Shopify vs WooCommerce

Which web hosting provider to choose, what domain name to register, which theme to pick – setting up a new website comes with an endless number of choices. Even more so when we’re talking about ecommerce websites! These types of sites require an additional important choice: Shopify vs WooCommerce.

Yes, there are plenty of other options available besides just Shopify and WooCommerce. But, these two seem to be the most popular so they are the ones I will focus on in this blog post. Continue reading to discover and in-depth look at both platforms and see which one is right for your new e-commerce website.

E-Commerce Platforms

Shopify – Shopify is an all-in-one solution that enables you to create an online shop, manage your products and inventory, plus handle payments using one single service.

WooCommerce – WooCommerce is an open-source solution built on top of WordPress. This plugin supercharges WordPress and enables you to run an online store using the platform you probably already know and love.

Unique Features

Shopify – Offers three different plans for users to choose from, starting at $29 per month. They also include a free subdomain with each plan. Users are able to add unlimited products can enjoy 24/7 support. They do charge you a specific fee for all payments and the platform offers its own app shop – both free and paid – which enables users to extend the functionality of their stores. There are dozens of premium themes available for you to customize. SSL certificates are included with each plan and Google Analytics can be integrated.

WooCommerce – Completely free to use, but you will need to purchase your own web hosting. Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce does not include a free domain, so you will need to buy your own. Users are able to add unlimited products and payment fees will depend on which payment processors you decide to add. Support is available through the WooCommerce help desk, as well as an extensive documentation database. Instead of an App Shop, WooCommerce comes with its own extension system (basically the same as Wordpres plugins) which provides additional functionality for your store. Dozens of free and premium themes are available for you to customize and SSL support is included as long as you obtain your own certificate. Google Analytics can also be integrated into WooCommerce.

Who uses those platforms?

Shopify is the home of over 1,000,000 merchants that sell everything from customized skateboards to baby-friendly jewelry. WooCommerce puts up some pretty good numbers as well. This platform powered approximately 400,000 sites back in 2015. Today it has 5+ million active installations.

Which one is right for you?

Shopify is the way to go for users who don’t want to deal with a complicated setup process and want to enjoy premium support. The service guarantees a smooth ride at the expense of a monthly subscription.
WooCommerce can give Shopify a run for their money and is the best in my opinion because of its flexibility. However, the setup process is more complicated and will require you to get your hands a little dirty. It’s perfect for those of you who have an affinity for open-source software and want to customize every aspect of your experience.

Both Shopify and WooCommerce are great platforms on their own right – although each has its own set of pros and cons. As long as you go with whichever one suits your needs the best, you’ll have made the right decision.