which is the best ecommerce platform

The prizefight for eCommerce sellers is Shopify vs WordPress. These two platforms are the hands-down best options for many sellers. You can use them with limited technical knowledge and they’re easy to set up. But, which one is the best?

WordPress vs Shopify Review: The Basics

Shopify has been a leader in the eCommerce arena for quite some time. WordPress started out as a blogging platform, but it’s now one of the leading website platforms on Earth. 

So Shopify vs WordPress, which is the better platform? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is a point of sale application that allows you to sell goods online. It is the leading provider of eCommerce sites and caters to businesses of all sizes. Even some of the big players like Sephora, All Birds, Red Bull, and Tesla use Shopify. Based out of Ottowa Canada, Shopify was founded in 2006 and since its inception hosts over 1,000,000 eCommerce sites.

What Is WordPress?

WordPress started out as a blogging platform. However, users quickly realized that the powerful blogging platform could be used to create a beautiful and functional website without having to hire a web developer. Now, thousands of companies use WordPress to host their sites. 

WordPress’s most popular eCommerce system is WooCommerce. Launched in 2011, WooCommerce easily integrates with WordPress and comes with free, customizable themes for a quick-and-easy setup. This eCommerce system is often the best choice for WordPress sellers

Overview: Shopify VS WordPress

Shopify and WordPress both have a lot to offer for eCommerce sites. This can make selecting a platform a bit of a challenge. Ultimately which platform you choose will depend on your needs and your budget. Something you may want to consider is your skillset. Are you building your site yourself or hiring someone to do it for you? 

Both Shopify and WordPress offer customizable templates, but some people prefer to outsource to a professional. WordPress pros know which tools you need and how to utilize them. They can also help you with technical issues. 

Shopify VS WordPress: Tools

Both Shopify and WordPress offer everything you need to get your store up and running. However, each varies slightly in the features they offer. Which you choose may depend on what tools and features matter the most to you.

Shopify Tools

Shopify offers a lot of tools that make managing your eCommerce site easier. Some stand out features of Shopify include:

  • Abandoned Cart Feature  – This allows shoppers to complete an abandoned transaction without having to re-input their information.
  • Shipping Providers – Shopify has partnerships with major couriers like USPS, UPS, and DHL Express, this makes selecting a courier effortless.
  • Website and Blog – A content management system is an important part of your marketing strategy.
  • Over 100 Payment Options – This helps you cater to a wider customer base.

WordPress Tools

WordPress also offers some impressive features to make running your eCommerce store a breeze. Some key features include:

  • Built-in Blogging – WordPress started out as a blogging platform, so it comes as no surprise that their build-in blogging feature in highly efficient and easy to use.
  • Customization Potential – With WordPress the sky is the limit when it comes to customizing your eCommerce site. You can literally customize each page to your liking. This enables you to embed products and checkout features on more pages.
  • Seamless Shipping – WordPress also offers seamless shipping both domestically and internationally.

Shopify VS WordPress: Ease of Use

As we mentioned above, one of the big things you need to consider when going over eCommerce platforms is your level of expertise. Are you capable of building your own site? Or are you really confused by the whole process? As easy as both sites attempt to make it, some people are naturally more inclined to website building. This could be a huge factor in your decision.

Shopify Ease of Use

Shopify is very user-friendly and easy to use. However, it comes at the cost of its customization potential. Shopify offers templates and website-building tools that make it much easier to hit the ground running for new sellers. Shopify’s simple setup gives you the ability to start selling in a relatively short time. 

WordPress Ease of Use

WordPress has a learning curve. As a result, it could take longer to make your site without professional help. However, if you want a highly custom website and the budget to hire a professional, you could get the best results with WordPress.

Shopify VS WordPress: Templates

Shopify Templates

When setting up your website, you will need to select a template or website theme. Both Shopify and WordPress offer an expansive selection of free and paid themes. 

In the Shopify theme store, there are over 70 free templates to choose from. Shopify’s templates are designed with eCommerce stores in mind, so they come stock with tons of eCommerce features. Their free templates are professional-looking and relatively easy to set up. However, custom or premium templates can cost as much as $140.

