If you have been planning to start your online eCommerce store, then it must be a big step for you! And obviously, you want it to be perfect, don’t you? So, it is most likely that you will be searching for the best eCommerce platform to build your store. The two most popular eCommerce platforms in the world presently according to numbers are Shopify and WooCommerce.
Each of these platforms has unique advantages and their share of setbacks. Hence, you could land up in confusion without a clear comparison between these two alternatives. The following discussion would focus on a WooCommerce vs. Shopify comparison based on different elements to find the best option among the two.
Before starting this discussion, let us find out some basic information about Shopify and WooCommerce. Then, we shall proceed towards a comparison of the two alternatives based on design features, the facility of customization, ease of use, security, and pricing.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a comprehensive eCommerce platform which helps in easy creation of an online store, accepting payments and inventory management. You don’t have to worry about the technical aspects of website management such as caching, web hosting, or security.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin which helps in using the Content Management System (CMS) of WordPress for running an online store. The open-source platform allows the facility to customize different aspects of the store and creates customer extensions easily.
Let the battle begin!
With this basic information about the two platforms, it would be reasonable to move ahead in our comparison of WooCommerce vs. Shopify 2019. Let us start with design features!
Shopify has a wide range of themes which are known for exceptional aesthetic quality. You can find over 54 unique store templates that provide alternatives for distinct variations. The designs are mobile responsive and could be supported by the various coloring options to build websites that match contemporary tastes. The unique highlight of the designs provided by Shopify is that they are not created in-house. The designs are created by professional web designers from different companies, thereby ensuring ample creativity for the website designs.
In terms of design features, the WooCommerce vs. Shopify comparison tends to incline towards Shopify. Why? WooCommerce does not provide any specific pre-designed store templates. The design aspect is dependent on the existing or future WordPress theme. This means that you have to access themes which are compliant with the best practices and standard recommendations. So, you have to purchase themes from marketplaces or use the default online store theme of Woo, Storefront.
The next element for WooCommerce Shopify comparison is ease of customization. Shopify themes could be changed easily with the facility for changing colors and styles. The Theme editor facility on Shopify is also accounted for as a promising aspect for customization benefits. On the other hand, the appearance and quality of designs with WooCommerce is highly dependent on technical skills failing which you could land up with a generic looking online store. This implies that WooCommerce presents setbacks in terms of ease of customization. Therefore, Shopify comes out as a winner in this category.
Ease of use
The choice between WooCommerce or Shopify is also dependent on the ease of use. As a fully hosted platform, Shopify does not require installation, the management or updating for any software. There is absolutely no reason for users to worry about performance, compatibility, backups, and security issues. The intuitive interface, as well as effective guidance provided by Shopify through the customization process, make it an easy to use eCommerce store building platform.
On the other hand, you would have to deal with installation, management of updates, maintaining backups, and security with WooCommerce. You would have to deal with a learning curve, and additionally, you will have to deal with hands-on management of the website. Even if the guided setup wizard with WooCommerce is helpful, it does not guarantee the ease of use that is found with Shopify. Therefore, Shopify tends to be a winner in this aspect also.
Another notable aspect that should be included in this Shopify and WooCommerce comparison is security. In the case of Shopify, security is available inherently, and the platform takes care of the security of your website. However, WooCommerce does not come with built-in security, thereby implying the need for handling security matters by yourself or the hosting provider.
For example, Shopify is available with SSL certificate while you have to procure SSL certificate on your own. Similarly, you will find Shopify with PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance while in the case of WooCommerce, you have to obtain PCI-DSS compliance.
The next criteria in this comparison would be WooCommerce vs. Shopify pricing. The pricing of Shopify can be seen in the form of pricing packages while on the other hand, WooCommerce is a free open source plugin. However, diving into the deeper picture shows that WooCommerce comes with additional costs such as cost of a theme, domain name, SSL certificate, PCI-DSS compliance, and additional extensions. So, even if WooCommerce can practically appear to be the same as Shopify in terms of pricing, you would find additional costs invested in setup and management. Therefore, in this category, we don’t have a clear winner as both Shopify and WooCommerce tend to be on the same page
The final comparison would be WooCommerce vs. Shopify SEO. In this category, you can find that WooCommerce and Shopify are competent eCommerce platforms. These platforms are dedicated to ensuring that products are visible to the target audience. WooCommerce helps in SEO by helping you add Meta descriptions and titles for the pages on your website.
Shopify also provides different SEO plugins in its App Store. However, Shopify tends to get an advantage in SEO with better website load time and higher performance levels due to dedicated servers. Also, Shopify provides SSL certificates, thereby helping tell Google that your website can protect data of customers. This surely gives a boost to your website’s rankings.
On a concluding note, a clear note of the difference between Shopify and WooCommerce presented in this discussion ends with Shopify as the winner. Shopify was able to score well over WooCommerce in terms of design features, customizability, ease of use, security, and SEO. Therefore, Shopify can be classified as the absolute best choice for building your eCommerce store.