When thinking about starting an online business, the first thing that comes to mind is choosing the right eCommerce platform. Shopify and WooCommerce have marked their presence with commendable features, easy accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and other vital functionalities. But, which one from both fit right in web development for eCommerce?
Here the real struggle begins! Indeed, this is an imperative decision because it is the first ladder to starting the journey towards a successful business.
This guide is all about differentiating Shopify and WooCommerce comprehensively to help you make an informed decision. Let’s first start with overviewing these two.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an eCommerce platform created for WordPress. As its nature is open-source, it makes building and operating the eCommerce website easy and simple. Seamlessly, all aspects of the site can be customized and custom extensions can be created.
The users can gain several advantages from it such as higher flexibility, and other important features like shipping integration, safe payments, tax and inventory management, etc.
There are almost 7.4% of sites that have used WooCommerce. That is to say, 28.19% of eCommerce sites have empowered it. These figures are enough to predict the worthiness of this platform.
Pros of WooCommerce
- It has a huge online community.
- There will be full control and customization.
- Endless plugins and themes.
- Easy configuration ability
Cons of WooCommerce
- There is a small learning curve
- Many consider it expensive because of hosting, themes, and plugins.
- Managing everything is required from hosting to maintenance and security, etc.
What is Shopify?
It is a complete eCommerce platform to start your online business. The best part about Shopify services is that you do not have to be tech-oriented to build an online store. It includes everything- from web hosting to security, domain, caching, payments, inventory, and more. All you have to do is to purchase the package that fits your business needs and use them the right way.
Approximately 1.75 million users have chosen Shopify development for their sites. Of them, 1.59 million are the number of live sites on it.
Pros of Shopify Platform
- You can access a number of applications to improve site performance.
- Competitive pricing, and transparency of monthly spending.
- Website launching does not take much time- it is just a matter of some minutes.
- Shopify makes Drop shipping easy.
- Plethora of appealing themes
- Great support
Cons of Shopify Platform
- The user cannot have more control over the store.
- There will be monthly charges that will exceed with time.
- Other eCommerce platforms give more customization options.
Shopify Vs WooCommerce: Which is the right platform for your online store?
After having a brief on Shopify and WooCommerce, let’s begin by knowing them in-depth. The below section of this write-up will enlighten you about the major features of them that are of course fundamental also when it comes to web development eCommerce. Keep on reading!
Shopify Vs WooCommerce: Pricing
Both Shopify and WooCommerce have different pricing windows which makes it difficult to compare them in terms of this. Basically, the WooCommerce platform comes out to be more economical. Below are the things that are required for launching the online store built on the WooCommerce platform:
Several hosts provide this free of cost or charge $10/year.
When it comes to web hosting, then, there are more variations. If your small online business, then, it could charge you $10/month. It starts increasing according to the increase of the store size.
It is free in itself. The charges are for the core functionalities required in creating the eCommerce website. If you like to integrate third-party plugins, then, also, it will charge. Even for using the WooCommerce theme, the cost would be approximately $60.
For building the online store using the Shopify platform, below are the things you require:
- Domain name
- Shopify services
In comparison to WooCommerce, Shopify charges for accessing every feature and functionality. It demands a recurring fee every month till your site is in an active state. Below is its pricing table:
- Basic Shopify: It is suitable for those retailers who are more into selling online. This plan($29/month) gives you all the essential features of eCommerce development.
- The plan of $79/month is all-in-one that offers all functionalities for business growth and success.
- The plan of $299/month integrates the advanced features. It is the right fit for SMEs and large enterprises.
- Shopify Lite Plan ($9/month) is the most reasonable of all. This gives you an easy yet highly economical way to sell the products and services online. Also, you can sell the number of times you would like to. One piece of advice here is that if you are looking to create a highly-functional store, then, do not go for this plan.
- Shopify Plus is particularly for large businesses. Its price starts at $2000/month. This plan has all the incredible features and comprehensive possibilities to sell in different currencies.
Shopify Vs WooCommerce: Page Speed
In this digital world, everyone requires quick services. The same is the case for accessing websites. When the visitor visits the site and finds it is taking more than 3 seconds to load, they will abandon the purchase. Of course, they will move to another site (Your competitors probably). So, the end result is that you will not only lose the existing customers only but those you are targeting even.
The point here is that while picking the suitable platform for your eCommerce site, consider page loading speed in mind.
The above graph confirms that the page speed of WooCommerce is comparatively slow. As it can be seen that the approximate loading time is 776 ms for all stores and the loading speed of the cart page is 1.32 s.
And, the web pages of Shopify take 309 ms to load. So, we can say that it has a better page loading speed than WooCommerce.
We can say that the loading time depends on the chosen hosting plan. When you are stuck with cheap hosting, then, there definitely will be more loading speed.
Shopify Vs WooCommerce: Ease of Use
As we have mentioned above, Shopify is the hosted eCommerce platform. Therefore, you are not required to get it installed, operate, and upgrade any sort of software. In addition to this, there will not be any issues with backup, performance, compatibility, security, etc.
While Signing up with Shopify, free themes, the right design can be chosen. Then, you will proceed towards customization, including products and so on.
