Shopify vs WordPress: which platform to choose?
By helloDarwin
May 26, 2023

Shopify vs WordPress: which platform to choose?

Want to know which platform to choose between Shopify and Wordpress? In a few words, and we'll come back to this later, Shopify is a platform for creating stand-alone online store sites, while Wordpress is a platform for creating a website, blog, portfolio or e-commerce site. Wordpress is primarily known for blog content and website creation. However, the platform has expanded its offering with the WooCommerce plugin, enabling it to carve out an important place for itself in the e-commerce field.
So, how do you choose? It all depends on your objectives, be they financial, marketing or sales-related. The two platforms work differently, so some features may appeal to you and others may not.

Shopify vs Wordpress: the features of each

If your site will be used primarily for web transactions, Shopify is the platform for you. On the other hand, if you want to create a non-transactional website or blog, Wordpress would be a better option. It's always possible to install the WooCommerce plugin if you want an e-commerce site along the way. What's more, Wordpress is very SEO-friendly.
Since web hosting is included with Shopify, you don't have to worry about the smooth running of your site or its security. It's a platform for online transactions. So Shopify is designed to protect the personal information collected from customers. Hosting a site is a very important element, as it enables the distribution of site content while offering protection. What's more, if you have an online store, an SSL certificate is highly recommended to protect your site against malware. Visitors to your site will know they can make purchases in complete security. The customer experience has an impact on how the web surfer perceives the company and its credibility.

Shopify: simplicity

The word that comes up a lot for Shopify is simplicity. The interface is easy to set up and manage. When you need assistance, you can call customer service and speak to someone who will help you through the process. Compared to Wordpress, support is provided via email, chat, forums or video support. It's not possible to speak to someone in person. Interactive videos inform users about how the platform works and what tools to use, which Shopify also offers.
Another thing to know is that parameters for web referencing, SEO and content creation are limited compared to Wordpress. However, for both platforms, it is possible to have a dashboard for Google Analytics and social media to measure visitor interaction.
When it comes to themes for your site's interface, you have a vast choice in the Shopify store. Some are free and some are paid, but a large proportion are free, which makes accessibility even more attractive. You can configure everything yourself without having to leave the site to find other themes. This platform is made for people with little computer knowledge or who are beginners.
When it comes to product sheet and description options, both platforms let you do just that. The functionalities are simple to use. For payment methods, it's possible to make payments in several ways and install payment gateway extensions if there's a customer elsewhere in the world who wants to make a purchase. For Shopify, packages range from a basic package starting at $29 per month to an advanced package for $299 per month. On Wordpress, it's free to get started and also for a basic site. However, paid options quickly become necessary if you wish to optimize and customize your site.
From an e-commerce point of view, both platforms offer all the information you need on how they work. Shopify is more self-contained than Wordpress's WooCommerce, meaning that you can create your online store completely without needing another site to complement yours. What's more, many of the tools are free. For Wordpress, you need a web host, another company to ensure site security, another to choose themes and a host of plugins to install, as with WooCommerce e-commerce.
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Wordpress: a platform for content

As mentioned above, Wordpress can be used to create a website, blog, portfolio or e-commerce site. The platform handles up to 29% of the web. So it's a well-known and widely-used tool around the world. It's easy to create a website on Wordpress, and you have access to many themes for small or large businesses. However, compared to Shopify, this tool requires more computer knowledge to install. It's designed for the advanced user who knows his or her way around computer tools and programming, as installation can be a little more laborious. You'll also need to find a website host for e-commerce. What's more, there are plugins to install for different needs and also to customize your site. It's interesting, but requires some computer skills.
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Web hosting

Many sites can install and manage web hosting for you, like Godaddy, for example. So you don't have to worry about updates or fixing computer bugs if they occur. Godaddy takes care of managing the technical side of your website. Meanwhile, you can devote yourself fully to your website. If you can do the installation yourself, you'll need to know a bit about programming.
Prices for a Wordpress host start at $5.99/month, for example at GoDaddy, for a basic package including a website, SFTP and a management tool. If you take an annual plan, you'll get a domain name for free. Otherwise, you'll have to pay a fee if you want more options or add more sites to manage. After that, there are packages that allow you to include different plug-ins, the purchase of an SSL to secure your site or protection against malware. In addition to these packages, several options are available to suit your needs. Some of these are free, others are not.
Nevertheless, using a hosting provider other than wordpress and Shopify can come with certain limitations. Here are 2 platforms, Wix and GoDaddy, as examples of disadvantages:
Disadvantages of GoDaddy :
  1. Variable performance: Some GoDaddy users report speed and performance issues, especially on shared hosting packages, which can affect website load times.
  2. Hidden costs: Although GoDaddy offers attractive rates at the outset, costs can rise rapidly with the addition of extra features, such as security or backups.
  3. User interface: The management interface can sometimes prove less than intuitive, especially for beginners, making site management a little complex.
  4. Technical support: Although GoDaddy offers technical support, some users have expressed frustration with the quality and speed of this service.
Disadvantages of Wix :
  1. Limited flexibility: Wix is often criticized for its low flexibility in terms of advanced technical customization. Users with specific needs may find this platform restrictive.
  2. SEO: Although Wix has made strides in SEO, it is still perceived as underperforming in this area compared to other platforms such as WordPress.
  3. Difficult migration: If you decide to change platforms, migrating your site away from Wix can be complicated, as it doesn't allow you to easily export your site in its entirety.
  4. Pricing: Wix's free and basic packages include brand advertising, and to get additional functionality, paid plans can become quite expensive.

