use: The Verdict
This is a no contest – Shopify is the clear winner. WooCommerce is a far more technical platform that will require a certain level of knowledge to use. Shopify is accessible to the everyday person and you don’t need to know how to code.
So how long does it take for you to get started with WooCommerce and Shopify?
As you can imagine, the answer to this question relates to ease of use. The easier you find the platform to use, the quicker you can create your store and start selling.
Remember, WooCommerce vs Shopify isn’t about which platform is better. It’s more about which one can meet your personal expectations.
Let me explain.
Are you looking build a powerful store but want to get setup fast? Or are you willing to invest a bit of time to have greater control?
In a nutshell: Shopify will let you get your store live quicker than WooCommerce.
With WooCommerce, the setup is more time-consuming. You have to sort out things like hosting yourself. You also need to have a WordPress site already. It’s doable, but Shopify is a one-stop-shop that will provide all the bare essentials for you.
If you’re starting from scratch or have limited technical skills, Shopify is the best option. Getting your store ‘live’ is far quicker and easier. You have your hand held as you setup your store and give it a look and feel by choosing and editing themes. Unlike setting up a store with WordPress, the process is not manual. Shopify stores everything you need in one place.
WooCommerce’s setup is A LOT more hands-on. If you’re willing to sacrifice time for greater technical control, WooCommerce is worth a shot.
One handy service that can save you time when setting up a store with WooCommerce is Bluehost. Bluehost’s WooCommerce plans includes hosting, one-click WordPress installation and round-the-clock support.
WooCommerce’s setup wizard covers the basics, but doesn’t answer more complicated questions. It assumes a higher level of tech know-how from users and leaves you on your own at times.
We recommend Shopify if you’re starting out selling online. It’s a platform that combines powerful ecommerce features with a quick setup process! But we’d recommend WooCommerce if you already have a WordPress site or you want to code yourself. To get started with Shopify, hit the button below to sign up for a free trial.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Time to Build: The Verdict
Another easy win for Shopify here. Its key features are in-built, its themes just need to be populated with your content, and it’s easy to use. All in all the set-up time with Shopify is a lot quicker than WooCommerce if you’re building an online store from scratch.
Once you’ve got your store setup, you’ll start thinking about which platform helps you get more customers. After all, what’s the point of running an online store without customers?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to attracting customers to your virtual shelves. It boils down to this: making sure your store appears high in Google’s search results. When shoppers type in words related to your product, you want them to find you.
Good SEO is like employees flyering on every corner of every busy shopping street in America!
When it comes to SEO, WooCommerce vs Shopify is a tough one to call. Both are robust ecommerce platforms. They will help you make sure your products are appearing in front of the right people.
WooCommerce gives you great control over every aspect of your store. Including the parts that affect SEO. You can dig deep and add detailed meta descriptions and titles to your pages to tell Google what they’re about. Shopify SEO is also easy to master.
Both Shopify and WooCommerce provide apps and integrations that boost your store. Yoast, WordPress’ SEO plugin, is very simple to use and offers excellent support – it’s like hiring an SEO expert!
Shopify, meanwhile, has a range of SEO plugins in its App Store. We like the free SEO Booster. It scans your store and offers fixes for problems that might be hitting performance.
The reason Shopify edges it when it comes to SEO is technical.
Faster sites do better in Google. Shopify’s load time and performance is stronger because it has dedicated servers.
Plus, Shopify includes SSL certificates (with WooCommerce, you have to buy them yourself). Having an SSL certificate turns your store from an HTTP into an HTTPS, where S stands for ‘secure’. It also adds a little padlock to your store’s URL.
What this tells Google is that your store protects customers’ data. Google rewards this by boosting your store up the rankings. It’s a big part of learning how to sell online successfully!
That’s not to say you can’t hire developers to improve your store’s speed. Or buy the right security certificates with WooCommerce.
