If you are starting an online business, there are only two leading platforms WooCommerce and Shopify. Choosing the right one is complicated and requires at least minimum knowledge of both platforms. In addition, if you are looking to migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce, it will require a Shopify to WooCommerce migration plugin, and the same goes for WooCommerce to Shopify.
Both platforms have advantages and disadvantages, but with the help of thousands of plugins, you can make the most out of these platforms. In this blog, we will be highlighting the differences between these two platforms. Let’s start with the overview to know Shopify and WooCommerce better.
WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform for WordPress. It is one of the most powerful content management systems (CMS) to run an online business. Providing thousands of plugins to enable you to customize multiple aspects of the online store makes it one of the most popular and customizable eCommerce platforms.
Shopify is one of the leading platforms for eCommerce businesses without requiring technical knowledge. You can set up your online store by purchasing the subscription. You can sell both physical and digital products just like WooCommerce. In addition, it will provide you with domain, hosting, and every other aspect for running a successful online business.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify: Comparison
WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin that is completely free. However, you will require a domain name and SSL certificate, which will cost $12/year and $5-25/month, respectively. These prices may change depending on your needs. In addition, many companies offer WooCommerce hosting services like WordPress, Cloudways, and SiteGround.
Meanwhile, Shopify offers a subscription plan to start an online store. The basic plan costs $29, the upgrade plan for $79, and the advanced plan for $299 per month. Unlike WooCommerce, acquiring one of these plans includes an SSL certificate and web hosting. However, if you need to purchase your domain name, you can purchase it separately.
Ease of Use
WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, so it requires you to handle and manage things like installation, update backup, and security. Meanwhile, WooCommerce is very flexible when it comes to customization. It enables you to have full control over the whole platform. With the help of hundreds of WooCommerce plugins, you can make your online store more user-friendly with increased functionality.
Shopify manages security, performance, and backups as a fully hosted platform. All you have to do is set up your store and design with the help of many Shopify themes. You can easily customize your Shopify store with the help of drag-and-drop features. It has a lot of plugins and themes to improve your store functionality. However, you can only install available plugins on the Shopify marketplace.
WooCommerce is very flexible, and the inventory management function is no different from other eCommerce platforms. Users can generate inventory reports and modify any product characteristic. It allows you to develop and manage an unlimited number of variable goods. You will need to install the 3rd party plugins to enhance the inventory management.
Shopify gives store owners complete control over the Shopify inventory monitoring system. You can generate revenue reports, stock tracking, easy access to stock alerts, and other available features. You may manually enter data or import CSV files to add single or bulk items. In addition, there are hundreds of extensions to help you run your inventory efficiently.
WooCommerce is a CMS that has the advantage over Shopify. You can optimize product pages by changing the body content and applying URL redirections, meta descriptions, alt tags, and other page components. You can also install a plugin to enhance your SEO capabilities and optimize your store.
When it comes to SEO, Shopify has some limitations. Being a dedicated eCommerce platform, it has some limitations. For example, users cannot fully customize their URLs as some sections of store URLs cannot be modified. In addition, it isn’t easy to create subcategories compared to WooCommerce. However, Shopify still provides basic SEO functionalities.
Integrations and Addons
There is always a need for add-ons to improve your store functionality. WooCommerce has access to thousands of free and paid plugins. With the help of a plugin, you can add multiple features like WooCommerce, conditional shipping and pay social media integration media, and many more. In addition, there has been a variety of plugins available for every minimal feature.
Shopify has its third-party add-ons, which enable you to customize your store. They have hundreds of add-ons that you can integrate with your store. Like WooCommerce, Shopify has both paid and free add-ons available on their marketplace. However, they have fewer add-ons than WooCommerce as it is difficult to get listed. They also charge you per month for add-ons subscription.
WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms requiring many support options. They provide 24/7 support for the purchase of premium extensions or themes. It is a self-hosted platform, meaning your hosting provider is responsible for support. The same goes for third-party WooCommerce plugins and themes.
Shopify, a fully hosted platform, provides 24/7 support through live chat, phone, email, and Twitter. It also offers a lot of guides, documentation, video tutorials, and forum to help user fix issues. If you need extra help, you can hire an expert from Shopify. However, it doesn’t provide support for third-party apps.
Shopify and WooCommerce are both powerful eCommerce platforms. If you want to choose between these two, it comes to your skill and preference. If you want a platform with more flexibility and customization WooCommerce is far ahead of Shopify. WooCommerce is an open-source that gives you full control over the website and is also a cost-effective solution.
Meanwhile, Shopify, as the fully hosted eCommerce platform, is much easier and gets you started quickly. They have easy-to-understand subscriptions, unlike WooCommerce. Not being in full control of your website will limit your online business and require an upgrade plan. If you are looking for a hassle-free platform, you should choose Shopify.
Muhammad Safeerullah is a professional digital marketer who is currently working for Extendons. His passion is to help others use WordPress and WooCommerce in innovative ways. In addition, he likes to research and write about social media platforms, search engine optimization, and digital marketing trends.