WooCommerce Vs. Shopify – An Honest and Detailed Comparison

Are you about to launch an ecommerce store and torn between whether to go with WooCommerce or Shopify?

Do you need some real, solid grounds to base your comparison on?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

A lot of people go online with the intention of finding unbiased reviews of these platforms so they can make an informed decision.

Unfortunately, most reviews leave them feeling even more confused than before.

With that in mind, we’ve put together this detailed comparison touching on all the major points so you can assess which platform goes best with your online store needs.

Shopify Vs. WooCommerce: Features

Features in WooCommerce

The platform comes with plenty of features suited for both web developers and store owners. More than 350 contributors from all over the globe have built the platform which is why it comes loaded with countless extensibility, security, support, performance and design options.

Design

Both WooCommerce and WordPress are open-source platforms which means the design options are practically unlimited; all available to be experimented with. You can play with WooCommerce code as per your liking to create a product you desire.

What’s more, you get thousands of premium and free themes all compatible with WooCommerce and countless more designed particularly for this platform (all customizable).

Functionality

WooCommerce comes with several compatible plug-ins for WordPress that perform myriad functionalities like –

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Social media
  • Yoast SEO
  • Forums (BuddyPress) and memberships
  • Commenting (JetPack, and Disqus)
  • Custom posting
  • Customer Support

Features in Shopify

Shopify is a great platform if you’d like to start an online store immediately. Let us look at the features this platform offers:

Design Options

There are around 61 high quality themes in the Shopify theme store; ten of those being free. Leading agencies have crafted these themes to offer the highest quality and a modern product.

All the themes are mobile-friendly. An on average, it costs about $160 to buy a theme from Shopify store.

You can also invest in 3rd party themes or get professionals to build custom themes.

The features you get per theme in Shopify depend on the theme you choose. Advanced themes come with more elaborate options.

Functionality in Shopify

When compared with WooCommerce (which offers an abundance of plugins and extensions), you get relatively lesser number of apps to download from Shopify App Store.

The apps you can download should help you with:

  • Sourcing products
  • Sales (example -Recart and Sales Pop)
  • Marketing (Smile.io and Privy)
  • Shipping (Easyship and Aftership)
  • Accounting
  • Social media (Outify)
  • Customer Service
  • Reporting
  • Inventory management

The only downside to Shopify platform is that you do not get as many apps as WooCommerce. What’s more, you need to shell out a huge fee (sometimes going as high as $1500 per month) to enjoy more functions.

Shopify Vs. WooCommerce: Security and Performance

Performance

Both these platforms are designed to offer exceptional security and performance. Shopify is known to offer exceptional high-quality hosting. You can expect the speed of your online store to be fairly good. However, there can be instances of downtime if apps are configured incorrectly.

However, the speed of an ecommerce platform built in WooCommerce would on the hosting company you have chosen. Low0quality hosting could make you run into troubles few months down the line.

As a word of advice – hosting services that are free from ‘503 service unavailable error’ should be preferred along with fewer instances of downtime.

Security

Shopify gives users free SSL certification to offer online store security. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to take into account parameters like using strong passwords and going with themes/app that come from trusted sources only.

In both the ecommerce platforms, you get myriad security options such as security plug-ins (iThemes Security for instance). Additionally, you can always go for a free SSL certification or buy one from a third party.

In terms of WordPress, it’s best to follow all the security procedures like updating the installation, plug-ins, themes and using secure password to ensure highest security.

All and all, both platforms seem promising; suffice to meet any online store’s safety and performance requirements.

Shopify versus WooCommerce: Pricing

Both platforms vary significantly if you talk about the pricing structure. Therefore, it’s advised to take all your needs into account to pick one that best fits your business model.

WooCommerce Pricing

With WooCommerce, users don’t need to purchase any premium extension. It’s a completely free plug-in that requires no extra purchase.

Here’s what you need to get the store built in WooCommerce up and running:

  • A domain name (should cost about ten bucks a year)
  • SSL certification for the safety of transactions. (It starts as low as $9/year and can go up depending on where you buy it from).
  • A premium WP theme (one-time fee charge is $59).
  • Hosting (starts as low as two bucks; easily upgradeable on a future date).

The most basic online store built in WooCommerce should cost about $10/month. You can go as high as your budget allows depending on business needs.

The platform may be free, but if you want a premium extension, you will need to invest money. You can choose from over 300 extensions all with varying prices but most of them cost around $6.

Although you can start an online store using this plugin alone and later pay for other services.

You don’t even need to invest in Premium themes if it’s not your priority.

Shopify Pricing

You do get a 14-day trial period with Shopify but during this period you cannot sell anything or test the checkout procedure. You must invest in one of the paid plans to test things thoroughly.

For nine dollars a month you can go with Shopify Lite – a plan that allows selling produdcts on Facebook. You can also process credit card payments and chat with customers via Messenger.

Below are the details of what other plans by Shopify look like:

  • Basic Shopify – $29/month
  • Shopify – $79/month
  • Advanced Shopify – $299/month

and Shopify Plus for large businesses.

By default you get an online store with a free subdomain. But, you can always migrate it to a custom one. Example – ‘youstore.com’ to make it more professional.

Mind you, Shopify extensions come with a recurring fee on a monthly basis so remember that when investing in them. If you cannot afford a recurring fee every month, you might want to switch to cheaper alternatives.