Shopify vs. WooCommerce
Online stores are all the hype these days, especially when going out is such a hassle. Shopping from home is the go-to for everyone. If you’re thinking of starting one, then you couldn’t have chosen a better time.
There’s a lot of platforms for online stores you can try, but the leading two e-commerce platforms are Shopify and WooCommerce. Obviously, they both come with their pros and cons. Understanding the properties of each platform is the first step to building a successful business.
This article will contain a comparison of both Shopify’s and WooCommerce’s characteristics to
help you find the one that’s right for you. Here is the list of contents in this guide:
- Introduction to Shopify and WooCommerce
- Pricing and cost
- Payment system
- Addition of features and extensions
Introduction to Shopify and WooCommerce
Diving right in without any knowledge will be useless, so it’s better to take a quick peek at both of our contestants right now!
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a platform that can carry out multiple tasks for you. It’s a versatility package that allows you to create an online store, make transactions, and even manage your items from one platform only. You won’t also have to worry about the technical difficulties that one faces while building an e-commerce website.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is actually an open-source plugin for WordPress, but its primary purpose is e-commerce. You can use one of the most powerful content management systems to run an online store. Since it’s an open-source plugin, it allows you to customize every single feature of your store, and you can easily add more custom extensions.
Let’s move onto the actual comparison.
Pricing and cost
Your budget is one of the most important determining factors when it comes to choosing a platform. Everyone has a different budget, which makes this aspect of the platform very important.
One of the better things about Shopify is that it literally comes in packages. It’s almost like a combo meal. You get the fries, cold drink, and burger all for one price. You can choose which package you like with varying rates and get started on your store right away.
Their basic plan is for $29 per month, and the Shopify plan raises to $79, and lastly, you have the advanced Shopify plan for $299 per month. All three sets include a domain name, SSL certificate, and web hosting. Half your work is already done here!
Each bundle comes with different features, obviously the higher the price, the more the characteristics. Despite that, even their basic plan has enough features to start your store without further delay. With the basic idea, you get two user accounts, unlimited storage, and you can add unlimited items.
These plans don’t include other third-party tools and add-ons that you might want to add. When your business grows, so will the cost of these add-ons. These add-ons aren’t that big of a problem. Our problem arises when it comes to payment. Shopify has its payment system, which costs 2.9% plus 30 cents for every transaction!
If you decide to use a third-party payment system, you will be charged a fee of 2% for every
payment. If you have the advanced Shopify plan, then it’ll cost you 0.5% per transaction.
Since WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin for WordPress, it’s open-source and freely available. However, that doesn’t mean you can use it for free. You’ll need a domain name, SSL certificate, and a WordPress hosting account.
Domain names cost about $15, and SSL certificates are around $70, and a web hosting service is almost $8 per month. If you do some 3rd-grade math here, you’ll know that this adds up to 93 dollars per month. And this is not cheap. Especially when you’re a beginner.
Don’t worry. We’re not trying to scare you. Many hosting companies offer specialized hosting plans for WooCommerce with lowered prices, such as Bluehost.
The advantage of using WooCommerce is that you can control the cost of your online store by only buying plugins that you need. You can even find free alternatives for pricey extensions.
Being able to use a platform, whether you’re a beginner or an expert, shows how compatible the platform is with your skillset.
We’ve mentioned before that Shopify is a fully hosted platform. This makes it easy to use as you don’t need to go through the hassle of installing other software. You also don’t need to worry about security, performance, and backup issues as it’s all taken care of by the platform.
After signing up, you can choose a design for your website and customize it the way you like. Do you know how we know Shopify is user-friendly? Because it has the drag-and-drop interface feature! There’s nothing simples than that. It’s almost like playing Tetris. You fit your blocks to
create something complete and useful!
Of course, with ease of use comes a lack of accessibility. The designs and developments you can use will be limited as Shopify provides all of them, and the add-ons will cost you some extra bucks. Although many users have claimed that it has a large selection of extensions and themes, it can be limited for more experienced users.
Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce needs software to be installed, updates to be managed, and backups to be kept. But don’t fret over these details when multiple paid AND free plugins will do these tasks for you.
WooCommerce is more of a plain canvas, meaning you can add in any functions that you like. Conversely, it doesn’t have our beloved drag-and-drop interface functions. Another downside is that you’ll need to be more careful with the website since it requires a lot more attention. As for a payment system, you’ll have to sign up for a merchant account as well.
There are multiple payment systems available, but some might not be suitable for you or for your customers, which is why choosing the right one can be quite tricky. Let’s see how each of these platforms handle the payment options.
Shopify has multiple payment solutions for transactions. It even has its payment system called Shopify Payments. You can also access other third-party payment gateways on Shopify.
The problem arises when Shopify charges an extra 2% fee on every transaction that you make via a third payment system. Remember, this fee is added on top of the cost of the payment method charges. The most you can do is reduce this fee to 0.5% if you purchase the Advanced
Lastly, Shopify payments have a credit card fees of 2.9% plus 30 cents for the basic idea, but it doesn’t charge for any transaction fee.
This platform offers PayPal and Stripe payments but default, but it also supports all other popular and not-so-popular payment services. It supports all regional and worldwide services, as it has no barrier. Any payment company will work; all you have to do is use it’s add on.
Being a self-hosted platform has its advantages, such as you won’t be charged any transaction fee by the platform. Although, you’ll still have to pay the fee charged by your bank or payment company. If you want to use a merchant account or some other payment system, then WooCommerce will be beneficial. It’ll help you avoid any sort of transaction fee.
Addition of features and extensions
Extension and add-ons make things incredibly simple and give your platform a boost. For example, add-ons such as analytic tools and lead generation tools can give you a better understanding of how satisfied your customer are.
For this platform, you can buy third-party add-ons from their App store, which includes an incredible number of the extension you will ever need. It also uses a robust API system. When it comes to lead generation, Shopify offers software such as OptinMonster, which helps you expand your email list and reduce cart abandonment. Other than that, they have apps for SEO, product review, and even discounts.
As mentioned previously, Shopify’s store offers paid extensions, but they also provide free apps. The free ones are made by third- party services with their pricing. Whereas the paid apps need a monthly subscription or so.
The open-source nature of WooCommerce makes it possible for you to access 55,000 free WordPress plugins and many others that are paid. Since it has a mostly full access features, there’s a lot more integration you can add on WooCommerce than Spotify. In fact, you can hire your developers and make one plugin just for your website. The easy customizability of
WooCommerce gives it an upper hand in this situation. Submitting a plugin to WordPress is a lot easier than submitting an app to Shopify.
After reading all that, you must have some idea of how these platforms operate. And if you still don’t, let us summarize.
The disadvantage of Shopify is that you won’t have complete control over all the settings, and your costs will go higher along with transaction fees extensions, etc. as for upgrading, your options will be limited. On the contrary, Shopify is easier to use and set up in regards to the payment system.
Moving on to WooCommerce, you will have full control, and your starting costs will be a lot lower as compared to Shopify. The cons are that you will have to do a bit of studying before getting into it. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it because millions of newbies are using it every day and learning about it as they go. This is the option for cost-effective users.