WordPress Templates

WordPress offers over a thousand different themes, that can be customized in any way you like. You can create a really beautiful site with WordPress. Templates are super easy to use, however, setting up a WordPress site from scratch requires more technical skill than opening a Shopify store. 

Shopify VS WordPress: SEO

SEO or search engine optimization plays an important role in generating traffic to your store. How you implement your SEO strategy will have a huge impact on the flow of traffic to your site and ultimately your conversions or sales. Both Shopify and WordPress offer SEO tools and integrations to help you properly optimize your site content.

Shopify SEO

Shopify enables you to optimize the basic information of your website. You can optimize the title and description of pictures,  and product pages. You can also visit their app store for their free SEO booster that scans your site for issues and makes the necessary changes to help your store perform better.

WordPress SEO

Like Shopify, WordPress allows you to optimize the title and description of pictures, and product pages. However, WordPress allows you to be a little more thorough with detailed meta descriptions, title pages, alt tags, and custom URLs. 

Plus, WordPress also offers a universe of free plugins like Yoast SEO. This simple app can make your site more search-friendly in an instant. If you’re willing to pay, you can access more sophisticated SEO programs with even more robust features.

Most SEO plug-ins are designed specifically for end-users, so you don’t need to be a web developer to start using them. WordPress also offers more options when it comes to SEO tools and plugins.

shopify and wordpress have many templates to choose from

Shopify VS WordPress: Integrations

Plugins and integrations are important to your eCommerce site because they can help you improve the functionality and efficiency of your store. Integrations can help you with shipping, SEO, social media, and more. 

The right combination of plugins can seriously benefit your business. Fortunately, both Shopify and WordPress offer an extensive selection of options.

Shopify Integrations

Shopify offers over free and paid integrations. All integrations are vetted for efficiency and reliability, and are curated specifically for eCommerce sites. For example, Shopify integrates with the Oberlo app for dropshipping. This helps automate your order fulfillment. There are also integrations that can help with your marketing like Facebook integration. You can even sell on multiple channels like Amazon and Facebook with integrations. There are apps for customer management and retention as well as accounting and bookkeeping.

WordPress Integrations

With the more customizable nature of WordPress, there are over 50,000 integrations. Which can seem a little intimidating, you are are not particularly tech-savvy. However, if you are or are outsourcing your web design, the sky it really the limit. WordPress offers plugins for dropshipping with apps like AliDropShip, WooDropShip, and more. There are integrations for capture forms, as well as  plugins for selling on multiple channels. Basically, anything you could possibly want is available in the form of a plugin with WordPress.

Shopify VS WordPress: Support

Customer service and support are also important to consider when it comes to choosing an eCommerce platform. Especially if you are designing your site yourself, you may have questions and need assistance, in which case the right support will be helpful. Keep in mind that support channels may vary depending on your web hosting.

Shopify Support

Shopify makes it really easy to get the support you need. They offer 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email. Plus, you can find an endless supply of helpful guides and forums online. Shopify scored a 4.1 out of 5 in customer support.

WordPress Support

WordPress is an open-source program, so it doesn’t have a traditional customer support department. Fortunately, there is a strong sense of community among WordPress loyalists, and many will gladly assist you through the community forum.

However, many premium WordPress themes come with support from the developer. It’s a boutique business, so results can vary widely in terms of the service experience. But, most developers give you a way to reach out for support in the event you have an issue with your pre-built theme. 

Some providers, like GoDaddy and NameCheap, also offer managed WordPress servers. They manage all the complicated server-side stuff, like CPanel and MySQL databases, so you can focus on running your site. These vendors also usually offer server-side tech support for managed WordPress accounts.

Shopify VS WordPress: Cost

There are certain costs you need to consider when it comes to eCommerce websites. There is the cost of acquiring the domain name, hosting fees, security, design fees (if applicable), and plugin fees. 

A professional-grade website can cost thousands of dollars, so be realistic about your budget. Here’s what you need to be aware of when you get started with Shopify or WordPress.

Shopify Cost

Shopify’s packages cover most of the costs associated with eCommerce, including domain registration, hosting, security, and more.

You can also print shipping labels, offer discount codes, and sell on multiple channels with no product limits.

