WooCommerce vs Shopify

woocommerce vs shopify

WooCommerce vs Shopify - Which is the Best eCommerce Platform?

Have you been dreaming about finally launching your online store, but you’re not sure which eCommerce platform to use? With so many options available, selecting the right eCommerce platform can be an overwhelming process.

WooCommerce and Shopify are the two leading eCommerce platforms worldwide. Majority market share also means they have the best tech support and the deepest library of tools. They each come with their own unique advantages and limitations, but how do you know which one is the best eCommerce platform for your business – WooCommerce of Shopify? 

This guide provides an in-depth comparison of WooCommerce vs Shopify. Our goal is to provide clarity for business owners by highlighting the pros and cons of each eCommerce platform.

WooCommerce vs Shopify - Quick Overview

Let’s start with a quick comparison of the two leading ecommerce platforms, WooCommerce and Shopify, including features and requirements for each content management system.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a website subscription service offering pre-packaged website templates that include built-in payment processors and inventory management tools. Web hosting, SSL, and caching are also included with your subscription.

The subscription model means that you’re only renting your website, and that you don’t actually retain ownership. In other words, if your credit card expires or your website gets flagged for some reason, Shopify can shut down your eCommerce store without notice. Shopify also requires transaction fees on top of your monthly subscription cost.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a free open-source eCommerce system built for the WordPress content management system. WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform globally. Their open-source model allows you to customize every aspect of your ecommerce website.

Is it Better to Use WooCommerce or Shopify?

How do you decide which is better for your business – WooCommerce or Shopify? There are four main things to consider before building your eCommerce website: cost, usability, features, and scalability.

  1. Cost – The total budget for eCommerce website development. 
  2. Usability – Overall ease of use and management requirements.
  3. Features – Functionality requirements and any third-part tools needed.
  4. Scalability – Ability to scale with business goals.

Cost: WooCommerce vs Shopify

Both WooCommerce and Shopify offer different pricing plans, so the cost will depend on your business’s specific needs. Here are some factors to consider:

The True Cost of Using Shopify

Shopify has tiered pricing plans, ranging from $39/month to $399/month. The more features you want, the more they charge you. They also charge transaction fees for every sale you make online.


$ 39
  • 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction
  • Basic reports
  • Unlimited products
  • 2 staff accounts


$ 105 Monthly
  • 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction
  • Professional reports
  • Unlimited products
  • 5 staff accounts


$ 399 Monthly
  • 2.4% + 30¢ per transaction
  • Custom report builder
  • Unlimited products
  • 15 staff accounts

The True Cost of Using WooCommerce

WooCommerce and WordPress are both 100% free for anyone to download. However, you will need to pay for domain registry, hosting, and SSL separately. Advanced website features may also require third-party plugins that carry their own monthly fees.

With domain registry being less than $20 a year, hosting being less than $20 a month, and SSL being around $79, the total cost for a basic WooCommerce website is around $28 per month – with zero transaction fees.

Usability: WooCommerce vs Shopify

Most business owners are not web designers or developers. The best eCommerce platforms are easy-to-use and convenient for all experience levels. Let’s see how WooCommerce and Shopify compare in terms of usability.

WooCommerce Usability

WooCommerce is designed to make it easy for businesses to set up and manage eCommerce websites. With a user-friendly interface, intuitive design, and ample documentation, WooCommerce is geared for usability.

WooCommerce is easy to install and set up, and can be integrated with your existing WordPress website quickly and easily. Being the most popular eCommerce platform, WooCommerce also has extensive documentation and a huge community of people who can offer support and advice.

While the platform’s flexibility allows for more personalization, it also comes with a learning curve and requires hands-on management of your website. You’ll also need to setup a merchant account with someone like Authorize.net or PayPal to accept payments. 

Shopify Usability

With Shopify, you are renting a website on their hosted platform – which means you won’t have to install, manage, or update any software. All performance and compatibility issues are taken care of by Shopify. Once you sign up, you can choose from a range of free website themes that come with limited design options. Adding products and managing sales and inventory is also pretty straightforward with Shopify.
However, the pre-packaged options from Shopify comes at the cost of limited control and lack of ownership. You can only use the design tools provided by Shopify and the add-ons available in their marketplace. Most importantly, since you are only renting your website from Shopify, they can take down your eCommerce store without any notice or advanced warning.
woocommerce vs shopify usability

Features: WooCommerce vs Shopify

Special features can be added to your eCommerce website depending on your specific business needs. Features include product configurators, customer portals, lead generation tools, order bumps, and more.
Let’s see how WooCommerce and Shopify stack up regarding website features.

