It is expected that US consumers will spend $933.30 billion on e-commerce in 2021. As brick-and-mortar locations had to close during the roller coaster of 2020, they turned to online shops to keep their businesses going and keep their customers happy. For some business owners, this was easy, and for some, they didn’t know what they were doing. What’s the difference between WordPress (WooCommerce) and Shopify? Aren’t all online stores the same? What do I need to do or know to get it set up? Well, we’re going to break down the differences between the two largest e-commerce platforms out there.
We love WordPress. It’s our go-to, and we love designing websites using WordPress. It’s very content-friendly and focused. It gives you a massive selection of themes, functionalities, apps, tools to manage content, and SEO tools. Although it is more of a blogging and content platform, the WooCommerce plugin can turn your existing website into an online store. It’s also free and open-sourced, so any designer, user, or programmer can change its code to fit business needs. There are some downsides to WooCommerce, though. It takes a lot of time to set up, and if you don’t have a working knowledge of some technical aspects, it will be challenging to set everything up. There also isn’t a lot of support. However, since it is open-source, you can hire someone like Design Spinners to design, develop, manage and host your site.
Now, what about Shopify? This is your easy-to-use, e-commerce focused site. With Shopify, you simply visit their website, enter your information, and you are off and selling. You don’t need a designer or developer to use Shopify, BUT if you want that extra unique customization for your Shopify site, Design Spinners can do that too! Customizing your Shopify site can help you stand out amongst the other online shops out there, and will really impress your customers. Shopify offers premium themes where you get to customize all of the elements, but that also requires some technical knowledge — luckily for you, we have that technical knowledge!
You also get a subdomain for free- YOURBUSINESS.shopify.com, and they offer 24/7 support. You can also use their Point of Sale system, which integrates with your brick-and-mortar locations. If you don’t have any technical know-how or want something easy to use, Shopify is what you’ll want. However, you do have to pay for your online store, and you don’t have many designs to choose from, so your online store could look exactly like someone else’s. Another downside is that if their site goes down, so does yours.
There is still a lot to consider when it comes to choosing between WordPress and Shopify. Think of Shopify as buying a frozen lasagna. You get it home, and in a few easy steps, you’re ready to eat! With WordPress, it’s more like going to the store and buying noodles, tomatoes, garlic, onions, cheeses, meats, and spices and making your lasagne from scratch. It’s a long process and takes skill, but the end result is tailored to your liking. Let’s make a side-by-side comparison of the pros and cons of the two e-commerce conglomerates.
Pros for using WordPress (WooCommerce):
- Extremely customizable
- SEO friendly
- Most designers, developers, or users can make changes to the site
Pros for using Shopify:
- User friendly
- 24/7 support
- No coding knowledge needed
- Integrate with in-store location
- Tailor-made for e-commerce
Cons for using WordPress (WooCommerce):
- Must be somewhat tech-savvy
- Little to no support
- Must have a WordPress website to use plugins
- Not very user friendly
Cons for using Shopify:
- Monthly and transactions fees
- Not as customizable
- Less marketing tool features
- Changing your theme means reformatting your content
There still isn’t a black and white answer to which one is better. Design Spinners has a lot of experience designing and developing websites with WordPress, so it is our platform of choice. If you aren’t sure which site would be best for you, or if you’re looking for someone to develop your site for you, We are here to help!