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WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which Is Best?

Ecommerce
10 September 2021
Sam Pettiford
Sam Pettiford

Both WooCommerce and Shopify are major players in the ecommerce world and are possibly the perfect solutions for your project, but which is best?

The benefit of both these platforms is that you can do it all on your own, without any help from professional designers and/or developers. The ease of setup on WooCommerce in particular is still a big draw for developers.

First, which one of the two is actually going to fit your specific needs better, Shopify or WooCommerce (for creating a great online shop)?

We have lots of questions to get through such as price, features, design and SEO,, but we're going to answer them all in this in-depth comparison. After reading it, you will know exactly which ecommerce platform to choose based on your individual needs. So, let's compare WooCommerce vs Shopify to see which one is the absolute best:

Design

WooCommerce doesn't deliver any specific design traits on its own, but what it does is provides you with the means to sell products and services online. WooCommerce has been built to cooperate with most themes on the market, provided that they follow the standard recommendations and best practices.

This means that, in most cases, you are able to select any WordPress theme that you like, and still make it work together with WooCommerce.

The place to start would be WooCommerce’s own default online store theme called Storefront (free). It's a really efficient creation that puts the focus on all the important elements of an eCommerce store.

One of Shopify’s greatest assets is its designs. Shopify comes with more than 54 different store templates, of which 10 are free. What's more, is that each of the Shopify themes has unique variations. Therefore, you're technically getting more than 100 separate designs and naturally, they’re all mobile responsive and have a variety of different coloring options.

Price

Shopify's pricing has always been very clear and the kinds of thing you usually see from a SaaS company; tiered monthly pricing based on volumes. WooCommerce on the other hand, is quite a strange one.

Yes, WooCommerce is a free open source software plugin, but it's the additional parts that go along with making your online store that you must take into account.

Whereas Shopify delivers you a single, out-of-the-box solution with just a few pricing packages. You sign up, design your store, add your products and you're away!

Essentially, both options cost your around £25 per month, after you've factored in the additional costs that are required to compliment WooCommerce such as payment gateway extensions, hosting, SSL etc. Although WooCommerce is technically the cheaper solution, it will require much more work to set it up, and you'll need to be more careful not to go over your budget, as every additional extension comes with a price tag. In the end, with WooCommerce, you're spending more time on setup and management and you'll need to weigh up the important 'time is money' factor.

Ease Of Use

Shopify's strength is it's subscription-based platform. In other words, to use it, all you need to do is visit Shopify.com, click the signup button, go through a basic setup wizard, and you're done.

Shopify is going to help you along the way, asking about the purpose/nature of your store (what you're planning to sell), and giving you some overall tips as to which design/structure to choose and how to set everything up.

Once you get through that initial wizard, you will get access to the main dashboard. It's from there that you can create your new eCommerce store, add new products, and so on.

To some extent, WooCommerce is just as easy to use as Shopify. But there's a catch.

The catch is this: Although working with WooCommerce on a daily basis is just as simple as with Shopify, setting up the store isn't.

Basically, since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin and not a subscription-based solution like Shopify, this means that you need to handle a couple of things before you ever get to work with WooCommerce itself.

Mainly, you need to complete the following:

  1. Get a domain name
  2. Sign up for a hosting account
  3. Install WordPress
  4. Find and install a WordPress theme

It is only after you have those four taken care of that you can install the WooCommerce plugin on your WordPress website and start getting through the configuration of your online store.

SEO

WordPress is a content creation platform, and has always been a choice for SEO experts due to its flexibility. It's easy to add and edit content and meta information to ensure that pages have a strong chance of ranking for specific keywords.

With plugins such as Yoast SEO and Rank Math, you can make your WordPress site highly optimized and be in full control of every little detail that's SEO-related.

WooCommerce takes advantage of what's already there in WordPress, or what's available through third-party plugins like the aforementioned Yoast SEO, or the WooCommerce-dedicated version of the Yoast plugin.

Shopify may come second when we look at the overall volume of SEO features available, but there's certainly no shame in the way that it presents content. It also handles basic SEO practices like meta information and site copy with ease. So long as your business is producing quality content, there's no reason to suggest you won't enjoy great results and strong user engagement.

Site wide, there are plenty of ways that Shopify proves to beat WooCommerce in the SEO game.

Overall, we at Making Websites Better would always suggest choosing WooCommerce over anything. Being developers we can see use the flexibility that WooCommerce offers and build our customers completely custom websites that place conversion as a priority.

Being high end developers ourselves, we can also appreciate the way in which Shopify has positioned itself, appealing to smaller ecommerce businesses with its easy start platform.

Whether you’re worried about the quality of your website, or you’re ready to get WooCommerce agencies working for your business, don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your brand while making your workload smaller through well-optimised e-commerce content.

MWB are a development agency specialising in Woocommerce and ecommerce stores. Our experienced team are specialists in delivering ecommerce solutions, bespoke web design and engaging, high converting Woocommerce websites that align with your business goals.

Check out our sister company MWB Digital, a digital agency focusing on maximising sales through your online shop via enhanced user experience, digital strategy, effective email campaigns, conversion rate optimisation and content-led marketing that powers your ecommerce platform.

Check out our other Ecommerce articles to learn how to reduce your churn rate and the 2021 trends for WooCommerce, alternatively contact us to talk about your e-commerce ideas.

Photo by Roberto Cortese on Unsplash

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