It has a “drag-and-drop” interface with which you can control the sales, product pages, inventory, etc. easily. But, here one disadvantage is that in addition to the polished, optimized, and guided user experience, there is less accessibility. The users can leverage the add-ons and design & development tools present in the marketplace. But, it does not mean that this platform cannot be chosen. However, for many, an excess amount of themes and extensions works best to create and grow the site.
Comparatively, WooCommerce does not hold the hosting properties as Shopify. It simply implies that there is a need to install the plugins, keep a hold on the updates, ensure site security, etc. Indeed, with several paid and free plugins, handling several tasks becomes seamless.
For customization, this platform ensures flexibility. There will be full accessibility on the platform. As per the choice, the user can include the features required on the site using the 55,000+ plugins of WordPress.
The downside here is that it does not have a “drag and drop” builder. The page builders such as Beaver and SeedProud can be used for the same (it will ask for the cost). In the same vein, it has a learning curve and needs skills for site management. Furthermore, the user is even required to Sign up for services such as Paypal or Stripe and other retailers’ accounts.
Shopify Vs WooCommerce : Website Design & Template Options
When it is to the template and designing options of the WooCommerce platform, there are several to choose from. The setup of the platform is in such a way that it coincides with almost every theme. It simply implies that any WordPress theme can be easily accessible with WooCommerce.
For Shopify, there are 73 themes, out of which 9 are free. Additionally, every theme has unique variations. That means, there are hundreds of more designs.
All of the Shopify themes are designed by web designers eCommerce which makes them more appealing, mobile-friendly, and fully featured. What’s more? You can customize them simply from the Shopify Admin with the theme editor and the liquid code. Luckily, the theme editor lets you make the required changes quickly on the theme load file and editing workflow.
For design and templates, Shopify gives an eye-catching theme. However, the user can use only those present in the theme store. Whereas, WooCommerce has several themes designed by professionals, choosing one depends on the interest and the aim behind it.
Shopify Vs WooCommerce : Search Engine Optimization
You probably know that SEO is one of those important factors that confirm that customers will search your online store. And, of course, if this does not happen then, there will be no sales. It will be a great loss of money, effort, and time. So, to completely examine the capabilities of SEO, below are the factors that require consideration:
- Auto XML Sitemap
- SSL Certificates
- 301 Redirects
- Plugins and Apps
Because WooCommerce is created on a blogging platform (WordPress), it becomes the biggest advantage. Using the editor, it is easy to amend the content of the body, meta descriptions, general URL redirections, all tags, or more page elements for product page optimization.
Similarly, this eCommerce platform even provides many plugins which enable store optimization. Of all, Yoast SEO is the most popular plugin.
On the other hand, Shopify setback here. Customizing the URLs is not possible for its users. The reason is that it has a fixed URL structure and modifying a few sections is not feasible. However, you cannot make the sub-categories here.
Undeniably, Shopify includes the features that are required for SEO purposes. The applications of SEO are known for their ease of functionality and installation.
Shopify Vs WooCommerce: Dropshipping
In Shopify, while creating the dropshipping business, the site’s front end will seem exactly like the eCommerce site. Considerably, browsing, adding, and paying for the purchased products are simply the same as other online sites.
This platform even has many integration applications for different dropshipping marketplaces. Printify, Oberlo, AliExpress, etc. are some of them. Also, every product marketplace includes the shipping and membership fee, etc. that should be considered while creating a dropshipping site using Shopify.
Certainly, WooCommerce also leads to a dropshipping business. The major reason is the easily accessible dropshipping plugins that make setting up a hassle-free task. There are extensions with which the products can be imported quickly. Also, building an eCommerce marketplace like eBay is effortless and you can enable the sellers to use it to sell.
Here, one important point to remember is that the vendor and suppliers can have fewer order needs, membership fees, etc. It is vital to consider it while including the products in dropshipping stores.
Shopify Vs WooCommerce: Payment Options
Shopify has several payment methods that could be used while completing the checkout process. This platform includes the payment options termed Shopify Payments by Stripe and other third-party payment criteria.
There are 2% extra fees on every completed transaction from the third-party payment method. This could be reduced by 0.5% when the users choose the plan of $299/month (Advanced Shopify Plan). There is no additional fee than the credit card fee. The charges begin from 2.9% + 30¢ (for basic); it starts lowering down when different plans are chosen.
WooCommerce has Stripe and PayPal payment options. It includes the WooCommerce payment method by Stripe. Additionally, it is compatible with different payment providers. Simply, Alipay, Square, Amazon Pay, and Authorize.net can be installed.
WooCommerce also supports different regional and not-so-famous payment services. As there is no obstacle within the entry, the payment providers can build add-ons for this platform and give support to it.
Because it is a self-hosted eCommerce platform, hence, there will be only a transaction fee by the bank and payment gateway. If you are not using any of the WooCommerce payments, then, there would be payments for credit cards. The fee can be saved if your own account and third-party payment methods are used.
Shopify Vs WooCommerce: Which one do you use?
It’s time for the final verdict! See, both of the eCommerce platforms hold the capabilities to up the game of running an online store. Choosing one totally depends on personal preferences. Shopify on the one hand is simply accessible, you are not required to be well-versed on technical aspects. On the other hand, as an open-source platform, WooCommerce lets you have overall control of the online store.
Hopefully, this article has answered your queries and helped you to make the right decision. So, which eCommerce platform are you using? What benefits your business after that? Share your thoughts!