I have a dream to build e-commerce store, which is the best one for me, WooCommerce or Shopify? This common question pops up in our mind while creating an e-commerce site. WooCommerce vs. Shopify is making buzz from recent few years. As the time passed, the competition- WooCommerce vs. Shopify is getting more intense.
We must admit this is a difficult choice to make. So far, we found WooCommerce and Shopify both have a dedicated group of followers, which makes the judgment even more challenging.
To find the answer, which is the best e-commerce platform WooCommerce or Shopify, we have use several parameters, like design, features, set up process, price, user experience and many more. Through this blog you will explore what makes WooCommerxe advantageous over Shopify and what makes Shopify more popular over WooCommerce.
What are WooCommerce and Shopify?
Shopify is all-in-one station for e-commerce. You can consider it as a solution or a tool to build and launch a fully functional e-commerce site. To build e-commerce site with Shopify you don’t need to have coding skills. It is a paid service (but affordable)with more than 100 awesome online store designs and 24/7 support.
On the other hand, WooCommerce is an all-in one-software. It’s a free e-commerce plugin that goes with WordPress. You may require primary level coding skills to set an e-commerce site with WooCommerce or simply take help from WordPress Support services. It has numerous options for theme and great content management features.
A shallow brief before jumping into the deep water:
Yes, before discussing the comparison between Shopify and WooCommerce, let us have an outline of their features, which will make it easy to have an overview on WooCommerce vs. Shopify competition.
A Little More Detail and Analysis to Fill Your Cup:
One of the coolest features of Shopify is its visual quality of the items. The Shopify themes are utterly smart and stunning. So far, Shopify offers 54 store templates. But, only 10 of them are free. The positive thing is, all of the Shopify templates are mobile responsive. The clean aesthetic and sleek look of each template makes it apt for modern open-thinking websites. Unfortunately, the paid themes range from $100 to $180. But, what you will get is worth of paying.
WooCommerce is a plugin developed by WooThemes. So, you can use any WordPress supported theme for WooCommerce site. WooCommerce has built in a way that supports most themes available in the market if they follow recommended standard and the best practices. You will also find tailored themes for WooPress from Storefront. The storefront is Woo’s own online theme. It is free and ideal to set up an online store.
While WooCommerce has a long list of themes, Shopify’ collection list is relatively small, but when it comes to the features Shopify beats WooCommerce for several reasons. From the very beginning, Shopify will offer you:
Unlimited Products | Automatic fraud analysis | Unlimited file storage | Discount Codes | Manual Order creation | Free SSL certificate | Blog Module | Editable CSS and HTML | Credit card payments | Drop Shipping Facility | SEO-ready site | Facebook selling module | Social media integration | Daily Backups | Fully featured mobile app | Print orders | Gift Cards.
Considering the Shopify features, WooCommerce is not much attractive. Many features that offered by Shopify for free will cost you ~$500 in WooCommerce (even more than that). But, with WooCommerce, you have more customization power along with the privilege of using hundreds of plugins! Here are the key features of WooCommerce:
PayPal plus other payment gateways | Adjustable shipping rates | Unlimited Products | Mobile-friendly | Complete control over data | Use hundreds of plugins | Free Facebook stores extension.
3. Store Set Up
Store set up process of Shopify is as easy as creating an account to any social media (only with little longer details). The first step is to select one of the three plans. Then as the second step, you have to choose a theme. Finally (third step), you have to add products. This WYSIWYG solution gives you complete power to control over your page design and navigation.
If you have good knowledge of WordPress, setting up WooCommerce will be the easiest thing. Nevertheless, if you are not much familiar with WordPress, it will be little difficult than accessing Shopify. Find and use a beginner’s guide to WooCommerce, which will help you to set WooPress store.
Obviously, customization is not a strong feature of Shopify. If you have a bit knowledge of HTML and CSS and want to customize your e-commerce site like anything, Shopify will not suit you. Although Shopify offers “some” easy customization modes, it has certain limitations.
Yet, with WooCommerce you have the opportunity to use hundreds of third party plugins and extensions to super customize your site.
When it comes to customization, WooPress is one of the best e-commerce platforms. With little knowledge of CSS and HTML, you have better opportunity to customize WooPress. Besides, with WooCommerce someone has the privilege to use numerous plugins in terms of customizing their e-commerce site.
At first glance, you will find that WooCommerce is free and Shopify charges $29/month. While charging $29/month Shopify offers hosting and free SSL certificate along with tons of other facilities. Sign up for a package in Shopify and you will receive a free custom subdomain with the main site. The paying method in Shopify is transparent and fair.
Although this software costs $0, you may have to pay $5-$100/month as hosting charge. However, this package does not include any subdomain. This charge package does not come with SSL certificate. If you need SSL certificate, you have to pay $100+/year. In addition, the plugins and third party software will add extra charges. The domain charge is similar to Shopify (~$9/year).
6. Customer Support
Customer support and technical support is one of the main strength of Shopify. Shopify is highly admired for their excellent customer support. Each client has 24/7 access to a customer advisor. You can chat, call, or mail to reach Shopify advisor at any time. This straightforward support system makes Shopify friendlier.
While comparing with Shopify, WooCommerce is trailing behind in customer support satisfaction. As we have mentioned earlier, WooCommerce is a WordPress Plugin. Hence, if you have any issues regarding this plugin, you can get help from the WordPress forums. Besides, you can also create an account at woocommerce.com and get free support. You can also find hundreds of online blogs on WooCommerce topic.
But, all of these supports are time-consuming and can hardly match with Shopify’s 24/7 access to support team.
7. SEO Options
Shopify is an SEO ready site and offers minimum space customize the SEO settings. So far you are using quality content, with Shopify you are in good hands of SEO. It also controls basic SEO settings like creating meta description and checking site copy. Shopify is fast and offers better UX, which is positive for SEO.
Unlike WooCommerce, Shopify is an SEO ready site and good for those e-sellers who have limited knowledge of SEO.
If you want to reach a higher stage of SEO for your site, WooCommerce will be ideal for you. Why? Because WooCommerce is itself a WordPress plugin and uses the advantages of other plugins.
SO, while you are using WooCommerce, you have the opportunity to use powerful SEO plugins like Yoast SEO. Although the page speed of WooCommerce rarely matches with Shopify, you can take help from WordPress maintenance services to resolve this issue.
While summarizing the thought, we have identified WooCommerce have four advantages over Shopify, such as:
- Use of hundreds of plugin
- Better modification/customization scope
- Complete ownership
On the other hand, Shopify also has four advantages over WooCommerce, such as:
- Easy to set up a ready to go e-commerce website
- SEO friendly website
- Higher user experience (UX)
- Do not need any CSS or HTML knowledge
So, we will recommend that if you have little time for your e-commerce site and as well as little interest in technical parts including SEO, then Shopify is the best choice for you. But, if you want a more professional site with higher customizations, better SEO and “complete ownership”, then WooCommerce will be your ideal choice.
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