13 October 2023
Are you confused between Shopify vs WordPress to build your online store?
Both Shopify and WordPress are excellent platforms for eCommerce sites. But making the right choice depends on your specific needs and goals.
In this article, we will show you a detailed comparison of WordPress vs Shopify to help you choose the best platform for your eCommerce store.
Let’s dive in!
Shopify is an eCommerce platform built specifically for people who want an out-of-the-box solution for building an eCommerce site.
It’s an excellent option for those who have big ideas but lack the skill to create an online shop from the ground up.
Here are some reasons why you might choose to use Shopify instead of WordPress for your online store:
Now, let’s take a look at why WordPress might be a good option for your eCommerce platform.
WordPress is a popular CMS software that many businesses use to create ecommerce sites.
The main reason why people choose WordPress over Shopify is that WordPress is an extremely flexible and robust platform that can handle more complex sites.
Plus, it can scale with your business. As a result, you won’t have to worry about switching platforms as your business grows.
Here are some reasons to use WordPress over Shopify for your online store:
Note: WordPress comes in two versions: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. In this article, we’re discussing WordPress.org, which is different from WordPress.com.
See the difference between the two in our complete guide on WordPress.org vs WordPress.com.
Let’s take a closer look at how these platforms differ.
Here are some specifics to consider:
This is how it works:
To make your site’s content available online, you must store all your files and data, such as images and website code, somewhere secure and reliable.
Web hosts store your content on servers for a monthly fee. Also, make sure people can access your website.
Shopify is fully hosted, which means it hosts all of your website’s files.
That’s great for people who don’t want to deal with the hassle of finding and choosing a web hosting service.
However, this ease comes at a price tag.
When you don’t select your host, you have less control over the server environment and parameters.
For example, you can’t properly debug issues yourself if you don’t have access to server logs.
With WordPress, you are responsible for finding your own hosting platform. As a result, you have greater control over your server environment.
It also means that you will have to pay an extra cost.
The cost of hosting plans can differ based on factors such as the size of your site and the number of traffic it gets.
For example, hostinger offers hosting that starts at $2.99/mo for the first year. Which covers unlimited monthly visits.
Both Shopify and WordPress feature simple user interfaces that make it easy to find what you’re looking for. And properly manage your site.
This is how a new site looks in the Shopify admin:
Here is the WordPress admin interface for a new website:
Let us compare the user experience (UX) of Shopify with WordPress.
First up, Shopify.
One feature that stands out on Shopify is the setup guide that helps you create your shop:
The setup guide helps store owners select a template, add products to their store, and configure everything to start selling products.
Adding products is also straightforward. You can do this by adding products one at a time or by bulk uploading products via a CSV file.
To add a new product, simply fill out the information (title, description, media, price, etc.), and Shopify will add products to your shop after you click Save.
On the other hand, setting up an ecommerce store in WordPress isn’t as straightforward as with Shopify because you need an ecommerce plugin to sell products on a WordPress site.
With over 5 million installations, WooCommerce is the most popular plugin for creating an ecommerce WordPress site.
WooCommerce walks you through seven steps to get ready to sell your products:
Adding products is also similar to Shopify. You can add them one by one or via a CSV file.
To add new products, fill out the information and click Publish to get your products added to your shop.
When it comes to user experience, Shopify is the clear winner. The installation guide is detailed and walks users through each step.
However, if you’re comfortable building websites, you won’t need this kind of help.
Both Shopify and WordPress let you design a custom storefront or choose from a library of premade themes.
First, let’s talk about about Shopify themes.
Shopify has over 150 themes to choose from:
Each theme is almost ready to use soon after installation. Simply change the text and update the branding to fit with your business.
You might get your storefront ready in a matter of hours.
WordPress also offers thousands of free themes in its theme library. You can also filter them by “E-Commerce” to uncover those that are particularly built for ecommerce stores:
Because WordPress is so flexible, you can change almost every element of your site’s appearance.
However, creating a shop on WordPress can require more effort.
