While there are several options for building an eCommerce website, there are two stand-out candidates Shopify and WooCommerce.
The Shopify vs WooCommerce debate has raged on for years, but the truth is that they are both capable of producing precisely what you’re looking for. When trying to choose between the two, it’s a case of horses for courses. In other words, what you need from an eCommerce platform is what will decide your choice one way or the other.
In the latest in the series of our versus blog posts, let’s run you through the pros and cons of each eCommerce platform to help you make an informed decision regarding your online store.
The Advantages of Building an eCommerce Website with Shopify
There are numerous benefits of running your website through the Shopify platform. First and foremost, it presents business owners with a done-for-model. From the hosting to the security, everything you need to run a successful online shop is provided within the Shopify ecosystem.
You also pay a set fee every month, which only increases if you desire more website features or functionality. An excellent bonus if you’re worried about cash flow in the early stages of trading online.
Next, contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing elements such as your website themes, apps, and add-ons. These themes are rock solid too. Many of them are ready to go out-of-the-box and have been developed by specialist Shopify developers.
Lastly, Shopify is as straightforward as it gets. There’s little need for technical knowledge so on a basic level, you can have a functioning eCommerce website up and running in minutes. If you do get stuck, support is always just a few clicks away.
The Drawbacks Associated with Shopify Stores
No eCommerce platform is perfect, and Shopify is no exception. The main limitation to using this platform is the lack of granular control you have as a store owner. You can’t make as many customisations as you can with more open platforms such as WooCommerce, and you’ll likely need the help of Shopify Partners to implement the changes you seek.
Secondly, while the monthly fee is straightforward and predictable, it’s only going to go up as your store grows. The basic Shopify packages offer limited functionality, and you are almost definitely going to upgrade to bigger and better plans with more features.
So with the Shopify platform covered, let’s take a closer look at WooCommerce.
What Are The Benefits of Using WooCommerce for Your eCommerce Store?
There’s an obvious place to start regarding WooCommerce’s advantages over Shopify – you have complete control. You can customise to your heart’s content, and the available themes and plugins are pretty much endless.
Another unique benefit of WooCommerce is that it uses the WordPress platform as its base, which is perhaps the most popular choice of self-hosted website software globally. It boasts a thriving community, so you are never far away from help.
In theory, you can add WooCommerce to any WordPress install, although in our experience, it definitely functions much better with themes designed with WooCommerce in mind or a custom theme built from the ground up.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, WooCommerce is free.
Downsides to Using WooCommerce for Your Online Store
While the advantages of WooCommerce are apparent, so are its downsides. Firstly, if you have no experience with WordPress, or you aren’t particularly technically inclined, then there is a relatively steep learning curve with this option. Granular control comes at the cost of learning how to correctly wield that power, as it were, which can take a while.
Secondly, while WooCommerce is indeed free, you’ll find that you can quickly end up paying the same amount per month as Shopify (if not more) once you factor in the hosting, extensions, and plugin costs.
By the same token, unless you enlist the help of website management experts, you will find yourself in charge of looking after everything that keeps the site running. From carrying out daily backups and updating plugins to taking care of hosting, it’s all on you to figure out.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: The Verdict
So there you have it, there’s a basic rundown of everything you need to consider when deciding which route you want to go down for your eCommerce store. There’s no right or wrong answer here. It’s more about factoring in the considerations laid out above and choosing what is best for your specific situations.
If you’re used to WordPress sites and familiar with that ecosystem, then WooCommerce might be the right choice for you. Alternatively, if you want to focus your efforts on your online business’s products, branding, and marketing, then Shopify’s done-for-you options will sound very appealing.
Either way, our website design experts can create eCommerce websites that deliver your objectives. Our easy-to-understand monthly plans eliminate the hassle of having to look after every element of your website.
Receive Help from Shopify Partners and WooCommerce Experts
Whether you want us to tap into the unlimited customisation possibilities of WooCommerce, or take advantage of the smooth customer experience delivered by the Shopify platform, we can help. As certified Shopify Partners and experienced Woocommerce developers, there’s no website project we can’t take on.
This blog article was originally published on our subsidiary website, Cakecrumbs.