Shopify vs WooCommerce – Which is the Better Platform?

Are you considering opening an online store? Are you unsure whether to use Shopify or WooCommerce? (Shopify vs WooCommerce)

Shopify and WooCommerce are the world’s two most popular eCommerce platforms, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business is critical to your success as a business owner.

We’ll show you a detailed comparison of Shopify and WooCommerce in this article. The goal is to break down the benefits and drawbacks of each to assist you in selecting the best option for your eCommerce store.

Shopify vs WooCommerce in-depth comparison

Shopify vs. WooCommerce: A Comparison

Before we get into our in-depth comparison of the two most popular eCommerce platforms on the internet, it’s critical that we go over the fundamentals and highlight what sets these platforms apart.

What exactly is Shopify?

Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that allows you to easily create an online store, accept payments, and manage inventory all from one place.

You don’t have to worry about the technical aspects of running an eCommerce site with Shopify, such as web hosting, security, caching, and so on.

What is WooCommerce, and how does it work?

WooCommerce is a WordPress-based open-source eCommerce plugin. It enables you to run an online store using the most powerful content management system (CMS).

Because WooCommerce is open-source, you can easily customize every aspect of your store and add custom extensions.

The choice between the two platforms is entirely dependent on your needs and skill level.

What Should You Look for in a Shopping Cart Platform?

When it comes to starting an online store, there are a few things to keep in mind. These key considerations will assist you in determining which platform is best suited to your requirements.

  • Budget – The initial investment required to launch a fully functional ecommerce site.
  • Ease of use – Even absolute beginners should be able to use it.
  • Payment Methods – It should be able to accept a variety of payment methods (e.g. PayPal, Stripe, other merchant processors).
  • Integrations – The number of third-party services and tools you can use to expand your eCommerce business.
  • Scalability – The platform should be able to grow with your company.

These are the fundamental requirements that all online store owners must take into account. Depending on your requirements, you may want to consider other options such as shipping, inventory management, invoicing, taxes, dropshipping, and so on.

The purpose of this article is to compare and contrast how Shopify and WooCommerce perform on these basic requirements, and to determine which one is best suited to your needs.

So, let’s get started with our Shopify vs WooCommerce comparison.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce in terms of price

For eCommerce website owners, the cost is frequently the most important consideration. You must consider the upfront costs of getting started as well as the variable costs of add-on services and software.

What Does it Really Cost to Use Shopify?

Starting an online store with Shopify is a breeze. The basic plan costs $29 per month, with the Shopify plan costing $79 and the Advanced Shopify plan costing $299 per month.

Pricing on Shopify

Each of these plans comes with an SSL certificate as well as web hosting. It will have a Shopify subdomain (for example, https://your-store.myshopify.com).

You’ll need to buy your own.com domain name separately if you want to use it. The cost of a regular.com domain name starts at $14 per year.

The basic Shopify plan includes enough features to get a new online store up and running. You can add an unlimited number of products, two user accounts, and unlimited file storage, among other things.

However, third-party tools and add-ons that you’ll need to take your Shopify store to the next level are not included in this pricing. These costs will start to add up as your business grows, and you’ll soon be paying a lot more than the basic plan.

Another factor that affects your costs is your payments. Shopify has its own payment solution, Shopify Payments, which costs 2.9 percent + 30 cents per transaction for the basic plan.

You will be charged a flat fee of 2.0 percent for all transactions if you use third-party payment gateways or your own merchant account. If you use the Shopify Advanced plan, which costs $299 per month, you can reduce this fee to 0.5 percent.

When using external payment gateways, these processing fees are quite high. If you’re just getting started and want to use Shopify Payments, the fees are comparable to those of popular platforms like Stripe and Braintree.

Shopify also has a Shopify lite plan, which costs $9.00 per month. This plan allows you to add buy buttons to any website and use Shopify for in-person sales in certain areas.

You can, for example, create a WordPress website and integrate Shopify buy buttons into it. If you’re already building a WordPress site, however, WooCommerce will help you provide a much better experience.

The Real Price of WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a WordPress.org eCommerce plugin (also known as self-hosted WordPress). It’s open source and free to download as a plugin.

To start a WooCommerce store, you’ll need a domain name, an SSL certificate, and a WordPress hosting account.

A domain name is typical $14.99, an SSL Certificate is $69.99, and web hosting is around $7.99 per month. This isn’t cheap, especially if you’re just getting started.

Thankfully, several hosting companies are now offering specialized WooCommerce hosting plans, lowering the cost significantly.

Bluehost, an official WordPress and WooCommerce hosting provider, has agreed to provide our users with a free domain name, a free SSL certificate, and a web hosting discount.

This can help you get your online store up and running for as little as $2.75 per month.

