If you’re reading this, then it means that you’re planning on launching your own online shop, right? That’s great! Bricks-and-Morter is so 1999. To stay competitive, an online store is an obvious choice.
So the first step that you need to do is, of course, create your online store. But here comes the most difficult choice to make, which eCommerce platform should you use? Shopify or WooCommerce? Before you make your choice, first, let us introduce and educate you about the two.
Shopify and WooCommerce, as mentioned was the two most popular eCommerce platforms being used by hundreds to thousands of online shops around the world. Both are dynamic and user-friendly, wherein even a non-tech person can create their own shop on their own. Both also offer competitive packages on affordable prices as well as lots of features, some unique to each other. But who are these two platforms really? Let us take a simple walkthrough of the two platforms similarities and differences as well as their pros and cons when building an online shop.
Can't make up your mind between WooCommerce or Shopify?
Shopify is a hosted platform where you can build your site without knowing code, although having some help from a designer/developer can make or break the success of your store. You can sell all sorts of stuff in here and even integrate your physical stores into it. Shopify is commonly used by people who want a simple, press-button system with no hassle, from creation to execution. Simply put, Shopify is made for selling; it’s the core purpose.
However, since your online shop is built using Shopify’s system, you don’t have complete control over a lot of things. There are template and functionality limitations that will prevent you from doing things you might have wanted for your online shop.
On the other hand, WooCommerce is a site that was built to give you control over your online shop. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. WordPress is the most used CMS in the world. WooCommerce functions as a plugin for WordPress wherein you can create your own website and integrate an online shop.
WooCommerce allows you to design your own shop, gives you the flexibility to build personalised features and most importantly, provides a system to sell your products with ease online. You can search and install the thousands of plugins to add new functionality. You can also hire a web developer (that’s us), to create specific functionality if needed.
Shopify gives a 14-day free trial that is perfect if you are just starting and would like to try the platform. Afterward, if you decided to use the platform, you will need to buy one of their tiered packages once the trial period expires. Each package comes with different features, depending on which one you choose. Aside from the packages, there are also other fees that you need to pay like transaction fees whenever you sell a product and a payment transaction fee if you’re using payment gateways like PayPal.
WooCommerce and WordPress is free, although you do need to purchase hosting, or use the wordpress.com plans. It’s also lilkey that you will need to purchase a theme (roughly $20-50), which is a one-time fee.
Each platform has different pricing models, and each one can be a win or a loss, depending on the type of shop you are running. Get in touch with us and we can take you through it in more detail.
When it comes to features, Shopify has a wide range of features that you can choose from like unlimited products, unlimited file storage, free domain subhosting, and many more. Basically, everything that you might need for your online store.
But then again, WooCommerce also has everything that Shopify can offer and most likely, much more. Though some of WooCommerce’s features are not readily available unlike in Shopify, you can easily get them by downloading from, one of the thousands of plugins to choose from.
It may seem perfect to have everything you need at arm’s reach, which is how Shopify does it, but then again, you will be limited to these features, unlike with WooCommerce wherein you’re free to use whichever plugin you want.
DESIGN AND AESTHETIC
When it comes to design and aesthetic, WooCommerce definitely takes the cake. Since WooCommerce is used through WordPress, you have the freedom to use any themes, and designs that you want. You can be as artistic and creative in creating and building your online shop to make it stand out. As long as you know your way around WordPress, and general website development. If website development isn’t your forte then you will need to enlist a professional.
Shopify helps you remove the hassle of designing your online shop. With its simple design and drag-drop features, all you need to do was simply upload all your product photos and description, and voila! Your shop is up!
LEVEL OF USAGE DIFFICULTY
If we are going to rank Shopify and WooCommerce in terms of ease of use, Shopify will definitely win. After all, Shopify’s biggest strength is how easy it is to use that even people with no background on HTML, Coding and website development can build and launch their own shop at a blink of an eye.
WooCommerce is also very easy to use as long as you have the skills to build, design and manage a website. The difficulty level is not actually on WooCommerce, but on WordPress, wherein you need to do some technical steps in order to proceed.
In summary here are the differences between the two platforms at a glance:
Shopify is an online-based platform that is perfect for those who want to easily create their shop themselves without any web development knowledge but are limited to the available templates.
WooCommerce allows the user to have full creative and working control of the shop with web design and development ability to handle the system.
Both offer great plans and packages that will give you value for your money. It all depends on what features would you want to have in your shop.
The two platforms also offer a wide range of features that are ready to meet your demands.
When it comes to design and aesthetic, it depends on what you want your shop to look like and how adventurous you are when it comes to design. Both platforms offer options that will both make it easier for you to make your products come to life.
When it comes to usage, Shopify will definitely be the best option if you are not confident enough to handle the controls of an online shop. However, if you want to have full control over it, then, WooCommerce is the one.
Now that you have reviewed the pros and cons of both platforms, you should be ready to decide which one to choose. Consider both platforms’ strength and weaknesses, as well as your goals and plans for your online shop.
As you can see, both platforms have their pros and cons, and it usually comes down to assessing the uniqueness of each online store. Our team is experienced in designing and developing in both platforms, so get in touch today and we can help you kick-start your online store!