WooCommerce Features

WooCommerce is the most flexible and customizable eCommerce platform available. You have complete control over the entire platform and can bolt-on any functionality you want using over 59,000 free and paid WordPress plugins. No coding experience is necessary, but they do give you the option to customize website code as well.

Built on top of WordPress, the #1 content management system in the world, WooCommerce allows you to easily manage your website posts, pages, and products. Using the Gutenberg page builder, you can drag and drop website elements with ease.

Shopify Features

Shopify takes care of the technical aspects of running an eCommerce website, but they limit your design and development options. They prioritize ease-of-use over innovation, which can be great for business owners who are looking for a quick and easy solution. With about 8,000 free and paid apps in their app store, there are plenty of features to choose from. No coding experience necessary.
Shopify comes with its own payment gateway, which makes accepting payments from customers a breeze. But that convenience will cost you a transaction fee for every sale you make online.

Scalability: WooCommerce vs Shopify

As your business grows and evolves, your website will also need to adapt and adjust to handle new challenges. WooCommerce and Shopify can both scale to handle more traffic and orders, but they are not created equal.

WooCommerce Scalability

WooCommerce leverages the scalability and flexibility of WordPress to handle large amounts of traffic and products. Ultimately, however, the scalability of WooCommerce depends on your hosting infrastructure. If your website is slow or unresponsive, you may need to enlist a technical expert to optimize and maintain your hosting environment.

Shopify Scalability

Shopify is a fully hosted platform, so they are ready handle high levels of traffic without any technical expertise required from the user. They also offer automatic load balancing and serverless architecture, which makes it easier to handle spikes in traffic and reduce downtime. Again, Shopify is trading cost for convenience. While they hold your hand for much of the development process, they will still nickel and dime you as your website grows.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Pros and Cons

WooCommerce Pros

WooCommerce Cons

Shopify Pros

Shopify Cons

WooCommerce vs Shopify FAQs

The total cost of WordPress will depend on your business goals. WordPress itself is free, but you may need to pay for things like hosting, domain registry, and SSL certification. A very basic WooCommerce setup will cost you less than $30 a month with zero transaction fees.

Shopify has a range of pricing plans, ranging from $39/month to $399/month. Shopify is more expensive than WordPress upfront, and they charge you transaction fees for every sale on your website.

Yes, Shopify has a range of pricing plans, starting at $39/month for the Basic Shopify plan and going up to $399/month for the enterprise plans.

Yes, you can use Shopify with WordPress. Shopify has a WordPress plugin called WP Shopify that lets you easily add Shopify to your WordPress site. This integration is great for those who prefer the intuitive interface that the WordPress content management system (CMS) offers.

No, WP Shopify is not free. While there is a free version of the plugin available, it has limited functionality. The paid version of the plugin starts at $9/month and includes more features and integrations.

  • Limited customization: Shopify has very limited design and development options. They basically offer you a selection of website templates to choose from.
  • Transaction fees: Shopify charges you a transaction fee for every sale on your website.
  • App costs: Shopify has has all the basic features built-in, but you may need to pay for additional apps to get the functionality you need.
We always recommend WordPress for eCommerce because it is the most customizable platform available. With WooCommerce, you can create a fully custom online store that resonates with your specific audience. While basic eCommerce stores can be managed by non-tech savvy people, more complex stores may require a team of experienced eCommerce developers.

Shopify is a great choice if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for building an ecommerce store and optimizing it for SEO. It has many built-in SEO features that make it easy to optimize your store for search engines, and it’s generally easier to set up and use than WordPress.

WordPress, on the other hand, is a more flexible platform that can be used to build any type of website, including ecommerce stores. It has a large number of SEO plugins that can help optimize your website for search engines, and it gives you more control over the SEO of your website than Shopify.

Ultimately, the choice between Shopify and WordPress for SEO depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a platform that is easy to set up and use, and has built-in SEO features, Shopify may be the better choice for you. If you’re looking for a more flexible platform that lets you fine-tune your SEO strategy, WordPress will be the better choice.

Shopify vs WooCommerce Comparison - Final Thoughts

When deciding which eCommerce platform to use, WooCommerce or Shopify, consider your business’s specific needs and goals. If you have technical knowledge and want full control over your website, WooCommerce may be the better option. If you want an easy-to-use platform with a range of built-in features and integrations, Shopify may be the better option. Ultimately, we think that WooCommerce is the most intuitive, cost-effective, and feature-rich eCommerce platform available.

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