Are you thinking of starting an online business? That can be quite a challenge. By choosing a good platform, you can make this task less daunting for yourself. But the question remains, whether to choose Shopify or WooCommerce?
No doubt both of these platforms provide state-of-the-art services, but we need something that suits our requirements the best.
Thinking from the mind of a newbie in their business, that too starting it online, we understand the dilemma when it comes to choosing between the top two eCommerce platforms in the world; Shopify and WooCommerce, each having its pros and cons.
In this detailed article, you will be able to find the answers to your many questions, so hang tight as we dive deep into the discussion about which option is more suitable for a certain target audience.
As a business owner who is just starting their online store, picking out the best eCommerce option can be tricky since you want a platform that fits your needs and is more compatible.
Before we go in-depth with the discussion, let us clarify what Shopify and WooCommerce are and what are the factors behind their popularity.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify?
Shopify is your all-rounder eCommerce solution making your tasks more accessible. With Shopify, you don’t need to worry about managing inventory, payment management, and even creating your online store. It doesn’t let you worry about any technical aspects such as security, web hosting, management, etc.
With WooCommerce, you have the leverage of a CMS (content management system) that you can use for running your online store quickly since WooCommerce is an open-source plugin built for WordPress.
With WooCommerce being the most popular eCommerce platform and WordPress being the most popular website builder, you get more options to access. Customizing every aspect and adding useful extensions are also possible due to the open-source and friendlier nature of WooCommerce.
If both of these platforms are up to the mark, then which one to choose and why? The following is the comparison chart with respect to the pros and cons of Shopify and WooCommerce, helping you build a more precise judgment towards both platforms.
Which One Is More User-Friendly? Shopify or WooCommerce?
No doubt that WooCommerce has many advantages for its users, but when we talk about the service’s usability, we’re in a conflict. Shopify provides its customers with an easy-to-use interface and has a steeper learning curve than WooCommerce.
Now, who doesn’t want their work to be more accessible, right? Since Shopify is a self-hosted eCommerce platform, it saves its customers from the complex technicalities of building their websites and even managing them.
Domain name and hosting are the factors that bother most users, but Shopify has got its customers covered in that sector. With Shopify, you’re free of any hassle with software, updates, security, CDN, and backup problems.
In comparison to that, WooCommerce requires a little more from its users. You ought to have some coding knowledge, and on top of that, you’ll have to deal with web hosting and security on your own, not that it’s too tricky, just a little more work on your hands.
Do you need a more fabulous solution to this? Don’t Worry, Bluehost is a dedicated WooCommerce plan. It comes with some pretty cool features like auto-installation, free domain names, etc.
So, powering your WooCommerce store with Bluehost can be a good practice, though to clear it out, you do have to buy one of its packages to access the cool features.
Let’s just say that Shopify wins the argument of being more user-friendly than that of WooCommerce.
Support Options for Shopify and WooCommerce:
Fortunately for its users, Shopify is an easy-to-use website service provider, but just like its competitor, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. You do need some support from time to time. Now what to do, and how do you deal with difficulties with either of the platforms?
We’re about to give you a comprehensive yet straightforward idea of what maintenance and support services you’re provided, so let’s dive right into it.
Without a doubt, Shopify wins the battle of being a more accessible option when building your online store with WooCommerce. You’ve to worry about having an associated WordPress website, hosting, and domain name.
WooCommerce can also get a bit more pricey; you’ll have to buy domain name hosting packages, ultimately incurring additional costs. Nonetheless, WooCommerce is an excellent platform for people with a more professional approach towards site-building for their online business.
What comes in handy here is that WooCommerce has a setup wizard guide helping you through the initial setups. From payment gateways to shipping methods, the wizard has got you covered.
However, we cannot neglect that if it’s your first WordPress website, you need a more steep learning curve. You can find a wide range of blogs, tutorials, and YouTube videos to get you through.
Furthermore, speaking of a hosted eCommerce platform, Shopify does the heavy lifting for you in most departments, such as providing domain names, hosting, and SSL certification. All you gotta do is create a Shopify account, pick out a theme, and then if you want to purchase a domain or sync an existing one, it’s up to you.
How can Shopify be this perfect, you must be wondering? Well, we’re about to answer that for you as well. Shopify is not perfect. There are some limitations to its services, too. For instance, as much as a hosted solution provider is a benefit, it is also a drawback. In what sense you may think.
No doubt you’ve to be more professional with WooCommerce. Still, one thing Shopify cannot beat its competitor in is its extensibility, self-hosted solutions are more flexible and customizable, and this is where WooCommerce’s real power lies.
