- What is Shopify Website Builder?
- What is a WordPress eCommerce website builder?
- Shopify vs WordPress-Key Factors Comparison
Online shopping has become more convenient and so has the increasing number of eCommerce websites. There are numerous eCommerce website builder platforms that are helpful to develop online stores for beginners to professionals.
If you have an idea about starting an online store then you must have given a thought to necessary features of website builder. About 40% of global websites run with WordPress making it one of the leading website builders. On the other hand, there are 1.59 million live websites that run on Shopify platform helping merchants to buy and sell products. So, there is need to analyze Shopify vs WordPress to choose appropriate platform to build customer friendly ecommerce websites.
These platforms differ in key factors such as website building approach, pricing, usability, tools, performance, and many more. So, before investing in one of these platforms you need to compare them and decide which is right for your business.
To make this decision easy for you, we have compared all these essential factors of Shopify and WordPress to give a clear idea. Before that let us know about these platforms.
What is Shopify Website Builder?
Shopify is a website builder offering an amazing range of features to build online stores from scratch. You can customize website design, themes, and domains to individualize your brand among the competitors.
Shopify offers a flexible way to build online stores for merchants with no technical knowledge, which is the idea behind this website builder. However, it also provides an opportunity to edit the website HTML and CSS code to customize the web store in more detail. Here are some key features of the Shopify eCommerce website builder platform.
- Shopify provides everything you need to run a website like web host, server configuration.
- You can integrate with thousands of Shopify plugins to make your online store reliable.
- Merchants can find 100+ professional themes and templates that are customizable.
- Online store owners can sell both physical and digital goods.
- Shopify merchants are accessible to 24/7 customer support.
What is a WordPress eCommerce website builder?
WordPress formerly was a popular blog website builder and then lately converted as the content management system(CMS). There are many eCommerce plugins available in WordPress like WooCommerce, Ecwid, Bigcommerce to convert your website into an online store.
These plugins are easy to install and are fully customizable. If you already have a WordPress website then install an eCommerce plugin and launch an online store as part of your existing website which takes less time and effort.
Few Features of WordPress eCommerce plugin
- As the plugin is open source, you have complete control over online store data and content.
- Easily customizable online stores themes and designs that suit your brand.
- It requires basic technical knowledge to install plugins and softwares that are required to handle store operations.
- You need source things like web hosting, security, and domain name to start an online store.
Shopify vs WordPress-Key Factors Comparison
After knowing about these two powerful eCommerce website builders, let us compare the essential factors of these platforms to choose the appropriate one for your online store.
Website Building Time
Let’s begin with the building time required for these two eCommerce website platforms by comparing the setup process.
The simple setup process is the main advantage of the Shopify platform. You can build a customer-ready eCommerce site within minutes in a few steps.
Merchants should provide details to sign up in Shopify, provide domain, choose website layout, add products and your online store is ready to launch and sell products. You can install thousands of free Shopify apps for handling payments, customer service, security, dropshipping, SEO, and more to optimize store functionality.
The Shopify dashboard acts as a control room for your eCommerce store. Here you will have various options like themes customization, managing customer details, marketing campaigns, store analytics, and more. Merchants can play with customization of the store if they have knowledge of HTML and CSS.
WordPress eCommerce website startup is a little more complex and requires basic technical knowledge to install plugins. Unlike Shopify, you can not simply sign up and start an online store.
As WordPress is an open-source platform, you need to buy a web host server, link your domain to the server, and install WordPress on the hosting server. Now, you need to install plugins to convert a website to an online store.
Among all WordPress eCommerce plugins, WooCommerce is more popular and over 28.19% of global online stores are powered by this open-source eCommerce plugin. It provides all online store functions like payment gateways, inventory management, analytics, and more.
So, we can clearly say that the online store setup process is more convenient in Shopify than WordPress. But the flexibility of choosing your web host and open source code to adjust the website design and functioning in WordPress is complementing.
Shopify vs WordPress- Pricing
Merchants need to check whether the cost of website building is within the budget before investing in the platforms.
Shopify has a 14 days free trial and after that, it provides three pricing plans which differ in features. The trial version gives access to all features like themes customization, add products, install Shopify apps, import customers, analytics, and more. So, merchants can have this limited period to check if Shopify is the right platform for their online stores.
Users can pick a plan if they want to continue with the Shopify platform. The plans available are
- Basic Shopify plan for USD $29/month
- Shopify Plan for USD $79/month
- Advanced Shopify Plan for $299/month
Apart from these three plans, there is Shopify Lite for $9/month for users to integrate Shopify tools without the Shopify website.
All these plans include essential Shopify tools like SSL certificate, 24/7 customer support, unlimited products, shipping labels, discount codes, and more. But the difference appears in the number of owners, delivery partners, and payment fees.