Most themes aren’t ready out of the box and might take weeks or months to finalize, especially if you’re new to web design.
Read out: 15 Free WordPress Themes for eCommerce.
Shopify and WordPress take a different approach to ecommerce features. And which one you select depends on your needs.
Overall, Shopify or WordPress lets you:
Shopify is specially built for ecommerce. As a result, it has everything you need to start and expand an eCommerce shop.
Furthermore, in Shopify’s Apps Store, you can look through many categories, such as “Finding products” and “Selling products,” to find free or premium apps that suit your specific needs:
WordPress also offers free and paid plugins. Over 1,000 plugins are specifically for ecommerce functionality:
However, Shopify’s categories make it easier to find apps. WordPress users have to browse through pages of plugins to find what they need.
Both WordPress and Shopify allow you to sell things outside of your online store. But it’s much easier with Shopify.
Selling through channels other than your ecommerce site is called “multi-channel commerce.”
Some examples of multi-channel commerce include selling your products via:
With multi-channel commerce, everything connects to your online shop, so you can keep track of orders and inventory.
For example, your website will show an “out of stock” label if you sell out all your products on Amazon. As a result, there is no need for manual updates.
First, let’s take a look at Shopify’s multi-channel commerce features.
Shopify integrates your store with Facebook, Instagram, and Handshake.
You’ll need extra apps if you wish to sell on other platforms. These applications allow you to sell items on:
Furthermore, Shopify integrates with a POS system — the tools that allow you to sell and receive payments in person. As a result, you can sell in physical stores or marketplaces.
WordPress is also capable of connecting to many channels, such as eBay, Amazon, and Google. However, setting up multi-channel commerce on WordPress is not as easy as it is on Shopify.
First and foremost, it depends on the ecommerce plugin you use. If you use WooCommerce, you will need to install extra plugins before connecting to any other channels.
For example, if you want to sell things on Facebook, you need to download the free Facebook for WooCommerce plugin.
Another plugin will be required if you want POS integration.
The great thing about WordPress’s extensive plugin library is you can often find free options.
In comparison to Shopify, WordPress gives you more control over search engine optimization (SEO). It is a set of steps you can follow to improve your visibility in search engine results.
Why does SEO matter?
SEO is important since generating organic traffic (unpaid visits to your website from search engine results) allows you to reach more people and drive more sales.
Let’s suppose you sell T-shirts.
If someone searches for “T-shirts” on Google, you want your store to appear on the first page.
And you achieve this by ensuring that your website is search engine optimized.
SEO contains several strategies, such as improving the technical aspects of your shop (via technical SEO) and optimizing individual pages (via on-page SEO).
WordPress users have greater control over technical SEO. Technical SEO involves things like submitting your sitemap to Google, building a logical website structure, and optimizing your site speed.
Users, for example, have the option of selecting their own hosting provider. To ensure that their site loads quickly.
They can also change configuration files, such as the .htaccess file, to write custom code that helps their shop load faster.
However, you can’t perform these actions with Shopify.
However, plugins like Yoast SEO (available for Shopify and WordPress) help users manage aspects of their technical and on-page SEO.
Both WordPress and Shopify offer excellent on-page SEO features that allow you to optimize your individual web pages.
Users of both WordPress and Shopify can:
Both WordPress and Shopify support multilingual. However, WordPress allows you to translate your shop into more languages and currencies than Shopify.
This is important because having separate pages that use a specific region’s language and currency delivers a better user experience.
For example, if you have a Netherlands version of your website, anyone visiting your site from the Netherlands will see that version with prices displayed in euros.
WordPress users can create multilingual sites with multiple currencies by using plugins such as WooCommerce Multilingual & Multicurrency with WPML.
If you’re using WordPress, there’s no limit to how many languages you can add to your shop.
However, remember that adding too many languages may cause your site to run slowly (affecting your SEO performance).
Shopify also makes it simple to add various languages and currencies to your store without having to create each version from scratch.
With Shopify Translate & Adapt app, you can add up to 20 different languages to your shop.
