WooCommerce VS Shopify Which Ecommerce Platform is Best?
Choosing the right platform for an online store is not as easy as it seems. Most e-commerce platforms define themselves as “the best” on the market, but this does not mean that they are suitable for your project. In this article, i will share a detailed comparison of WooCommerce VS Shopify. Please check this graph as well E-Commerce Platform Market Share 2017-2020
To help you make an informed decision in this post, we will take a dip in two of the most popular e-commerce platforms on the market: WooCommerce vs. Shopify.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that you can use to turn your website into an e-commerce store. This is one of the reasons why we chose to make this WooCommerce vs. Shopify comparison.
Since its launch, this open-source plugin has been downloaded over 39 million times, becoming one of the most popular WordPress plugins.
With a little work, the plugin can be integrated with any WordPress theme. Therefore, there is no need for heavy customization to turn your existing site into a fully functional online store.
WooCommerce can be downloaded for free from the WordPress repository. It offers a large number of free and premium extensions to enrich the site and expand the scope of your business.
What is Shopify?
Let’s find out the second contender of this WooCommerce vs. Shopify comparison. If you try to find the best platform to start an online store, you will often find the name Shopify.
This popular Canadian platform feeds over 800,000 e-commerce sites worldwide.
The reason is quite simple: it allows you to focus on creating and developing your business without the need to deal with any technical aspect of your e-commerce site, such as creating backups, improving security, or optimizing its performance. Shopify is an independent e-commerce platform. Everything is included: hosting, security, payment gateways, landing pages, and more.
Also, this platform is highly flexible. You can use Shopify to create a dropshipping ecommerce, a mobile e-commerce site, or a marketplace. Now that we know the basics of each platform, we can compare WooCommerce vs. Shopify.
In this section, we will compare WooCommerce vs. Shopify based on some of the most important aspects of both platforms: ease of use, functionality, payment options, SEO, prices, and security.
- WooCommerce vs. Shopify – Ease of use
We are sure you want to start your business as soon as possible. Let’s compare the configuration procedure of WooCommerce and Shopify. Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, you may need basic knowledge on setting up a WordPress site.
Creating a shop with WooCommerce, however, is not a difficult task at all. After activating the plugin, an installation wizard will start to set the store location and currency, the payment gateway, the shipping options, and more.
Shopify does not require any technical knowledge. After registering, simply follow the installation guide, choose a design, and start adding products to your shop. The platform also provides templates and add-ons through the Shopify App Store to extend the functionality of your shop.
Also, changing the theme of a Shopify site is very simple. You just have to press the Explore free themes button in the administration area and select the one you like best.
Changing the theme in WooCommerce means that you have to change the theme of your WordPress site. It’s not difficult, but it takes more time and attention. These are the key aspects of ease of use when comparing WooCommerce vs. Shopify. So who wins this round?
If you are familiar with WordPress, managing WooCommerce is not a problem. If you are not familiar with the platform, setting up your store will take a little learning.
The first round of this battle between WooCommerce and Shopify goes to the latter. It has a more straightforward setup process, which requires no prior knowledge.
- WooCommerce vs. Shopify – Features
This is one of the most critical aspects of the WooCommerce vs. Shopify comparison.
Different types of stores require different features. So which one to choose?
One of the distinctive features of Shopify is its centralized management dashboard, where you can create order forms, accept payments, and monitor the performance of your business in one place.
To help you expand your market, the platform offers various sales channels such as Instagram, Facebook Shop, Amazon, and eBay.
In case of difficulty, simply contact technical support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via chat, e-mail, telephone, and Twitter. This is certainly a positive aspect since WooCommerce provides limited support only through tickets and through an open forum.
However, WooCommerce is more flexible than its competitor. It offers highly customizable themes, automatic tax calculations, advanced security options, and hundreds of free and paid official extensions.
You can also choose from a collection of 50,000 WordPress plugins.
Also, WooCommerce allows you to edit any part of the website, including core files, which Shopify does not let you do.
In other words, WooCommerce has better customization options and offers more creative freedom. However, since it has limited support, it may take some time before you can get assistance.
Both platforms come with great features to help you develop your online business. In the end, it all depends on your personal preferences.
If you are looking for a platform that offers total freedom and high flexibility, WooCommerce is a perfect choice.
If you are looking for an all-in-one platform that offers full functionality, Shopify is the best option.
- WooCommerce vs. Shopify – Payment options
Payment options are probably an essential part of an e-commerce site. Regardless of the convenience of your products, if the customer does not find a favorable payment option, he will bounce to another site.
WooCommerce uses PayPal by default, but you can add different payment options by adding other payment gateways. The most popular are Stripe, Amazon, and Square.
Some payment gateway extensions are not free. For example, you need to pay between $ 79 and $ 199 per year to use the FirstData gateway.
Also, since the gateways in WooCommerce are additional plugins, overuse of these may slow down your site. You will, therefore, have to choose the payment options tailored to the needs of your customers.
Shopify instead has its payment gateway in addition to those of third parties such as Amazon Pay, PayPal, and Apple Pay. There are more than 100 options, but some are only available in selected countries.
