WooCommerce vs. Shopify for Ecommerce: Pros and Cons

Businesses looking for powerful e-commerce platforms have two good choices in WooCommerce and Shopify. As two of the most popular e-commerce platforms on the market, they are proven options for building your ecommerce store.

WooCommerce vs. Shopify: An Overview

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that allows you to build an ecommerce platform as part of your WordPress website. It is the most popular ecommerce platform, with almost one-quarter of ecommerce websites utilizing its features. 

 

Shopify is an independent ecommerce platform. It accounts for about 17 percent of all ecommerce stores.

 

Every web design solution has its pros and cons, and Shopify and WooCommerce are no exceptions. Understanding these can help you better choose which one will work for you.

WooCommerce Pros

WooCommerce has a lot going for it. Here are a few of the biggest advantages of choosing this ecommerce platform for your business. 

WooCommerce is (mostly) free.

Cost is, understandably, a major concern for many businesses. WooCommerce eases those concerns by offering an ecommerce platform that is free to download, use, and customize. The only fees you will need to pay are for the hosting services of your choosing, a domain name, an SSL certificate, and any premium themes and templates you want. 

WooCommerce lets you create a comprehensive ecommerce store.

A basic ecommerce store really only needs a homepage and product pages. However, you may want to offer customers a more well-rounded experience. WooCommerce lets you, with a platform that can include pages like a blog, About Us page, contact page, and more. 

WooCommerce does not charge transaction fees.

WooCommerce does not charge transaction fees when customers make purchases through the platform. Instead, it allows customers to pay through a variety of methods without charging you a penny. That means you get to hang on to more of your hard-earned profits.

WooCommerce is extremely customizable. 

One of the biggest benefits of WordPress is the ability it gives you to customize your website from the ground up. As a WordPress plugin, WooCommerce gives you this same flexibility. 

 

It’s open source code allows you to alter its functionality to achieve whatever features or look you want. In addition, it gives you access to 55,000 integrations and add-ons to tailor your site to your needs.

WooCommerce Cons

So far, WooCommerce sounds pretty good. And it is. However, there are a few drawbacks of which you should be aware.

WooCommerce is not user friendly.

WooCommerce’s open source format is a strength in that it allows you to customize your ecommerce site. However, it’s open source format also means that it requires a little extra know-how to use it effectively. You may be able to add plugins without a great deal of trouble, but adding functionality and customized features may require a little bit of work. That is why, if you choose this platform, you may want to hire a WordPress developer to help you get your site up and running. 

WooCommerce requires hands-on maintenance.

Because WooCommerce is open source, you are responsible for keeping your store running smoothly. You implement updates. You maintain security fixes. You handle broken pages and links. Every maintenance task related to your website falls on your shoulders, or the shoulders of a WordPress developer whom you hire to do the maintenance for you. 

WooCommerce sometimes struggles with security.

Because WooCommerce is an open source plugin, you need to stay on top of security upgrades, SSL certificates, and so forth. Allowing these to lapse could make your ecommerce store less secure. 

 

In addition, WooCommerce has struggled with security vulnerabilities in the past. Managing these vulnerabilities may require professional assistance to ensure the security of your site.

Shopify Pros

As one of the most popular ecommerce platforms on the market, Shopify offers many advantages to consumers. Here are some of them.

Shopify is simple to use.

Shopify is easy to use, even for people who have never done web design before. The platform is set up to guide you step by step through the process of creating your ecommerce store so even beginners can manage it successfully.

Shopify includes amenities.

Features that you would have to find and pay for yourself on WooCommerce come standard with Shopify. These include security features, domain names, and hosting services. 

Shopify offers customer support. 

Shopify supports its product through customer service representatives. In addition, Shopify offers you maintenance and security support as part of your package so you are responsible for less work to keep your ecommerce store running smoothly. 

Shopify is easy to scale.

Finally, Shopify is an appealing ecommerce platform because it is easy to scale as your business grows. Their scaled plans allow you to move from one plan to the next as your needs grow, without requiring extra work on your end.

Shopify Cons

Of course, Shopify has its own drawbacks. Here are a few of them.

Shopify is more expensive than WooCommerce.

You can expect to pay for the built in ease of use and support that Shopify provides. Shopify comes with a monthly fee of between $29 and $299. In addition, you may need to pay for add ons. Shopify also levies transaction fees that can run as high as almost 3 percent per transaction. 

Shopify has limited customizability.

Customizing your Shopify ecommerce store may also prove to be a challenge. While this platform offers numerous options for templates and features, it isn’t really set up for creating additional functionality. Making any changes may also require you to know Shopify’s coding language, Liquid.

Shopify does not allow for a full website.

Shopify allows you to create an ecommerce store with product pages. Adding other elements of a website, like a blog or news section, however, is generally difficult to do. As a result, building out a well-rounded website on Shopify can be difficult.

 

At some level, choosing between WooCommerce and Shopify is a matter of preference and of your needs. If you need help choosing, or want reliable support with hosting, customizing, maintaining, or running your ecommerce website, do not hesitate to reach out to Sequential Tech. We can offer you the support and expertise you need, no matter which ecommerce platform you choose. 

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