It’s that for a ready-made SEO-friendly ecommerce platform, you can’t do much better than Shopify. It takes care of a lot of SEO for you. Such as giving your pages the right tags. Or avoiding duplicate content appearing in Google’s results.
Shopify makes it easy to add basic SEO information your store. You can add descriptions and titles for your images, products and pages.
Here’s an example of a store we created on Shopify. You can see where we’ve entered the text (below) and how it appears in a ‘fake’ Google result.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – SEO: The Verdict
A narrow win for Shopify here. Shopify has faster loading times and stronger performance than WooCommerce due to its dedicated servers. Add in an SSL certificate – which you have to buy separately on WooCommerce – and it’s a deal-breaker.
Now it’s time to talk about WooCommerce vs Shopify in terms of payment options.
When you sell online, you need to add ways for your customers to pay.
Both WooCommerce and Shopify offer you a choice of over 100 payment gateways. These are either in-built or added through integrations. The main ones are:
- Credit and debit cards
- Apple Pay
Different payment gateways come with different transaction fees. Make sure you check first before choosing.
Shopify, for example, charges 2% per transaction if you use a third-party gateway. You can reduce this by upgrading to a more advanced Shopify plan. Or get rid of them completely by using Shopify Payments – the company’s own option.
One big plus of WooCommerce is that it doesn’t charge transaction fees. Bank charges and charges by a payment provider (like PayPal) will still apply. If you’re selling a large volume of products, WooCommerce might make sense. It also appeals to sellers who want to choose their own merchant account.
But if you’re happy to use Shopify Payments then it will make little difference (you can read our review of Shopify Payments here).
Bear in mind, integrating new payment providers with WooCommerce can cost over $70, for example, Authorize.net. Shopify may include these options in your Shopify plan as standard!
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Payment Options and Fees: The Verdict
Surprise surprise, it’s another really tight call. WooCommerce wins this one just on the basis it doesn’t charge transaction fees. Unless you use Shopify Payments, you’ll have to pay a surplus and that gives WooCommerce the edge.
High-level security should be a priority for any website. It’s especially important for online stores, as you’re not only processing customers’ money – you’re also holding their personal information.
With Shopify, security is taken care of for you. Because it’s a hosted ecommerce platform, Shopify is in charge of handling any security breaches, and makes sure your site is safe from hackers.
WooCommerce, on the other hand, works with WordPress and is therefore self-hosted. The actual plugin doesn’t come with built-in security, so any security will need to be handled either by yourself or your hosting provider.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. An SSL certificate is responsible for safeguarding your website so personal information can’t be tampered with by cyber criminals.
Shopify comes with built-in SSL. This can be seen by the little padlock icon that appears next to your URL. The main benefits of having an SSL certificate are:
- Security when processing customers’ payments and personal information
- Helps your store’s SEO, as Google looks favorably on sites with SSL
- Lets customers know your site is safe to browse, making sales more likely
WooCommerce doesn’t have its own SSL. As it’s part of WordPress – which is an open-source platform – you’re responsible for sourcing your own SSL certificate. Most people will do this through their hosting provider, most of which provide you with a free SSL certificate when you sign up to a hosting plan – such as Bluehost.
We know the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) sounds like a load of jargon. All it really means, though, is that your website is set up to accept credit card payments in line with legal regulations.
Shopify, again, is totally PCI-DSS compliant. You don’t have to worry or set up a thing, and can start processing credit and debit card payments from day one.
WooCommerce is not automatically PCI-DSS compliant. You can make WooCommerce compliant, however, by following these simple steps.
WooCommerce vs Shopify – Security: The Verdict
It’s an easy win for Shopify here. It’s a hosted platform, meaning security is taken care of for you. Shopify comes with an SSL certificate, and is PCI-DSS compliant. With WooCommerce, however, you’ll need to source SSL and set up PCI-DSS compliance yourself.
When it comes to support, WooCommerce vs Shopify is not a close contest.
