Shopify vs WooCommerce
I can’t count the number of times I’ve had new clients ask me: “Shopify or WooCommerce, which one is better?”
The truth is, there isn’t a one-word answer for this. Both these popular eCommerce platforms have their strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, you need to find a solution that fits your specific business needs and objectives. The first step is working out what actually sets them apart. Read on to find out more.
First things first, what’s the main difference between Shopify and WooCommerce?
In a nutshell, the primary difference between Shopify and WooCommerce is that Shopify offers you a one-stop eCommerce solution. Their platform contains all the essential features you need to start your online store. With WooCommerce, you do have to host your site yourself. This has its pros and cons (more on that below).
If you’re feeling stuck between the two, I’ve listed out some of the differences between the main features from both platforms below. Read on:
Shopify vs WooCommerce - Design and themes
As any online store owner knows, finding the right style and aesthetic is a huge part of building your store. So let’s kick off with the difference in the range of site designs and themes on offer across both these eCommerce platforms..
Shopify is well-known for the quality and variety of themes on offer. There are currently 9 unique Shopify themes available for free, all with 3 different styles each. You can also get many more paid themes from the platform, with multiple styles available within each theme. Basically, when it comes to design, you’re never short on options with Shopify!
Moving on to WooCommerce and their designs, you’ll find that it’s a whole different ball game. With WooCommerce, the aesthetic of your store is left up to you and they don’t offer any designs themselves. You’ll have to choose from other themes on the market.
The good news is that WooCommerce has been built to work with most of the popular WordPress themes out there, and you’re not just limited to one theme store as Shopify users are. Look out for WordPress themes that have specifically been built with WooCommerce in mind.
Shopify vs WooCommerce - Price
Let’s get to one of the most important deciding factors for many eCommerce store owners - pricing.
WooCommerce and Shopify use completely different approaches to prices. Shopify is very clear with its pricing plans. As they offer everything within their platform, you know exactly what you’re getting for your money. Shopify plans range from £7 a month for their Lite plan to £230 a month for their Advanced Shopify plan. The higher up the price range you go, the more features you get.
With WooCommerce, things are a little less clear. The WooCommerce plugin itself is completely free - it’s the additional elements such as hosting, themes, domain names and extensions where the costs start to add up. Every element comes with a price tag.
Depending on which extensions you choose, WooCommerce could work out to be the cheaper option. But you will be investing a lot more of your time into building a WooCommerce store. Which brings me on to my next point..
Shopify vs WooCommerce - Ease of Use and Setup
When it comes to how easy these two eCommerce platforms are to use, there’s a clear winner.
Shopify is designed to be highly intuitive and easy to use. The most attractive feature of Shopify is that you get access to everything in one place. All you need to get started is to visit their site and hit the signup button. Follow their basic setup wizard to easily create your very own online store, kitted out with great features and tools.
Once your store is set up, the process of managing it is very simple. The Shopify dashboard gives you easy access to every feature you need to run your store.
Moving on to WooCommerce. Now, I would say that managing a WooCommerce store can be just as easy as running a Shopify store. But the difficulty with WooCommerce lies in the setup. The plugin itself is simple to work with, but outside of that you need to install a WordPress theme and get a domain name and hosting account. It’s taking care of those elements can take a lot more time than a straightforward Shopify store setup
As mentioned though, once the WooCommerce store is set up, it’s just as easy to use as a Shopify store.
Looking for general design and development help with a Shopify project? I have years of experience working on e-commerce projects for a wide range of clients across London, Hertfordshire, Essex and other areas.
Get in touch and I’d be happy to jump on a call or meet for a coffee to discuss your Shopify development needs.