Click here to take advantage of this limited-time Bluehost offer.

As you can see, starting a basic WooCommerce store is much less expensive than starting a Shopify store. WooCommerce also doesn’t charge a transaction fee, which is a nice bonus.

Keep in mind that as you purchase paid extensions for WooCommerce, the costs start to add up. As your online store grows, your hosting costs will rise as well.

However, one clear benefit of using WooCommerce is that free alternatives to premium themes and extensions are frequently available. You can also keep your costs under control by purchasing only the tools and plugins you require.

WooCommerce is the clear winner in terms of cost, thanks to the abundance of free themes and add-ons available.

WooCommerce is the winner.

Shopify vs WooCommerce: Ease of Use

The majority of people who start an online store aren’t web designers or developers. Even users who understand basic concepts require a platform that is simple to use and stays out of the way.

Let’s take a look at how Shopify and WooCommerce compare in terms of usability.

Ease of Use – Shopify

You don’t have to install, manage, or update any software because Shopify is a fully hosted platform. You also don’t have to be concerned about issues like security, performance, backups, or compatibility.

You can choose from a variety of free Shopify themes as soon as you sign up. After that, they’ll walk you through the customization process and assist you with adding products.

Theme customizer for Shopify

Shopify has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. Inside Shopify, managing your product pages, sales, and inventory is a breeze.

The fact that this guided, polished, and highly optimized user experience limits your control is a disadvantage. You can only use Shopify’s design and development tools, as well as add-ons from their marketplace.

This, however, is not as bad as it appears. Most users will find that Shopify’s large selection of extensions and themes is more than enough to get started and grow their online store.

Ease of Use with WooCommerce

Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce is not a hosted platform. This means you’ll have to install the WooCommerce plugin, keep track of updates, back up your data, and make sure your site is secure. Most of these tasks can be automated using a variety of free and paid plugins.

Wizard for WooCommerce

When it comes to customizations, WooCommerce is extremely accommodating. You have complete control over the platform. With over 58,000+ WordPress plugins, you can add any functionality you can think of to your website.

However, there is no drag-and-drop design builder included. You can use a WordPress page builder such as SeedProd or Beaver Builder, but this will increase your costs.

The biggest disadvantage of flexibility is that it requires more hands-on management of your website and comes with a learning curve. You’ll also need to open a merchant account or sign up for a similar service like Stripe or PayPal.

While the WooCommerce guided setup wizard is useful, it pales in comparison to Shopify’s onboarding and ease of use.

Shopify is the winner.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce Payment Methods

You can accept payments online using a variety of payment gateways. Some payment methods may be inconvenient for you, while others may be unavailable to your customers.

This is why it’s critical that the platform you choose accepts a variety of payment methods. Take a look at how Shopify and WooCommerce stack up in terms of payment integrations.

Shopify Payment Options

Customers can use a variety of payment methods when shopping on Shopify. Shopify Payments (powered by Stripe) is its own payment solution, and it also accepts all major third-party payment gateways.

Payments on Shopify

The issue is that each transaction made through a third-party payment gateway is charged an additional 2% fee by Shopify. This is in addition to the payment gateway’s transaction fees. By paying $299 per month for the Advanced Shopify plan, you can reduce the fee to 0.5 percent.

There are credit card fees with Shopify Payments, but no other transaction fees. The basic credit card rate is 2.9 percent + 30 percent, and the rates for other plans are lower.

WooCommerce Payment Options

By default, WooCommerce accepts PayPal and Stripe payments. They also offer a Stripe-powered WooCommerce Payments solution.

It also accepts payments from all other well-known payment services. Payment integrations for Authorize.net, Amazon Pay, Square, Alipay, and many others are available.

Payment options for WooCommerce

WooCommerce even supports a number of regional and less popular payment services when it comes to payment gateways. Any payment company can create WooCommerce add-ons and provide support because there is no barrier to entry.

You are only charged transaction fees by your payment gateway or bank as a self-hosted platform. WooCommerce never charges a percent fee on credit card payments unless you use WooCommerce Payments, which is a huge plus.

If having your own merchant account and using a third-party gateway are important to you, WooCommerce will save you a lot of money.

It makes no difference if you’re a small business willing to use Shopify Payments, which has the same credit card rates as Stripe / Paypal.

Tie for first place

Shopify vs. WooCommerce: Integrations and Add-ons

You’ll always need third-party tools and services to grow your store, no matter how powerful your e-commerce platform is. Email marketing software, lead generation tools, analytics tools, outreach services, and so on are examples.

Shopify and WooCommerce both have an extension directory and integrate with a variety of third-party services.

