Choosing a platform for designing and developing websites can be a difficult task. However, regarding specifics like designing an eCommerce store, two e-commerce platforms stand out – WooCommerce and Shopify. A survey by Built With showed that WooCommerce currently holds the biggest market share of 28% in online platforms compared to Shopify, which stands at 19% of the market share.
Does this mean that WooCommerce is better than Shopify?
The answer lies in evaluating both eCommerce platforms against each other to determine which one will work best for you.
WooCommerce VS Shopify – A simple Understanding
Let us first discuss the basic attributes to understand both platforms’ pros and cons.
WooCommerce’s popularity is greatly associated with its free, open-source plugin that can easily integrate with a WordPress website. Therefore, WooCommerce is a great option for businesses that want creative freedom, flexibility, and a free option of designing an eCommerce store.
Shopify is a complete eCommerce platform that you can use to create your online store, manage inventory, and accept payments for a small fee. Shopify was designed for non-technical businesspeople who wish to set up an online store without any technical hassle.
Even with such a basic advantage, WooCommerce still beats Shopify as a top eCommerce platform. Let’s look at the reasons why it is so.
3 Reasons Why WooCommerce is Better than Shopify
The three attributes that make WooCommerce a better choice than Shopify are:
Let’s start with the first one on the list.
One of the most important considerations when working with online platforms is ‘how much is it going to cost?’ Not only that, but there are other costs to consider, including hidden charges, additional purchases, and maintenance costs.
WooCommerce is a free, open-source platform that can be used by anyone wanting to create an online store.
However, you do have to pay for services such as SSL certificate, domain name hosting (if you do not have an existing WordPress website), and WordPress maintenance services that include plugins and theme updates because it is hosted on the WordPress platform, which needs regular maintenance to keep it performing at optimal levels).
In comparison, Shopify lets you start with a 14-day free trial, after which you can choose to go with its most basic plan starting at $29 per month or upgrade to a premium plan starting from $299 per month. In addition, you are charged various transaction fees depending on your choice of plan.
To add to the cost, any use of in-platform tools or add-ons will be at a charge, making Shopify expensive.
SEO is everything today. SEO is a must if you want to rank on search engines.
Since WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, it is automatically ranked in search engines as a blogging platform. All you need to do is use meta descriptions, alter URLs, content, and other elements with in-built or integrated SEO plugins, and you are good to go.
Although Shopify offers a built-in SEO plugin, it is very basic, and you can use it to alter only minimum information. So naturally, this affects the overall SEO process as compared to WooCommerce.
Support in any online emergency can be lifesaving or website-saving. In this regard, WooCommerce fares better than Shopify. Why? Let’s discuss this below.
Since WooCommerce is an extension of WordPress, emergency help in WordPress is always available in the form of different documents, online forums, experts, and so on. Although it is not a well-stepped or documented process, access to solving problems is easy because it is an open-source platform.
Since Shopify is a closed-source platform, the errors and solutions are better documented, but only those that are reported. So if you run into an unexpected problem, you might wait for a long time until the developers sort it out themselves and then document the problem.
Final Verdict on WooCommerce and Shopify
Every business is different and has different needs. When it comes down to choosing an online shopping platform, WooCommerce is a better choice. This is because:
- WooCommerce is cheaper than Shopify
- SEO efforts on WooCommerce have better results than compared on Shopify
- WooCommerce has a better support system for any error than Shopify
Shopify is better than WooCommerce in many other attributes, but sometimes, these attributes outweigh the overall usage of WooCommerce.