Shopify also allows cryptocurrency payments via Bitpay, GoCoin, CoinPayments, and Coinbase Commerce.
You will be charged between 0.5% and 2% for each transaction when using third-party payment providers. The percentage will depend on the rate plan.
So which platform, WooCommerce vs. Shopify, might your buyers prefer?
Although both platforms offer a wide range of payment options, Shopify has a slight advantage over WooCommerce in this round of comparison. It has its payment gateway.
- WooCommerce vs. Shopify – SEO
SEO is essential for any online project or business. Let’s see which platform simplifies the optimization for search engines.
WooCommerce does not have integrated SEO optimization tools. However, you can use numerous SEO tools and plugins for WordPress, such as SEMrush, SEOZoom, Google Keyword Planner, RankMath, and Yoast.
Shopify, on the other hand, provides some basic SEO optimization features like changing meta information and sitemap.
It also supports a limited number of third-party SEO tools, including Keywords Everywhere, Ubersuggest, and Screaming Frog.
An obvious disadvantage of Shopify is that the platform restricts access to its core files. Therefore, advanced SEO optimization, such as editing the robots.txt file, cannot be performed.
This limitation is excellent from a security point of view since the core files of your site are blocked and cannot be modified by anyone. However, from the SEO point of view, it can be considered a high limit.
With this in mind, which platform will allow you to implement SEO techniques more easily?
It is important to stress that Shopify is not bad from an SEO point of view; it is not enough compared to WooCommerce. Furthermore, since WordPress is the most SEO-friendly CMS on the market, it makes sense to say that WooCommerce is also.
- WooCommerce vs. Shopify – Prices
When comparing WooCommerce vs. Shopify, it is essential to remember that as a WordPress plugin, WooCommerce can be downloaded and used for free. However, to manage a WordPress site, you need to have hosting.
If you plan to take full advantage of WooCommerce, you may be forced to purchase premium themes or plugins. A serious theme costs between $ 20 to $ 100 / year, while the price for a plugin ranges from $ 29 to $ 299 / year.
Shopify, on the other hand, will charge you the costs in advance. The Basic plan costs $ 29 / month, and the Advanced plan costs $ 299 / month. It may seem expensive, but this platform takes care of all the basic needs to start an e-commerce business.
Since both platforms have different pricing systems, we cannot decide which of the two wins this round.
WooCommerce is free but requires the purchase of a hosting plan while Shopify looks expensive. However, it already has all the tools necessary to start a fully functional e-commerce shop.
It all depends on your budget and your needs.
- WooCommerce vs. Shopify – Security
Running an e-commerce business means that you will be dealing with tons of private information such as customer addresses, credit card numbers, and financial documents. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that your e-commerce platform is secure. Let’s compare the differences between WooCommerce and Shopify.
Shopify has a level 1 PCI DSS compliance certificate. It is an international security certification issued by the PCI Standard Security Council to prevent credit card fraud.
PCI DSS compliance works by maintaining secure digital transactions, protecting credit cardholders’ data, monitoring the network, and using strong access control to prevent external intervention. It is a very hard shell to break.
WooCommerce, on the other hand, cannot achieve PCI DSS compliance because it is a plugin. However, it can be integrated with WordPress security plugins. Of course, you can also purchase an SSL certificate from your hosting provider to improve the security of your store.
So who ticks it in the WooCommerce vs. Shopify comparison on the security side?
An SSL certificate and security plugins are enough to protect your WooCommerce site.
Shopify, however, is PCI DSS certified and is a closed platform. Shopify has better security and requires no input from the webmaster.
So who wins the WooCommerce vs. Shopify comparison? Based on the comparisons, Shopify has a slight overall advantage. However, it is essential to remember that everyone has different needs when creating an e-commerce site.
Let’s take a look at each aspect we compared:
- Ease of use – if you are a beginner who wants to start an e-commerce business without going through an uphill learning curve, Shopify is better.
- Functionality – both WooCommerce and Shopify have excellent functionality for creating an online store. WooCommerce can be integrated with thousands of WordPress plugins, while Shopify offers several ready-to-use features.
- Payment options – Shopify supports over 100 payment gateways. However, you will be charged between 0.5% and 2% per transaction when using third-party payment service providers. Although WooCommerce doesn’t charge for transactions, you may need to purchase some payment gateway plugins.
- SEO – WooCommerce can be integrated with WordPress SEO plugins, while Shopify has fewer options as it is a closed platform.
- Pricing – WooCommerce is free, but you need to have web hosting and purchase some plugins to unlock its full potential. Shopify instead is a paid platform that already provides all the tools necessary to start an e-commerce site.
- Security – Shopify has a PCI DSS certificate to ensure that your e-commerce store is safe and secure. For WooCommerce, you need to purchase an SSL certificate from your hosting provider and use WordPress plugins to improve security.
There are also other e-commerce platforms that you can try, such as Magento, Opencart, and PrestaShop. Remember to do extensive research so that you can make an informed decision and grow your business.
We at Creativemotions can recommend the best possible solution. We can help you make the most of the features offered by the various platforms, allowing your store to take off and generate the best possible conversion rate.