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42Works Blog

Posted on October 2, 2019

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which one is better for your online store?

Building an online store from scratch is difficult and unnecessary. Why unnecessary you might ask? Well, when you have so many pre-made platforms to choose from, why would you want the hassle of doing everything on your own. 

But this abundance of online resources has to lead to an unwanted consequence. With more options, it is only natural for users to get confused about which one to use for their first online store.  

As a young business, you must take the right steps and choose the best eCommerce websites building platform for you. In this head to head comparison, we put two of the most prolific and used eCommerce platforms in the industry; ‘Shopify and WooCommerce’ against each other. 

Design Functionality 

  • Shopify – After the simple signup process, you are guided through a website design selection catalog to aid you in the website design and development phase of building your store. Shopify comes packed with a powerful and intuitive drag and drop editing interface. The management of inventory, tracking of shipments, and calculating sales volumes is a walk in the park with Shopify. One drawback of such a polished UX is that you compromise on the optimization and customization front.
  • WooCommerce – is a self-hosted platform. This effectively means that you will be required to install WooCommerce, manage, backup, and make sure that your eCommerce websites are secure. Having said that, you do have some paid options to automate this process of managing your WooCommerce website. 

Edge – Shopify

Operation Cost 

  • WooCommerce –  is an open-source platform, which means there is no upfront cost attached. But there is a caveat, the platform itself is free, but the plugins that add functionality to your eCommerce website are not. In addition to that, you also need to buy extensions and security features like SSL certificates.
  • Shopify – on the other hand, is a closed system offering you a complete eCommerce experience. Once you sign up, you are up and ready right away with no extra steps. Add to this, Shopify practically spoon-feeds everything you require to run your eCommerce business. 

Here is a table explaining the difference:

Name

Software

Hosting

Sub-Domain

SSL

Domain

Shopify

$29/Month

Free

$9/Year

WooCommerce$0$5-$100/Month(Third-Party)N/AFree-$100/Year(Third-Party)$9/Year (Third-Party)

Edge – Shopify

Support 

 

  • Shopify – The benefit of being a fully hosted eCommerce websites platform is that Shopify has full control over both the software and hardware. This enables Shopify to be able to provide 24/7 customer support via live chat, phone, email, and Twitter. Shopify even offers experts for hire, so that you could outsource the troubleshooting and focus on your business.
  • WooCommerce – Due to it being a self-hosted platform, you don’t have the luxury of fixing your software and hardware at the same place. You would need to go to your hosting provider to fix any issue related to the servers. For problems in your plugins, extensions, or themes you would need to contact the developers directly. 

Edge – Shopify

Payment Gateway Options

  • Shopify – makes a variety of payment options available to its users. Shopify even offers its payment solution, called ‘Shopify Payments (powered by Stripe). Popular third party solutions are also available. One big downside of using Shopify is the fact that they charge an extra 2% fee on each monetary transaction made through a third payment gateway.
  • WooCommerce – comes available with PayPal and Stripe payment gateways by default. WooCommerce also supports many regional payment gateways as per the country you live in. Because WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, it doesn’t charge any transaction fee over what your payment gateways do. 

Edge – WooCommerce

Platform Security

  • WooCommerce – doesn’t come with any pre-installed security measures as such. But because WooCommerce runs on WordPress, security falls under their purview. As it is a self-hosted service, you have to get your SSL certificate and make sure that your hosting provider has amply secure servers. You will also have to configure your site’s plugins, two-step verification, etc. to secure your site. 
  • Shopify – being a self-hosted eCommerce websites service comes with all security measures pre-installed. Hence, you don’t have to go out and get an SSL certificate or configure your setting for other security. You should always use Shopify with a formidable password. Another advantage Shopify has over WooCommerce is that it is PCI compliant out of the box. 

Edge – Shopify

Our Verdict 

Both Shopify and WooCommerce are great tools for building eCommerce websites. It essentially boils down to personal or organizational skills and preferences. 

But if we were to choose a winner out of the two, Shopify will undoubtedly come on top. An upstart is important for young businesses to optimize their businesses and use platforms that give the maximum output with the minimum input.

WooCommerce is still a great option for anyone looking for full custo

mization and total control over every aspect of their store. But for the people looking for an optimized and convenient way of starting an online eCommerce business, Shopify is undoubtedly king.


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