Here’s a brief overview of the subscription tiers:

  • The base package is $29 per month and charges a 2% transaction fee.
  • The next package is $79 per month and adds more advanced reports, enables more staff accounts, enables more locations, and offers priority mail pricing. You also pay a 1% transaction fee with this package.
  • The third package is $299 per month and offers even more advance reports, more users, locations, and enables third-party calculated shipping rates. With the third package, you pay a 0.5% transaction fee.

Shopify also offers a 14-day free trial. This allows you to test drive their product and see which Shopify plan meets your needs.

WordPress Cost

WooCommerce is open-source and free to use. However, you still have to pay for your domain name and other typical website-setup costs. Entry-level services start at about $20 – $30 per month. 

You also need to take security into consideration. Search engines favor secure sites in their rankings, so your business can be more visible. Visible security efforts also ease privacy concerns among potential customers.

Any kind of premium plugin or integrations will likely incur costs. Though many free options exist, you have to pay to get the good, professional-grade stuff. As a result, WordPress’s costs vary greatly depending on the features you use.

Shopify VS WordPress: Pros and Cons

When it comes to eCommerce websites, there isn’t a one size fits all solution. Which platform you choose, will largely depend on your budget, skillset, and the individual needs of your store. So which is better for you Shopify or WordPress? Here’s our take on the Shopify vs WordPress comparison.

Shopify Pros

In our comparison review, Shopify has a lot to offer. We like the fact that their monthly fee is all-inclusive and catered specifically to eCommerce sites. Their integrations are also specially tailored to eCommerce stores, which makes it easy to pick the apps that make the most sense for your business. It is also easy to sell products on multiple channels. 

If you are just getting started building an online store and aren’t all that experienced with web design, Shopify is an excellent choice. You can get your store up in running in a short amount of time, and if you need assistance, their customer support is one of the best.

Shopify Cons

Shopify doesn’t have as many customizable features as WordPress. However, Shopify’s themes can be restrictive. Platform fees and other expenses can also add up to a significant cost over time.

WordPress Pros

WordPress gives you many of the same benefits as Shopify. You can build your dream site with the Woocommerce plugin. There are a ton of integrations and plugins that can help your business, including options for shipping, email marketing, and more. 

Plus, WordPress has the most robust Content Management System (CMS). A WordPress eCommerce site is also a great option if you are on a tight budget, as it is free to use.

WordPress Cons

The biggest drawback to a WordPress eCommerce site is that is can be really complicated to set up. If you don’t have some coding skills or experience with web design you may find yourself stuck. In addition, you will have to think about other things like your web server and security.

Can Shopify and WordPress Be Used Together?

WordPress and Shopify are both powerful platforms that can actually be used together. Why not experience the best both have to offer? You can use both platforms on WordPress through the Shopify integration. It is free and can be used with any WordPress theme.

Is Shopify Right for Me?

If you are just getting started and want to get your online store up in running in as little time as possible, Shopify is an excellent platform for you. Since it is really user-friendly, it is really easy to set up using their website builder. It doesn’t require extensive coding skills and can be set up in less than a day.

Is WordPress Right for Me?

On the other hand, if you are looking for a really customized site, WordPress may be a better platform for you. If you have the time and experience you can really create a beautiful online store with WordPress.  There are just so many options with WordPress, from their thousands of themes to choose from to all of their integrations and plugins.

Conclusion: Shopify VS WordPress

So which is the better eCommerce platform? When it comes to WordPress vs Shopify it really depends on you. If you are just getting started with minimum tech experience, then Shopify is by far the better option for you. It’s easier to use and comes in a nicely wrapped all-inclusive package. Just be sure to monitor your plugins as those additional charges can really add up if you aren’t careful. 

On the other hand, if you know what you are doing and want to take your online store to the next level you can really do a lot with the WordPress website builder. Remember with WordPress you can have a lot of options especially with plugins, you can use the WooCommerce plugin or even the Shopify plugin.

Before getting started outline your goals, your needs, your budget, and skill level. See what works best for you. Both WordPress and Shopify create beautiful sites. Do your research and check out examples of both, read customer testimonials, and talk to other businesses. At the end of the day you need to be confident in your site.

Book your session now!

Still looking to save $1,000's on taxes?

Join our mailing list to receive the latest pro tips on tax and accounting. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!