Should you choose Shopify or
WordPress
for your eCommerce site?

When you have a working knowledge about websites and are trying to build your
eCommerce store, one of the first questions you will ask is which platform you should use.

Technically, your platform choice depends on how involved you want to be on the technical aspects of the site – and how much working knowledge you have.

In our honest opinion, we can use any platform we choose given that we have the proper training to use it. But of course, that is not the only consideration we have to think about.

In terms of which platform to use, the main and most popular choices for many eCommerce stores are either Shopify or WooCommerce for WordPress.

The two platforms have different merits and as such, they have their own advantages and disadvantages when used.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an eCommerce platform that allows suppliers and retailers to sell any type of goods to consumers around the world, and market these goods through an online store.

This “one stop shop” selling platform is designed to be user friendly for business owners who are not particularly web savvy, making it super easy to maintain and build.

For a monthly fee, you can get domain hosting, themes, drag and drop functionality, and 24-hour support.

What is WooCommerce?

There are two types of WordPress platforms available today:

  1. Hosted WordPress from WordPress.com
  2. Self-hosted WordPress from WordPress.org

Hosted WordPress is also a software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool, where you can pay a monthly fee to enjoy a range of features to build and maintain your website.

On the other hand, self-hosted WordPress is a free software called WooCommerce that you can install in your own web server. For clarification, we’ll be looking at self-hosted WordPress here.

WordPress is an open-source content management system, meaning anyone can use or manage this software for free. Most of the websites we’re seeing today are being powered by WordPress – in fact, it powers 35% of the world’s websites!

Since WordPress is an open source software, there are a lot of support forums you can find online that can help you fix virtually any problem you have by reading the solutions of actual users who previously encountered the same problem.

Backend usability

Shopify

Shopify is incredibly user-friendly - even for those with no experience in creating websites!

This means that you don’t need to be a pro in coding and other technical stuff to get started with your online store.

The step by step processes are straightforward, you can start building and publishing your website in just a few hours.

vs

WooCommerce

It’s beneficial to have basic knowledge of coding to use the WordPress platform.

If you want to create an eCommerce website, you’ll need some basic knowledge of coding to use the WordPress platform.

You will also need to learn about the plugins that you can use as WordPress itself is not eCommerce ready just yet.

While this might seem a little daunting when you’re just starting out, it can also be beneficial in the long run as you will be able to do simple troubleshooting on your website once you learn how the platform works!

Depending on how fast you can learn this process and how big your website is, creating a website through WordPress may take longer than doing so with Shopify.

eCommerce functionality

Shopify

Shopify is primarily built as a dedicated online store builder, which means they have developed the platform with eCommerce in mind.

This is its main advantage against WordPress, as WordPress alone is not built for online selling.

Shopify’s all-in-one package makes it easy for a small business to put up their online store quickly.

When you choose Shopify for your eCommerce store, you can sell a limitless number of goods. However it’s important to understand that each product can only have up to 100 variants and a maximum of 3 options.

However, there are apps suitable for Shopify that can remove these limits!

vs

WooCommerce

Although we mentioned earlier that WordPress alone is not created for eCommerce, there are third party plugins that you can add to create your functional online store, such as Woocommerce or WP Ecommerce.

The key to making a beautiful yet functional online store using WordPress is to identify what functions your store needs and research on high ranking plugins that can do the job.

You can even use Shopify Lite to integrate Shopify eCommerce functions to your WordPress site!

SEO

SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation) is a key inclusion developers must consider, as it’s critical to driving qualified traffic to your website.

Regardless of whether you’re using Shopify or WordPress, you will need to optimise certain aspects of your site in order to rank better in search engines.

Shopify

Shopify has built-in SEO features that allow you to edit the meta descriptions, use SSL, automatically create 301 redirects when you change a page name, and even create XML sitemaps.

One disadvantage of using Shopify for SEO is that you cannot choose the server that will be hosting your site. This is an important consideration, as page speed - and thus a fast, reliable server - is one of the ranking elements of SEO.

We can argue that Shopify’s hosting is at par with the other hosting servers, however, it’s not the fastest.

vs

WooCommerce

WordPress gives more flexibility in terms of optimising your website for SEO.

You can install the Yoast plugin in your website, and this tool does in-depth analysis of your content from an SEO perspective. It also gives you suggested steps to further optimise your content, and thus improve your rank in the search engine results pages.

Yoast is not available in Shopify although there are equivalent apps that some use to optimise their Shopify websites. Aside from that, WordPress allows you to choose a faster hosting which is excellent for SEO.

You can turn to Confetti Design’s SEO Services if you’re not sure on how to get your website optimised for search engines to rank you higher.

Whether your site is built on Shopify or WordPress, our SEO specialists will audit your website thoroughly to ensure that every aspect is fully and properly optimised!

Support

When you encounter a problem with your website, it’s reassuring to know that there is someone who can help you fix it.

Efficient support is especially important when your site is already live and generating money for your business!

Shopify

Shopify’s Help Center provides comprehensive solutions to a range of different problems.

It has topics that Shopify users can browse, and offers helpful video tutorials.

