WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which One is The Best?
WooCommerce and Shopify, the two most popular, ecommerce platforms available today. Both with their pros and cons, but which one is the absolute best to use? We’ve put together a definitive, yet simple, comparison to guide you through which platform is the best, and more importantly which one is right for you.
Design & Ease of use:
We’ll start with the basics; which of the two has the most professional designs for your ecommerce store, which will help you generate sales and which is the most intuitive to use.
WooCommerce – A designers dream when it comes to ecommerce store themes, with thousands of themes and plugins, the sky’s the limit when it comes to designing your store. Plus, the entry theme, storefront is clean and fully-responsive on mobile. WooCommerce does have a slightly steeper learning curve to it, but that’s really down to the fact it offers more options. The bottom line is that Woocommerce is open-source so is fully customisable both in it’s functionality and design.
Shopify – Has a choice 60 themes (a mix of free and paid). The themes are polished, and designed to help you sell your product – it is a dedicated ecommerce store after all! The premium themes do come in expensive, however, at $140. Shopify is also simple to use, especially if you’re a novice. However, this does mean that there’s a limit to how far you can go with it.
Both provide every feature you could need to create your ecommerce platform, but does one do more than the other?
WooCommerce – It’s main strength is its flexibility. As developers can add custom built plug-ins, the available features are always up-to-date. The best key features, to help you make money, are built-in blogging, one click refunds for customers and unlimited customisations. If there are any ecommerce you can think of, there’s likely a free plugin that offers it. Woocommerce wins this round hands-down.
Shopify – Comes with more in-built ecommerce tools, but limited add-ons and sadly the core functionality is starting to become stale.
Once your store is set up, you need to think about which platform is going to bring you in the most customers, and the most revenue.
WooCommerce – Gives you greater control over all aspects of your store, which means the parts that affect SEO. For example, you can add extremely detailed meta descriptions and titles. It’s also comes with integrations that can help you become an SEO expert. The free Yoast plugin is industry leading and the only plugin that we install universally on every site we build.
Shopify – Essentially a ready made ecommerce store, it’ll do exactly what you need and expect it to do. But really, when it comes to SEO there’s really not much you can do. This round also goes to Woocommerce.
High-level security is a must when it comes to any ecommerce store store holding customer details.
WooCommerce – Works with WordPress and is best self-hosted, and so making sure your site is safe does come down to you or your hosting provider. While this isn’t ideal, it also isn’t the most complicated of features to sort out. Being open-source there are thousands of developers looking out for vulnerabilities, but also hackers looking for them.
Shopify – As it’s a hosted ecommerce platform, they’re in charge of handling any security issues and making sure your site is safe from hackers. Spotify wins this round, but only if you don’t keep your woocommerce store up to date.
Payment Options and Fees:
Finally, how easy is it going to be for your customers to buy from your store (both do offer over 100 different payment options, so it’s close), and how do you have to pay?
WooCommerce – One of it’s main benefits, it doesn’t charge you any transaction fees! If you’re selling a large volume of product then WooCommerce is likely the right platform for you. Likewise, being open-source even the less heard of payment gateways are supported.
Shopify – Charges 2% per transaction if you use a third-party gateway. This can be reduced, but you need to upgrade to a higher Shopify plan, so you’ll need to do the math to see which will work out the best for you in the long run. Another round goes to Woocommerce – the free solution.
The winner is hands-down Woocommerce. It’s free, 100% customisable, secure, easy to use and capable for even the largest stores with complex products, or large stocklists. Shopify isn’t a complete right off though – it still has it’s uses.
WooCommerce is best if you already have a website and wish to turn it into an online store, or are working with a web developer. Packed full of features and options, if you’re willing to spend a little more time on it, it can work massively in your favour.
Shopify is for you if you’re new to ecommerce and are looking for a DIY solution. While there are some web developers that will build you a site on Shopify, it’s more of a DIY level solution, hence the monthly pricing. It’ll definitely get the job done for you, but there is a limit to how far you can go with it.
We’ve built hundreds of successful ecommerce sites on both platforms (and various others too) and will always recommend the right solution for you, no matter what. Normally this will be Woocomerce and c. 75-80% of stores we build will be on that platform. We’d love to know your thoughts on these platforms: let us know below.