WordPress (Woocommerce) Vs Shopify
So you want to build an e-commerce store but don’t know which platform to choose. In this blog post, I will discuss the difference between Shopify and WordPress. There are so many options but these are two of the best.
The main differences between Shopify and WordPress
The main difference between these two is that Shopify is an online tool/service, whereas WordPress is a stand-alone software that you need to install yourself.
In order to use Shopify, all you have to do is go to Shopify.com and sign up for an account. Once done, you only need to go through a quick setup, and your e-commerce store is up and running.
To use WordPress as your e-commerce platform, on the other hand, requires a lot more steps:
- First, you need to buy a domain and a web hosting account where you can have the default version of WordPress installed.
- You need to pick a theme (design) for your website, plus a handful of plugins to take care of things like SEO, social media integration and whatnot.
- After that, you need a plugin like WooCommerce to provide you with all the e-commerce features (those are not built into WordPress out the gate).
- Finally, you need to go through the configuration process of your e-commerce store (the store details, payment gateway integrations, products, etc.). Those can take a while of its own too.
And last but not least, with Shopify, you also get support, which means that should you ever encounter any trouble with the platform, you can simply contact the support team, and they will (likely) solve it. That being said the support with Shopify is not far and you will encounter many problems when developing a site on Shopify. With WordPress, there’s no support but there is just so much information out there, you don’t need direct support often.
- An all-in-one e-commerce solution/tool. It allows you to build a functional e-commerce store from scratch, without a designer’s or developer’s help.
- No coding skills are required to use Shopify.
- It’s a paid tool – from $9 to $179 per month.
- It allows you to sell whatever you wish (goods, services, products both digital and physical, as well as dropshipping).
- Use it offline and online (you can use it as your online store, but also use something called Point of Sale with Shopify, which is their system for retail stores that allows you to integrate your on-location store with your setup in Shopify).
- More than 100 online store designs to choose from (some of them paid).
- Every new site gets a custom subdomain for free. For example, something like: YOURSTORE.shopify.com.
- There’s 24/7 support.
WordPress with WooCommerce
- An all-in-one website software. It allows you to build any kind of website, provided that you can handle the slightly technical setup – involving installing the software itself, installing plugins, installing a theme, and then installing an e-commerce plugin to handle the store operations.
Some website-building skills are required. Depending on the customizations that you want to perform, you might need coding or design skills as well.
- The WordPress software is free. But in order to use it, you need to sign up for a web host and buy a domain name. When all is put together, you can get started with WordPress for about $5 / month.
- Great content management features.
- Thousands of themes/designs to choose from, both free and paid.
- Exceptional extension possibilities through plugins.
- No direct support, but a very helpful support community.
Reasons to use Shopify over WordPress:
a) Use it if you don’t have any kind of website and you want to launch a quality e-commerce store fast.
b) Use it if you don’t have any design, coding, or website-building skills, and you don’t want to hire anybody to set up an e-commerce store for you.
c) Use it if you want to integrate your online store with your offline on-location store.
d) Use it if you need a great e-commerce platform with access to customer support.
Reasons to use WordPress over Shopify:
a) The cost of the Platform per month is much less if you have an understanding of HTML and CSS you can set it up yourself.
b) You need a robust solution that involves custom themes and code. It is very difficult to find a Shopify developer (A good one, especially in South Africa)
c) Running Costs are low.
d) Blogging is the main focus.
Quite simply, if you already have a WordPress website running then it’s always going to be quicker and cheaper to just add an e-commerce component to that website instead of building something new. On the other hand, if you don’t have a website yet, then it’s quicker and easier to go the other route and launch an e-commerce store with a specialized platform like Shopify.
If you need help designing/developing a Shopify or WordPress Site, drop us a mail and we can help you decide on the best solution. At Lincoln Collective, we work with both Shopify and WordPress(Woocommerce), you can view our portfolio here.