In the event that you can’t find a solution to your issue, Shopify also offers support through a variety of channels, including chat, email, phone, and Twitter, and offer quick response times.

There is also a Shopify Community where Shopify users share experiences they had with the platform. This is useful especially because merchants all over the world share their solutions.

vs

WordPress

WordPress.org also has a dedicated support page to provide help on a range of topics and common problems users face.

From installation and administration to customisation and maintenance, you’ll find a ton of helpful resources here!

They also have support forums where WordPress users and web developers answer queries about WordPress and provide insight into all sorts of plugins. However, WordPress doesn’t have a support channel who will attend to inquiries individually and in real-time.

Backend usability

Shopify

Shopify is incredibly user-friendly - even for those with no experience in creating websites!

This means that you don’t need to be a pro in coding and other technical stuff to get started with your online store.

The step by step processes are straightforward, you can start building and publishing your website in just a few hours.

WooCommerce

It’s beneficial to have basic knowledge of coding to use the WordPress platform.

If you want to create an eCommerce website, you’ll need some basic knowledge of coding to use the WordPress platform.

You will also need to learn about the plugins that you can use as WordPress itself is not eCommerce ready just yet.

While this might seem a little daunting when you’re just starting out, it can also be beneficial in the long run as you will be able to do simple troubleshooting on your website once you learn how the platform works!

Depending on how fast you can learn this process and how big your website is, creating a website through WordPress may take longer than doing so with Shopify.

eCommerce functionality

Shopify

Shopify is primarily built as a dedicated online store builder, which means they have developed the platform with eCommerce in mind.

This is its main advantage against WordPress, as WordPress alone is not built for online selling.

Shopify’s all-in-one package makes it easy for a small business to put up their online store quickly.

When you choose Shopify for your eCommerce store, you can sell a limitless number of goods. However it’s important to understand that each product can only have up to 100 variants and a maximum of 3 options.

However, there are apps suitable for Shopify that can remove these limits!

WooCommerce

Although we mentioned earlier that WordPress alone is not created for eCommerce, there are third party plugins that you can add to create your functional online store, such as Woocommerce or WP Ecommerce.

The key to making a beautiful yet functional online store using WordPress is to identify what functions your store needs and research on high ranking plugins that can do the job.

You can even use Shopify Lite to integrate Shopify eCommerce functions to your WordPress site!

SEO

SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation) is a key inclusion developers must consider, as it’s critical to driving qualified traffic to your website.

Regardless of whether you’re using Shopify or WordPress, you will need to optimise certain aspects of your site in order to rank better in search engines.

Shopify

Shopify has built-in SEO features that allow you to edit the meta descriptions, use SSL, automatically create 301 redirects when you change a page name, and even create XML sitemaps.

One disadvantage of using Shopify for SEO is that you cannot choose the server that will be hosting your site. This is an important consideration, as page speed - and thus a fast, reliable server - is one of the ranking elements of SEO.

We can argue that Shopify’s hosting is at par with the other hosting servers, however, it’s not the fastest.

WooCommerce

WordPress gives more flexibility in terms of optimising your website for SEO.

You can install the Yoast plugin in your website, and this tool does in-depth analysis of your content from an SEO perspective. It also gives you suggested steps to further optimise your content, and thus improve your rank in the search engine results pages.

Yoast is not available in Shopify although there are equivalent apps that some use to optimise their Shopify websites. Aside from that, WordPress allows you to choose a faster hosting which is excellent for SEO.

You can turn to Confetti Design’s SEO Services if you’re not sure on how to get your website optimised for search engines to rank you higher.

Whether your site is built on Shopify or WordPress, our SEO specialists will audit your website thoroughly to ensure that every aspect is fully and properly optimised!

Support

When you encounter a problem with your website, it’s reassuring to know that there is someone who can help you fix it.

Efficient support is especially important when your site is already live and generating money for your business!

Shopify

Shopify’s Help Center provides comprehensive solutions to a range of different problems.

It has topics that Shopify users can browse, and offers helpful video tutorials.

In the event that you can’t find a solution to your issue, Shopify also offers support through a variety of channels, including chat, email, phone, and Twitter, and offer quick response times.

There is also a Shopify Community where Shopify users share experiences they had with the platform. This is useful especially because merchants all over the world share their solutions.

WordPress

WordPress.org also has a dedicated support page to provide help on a range of topics and common problems users face.

From installation and administration to customisation and maintenance, you’ll find a ton of helpful resources here!

They also have support forums where WordPress users and web developers answer queries about WordPress and provide insight into all sorts of plugins. However, WordPress doesn’t have a support channel who will attend to inquiries individually and in real-time.

Need eCommerce support?

Confetti Design’s web development services include the support you need when you encounter any problems with your website.

Whether it’s for Shopify or WordPress, our years of experience in web design has given us enough knowledge to troubleshoot and resolve any issues you find yourself facing! Find out more about eCommerce support.

Regardless of whether you choose Shopify or WordPress, Confetti Design can help you with beautiful website design and flawless web development.

Our team is proficient in performing all of your website needs—from creating your website to providing ongoing maintenance. Talk to us today.