Plus, you can also add different currencies.
WordPress allows users to open multiple stores under a single account, while Shopify does not.
For example, let’s suppose you start a shop selling clothes.
Then, you open a totally new shop selling electronic items.
The two niches are very different. And you’d want to divide them into two different sites.
If you use Shopify, you’ll need to create a new account, which is OK for some people.
However, for those who manage multiple ecommerce stores, logging into multiple sites with different usernames and passwords is a hassle.
WordPress allows you to enable the Multisite feature. This allows users to switch between multiple sites under one account.
If you know how to code, you can enable WordPress Multisite by adding the following line of code to your wp-config.php file:
Then, configure your Multisite Network by logging into your WordPress site and going to Tools » Network Setup.
Shopify and WordPress both provide apps that allow users to control their stores on the go.
The free Shopify iOS and Android app allows users to manage products, handle orders, run marketing campaigns, and communicate with customers.
If you use WordPress and WooCommerce, you can download the WooCommerce Mobile App to create products, manage orders, print labels, and track statistics.
In comparison to WordPress, Shopify offers greater support options.
Shopify offers a live help chat, the opportunity to leave a message, and a discussion group where you can engage with other Shopify users.
With so many resources, you can find solutions to almost any question.
WordPress is a free and open-source platform. As a result, it lacks the same degree of support.
There is no support chat, but there is an active online forum where volunteers answer questions and help fellow community members.
Each plugin and theme will have its own support staff and forums. So you can reach them directly to get answers.
WordPress can be more cost-effective than Shopify. However, it depends on your hosting provider, plugins, themes, etc.
Here’s a look at the pricing cost between Shopify vs WordPress:
How Much Does Shopify Cost?
Shopify makes it really easy to start your online store. Their Basic plan starts at ₹1,994/mo, and you can upgrade to the Shopify plan for ₹7,447/mo or the Advanced Shopify plan for ₹30,164/mo.
Each of these plans includes an SSL certificate and web hosting. Plus, it will come with a Shopify branded subdomain (e.g., https://your-store.myshopify.com).
If you want to use your own domain name, then you’ll need to purchase it separately. Pricing for a regular .com domain name generally starts at ₹1163/year.
Furthermore, if you only want to sell products through social media and messaging channels, you can select the Starter plan, which costs ₹399/mo.
There is also a free trial available; this lasts for three days. When your trial is over, you can pay $1 for three months of full access to the platform.
How Much Does WordPress Cost?
WordPress is free to use. However, you’ll need a domain name, SSL certificate, WordPress hosting, etc, to start a WooCommerce store.
Typically, a domain name costs $14/year, an SSL certificate costs $60/year, and web hosting costs around $7.99/mo. This is not cheap, particularly when you are just starting.
Plus, you also need to pay for premium WooCommerce themes and some official WooCommerce extensions.
These factors make calculating the entire cost of a WordPress WooCommerce shop challenging, especially when compared to a set of Shopify plans. However, the sheer number of free and paid add-ons available means that you can make WooCommerce as cheap or as pricey as you want.
If you’re still asking yourself, “Should I use WordPress or Shopify?” Here’s a quick way to tell:
You’ll love WordPress if you:
And you’ll love Shopify if you:
We hope this comparison of Shopify vs WordPress helped you find the best platform for your eCommerce store.
For more, check out these other WordPress comparisons:
It depends. Shopify can be more expensive on a month-to-month basis, especially if you’re on a lower-tier plan and need to use many premium apps. WordPress, on the other hand, offers more flexibility in terms of cost, as you can control your hosting and plugin expenses, but it may require more technical expertise and management.
WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform in the world. According to BuiltWith, WooCommerce is used on 28% of the top 1 million websites, followed by Shopify at 20%.
WooCommerce is designed on WordPress, the most popular website builder, which powers over 43% of all websites on the internet.
Yes! WordPress actually has a Shopify plugin. This allows you to add Shopify products and checkout to your WordPress website. This is a good option if you already have a WordPress website and you want to add eCommerce functionality to it.