Add-ons and Integrations for Shopify

Shopify includes a robust API and an App Store where you can purchase third-party Shopify add-ons. They have hundreds of apps that cover every feature you’ll want to include in your store.

App store on Shopify

They have integrations with software like OptinMonster for lead generation, which can help you grow your email list and reduce cart abandonment. Search engine optimization, product reviews, discounts, countdowns, and other Shopify apps are also available.

Both free and paid apps are available in Shopify’s app store. Free apps are usually created by third-party services with their own pricing structures, and they only connect your store to their APIs. Paid add-ons are priced differently, and most apps offer monthly subscriptions.

In terms of quantity, Shopify has fewer add-ons and extensions than WooCommerce / WordPress. This is due to the fact that getting an app listed in their store can be difficult.

Having gone through the process of submitting a WordPress plugin and submitting an app to the Shopify store, we can say that the Shopify process is far more difficult than the WooCommerce process.

Add-ons and Integrations for WooCommerce

Extensions for WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that is open source. This grants you access to over 58,000 free WordPress plugins as well as a large number of paid plugins.

Payment gateways, lead generation, eCommerce SEO, performance optimization, social media integration, and almost any other feature you can think of can all be added with these add-ons.

WooCommerce has a lot more integrations and add-ons than Shopify because of the lower barrier of entry. Almost all third-party tools and services have their own plugins that allow them to work seamlessly with your WooCommerce store.

Having gone through the process of submitting a WordPress plugin and submitting an app to the Shopify store, we can say that the Shopify process is far more difficult than the WooCommerce process.

You can also hire a WordPress developer to build a custom integration or plugin for your website.

Overall, it’s important to remember that WooCommerce is far more customizable than Shopify.

WooCommerce is the winner.

Dropshipping with Shopify vs. WooCommerce

Dropshipping with Shopify vs. WooCommerce

Dropshipping is an online business model in which products are not kept in stock by an eCommerce store. Instead, it fills orders by purchasing products from vendors and shipping them to customers directly.

Dropshipping has grown in popularity around the world as a result of its low overhead. Many of our users have asked us to compare WooCommerce and Shopify for dropshipping and to determine which one is better.

Dropshipping with Shopify is a great way to make money.

The front end of your website will look exactly like any other online store when you’re starting a dropshipping business. Users will be able to browse products, add them to carts, and make purchases in the same way they would on any other eCommerce site.

In Shopify, dropshipping is possible.

You will then have to place the user’s order for shipping, depending on the vendors you choose.

Shopify also has integration apps for AliExpress, Oberlo, Printify, and other popular dropshipping marketplaces. However, when creating your dropshipping website with Shopify, keep in mind that each of these product marketplaces has its own membership fees, shipping, and other charges.

Using WooCommerce for dropshipping

WooCommerce is a popular platform for dropshipping companies. Mostly due to WooCommerce’s flexible dropshipping plugins, which make the entire process very simple to set up.

Dropshipping with WooCommerce

Extensions that allow you to import products instantly, fulfill orders from your website, and more are readily available. You can even set up an eBay-style eCommerce marketplace where other vendors can sell their wares on your site.

Remember that your supplier or vendor may have minimum order requirements, membership fees, or other fees. When adding products to your WooCommerce dropshipping store, keep these in mind.

WooCommerce is the winner.

Shopify vs WooCommerce Scalability and Growth

You’ve probably heard CEOs and founders use the term “growing pains.” As your company expands, you’ll require more resources to meet new challenges and objectives.

Both Shopify and WooCommerce can handle a large volume of traffic and orders, but they’re not created equal. Take a look at how these two eCommerce platforms stack up in terms of scalability.

Shopify’s scalability 

Shopify's enterprise

Shopify manages your store’s technical aspects, so you never have to worry about performance, security, or scalability. You can simply upgrade your Shopify plan once your business starts to grow.

Without having to worry about downtimes, backups, updates, or security, their infrastructure can easily handle your growing business. As part of the Shopify Plus plan, they also provide enterprise services.

Shopify Plus is a service provided by Shopify.

This eliminates the painful part of growth, but it raises your business costs. Your costs will rise, and you’ll need to budget accordingly.

The good news is that you won’t have to hire or manage a technical team in-house, lowering your costs.

WooCommerce scalability

Scalability of WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, which means you’re in charge of your website’s updates, backups, and security.

As your store’s traffic grows, your starter WooCommerce hosting plan will run out of resources.

The good news is that because you have complete control over your WordPress site, you have a lot of options for managing growth.

Your WooCommerce hosting costs will rise, but you’ll have more control over which resources you upgrade, ensuring that you’re not paying for resources you don’t require.

To help scale your WooCommerce store, you can use a managed WordPress hosting provider like SiteGround or WP Engine.

