Shopify Vs. WordPress: Which Is Right For You?

When you’re building a website, comparing Shopify Vs. WordPress is a tough objective. Both are incredibly popular, and both are incredibly powerful in their own ways. But as we discussed in a previous blog, Are You Picking the Right Site Platform?, deciding between Shopify and WordPress comes back to your unique business goals. 

Once you understand your business objectives, you’ll know which platform is right for you. 

But before we get into that, let’s gain a deeper understanding of each platform. 

Hop to the section most important to you:

What Is Shopify?
What Is WordPress?
Side-By-Side Comparison of Shopify And WordPress
Shopify Advantages
Shopify Disadvantages
WordPress Advantages
WordPress Disadvantages
Deciding Between Shopify and WordPress For Your Business: Questions to Ask
Combining Shopify And WordPress
Get More Support In Choosing Between Amazon and Shopify

What Is Shopify?

Shopify started in 2006 when its founders were disappointed by their eCommerce options. Back then, eCommerce platforms were incredibly limited, and these founders had a vision for a robust online experience. 

Since then, Shopify has acquired millions of users from around the world and generates around $3 billion in annual revenue through its platform and point-of-sale systems. 

As web designers who frequently work with eCommerce companies, we love Shopify’s unwavering focus on the eCommerce industry. Its obsession has made it the premier option for online stores.

What Is WordPress?

WordPress can trace its roots all the back to 2003. Today, it’s one of the most popular content management systems in the world, and it’s reportedly used by 43.1% of the top 10 million websites, according to W3Techs. Compare that to the 6.0% of websites Shopify owns!

Originally designed to publish blogs, WordPress has since grown to accommodate websites, forums, learning management systems, and, like Shopify, even online stores (through its use of WooCommerce). 

We especially love WordPress for its flexibility, countless plugins, and user-friendliness when it comes to publishing original content. When it comes to creating original content, not many platforms even come close to WordPress’s performance! 

Side-By-Side Comparison of Shopify Vs. WordPress

Here’s how Shopify and WordPress stack up against each other:

Price$39-$399 per month$0-$45+ per month*
*WordPress may require additional fees for plugins, security, and other features.
eCommerce Transaction FeesShopify Payments: 0%
External Gateways: 0.5-2%
WooCommerce Payments:  2.9% + 30¢
PayPal: 2.9% + 30¢ + $30/month
eCommerce FulfillmentShopify Fulfillment NetworkAlthough WooCommerce offers shipping tools, it doesn’t have an established fulfillment network.
CustomizationFull website builder and access to free and paid templatesFull website customization
Flexible TemplatesYesYes
Tools for SEO PerformanceYesYes
Support24/7 Live Chat & Email (All plans)
Phone Support (Advanced Plans)
24/7 Live Chat & Email (All plans)

Shopify Vs. WordPress: Which Is Better?

With all of that out of the way, which is actually better

As we said earlier, it all comes back to your goals for your website. 

Shopify Advantages

Here are some of the most important ways Shopify beats WordPress:

1. Shopify Is Superior In eCommerce 

Shopify always beats WordPress when it comes to eCommerce. Although WordPress has come a long way in building WooCommerce (its eCommerce management tool), it simply lacks the full suite of functionality and features you’ll find in Shopify. 

Shopify has always specialized in eCommerce websites, and that means it does extremely well getting into the finer points of the eCommerce experience—down to the tiniest details on your packing sheets. 

Learn more about Shopify’s capabilities through our Shopify website design services.

2. Shopify Offers Robust Tools And Resources

Even Shopify’s cheapest, most basic plan is enough for most companies to get started with. To learn more about Shopify and its plan options, check out our blog, Is Shopify Worth It? Understanding Where the Value Comes From.

Shopify Disadvantages

Here are a few ways Shopify comes up short:

1. Less Customization

WordPress and WooCommerce are designed to give businesses greater control over their websites. Shopify does have some flexible design options, but it comes at the cost of giving up certain levels of Shopify support. 

If something breaks that isn’t security-related, your design team is on their own. 

2. Less Powerful Content Capabilities

WordPress and WooCommerce were developed around the idea that “Content is King,” but Shopify began with eCommerce in mind. As a result, Shopify is a tougher platform for blogging and creating digital products. 

WordPress Advantages

Here are a few ways WordPress stands out against Shopify: 

1. WordPress Is Terrific For Original Content

In general, WordPress is superior to Shopify when you’re offering some sort of online product or when you’re making a strong SEO play. 

In general, WordPress is better when you’re building:

  • A blog
  • A forum
  • A directory
  • A training course or platform

Although Shopify offers a robust email tool, offers a large variety of page templates, and has a blog option, it simply hasn’t made significant progress when it comes to SEO and content management. 

WordPress gets the win on that end! To learn more about its capabilities, check out our WordPress custom design services

2. WordPress Is Open-Source

Since WordPress is open-source, your customization options are just about endless. There are countless apps, plugins, and extensions to supercharge your site and user experience

3. Superior Database Management

If your customers need to sift through local listings, job listings, or other resources, WordPress is an easier place to do it. 

WordPress Disadvantages

Here are a few places WordPress doesn’t shine:

1. Limited eCommerce functionality 

Compared to Shopify, the WordPress eCommerce experience through WooCommerce doesn’t offer as much functionality or support. That can make it more challenging to use for both you and your customers. 

2. Higher eCommerce Costs

If you’re selling through your website, WooCommerce might take more money out of your pocket compared to Shopify, depending on which plan you decide to use. 

Deciding Between Shopify and WordPress For Your Business: Questions to Ask

Determining between Shopify and WordPress comes down to a few questions:

QuestionAnswer – YesAnswer – No
Is SEO Performance Critical to Your BusinessConsider WordPressConsider Shopify or WordPress
Is custom content (like blogs and training courses) or databases (like forums and directories) important to your site?Choose WordPressConsider Shopify or WordPress
Is controlling the shopping experience important to you?Choose ShopifyConsider Shopify or WordPress
Do you need heavy eCommerce support?Choose ShopifyConsider Shopify or WordPress

Combining Shopify And WordPress: The Best of Both Worlds

You don’t always have to choose one or the other. In fact, we’ve combined both Shopify and WordPress so some clients can get the best of both worlds—something we find especially useful for eCommerce companies that want an incredibly strong SEO presence!

With Shopify, you unlock a rich, detailed buyer’s journey with plenty of eCommerce support. And with WordPress, you unlock all of the platform’s content capabilities. In that way, you can offer a powerful online shopping experience with terrific SEO traffic and content creation opportunities.

So, how does it work? 

We use WordPress plugins to pull Shopify data onto a WordPress site, allowing users to see Shopify-generated content while browsing.

The best part: The two platforms blend seamlessly together so that the user never realizes what’s from Shopify and what’s from WordPress. 

Get More Support In Choosing Between WordPress and Shopify

To learn more about your options, contact us! We’ll help you determine whether WordPress, Shopify, or another platform is right for your business.  

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