WooCommerce at a glance

To create an online store, you need a Wordpress website. It's a free plugin that's easy to install once your website has been created. In short, WooCommerce can manage orders and customers. It offers several free and paid themes plus 400 extensions to control and customize your e-commerce site.
If you have good computer skills, you'll find that there's plenty of flexibility and choice to create a very specific, highly customized site. However, costs may arise at various stages, depending on the options you choose. With WooCommerce, there are no limits to the number of products you can sell or the number of people who visit your website.

WooCommerce and SEO

On the WooCommerce platform, you have the unique opportunity to strengthen your brand with customized content designed specifically for your customer base. This solution not only enables you to engage with your customers, but also to offer detailed information on your products, associated lifestyle, and various other relevant topics through an integrated blog. WordPress and WooCommerce, in synergy, provide a complete suite of tools to evaluate and improve your online performance, positioning you one step ahead of your competitors. These tools include a corporate blog system, essential for an effective content strategy.
If search engine optimization (SEO) is a priority for you, WordPress is a must-have option. Thanks to its flexibility and extensive functionality, this platform offers unparalleled freedom to optimize every aspect of your online presence. What's more, for smooth and secure payment management, WooCommerce integrates a variety of options, offering a seamless user experience.
Of course, managing a WordPress online store may require some technical expertise. In this case, hiring an IT technician who specializes in this platform can be an excellent decision. Unlike Shopify, which offers a turnkey solution with less flexibility in terms of customization, WordPress with WooCommerce offers almost unlimited freedom to adapt every element of your site to your brand's image and the specific needs of your users.

Comparative points between Shopify vs Wordpress

This table gives you an overview of the key differences and advantages of each platform, taking into account aspects such as solution, store management, and WooCommerce integration:
WordPress with WooCommerce
Nature of platform
Complete, integrated e-commerce platform.
Flexible CMS with e-commerce extension (WooCommerce).
Ease of use
Easy for beginners, intuitive interface.
Requires some familiarity with WordPress, more technical.
Customization limited by Shopify themes and options.
Very extensive customization with various themes and plugins.
Monthly subscription with different pricing levels.
WordPress is free, but costs come from hosting, themes, plugins and WooCommerce.
Rugust security and maintenance managed by Shopify.
Depends on hosting and user maintenance.
Technical support
Full support provided by Shopify
Support via community, forums, or paid support for some plugins.
SEO and marketing
Built-in SEO tools, but with less flexibility.
Excellent SEO flexibility with plugins like Yoast SEO.
Extensions and integrations
Limited number of integrated applications.
Access to a wide range of WordPress plugins.
Product management
Simple, intuitive product management interface.
More complex management, depending on the plugins used.
Well-suited for growing businesses.
Excellent scalability, suitable for businesses of all sizes.

What I would use Shopify for

  • Beginning entrepreneurs: If you're starting your first online store without in-depth technical knowledge, Shopify is ideal. Its ease of use and comprehensive support will get your store up and running quickly.
  • Time-sensitive projects: If you need to set up an online store quickly, Shopify offers ready-to-use themes and simple configuration, enabling a faster launch.
  • Simplified management: For those who prefer an all-in-one solution without worrying about hosting, updates and security, Shopify manages all these aspects.
  • Stores with little technical customization: If your store doesn't need highly customized or specific features, Shopify with its standard themes and applications will suffice.

In what context would I use Woocommerce?

  • Existing WordPress websites: If you already have a WordPress site and want to add e-commerce functionality, WooCommerce integration is the most logical solution.
  • Advanced customization needs: For those who require advanced customization, whether in terms of design or specific functionality, WordPress with WooCommerce offers superior flexibility.
  • Technical users: If you have web development skills or access to technical resources, WordPress with WooCommerce will enable you to take full advantage of its customization capabilities.
  • Limited budget: WordPress can be a more economical option, especially if you can manage hosting, security and updates yourself. WooCommerce costs nothing for its basic version, although additional extensions can be paid for.
In summary, Shopify is often preferred for its simplicity and ease of use, while WordPress with WooCommerce is chosen for its flexibility and ability to be highly customized.
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