Shopify provides 24/7 support over the phone, live chat and email. Throw in a library of helpful guides, a community forum and a setup wizard and Shopify can’t do enough for you.
Using Shopify feels like working with a team of engineers and business advisers! You’re never left on your own and whatever your problem someone will be available to help.
WooCommerce takes a much more hands-off approach to support. The focus is on DIY help sections. These include WordPress-related forums and the WooCommerce community.
You have your own WooCommerce account, but support is suitable for people who don’t need trained advisers. If you’re aware of technical aspects of website building, this will suit you just fine. However, hosting providers like Bluehost give you 24/7 access to WordPress experts when you sign up to their plans.
Put in the legwork and there’s enough WooCommerce information to solve your problem. But it’s a very different experience to being a merchant with Shopify.
When you’re trying to sell products, the longer a problem exists the more sales you risk losing. Plus, time spent trying to solve issues is time you could be spending marketing your store.
Shopify is one of the best ecommerce platforms for people looking to get selling online because of the support it offers.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Customer Support: The Verdict
Shopify lands another knockout blow. If you get stuck on Shopify, there’s always help on hand. With WooCommerce you’re left on your own to find the answer to your problem. There’s helpful WooCommerce information out there but with Shopify it’s readily accessible.
Let’s talk about pricing.
How much do WooCommerce and Shopify cost?
Shopify has set pricing, whereas WooCommerce is more flexible. Shopify’s prices range from $29 to $299 per month. You unlock more advanced features, like professional reports, as you upgrade. WooCommerce is free, but comes with extra costs, including hosting, a domain name, and security.
We know, this is one of the most important questions in any WooCommerce vs Shopify comparison.
The tricky thing is there’s no easy way to pick a winner. They both have very different pricing models. Shopify’s pricing is far clearer. What you see is what you pay.
Let’s take a closer look at the three main Shopify plans and what they cost:
Apart from any premium apps or themes you buy, this is what your monthly bill includes. No hidden extras, no nasty surprises. Shopify is an out-of-the-box, ready-to-go ecommerce platform.
You can save money with Shopify by signing up to an annual or even two-year plan. As you can see from the table below, you can save up to 20% on a two year plan.
|Shopify Pricing Plans||Shopify Basic||Shopify||Advanced Shopify|
No matter how long you sign up for, you still get the same amount of features for your money. From $29/month, you get everything you need to run a fully-functioning ecommerce store!
With WooCommerce, it’s a little more difficult to say what your final monthly bill is going to be.
Although WooCommerce is a free plugin for anyone with a WordPress site, you need a lot of add-ons to start selling online. For example, you’ll need to purchase separate hosting, a domain name, any extensions you want and an SSL certificate. All of these are included in Shopify’s plans.
To get a rough idea of price, let’s look at Bluehost’s WooCommerce + WordPress package deal. For $6.95/month you can host your WooCommerce store and get a domain name and SSL certificate (get started with Bluehost here).
Most estimates put the cost of running a store on WooCommerce as roughly on a par with Shopify’s Basic plan. You could create a store and start selling for less on WooCommerce than Shopify. But the truth is, knowing what your final bill will be is a lot more difficult.
There’s another important pricing consideration: time. With WooCommerce, you will have to invest a lot more of your time getting your store off the ground.
In the ecommerce world, time does equal money.
As your store grows, you will want access to more advanced features so you can carry on growing. You may want access to great SEO support, for example, or an extra payment gateway. Because WooCommerce’s prices are less defined, you’ll have to be more careful at working to a budget when building your business.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Pricing: The Verdict
It’s really hard to pick a pricing winner. The award goes to Shopify simply because you know where you stand with monthly fees. WooCommerce is a little more complex. With all the add-ons, working out your monthly bills can be a little more tricky.
Perhaps Shopify and WooCommerce aren’t really the right choices for your ecommerce business. In that case, it’s worth taking a look at some other leading ecommerce builders to find your perfect match.
