It has never been an easy thing to start an online store. There are a number of e-commerce platforms available boasting about rich features, great flexibility and powerful functionality. Amongst the most popular solutions, Shopify and WooCommerce are strongly recommended. Deciding which e-commerce platform to go with for binging success to your online business should largely rely on your individual needs.
In this post, we are glad to make a comparison of Shopify vs. WooCommerce, discussing the similarities and differences in every aspect, hopefully helping you make an informed decision about which is the perfect e-commerce platform choice for your online business early on.
A brief overview of Shopify and WooCommerce
Shopify is a complete package of e-commerce solutions that allows you to sell and manage your products online. It lets you organize your products, customize your storefront, accept credit card payments, track and respond to orders—all with a few clicks of the mouse. Additionally, Shopify is level-1 PCI compliant, so you don’t need to worry about the security of your customers’ credit card data.
Born in 2006, Shopify up till now has been powering 400,000 businesses all over the world.
WooCommerce, on the other side, is a free open source WordPress plugin for selling digital or physical products and services. Designed to transform WordPress into a capable e-commerce platform, WooCommerce comes with ample superb features and capabilities. And you can have 100% control over all of your data, support for mobile devices and scalability for your online business site.
Established in 2008, WooCommerce has been growing up into an e-commerce platform leader with 28% of market share and over 28 million downloads.
Shopify vs. WooCommerce: What’s the difference?
Let’s dive into the comparison of Shopify vs. WooCommerce.
Setting Up the Store
Setting up an e-commerce store used to take a lot of hours as well as a lot of know-how. Today, however, things have changed and setting up an online store only takes a few minutes, several clicks of mouse. Thereafter, you can start selling by customizing you online store to match your brand before adding products and services.
To begin your Shopify journey, you should first sign up for an account on Shopify.com. Typically, you’re required to fill in your desired email address, password, store name, plus some personal information to configure currencies and tax rates.
Installing and setting up WooCommerce will be much easier if you’re familiar with WordPress. There is still no need to worry about the process even if you are a novice. Most best web hosting providers like InMotion Hosting offer 1-click installation that automatically installs WordPress and WooCommerce for you.
A successful sale starts long before someone clicks buy. The journey towards the destination is vital and in the world of the web and e-commerce the look, feel and experience of navigating your products, content and site says everything.
Shopify offers 100+ professional and responsive themes created by world-renowned designers like Clearleft, Happy Cog and Pixel Union. There are also more than 54 different store templates, each of which comes with unique intuitive settings to enable for branding and customizing your online store. Likewise, your online Shopify store includes a built-in mobile commerce shopping cart, meaning that your customers can browse and buy from your store using any mobile phone or tablet.
WooCommerce is designed to mesh fluidly with the current trends of the default WordPress themes—keeping your store design modern and in-line with current design trends. WooCommerce admin settings are structured to be used easily on hand-held devices, offering you a superior user experience to update your store on the move. Since WooCommerce is built on WordPress, you can integrate e-commerce seamlessly with the world’s favorite blogging platform.
Being able to accept online payment is at the core of any e-commerce store, both Shopify and WooCommerce really support a lot in terms of the available solutions.
From bitcoin to iDEAL to PayPal, Shopify integrates with more than 70 external payment gateways from around the world. You can also accept credit cards like Discover, Mastercard, AmericanExpress and Visa the minute you launch your Shopify shop, with a low credit card rate and no hidden fees included.
Like Shopify, WooCommerce has preinstalled various payment gateways including Direct Bank Transfer, Cheque Payment, Cash on Delivery, Credit card payments with PayPal or Credit card payment with Simplify Commerce that supports Hosted Payments. All you need is to drag and drop them to display your preferred order on the front-end. Don’t meet your needs? WooCommerce offers additional gateways to your store, enabling role based payment shipping methods, use advanced rules to control the countries/states you wish to sell in and control which payment gateways and shipping methods are available during checkout.
No matter what type your website is, you will want to make a splash. And a strong SEO is a must-have to fulfill your expectation.
Since all Shopify sites are hosted with dedicated servers, your online store is able to deliver faster page loading times and better overall performance than that of WordPress. Shopify has integrated SEO features such as: customizable H1 title, meta tags, automatically generated sitemap.xml, social media integration, and $100 Google Adwords credits. Another favor of Shopify is the fact that SSL certification comes with all the stores in every plan, free of charge.
Shopify is famous for dedicated customer service. The support team is available 24/7 by email, livechat and phone. Apart from that, you can take advantage of the Shopify Help Center and Discussion Forums that cover many common use questions and problems solutions.
The matter of support with WooCommerce is the less user-friendly support channel. The e-commerce platform comes mainly from the community while you’re still allowed to create support tickets within your personal WooThemes dashboard.
Every webmaster expects for getting more with less investment. In this sense, the two e-commerce platforms are really different from each other in pricing strategy.
There are three pricing tiers available for Shopify, varying from $29/mo to $299/mo. Besides, it also offers enterprise-grade solutions for high volume merchants and large businesses, in addition to a very basic $9/mo plan strictly for selling on Facebook. Having said that, you can have access to try Shopify free for 14 days before deciding whether it is the right option for you.
WooCommerce, on the other side, costs nothing upfront, but you need to set up hosting on your own. The ultimate hosting costs will vary with the scale of your store. If compared with Shopify’s pricing, a modest operation of WooCommerce would cost you much less.
Which is the best e-commerce platform for you?
From the above comparison, it is easy to get concluded that both e-commerce platforms have their own advantages as well as disadvantages. When it comes to which is the best e-commerce solution for your online store, the answer should largely depend on your unique requirement and budget, honestly.
WooCommerce is especially perfect for you if you already have been setup on the WordPress platform with your own domain name and web hosting plan. As well, you don’t mind paying extra for purchasing an SSL certificate to have your WooCommerce store site secured. You can integrate WooCommerce and complete setting up the store in a few steps, just the same as any other WordPress plugin.
However, if you’re new to the world of e-commerce and don’t have a website yet, you’re strongly recommended to go with Shopify. It is also an ideal choice for you if you, instead of dealing with the complicated setup process, want to pay a fee to get everything taken care of for you, such as search engine optimization, daily backups and website security.