However, there will be some internal charges which are not included in plan prices. If you want to buy a domain name from Shopify, it costs you around $10 to $20 per year. Next, additional charges for upgrading Shopify apps functionalities, and credit card fees while making payments. So, you should also consider these while planning your website builder budget.
As the WordPress software, the cost to build an eCommerce website using WordPress is customizable. It means you can control what and how much to spend. So, the cost to build an online store with WordPress may range from $10 to hundreds per month. The cost completely depends on how much you decide to spend on
- WordPress host server
- Domain name
- eCommerce WordPress Plugins
- WordPress themes and templates
- Plugins to run store
The monthly cost of WordPress can be less than, equal or more than the Shopify platform depending on your choices of the stack.
Before choosing a platform in terms of price, it’s best to list out your online website essentials and then compare the cost with the Shopify platform.
Tools & Features of Ecommerce Platform
Your online store requires effective apps or plugins to run the functionalities like payments, handling inventory, orders, and more smoothly. So, let us see how Shopify and WordPress tally for this feature.
Shopify Ecommerce platform
Shopify platform is exclusively designed for eCommerce stores and so it has all essential tools and features in one place. It means after you log in you can manage your online store design, inventory, tracking orders, managing customers, etc.
Let us understand one of its features- product listing
All the plans of Shopify allow unlimited product listing with variations limited to three with 100 options. For example, if you are selling a t-shirt then you can add three variants like size, material, and colors. It can be distinguished with multiple options like small, medium, red, black, cotton, silk, and more.
Along with in-built features and eCommerce tools, you can easily integrate with thousands of Shopify apps that boost SEO optimization, conduct marketing campaigns, social media integration, customer service, and much more.
All the WordPress eCommerce plugins have similar features that help you to build the website. You can search for a suitable eCommerce WordPress plugin that ticks all your checkboxes and install. You can always depend on some effective plugins to get additional functionalities than your eCommerce plugin.
Let us check the features of the WooCommerce plugin which can provide all the functionalities of the Shopify platform. The dashboard of WooCommerce is similar to WordPress so you can quickly adapt to the functionalities to manage your store. WooCommerce’s built-in tools will always effectively help you to manage operations like payments, taxes, shipping options, and more.
Customer Support of Shopify vs WordPress
Shopify merchants trust the online services to run their online stores. So, it is the responsibility of these website builder platforms to provide a seamless experience and support when things go out of the way.
You can receive 24/7 customer support from Shopify in various ways like email, live chat, phone, and Shopify help center where you can find answers for frequently asked questions. Before getting started or after you can go through their documentation, community forums to know more about the platform
WordPress or WooCommerce platforms provide detailed documentation and guides that can resolve any functionality issue. The drawback is you can’t find in-person support for your issues. But WordPress has an active support community where you can find solutions for any issue you encounter while using the platform.
So, if you are a person who likes continuous personal customer support then it’s better to choose the Shopify platform to build your online store.
How can I make my online store website more professional? This is the key concern of any business person while building an online site. And templates are basic layouts for your website to choose how your images and website content should look for convenient site navigation and attract audiences.
The Shopify eCommerce platform provides both free and paid templates to give the perfect look and feel to your online store. Explore a wide range of themes for different industries from various collections like minimalist style, fun & lively, imagery, etc. If you want to choose themes according to the industry then find them categorized under clothing, electronics, food & drink, health & beauty, furniture, art & photography, and more.
Shopify platform now has over 80 themes and you can regularly observe new additions to the library. Among these 10 free themes are available and paid starts at $100 for 3 variants. Shopify store merchants can filter the themes according to their design options for layouts, product pages, home pages.
All these themes are mobile responsive which means your design automatically adapts to the different screen sizes of mobiles and tablets. If you don’t feel enough with these existing themes you can always install the themes plugins like Multimart, Admiria, Ezone, and many more.
The highly customizable eCommerce templates available at WordPress make any other website-building platforms restricted. There are thousands of templates available for other industries but with little coding knowledge, you can turn these templates favorable for your online store.
Add extra web pages and elements like text, images, social media icons, buttons and change their styles, colors. You can manage every page of the website, make logos, access AI writers, AI heatmaps, and many more. So, if you have technical knowledge then prefer WordPress as you can have fun and create new website designs to stand out from the crowd.
Search engine optimization is important for any online business to improve traffic and sales. If you work hard on developing your online store and don’t appear in search results then it’s all ruined.
Shopify Ecommerce Platform
Shopify ticks all the SEO checklist factors required to optimize the online store. It allows users to add meta titles and descriptions for every product and page, custom URLs, structured site content and optimized image sizes, and more to rank good positions in search engines.
