Shopify vs. WordPress for E-Commerce

Jan 17, 2017 | Business

Coke vs. Pepsi, Dogs vs. Cats, Tom vs. Jerry, Indians vs. Cowboys, and now Shopify vs. WordPress.

When setting up your e-commerce site, your biggest question will always be which is the best platform.

After all, both are popular platforms for those setting up online stores.

The debate on which is best is not a one or the other answer. Instead, it depends on what you are looking for, your specific budget, and what you expect to get out of your website today as well as into the future.

WordPress uses the power of their WooCommerce plugin to empower online retailers.

Shopify, on the other hand, is an e-commerce solution that is not an add-on to a platform.

Comparing Shopify vs. WordPress (WooCommerce)

1. Examining the Features: Customizability and Ownership Matters

If ownership is important to you, then you may want to skip over Shopify. WordPress and the WooCommerce plug-in allow you to own the website. Shopify, on the other hand, restricts you to their rules and their hosting. You will have your own URL, though – and no one must know you are using Shopify.

Think of the two like building your house. You choose between two general contractors. One lets you completely customize your home to how you want it, but the other has a contract that specifies what you can do.

Another featured item to consider is the intricacy of designs for Shopify vs. WooCommerce sites.

Shopify comes with tons of themes that are part of your membership, but WooCommerce can be incorporated into your existing WordPress theme — or an entirely customized theme of your choosing.

Shopify Themes

Shopify Templates Store

So, WordPress has endless options, while you are limited to templates with Shopify.

Do not assume you cannot create a great-looking site, though. Shopify even highlighted some of their best-designed sites using their templates in a blog post – and they are impressive.

2. What about Price?

You cannot make an accurate comparison without considering how much you will pay up front.

Shopify has a few plans to choose from, with the higher-cost plans unlocking more features. Prices range from $29 to $299 per month. Don’t forget about additional payment rates. Finally, you get a

Finally, you get quite a pricey solution for your new online store:

Shopify Pricing Table

Shopify Pricing Table


WooCommerce is a plug-in for WordPress. Which is FREE. WordPress is also a free platform.

But you will have to pay for your WordPress hosting, SSL certificate, maybe for a theme (if you want something more customizable) and for your website maintenance. And, if you’ll want specific customization for your store, you can install various free or paid plugins, as well as WooCommerce add-ons are available on the market.

WooCommerce for WordPress

WooCommerce Plugin for WordPress

Technically, WooCommerce is free to start, initially.

3. SEO Considerations

SEO is what will determine whether a customer even finds your e-commerce site; therefore, it is a critical comparison factor for Shopify vs. WordPress.

When it comes to SEO-optimized websites, WordPress will always win, because it offers a significant upper hand in SEO. Also, WordPress has plug-ins that let you take your SEO work further, such as the Yoast SEO plug-in.

Yoast SEO function

Yoast SEO panel in WordPress

WordPress is so efficient that some bigger brands are using it for its SEO and nearly unlimited potential. WooCommerce highlights some of those big names in its online showcase.

4. When Shopify Makes Sense

Shopify makes sense if you want a quick website that is easily designed and comes with a flat monthly rate. If you are not ready to dive into custom designs, and you want a good starter site, then Shopify could be the ideal solution.
There are free templates for Shopify, but the premium ones could run you as much as $180.

5. When WooCommerce (WordPress) Makes Sense

WooCommerce through the WordPress platform makes sense if you want more control over the look, feel, and SEO power of your e-commerce site. If you are just starting out, you want to give your new business or website the best possible start – and WooCommerce may do that for you.

While you have a higher upfront investment with WooCommerce and WordPress, these sites tend to yield a higher ROI than a traditional Shopify website, especially if you need the flexibility to change your store, customize your site design, and add thousands of products.

So, who wins in the Shopify vs. WordPress for e-commerce debate?

Both Shopify and WordPress/WooCommerce offer a great product to e-commerce professionals. By understanding your budget, functionality needs, and how much design effort you want to put into your new site, you can better assess which solution is best for your new store.

Don’t need an online store yet and want to start a blog with WordPress? Here is a perfect guide for you: How to Start a Blog: 7 Simple Steps

Need an E-Commerce website or SEO service for your WordPress or Shopify? Check what I offer.


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