Despite the level of control provided by WooCommerce, some small businesses prefer a hassle-free solution.

Shopify is the winner.

WooCommerce vs. Shopify Support Options

Both WooCommerce and Shopify are very user-friendly. However, you may require assistance from time to time in order to learn how to do something new in your store.

Let’s take a look at how WooCommerce and Shopify handle customer service and the options they provide for getting help when you need it.

Shopify Support Options

Shopify is a fully hosted platform, which means they have complete control over the software and are the most knowledgeable about it.

Shopify offers live chat, phone, email, and Twitter support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Shopify provides extensive documentation, how-to guides, a knowledge base, video tutorials, and forums for users who want to fix things themselves.

Support for Shopify

It also keeps track of Shopify Experts who you can hire if you need additional assistance or want to integrate a third-party solution.

Shopify, on the other hand, does not provide support for any third-party apps or templates you may be using.

WooCommerce Support Options

Because WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform on the planet, you’ll have a plethora of support options at your disposal.

The official website has a wealth of information, tutorials, and guides to assist you in assisting yourself. They also have forums where you can seek assistance from the WooCommerce support team as well as other users and experts.

Support for WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, which means that any issues with your server must be handled by your hosting provider.

Those developers are in charge of answering support questions about their products for your WordPress theme and extensions.

Because of its immense popularity, finding developers to help you fix issues with your WooCommerce store is much easier and often cheaper. To fix WooCommerce issues, look for developers on freelancing websites.

Shopify is the winner.

Which is the Best eCommerce Platform: WooCommerce or Shopify?

Both Shopify and WooCommerce are capable platforms for launching an online store. It all boils down to your individual abilities and preferences.

Shopify is a lot more user-friendly. You don’t need to install anything, and you can get started right away. It’s easier to set up payments, and their pricing plans are straightforward.

Shopify’s disadvantage is that you don’t have complete control over everything. Transaction fees, add-ons, and integrations can add up quickly. You can only upgrade to certain plans, and you can’t manage costs on a pay-as-you-go basis.

WooCommerce is free and open source, giving you complete control over your website. Starting an online store with WooCommerce is much less expensive, especially with these WooCommerce hosting companies.

The disadvantage is that you will have to keep the software up to date. It does have a slight learning curve. Millions of beginners, on the other hand, are already using it, and they breeze through the learning curve.

WooCommerce is the best platform for you if you’re looking for a cost-effective solution and want complete control over your online store.

Shopify is the better platform for you if you want something that is completely hassle-free and has infinite scalability.

Shopify vs WooCommerce: Frequently Asked Questions

The following are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about Shopify vs WooCommerce.

1. What distinguishes WooCommerce from Shopify?

Shopify is a platform-as-a-service provider. They handle backups, security, and maintenance for your online store, as well as providing software and website hosting.

WooCommerce, on the other hand, is a self-hosted eCommerce platform. You’ll need a WooCommerce hosting account as well as a domain name, and you’ll be in charge of your own online store.

Both platforms make it simple to sell products online, accept payments through PCI-compliant third-party payment gateways, and keep track of inventory.

2. Shopify vs. WooCommerce: Which is more popular?

WooCommerce is the most widely used eCommerce platform on the planet. WooCommerce is used on 27% of the top 1 million websites, according to Builtwith, followed by Shopify at 21%.

WooCommerce is built on top of WordPress, which is the most popular website builder on the internet, powering more than 42% of all websites.

3. Is Shopify compatible with WordPress?

By installing Shopify’s Buy Now button, you can use Shopify Lite with WordPress. Users will be directed to their Shopify cart to complete the checkout process.

However, implementing it would be more difficult and may not provide the best user experience. If you’re using WordPress, WPForms is a plugin that lets you accept payments online without having to install a shopping cart plugin like WooCommerce.

4. What are some Shopify and WooCommerce alternatives?

Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the most popular eCommerce platforms available.

BigCommerce, Squarespace, Wix, and other ecommerce services offer platforms as a service similar to Shopify. MemberPress, WP Forms, Easy Digital Downloads, and other WordPress plugins can be used as WooCommerce alternatives.

5. Which of the two eCommerce platforms is more adaptable?

Due to its larger extension library, WooCommerce provides more flexibility. It is built on top of WordPress and can be used as both a blog and a business website. Compatible with a variety of email platforms, including Constant Contact, Mailchimp, and others. Using SEO plugins such as All in One SEO or Yoast SEO, you can easily optimize your website.

With the free WordPress.org theme store, you can get even more WooCommerce themes. More importantly, you can quickly implement tools to increase conversions and recover abandoned carts.

We hope that this article has helped you compare the advantages and disadvantages of Shopify and WooCommerce.