WooCommerce vs Shopify
Online retail sales in the US alone are expected to reach the $200 billion mark by the end of this year. Setting up an online store has never been easier than it is today. The only problem is that there are so many e-commerce platforms to choose from and selecting the best one can be overwhelming.
In this article, we’ll compare the two most popular e-commerce platforms — WooCommerce and Shopify. We’ll discuss the design, price, available extensions/apps and customer support of each platform.
If you are reading this the chances are you already know that WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that enables you to transform your site into an online store. It offers over 350 extensions and is one of the most flexible e-commerce solutions available. Nearly 10 million people are using WooCommerce to power their online stores.
WooThemes (now owned by WordPress company Automattic), the creators of WooCommerce, have a ton of themes that work seamlessly with the plugin. They offer five free themes and nearly 50 premium themes available for $79. However, if you choose not to go with WooThemes, the plugin also integrates with just about any WordPress theme. And of course lots of other developers, including us, make WooCommerce compatible themes. We offer our own free WooCommerce themes, and have a selection of the best premium themes too.
WooCommerce is available free of charge to anyone who has a WordPress site. The plugin creates a platform for you but to leverage its true capabilities, you’ll have to install WooCommerce extensions. Although some extensions are free, others will cost you $5 to $500 each year.
Hosting your WordPress site will also cost you some money depending upon which hosting service you go with since WooCommerce is not a hosted solution.
WooCommerce has over 350 extensions, both free and premium, that you can add to the plugin to enhance its functionality. In addition to this, WordPress has tons of third party developers contributing all sorts of extensions for WooCommerce. If there’s a marketing strategy you’d like to implement, chances are you’ll find an extension for it.
As is the case with most open source plugins, WooCommerce doesn’t have a dedicated customer support staff and doesn’t offer technical support. If you encounter any issues with the plugin you’ll have to figure them out on your own or consult the forums.
Shopify is a full-fledged ecommerce platform that enables webmasters to set up online stores to sell products. Shopify powers 200,000 online businesses and offers a 14-day free trial.
Shopify offers 11 free themes that are visually appealing right out of the box. All of these are responsive and are available in different colors. Shopify’s themes are created by professional web designers who make sure each and every theme looks modern and attractive – good attributes for an e-commerce site.
If you want an even more professional looking theme, then Shopify offers premium themes for $150. The only problem is that your site’s design may clash with others and it’s important that you customize it a little before applying it to yours.
Shopify offers users a free trial for 14 days and if you’re satisfied with the product you can select one of four packages. Prices vary depending upon which features your site requires.
- $9 for the Lite plan
- $29 for the Basic plan
- $79 for the Professional plan
- $179 for the Unlimited plan
Shopify offers tons of free apps that will help you get started with your online business. You can create discount codes, install cart recovery systems, offer gift cards, amend shipping options and much more free of charge.
However, to make the most of this ecommerce solution, you’ll have to purchase some of their incredibly handy apps from the Shopify App Store.
Unlike WooCommerce, Shopify provides high-quality customer care to all of its customers around the clock. Technical support is not an issue with Shopify and you won’t have to go through forums in case you encounter any problems with the site.
Which One Is Better?
The question still remains: which e-commerce platform is better? Let’s go over our evaluation criteria:
At the end of the day, the platform you pick depends entirely on what your site needs. If you’re looking for a simple e-commerce solution that is easily customizable and won’t require much of your time then Shopify is the clear choice. However, it can take quite a toll on your wallet over time.
But if you’re looking for an e-commerce platform that gives you more control over your online store then WooCommerce is the best one for you – especially if you want a more cost efficient solution. A WooCommerce powered site will require you to put in more work to set up hosting providers and manage security and updates, but it is all well worth the effort.
Which e-commerce platform do you use for your online store? Which features are important to you as the webmaster of an e-commerce site? We’d love to hear from you so let us know in the comments section below.