In Tips
Sep 18 2019
Nikolay Dyankov

# WooCommerce vs. Shopify

If you want to start your own e-commerce business, then you must have come across these two names - WooCommerce and Shopify. However, both platforms offer their own set of unique advantages and disadvantages, and there is no definitive better platform between the two. As such, you will have to side with the one that caters to your own needs and requirements. This is why we have put together a quick comparative look at WooCommerce vs. Shopify. We will go over how the two e-commerce platforms stack up against one another in terms of usability, functionality, design, pricing, and much more. So without further ado, let’s get started:

# Usability

Shopify is a hosted e-Commerce platform that offers more of a plug-and-play website building experience for its users. They take care of almost all the technical sides including your domain name and hosting, so you can focus solely on your business.

But, on the other hand, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin - meaning if you want to set up a WooCommerce online store, you will have to create a WordPress website first. This also includes purchasing your domain name and web hosting all by yourself. And let’s not forget the learning curve associated with using a WordPress website. However, it does give you more control over your WooCommerce e-store.

# Features and Functionality

In terms of features and functionality, both platforms are almost equal to one another. However, it should be mentioned that Shopify’s sales features are the best in the business. Furthermore, it comes with all your necessary e-commerce functionalities bundled in right out of the box.

WooCommerce, especially what you get out of the box, is pretty bland and almost lackluster when you compare to Shopify. However, that soon changes, once you start installing add-ons or extensions for the WordPress plugin which makes it on par with Shopify. Furthermore, your e-store will also benefit from all the fantastic WordPress plugins as well.

# Design & Customizability

Both WooCommerce and Shopify can help you build stylish and modern e-commerce websites. With Shopify, you will get access to their proprietary theme store that gives you access to over 60 professionally designed free as well as paid themes to help you design your website. All of these themes can be further tweaked and also mixed & matched, giving you potentially 100s of variations.

However, that number falls short when looking at the thousands of WooCommerce compatible WordPress themes ready at your disposal. However, as we all know, that quantity doesn’t directly equate with quality, and the vast number of available options only contributes to the noise and confusion. But with that being said, WooCommerce websites do benefit from the customization potential enjoyed by WordPress.

# Pricing

Shopify follows a basic three-tier subscription-based pricing structure with the base plan quoted at $29/month and their top tier plan priced at $299/month, the latter of which gives you access to a lot of advanced tools and functionalities to grow your business.

On the other hand, WooCommerce as well as WordPress is open-source and is technically free. However, setting up a WooCommerce powered e-commerce website is going to cost you money. This includes purchasing the domain, web hosting, getting a premium WooCommerce theme, and any other premium plugin.

When you bundle all these together, the cost of setting up an e-store using both platforms is pretty much on par. However, with WooCommerce you can choose to start with a much lower initial investment and then gradually go up.

# Security

With the ever-increasing threat of cybercrime, online security has grown into one of the most major issues, especially for e-commerce. In fact, as you might know, the Google Chrome browser actually makes websites “secure” and “not secure” just beside their URL.

So if you value cybersecurity and don’t want to lose customers to a bright bed “not secure” sign, then you will need to get an SSL (secure sockets layer) and PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) certifications.

Luckily, Shopify comes with these, straight out of the box. WooCommerce is also compliant with these certifications, but you will need to activate them manually.

# Which Platform Should You Choose?

Going over what we have discussed, Shopify is geared towards the business-oriented non-tech-savvy entrepreneurs looking for a plug-and-play solution to get started with their e-commerce business. Alternatively, WordPress caters to users looking to have more flexibility and technical control over their e-commerce website.

Besides this, both platforms are pretty much on par with one another and will help you set up a powerful e-store!

Nikolay Dyankov

I’m Nikolay and I’m a top 50 author on CodeCanyon (username "nickys") and top 200 on the Envato marketplaces overall. I’ve been doing this for nearly 10 years as a fulltime job, mostly solo. Image Map Pro is my main product and I’m currently working on the next big thing for me.