There are quite a lot of SEO optimization tools available in the Shopify Apps store to install for free or paid. You can check these plugins features and choose the perfect one that is capable of ranking your store.
WordPress eCommerce platforms are very SEO friendly and you can definitely use additional SEO plugins to optimize your online store. WooCommerce, one of the popular eCommerce WordPress plugins provides you the facility to optimize every web page content. Users can add the content to product pages, home pages, customize URLs, images same as the Shopify platform.
But the main advantage of WordPress is Yoast SEO, which is the most popular and trusted SEO plugin used by over 7 million websites globally. The plugin is available in both free and paid versions. It analyzes your website content with an SEO perspective and guides you to improve store rankings.
Store Site Maintenance and Security
Ecommerce website builder maintenance and security also play a major role in choosing the platform to build your online store.
There is no need to worry about the maintenance of technical factors like software updates, web host, plugin updates with the Shopify platform. All the pricing plans of Shopify provide the SSL certificate that encrypts the online communication data. It also takes care of payment security to provide a hassle-free and secured checkout process for customers.
We install too many plugins, hire web hosts to run and build eCommerce websites using WordPress. So, the website owners should take complete responsibility for site maintenance like checking regular updates of plugins, server configuration, WordPress updates, and more.
Because of thousands of plugins available, you should be aware that few plugins compromise security. So, you should research the plugin before installing it to protect your website. If you have a good knowledge of HTML and CSS then it’s better to write code for implementing desired functionalities.
Along with providing diverse products options and professional websites Shopify stores should provide multiple payment gateway options. So, before choosing a website building platform for your online store consider the payment gateways available.
Shopify platform allows payment gateways like PayPal (integratable with QuickBooks), AmazonPay, Apple Pay, Square, etc. It can also integrate with most popular and trusted payment gateways but merchants need to pay additional fees for payment providers ranging from 0.5% to 1% depending upon the Shopify pricing plan. These additional charges can be a burden to your budget. It also has an in-built Shopify payment gateway which eliminates the transaction fee.
WordPress doesn’t have any in-built payment gateway but you can install plugins to handle your transactions. The best part is WordPress doesn’t charge any additional fees for using these gateways. So, you need to check the payment gateway available for your WordPress ecommerce plugin and choose the appropriate one for your online store.
So, with WordPress you may not have all payment gateways in one WordPress Ecommerce plugin but no additional charges required. While with Shopify you add payment gateways easily but with transaction fee.
Integration of Third Party Plugins
Shopify and WordPress have minimum required features for handling your online store. But if you want to plan paid advertisements or add additional features to websites you need to integrate third party plugins.
There are thousands of plugins available in the Shopify app store that are helpful to customize online stores. Merchants can search under categories like merchandising, shipping & delivery, store management, customer service, store design, marketing and more. There are both free and paid versions of the plugins depending upon the features. So, check for the details of plugins like features, usability, reviews, ratings and install to improve traffic and sales.
This open source platform provides plenty of plugins that can make your online store shine and stand out from competitors. As in the Shopify platform you can choose from the curated list under the categories like store management, marketing, payments, backups, manage customers, etc. In this feature both the platforms are equal with numerous plugins available and easy integration. You can check our listed out top 45 Shopify Apps to increase your sales and traffic.
Reports & Analytics
The reports and analytics give more insights of store performance. It provides a complete overview of marketing techniques and optimization ideas to improve sales and revenue.
Shopify Ecommerce Platform
Shopify analytics provides stats dashboard, store reports and live views. You can also compare these to a particular date for better analysis. Merchants can check these reports anytime from their desktop, mobiles and tablets. Let’s see what stats are available in each section.
Dashboard- Check the stats regularly of total sales, customer retention rate, store sessions, total orders, conversion rate, average order value, store sessions traffic source and more.
Reports- Get the last one month report of sales, profit margin, orders, acquisition, customer interaction and behaviour, marketing, etc. You can also customize the reports with required metrics.
Live View- You can view the customer live navigation on your online store globally. Select the concentrated country and view number of visitors, sales, page views and more.
You can analyse many store activities from the Shopify dashboard. For example,
- Check recent sales and compare them with particular time periods.
- View the customer return rate and store session as per location.
- Track the average order value for a particular date and year.
- Check top products by units sold.
WooCommerce dashboard allows you to keep track of store statistics and data. The dashboard consists of performance indicators, charts and leaderboard sections. These sections can be customized with necessary store metrics. Merchants can check their orders, revenue, shipping, taxes and many more. Users can also install free WooCommerce google analytics plugin to check metrics of customer location, shopping behavior and more.
We have given details about all the key factors that are required to compare before choosing a website builder for your ecommerce store. So, check your online store requirements and your technical knowledge on website designing before choosing the platform.