Best Built-in Features
If you’re planning on big business, but want a smoother and less technical platform than WooCommerce, we recommend BigCommerce. It’s the most scalable ecommerce builder on the market, and doesn’t require any coding skills! With prices starting at $29.95 per month, it’s an affordable investment for your store.
Best Website Builder With Ecommerce Functionality
If you’ve been reading this comparison and sweating over the technical side of ecommerce, take a look at Wix. It combines the ease of use of a website builder with a powerful range of sales tools – perfect for small businesses! Its ecommerce prices start at $20 per month, which is great for getting started.
Great Analytics Features
Volusion is an ecommerce platform with a strong focus on analytics. It helps you grow your business with in-depth insights into sales and customer visits, and has a range of ecommerce specific tools to help push sales. With four price plans starting at $29 per month, you’ve got lots of room for growth.
Best Designed Templates
If you need a strong, stunning brand alongside a powerful inventory, Squarespace could be your perfect match. It has the best designs on the market, really letting your products shine. It has two ecommerce plans, starting at $26 per month, so it’s not suitable for momentous growth, but is perfect for small to medium stores.
Like WooCommerce, this is a self-hosted ecommerce platform, meaning you have to manage it all yourself. Magento is extremely flexible, offers great customization, and is extremely popular! It’s still very technical and the costs can add up, but if you want an alternative to WooCommerce, it’s worth a look.
Comparing WooCommerce vs Shopify isn’t about deciding the best platform. It’s more about deciding which is the best for you.
There’s no substitute for hands-on testing.
WooCommerce offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, while Shopify offers a free trial. Make use of these periods to test the platforms. Experiment with the features, themes, payment options and SEO. See how easy you find the platform to use.
In this guide, we’ve unpacked the key differences between the two ecommerce services. But whichever one you choose, you will be able to build a powerful ecommerce store.
To recap, here’s a quickfire breakdown that tells you whether you’re more suited to WooCommerce or Shopify:
Should You Use WooCommerce Or Shopify?
You Should Use Shopify If:
- You need to build your own online store from scratch
- You want 24/7 support, and things like security taken care of for you
- You need a website up live in a short space of time with limited technical knowhow
You Should Use WooCommerce If:
- You already have a WordPress website and want it to have an ecommerce store
- You’re technically competent and want greater control over your site’s design and hosting
- You don’t want to use Shopify Payments (which charges a fee) to power your transactions
From research, testing, and our own expert opinion, we’d recommend Shopify. It’s quite literally a one-stop-shop for your ecommerce needs. There’s no hassle – everything you need is included in its clearly priced plans.
Shopify is also right for you if you don’t want to be responsible for the technical upkeep of your store.
Which platform is more scalable, WooCommerce or Shopify?
WooCommerce is more scalable in the long run because you have ultimate control over and customization of your site. However, it may be more costly than Shopify. Shopify is extremely scalable, with a choice of plans and apps to push growth, but is more structured in its features.
Who has better apps?
Technically, WooCommerce has a wider range of plugins than Shopify, but they’re not all reliable. Shopify has over 2,200 apps in its App Store, and you’re guaranteed they’re all compatible with your site – as well as safe to install.
Can you migrate your store between Shopify and WooCommerce?
Yes! You can migrate your site from WooCommerce to Shopify, and vice versa. While switching may not be ideal, it’s not impossible – you can even automate the entire process, which will help you to avoid headaches.
Can you use WooCommerce or Shopify for free?
You can try Shopify for free for 14 days, but then you’ll need to sign up to a paid plan. WooCommerce is free, but you will still spend money on hosting, security, domains, and more – so make sure you budget for whichever you choose.
Do you have to pay for hosting with WooCommerce or Shopify?
Since WooCommerce runs through WordPress, which is a self-hosted platform, you will have to pay for hosting separately. If you’re looking for a web hosting provider, check out our hosting comparison chart here. With Shopify, your site is hosted for you, so there’s nothing to sort out.