Woocommerce vs Shopify

Shopify is currently the top eCommerce platform all around the world. Choosing the right eCommerce platform is one of the most important decisions an online business owner will make. So, which platform will be the reigning champion in a few years? We’ve done some research and looked into what each of these bigger platforms has going for them. The two bulls are Shopify and WooCommerce. Keep reading to find out who comes out on top.

Now, let’s start the showdown. Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that allows you to start, grow and manage your online eCommerce store. Shopify is completely cloud-based and hosted. Therefore, there is never a moment of worry about the technical aspects of managing a webshop. Automated hosting, security and caching are ‘out of the box’ features.

WooCommerce is an open-source, eCommerce plugin built for WordPress. Since it’s open-source there is the freedom to customize every aspect of the store and build custom extensions pretty easily. Let’s now discuss the cost of both.

Someone trying to pay with a card for a webshop

Cost

Cost is one of the most important factors to consider, no matter what stage of the game you’re in — but especially as a new business owner — setup costs are not the only expenses to keep in mind. You also need to account for variable or monthly costs that arise. Shopify has fixed pricing, their basic plan starts at $29 a month. This plan gives you all the basics for starting a new business. They do offer upgraded plans which come with advanced features for scaling your business at $79 a month and $299 a month.

All these features, however, are tied to each plan. Each plan also includes a domain name, an SSL certificate, and web posting. If there are additional third-party add-ons, which at some point you might need, there as some small additional fees to be kept in mind. Since WooCommerce is open-source, it is a freely available WordPress plug-in. However, you will need extensions and add-ons to set up your store, thus requiring a larger amount of custom development.

One advantage is that you can often find free alternatives to paid extensions either way. Going for the WooCommerce route, you will encounter costs for a domain name, SSL certificate, and a WordPress hosting account. Your hosting costs will also increase as your online store grows outside of these general setup costs. Other costs to factor in include; payment processing costs.

Payments

Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer hundreds of similar options that are either built-in or integrated within the platforms, apps, or plugins.

Shopify makes it very easy to accept and manage payments. Offering its own payment solution, powered by Stripe, called Shopify payments. Shopify’s basic plan charges 29 cents per transaction. There is also the option to choose a third-party payment provider, the additional cost of 2% — 0.5% can apply. This percentage decreases, as you upgrade your plans for Shopify.

It is quick

Shopify is pretty quick, easy, and intuitive to understand and set up, at least with one of the beautiful basic themes they offer. You create an account login and add your products and can pretty much be on your way in a few hours, as most of their key features are built-in Shopify is fully hosted, so there is no need to install, manage or update software. You also don’t have to worry about security performance backups, nor compatibility.
WooCommerce, on the other hand, is way more hands-on time consuming to set up and requires more technical knowledge and control. This, however, does come with a lot more customization possibilities across your entire site. Since WooCommerce is self-hosted, it does require more maintenance to manage, update, keep backups, and constantly ensure your site is secure (enough).

Plugins

There are plenty of free and paid plugins that can automate most of these tasks. For you, though, as far as add-ons, there will always be a need for third-party tools, regardless of which e-commerce platform you go with: analytics tools, email tools, tracking tools. Shopify comes with an app store, which offers hundreds of apps for every feature. Shopify offers a mix of free and paid options called ‘apps’.

WooCommerce offers more than 50,000 free WordPress ‘plugins’, which are built specifically for WordPress sites. These cover any and all features imaginable from SEO to performance optimizations. This list doesn’t end with WooCommerce. You can even hire a developer to create your own add-on for your site.

Support

The customization options really are limitless and allow you to build outside the box. Now, what about support?

Shopify is fully hosted, so they control and know their software best. Going above and beyond with their support lines, whether it be over the phone live, chat, or email. There even is quite the library of helpful guides, along with the community forum and set wizard merchants who are never left on their own to troubleshoot or resolve issues that arise. Someone is available 24/7, and information is very easily accessible.

WooCommerce takes more of the DIY approach with WordPress-related forums along with the WooCommerce community. If you consider yourself technical, you shouldn’t have any issues with their support, as it is more suitable for people who don’t need trained advisors. There is super helpful information out there. You just have to look for it, so all in all who reigns supreme well, it really boils down to your stores, needs if you’re starting out and need the basics to help you grow.

Conclusion

WooCommerce is the way to go if you require the complete flexibility of an open-source platform and have the development resources or knowledge to customize your site and stay on top of maintenance and security.

Shopify provides the resources to quickly and easily get you up running and growing. Meaning you will have more time to focus on automating processes, increasing conversions, and optimizing other aspects of the business.

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