Shopify is a hosted e-commerce platform that is dedicated to providing a simple store builder that anyone can get up and running. It offers a wide range of templates, many of which are free. It provides users with a modern look and access to training materials that are designed to maximize the Shopify experience.
WordPress was started as blogging platform, but has developed into a customer management system with several extensions and plugins that can be quite useful. About two-thirds of the CMS that operates online today is through this platform. Because it is open source, the initial download is free, but the e-commerce components may not be free. E-commerce through WordPress is usually through WooCommerce.
In the Shopify vs WordPress debate, the purpose of your site and its structure are the most important decisions. If a store is all you need, Shopify is a good solution. WordPress is an excellent option if you rely on blogging and have a hosting account that accepts this installation.
Here are some of the other key points of comparison.
Both platforms offer several different themes, many of which are available for free. Shopify’s themes are self-produced, so they are intended to work with you as you build your online presence. WordPress has themes that are designed by third-parties, so there may be a cost involved for the best themes that work with your content.
Shopify is a low-cost solution that offers a monthly plan fee and a transaction fee for each purchase processed. Different tiers are available to help you manage your inventory and costs effectively without compromising the user experience on your website. WordPress can be setup for free, but a professional designer or builder may be required to implement WooCommerce. There are hosting and processing fees which must be paid on WordPress as well.
Shopify offers full access to a team of support professionals so any problems that are experienced can be quickly resolved. There are email, phone, and chat contact options available. Because WordPress is an open source product, there is no dedicated customer support. Some third-party products may offer some customer service. It is up to the user to research videos, forums, and other public domain support items to find answers to their troubleshooting issues.
Shopify is more of a traditional e-commerce site. You have the option to write about products and create static pages that allow consumers to research and compare items. WordPress is designed to be a content-based site, so it is designed to provide numerous pages of valuable content. Bloggers find it easier to use this platform as well.
Shopify provides updates whenever they occur and most integrate themselves seamlessly into the stores that have been built. WordPress updates frequently as well and can be setup to do so automatically. Not every plugin or extension works with the updates that happen, however, so there is a higher risk of having a site crash after performing an update.
Shopify hosts every site. This gives the e-commerce platform an extra layer of security for users to enjoy. WordPress must be hosted and not every hosting provider will accept the size of a WordPress installation. Many hosting platforms have their own security, which must be verified by the user before signing any hosting agreement.
Shopify and WordPress both offer some measure of scalability. As interest in your business grows, you can continue building upward. There are inventory caps on both platforms, but fewer on WordPress. If you’re an SMB who experiences inventory changes frequently, WordPress is a little easier to manage, but doesn’t necessarily provide the analytic insights about consumer purchasing habits like Shopify can provide.
Ease of Use
Both platforms are relatively easy to use. Since most people have already used or visited a WordPress site in the last week, the learning curve for it is a little shorter when compared to a platform like Shopify.
In the Shopify vs WordPress debate, many find that Shopify offers more advantages for a true e-commerce experience. There are more templates and you have access to real customer support.
For a site that is already built or for those who have a content-based presence online and only need a minimal e-commerce platform, then WordPress is a solid option to use. It keeps costs down while being able to integrate your existing content.
Do you use Shopify or WordPress? What are your thoughts about the pros and cons of each option?