WooCommerce provides out-of-the-box customizations and provides you with everything you need to build your online store on your terms.
That is not all. You can use additional software and extend the core WooCommerce platform. You can add more functionalities using plugins, and these plugins can be found in the official directory of WordPress.
On top of that, there is an official extensions store of WooCommerce where you can find hundreds of add-ons. If not, then WooCommerce doesn’t disappoint you. There are also tons of third-party solutions you can opt for, including some of the most popular CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools.
If you’re a developer, you’ve good news from WooCommerce. You can add custom code. All these features make WooCommerce fancier and a comparatively more customizable platform.
One area WooCommerce cannot compete in is Shopify’s built-in multi-channel integration, a great feature enabling you to promote and sell your items on different platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, eBay, etc.
Shopify does have its selection store known as the Shopify apps. You can achieve the extension of your needs. But not to forget that you’re still restricted to some add-ons and software by Shopify.
Both WooCommerce and Shopify have fancy and stylish themes. Now, who doesn’t want their eCommerce store to look stunning, right? These cool themes help you attract customers and are an excellent first impression.
WooCommerce provides its users with a whopping collection of over 1000 themes. Still not satisfied? Worry not. You can also opt for premium WooCommerce themes available in the third-party market. Take ThemeForest, for instance. Here you can find yourself with more than 1200 premium WooCommerce themes to select from.
Unfortunately, for your Shopify store, you won’t find such a wide variety of makeover tools. As a dedicated eCommerce platform, Shopify’s themes are designed and more sales-oriented hence leaving you with fewer options to choose from. However, premium themes can be chosen from, not to mention that these themes are sold for hundreds of dollars.
Handling Shipping and Dropshipping
Having a good shipping experience is a must for your customers and yourself. Both Shopify and WooCommerce let you ship internationally, but you’re at an advantage with Shopify’s built-in partnerships with DHL, FedEx, UPS, Canada Post, etc.
Dropshipping can also be opted for in the case of both platforms. Now you may ask what dropshipping is. Dropshipping is not something alien.
Your store is as regular as the rest of them out there. The only thing you’re doing is that you’re not storing any products in stock. You buy them from the vendor and send them directly to your customer.
In the case of Shopify, there are some dedicated applications such as AliExpress dropshipping, where you can help power your dropshipping business. With WooCommerce, you have some plugins to help you with dropshipping. They enable you to import products from third-party marketplaces.
To run your online store smoothly, security must be your top priority. Since you have access to your customer’s personal and sensitive information, you may attract some cyber-criminals. You’re tension free with Shopify.
Since it is a self-hosted platform, you don’t have to worry about the security of your site. Shopify takes it upon itself to protect you against intruders.
With WooCommerce, the only problem you’ll be continuously facing is installing a plugin for everything. You won’t be provided with any built-in security features, consequently making you install additional plugins.
Since WooCommerce is an entirely customizable platform, letting you have all the control over your inventory is one of its other customizable solutions. You can use the WordPress editor to upload new products and edit the existing ones according to your choice.
Both platforms provide excellent features, such as uploading a complete product catalog via CSV files. These features come in handy, helping you save a significant amount of time.
Shopify is also up in this sector, letting you track your products quickly, access stock, generate reports and carry out other necessary inventory management tasks.
Product variations are to be kept in mind with these features, though with WooCommerce, there is no hard limit on product variations, and you can use them as required.
On the other hand, Shopify has a hard cap of 100 variants and three total options per product. You will have to use some third-party Shopify apps to help increase the limit.
Scalability and Growth: Shopify vs. WooCommerce
As your business grows and new challenges and goals arise, you try expanding and trying new things. This can be a headache if your service provider is not drafted to handle much traffic and orders.
Shopify does the most work for you, handling your growing business without worrying about backups, updates, and other security concerns. If you go for the Shopify Plus plan, you also get enterprise services.
Though the painful part of the growth is taken out in this manner, it’s not very cost-effective. Planning according to your expenses is advised.
WooCommerce holds you accountable for the responsibilities of maintenance, backups, and security issues. The initial hosting plan runs out of resources as your store grows, though you control your WordPress site and have plenty of options to manage growth.
Shopify vs WooCommerce Conclusion
Now that we have provided a detailed, informative readable and all the critical differences between WooCommerce and Shopify have been unpacked, we conclude our discussion with a decision.
Though both platforms are good in their aspects, we conclude that Shopify remains at the top. With its flexibility and built-in tools, ease of use for the beginner, and no hassle with pricing,
Shopify wins the heart. However, it should be considered that different users have different requirements, and the option that suits your needs must be opted for.
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