WooCommerce vs. Shopify

by | Feb 4, 2022 | Alstra Products Blog

What exactly is WooCommerce?

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) that was created for content publication.

WooCommerce is a free WordPress eCommerce plugin that transforms your website into a robust eCommerce shop. It is a free and open-source plugin that transforms your WordPress application into a fully functional eCommerce store. You only need to install the WooCommerce plugin on your WordPress to get your store up and running.

WooCommerce, which was launched in 2011, swiftly acquired popularity in the eCommerce business, and it is now the most popular eCommerce solution, with over 3.8 million users. The majority of WooCommerce’s success may be attributed to its user-friendliness, robust features, and limitless customization choices. Most significantly, it enables you to manage your online store using WordPress, the world’s most popular CMS.

According to BuiltWith, WooCommerce is used by over 3.8 million WordPress websites, making it the most popular platform in the eCommerce business. This success may be attributed to the ease of use, robust functionality, and limitless customization choices.


What exactly is Shopify?

Shopify, unlike WooCommerce, is not an open-source platform, but it does provide a number of features that appeal to a variety of needs. Shopify is a little more established than WooCommerce (it was launched in 2004). This Canadian-based network boasts over 1 million merchants and a slew of up-to-date features owing to regular upgrades.

Shopify is neither free nor does it have a one-time purchase option; rather, you pay a monthly subscription plus a commission on each transaction. The platform makes it incredibly simple to create an online store from scratch, and it is especially suited to newcomers with little or no coding experience. If you wish to modify your Shopify store, you may want expert assistance. Shopify is a user-friendly platform that serves as the measuring stock all other platforms in the eCommerce sector are measured against.


What Should You Look for When Choosing an eCommerce Platform?

Many people have problems selecting an eCommerce platform since they don’t know what to search for. Most people choose WooCommerce or Shopify because everyone else does. We will assist you in doing so.


Consider the following aspects before deciding on an eCommerce platform:

  1. Building and Launching

WooCommerce is relatively simple to learn, particularly if you are already acquainted with WordPress and its environment. The only major difference is that you must install and maintain WordPress and WooCommerce yourself.

Shopify is the simplest platform to use since it guides you from the minute you open an account. You don’t need any technical knowledge to set up an eCommerce business. The objective of Shopify is to create a platform that reduces the risk of "doing it wrong."

This is not a tough endeavor, but you must remain focused and not be frightened to acquire a new skill. There are a plethora of excellent tutorials available to assist you, and design and development businesses like us will always be here to help you. Contact us and see how we can launch your online business.


  1. Usability

As the proprietor of an online store, you would want to spend as much time as possible on important business duties such as collecting client feedback, processing orders, responding to customer inquiries, and dealing with vendors. To achieve this perfect condition, you’ll need an eCommerce platform that not only allows you to effortlessly construct your online store but also makes it simple to maintain and administer. WooCommerce also makes online payment processing easier by providing many alternatives.


  1. Third-Party Integration

Running an eCommerce store is not restricted to a platform that allows you to do it. You’ll need a lot of tools and services running concurrently, such as email marketing and social media platforms. It is critical that the eCommerce platform you use is capable of interfacing with these tools.


  1. Scalability and expansion

Consider your eCommerce platform to be a business partner who will make it easier for you to expand your business rather than a hindrance. Many platforms are either incompatible with a growing firm or limit its growth by seizing control of critical components such as customization or scalability and charging more money for them. Make certain that your eCommerce platform allows you to build your business in the way that you want.


  1. Hosting Alternatives

While stable hosting is vital for all websites, it is especially important for eCommerce companies that may face traffic surges over the holiday season.

Your eCommerce store is hosted on Shopify’s servers because it is a proprietary platform. You gain access to their infrastructure and limitless storage. You may also point to a domain name that you’ve previously acquired for your shop.

Google prefers pages that load in seconds. That is possible with Alstra’s hosting stack.

You pick the provider to host your eCommerce shop using WooCommerce, and you have a choice of server requirements (server size, storage, processor, and bandwidth). Experts advise choosing an auto-scalable hosting provider to ensure that your shop stays functioning despite traffic surges.

It is important to note that the SSL certificate is included in all Shopify plans; for WooCommerce, it is dependent on your eCommerce hosting option (for example, it is free at Alstra).


  1. Individualization

The user interface (UI) is an important element for every eCommerce site since it makes the first and most lasting impression on visitors.

WooCommerce does not have its own theme shop. However, it compensates for great customizability. Many individual designers and developers like Alstra are also here to ensure that visitors enjoy a good experience regardless of the device they use to access your business.


  1. Add-ons/Extensions

The two platforms have all the functionality you’d expect from a top-tier eCommerce platform, such as product creation, CSV catalog import, product display, payment method administration, orders, delivery, customers, stocks, discount codes, coupons, and so on.

To supplement the platform’s natural features, you may use extensions and add-ons that seamlessly integrate with it. WooCommerce has many first-party or otherwise extensions, while Shopify has a sizable App Store with approximately 500 applications.

The main difference between WooCommerce and Shopify in terms of content is seen on the side pages. Shopify is primarily a storefront with only product pages. WooCommerce is a superior solution if you want to integrate pages for your business, company news, and a blog.

It is also an option to separate your corporate website from your store and use different CMS for them and host them separately.


  1. Payment Gateways

Payment options are an essential component of the WooCommerce and Shopify platforms.

Shopify Payments, powered by Stripe, and third-party payment gateways such as PayPal and Amazon Payments are available. Please keep in mind that Shopify Payments is only available in a few countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Other countries need the use of a third-party (potentially paid) payment gateway.

WooCommerce has many plugins for connecting payment gateways: PayPal and Stripe are free, but Authorize.Net, Amazon Payments, and Braintree will set you back roughly $100 per year. Stripe and Paypal are excellent options for launching an online shop.


  1. Shipping Options

Both WooCommerce and Shopify enable you to customize your shipping charges based on a variety of factors such as product size and weight, local and international delivery, and so on. If you want to go any farther, you may set up a real-time shipping cost computation using multiple delivery choices such as FedEx and UPS.

You will need to purchase a WooCommerce plugin.

Shipping procedures in Shopify vs. WooCommerce Comparison

To add the capability to your Shopify store, you must select at least the Advanced Shopify plan.

It is worth noting that Shopify has collaborations with leading goods delivery companies such as Amazon and Rakuten (this offers a very practical solution to your logistics issues).


  1. User-Friendliness

WooCommerce provides a lot of flexibility and customization, however for advanced modification, you’ll need to hire a skilled developer. This is also true with Shopify since the drag and drop interface makes it simple to set up your online store, but if you want to make advanced adjustments, you will need some professional assistance.


  1. Multilingual Assistance

After reading the paragraph regarding payment alternatives, you won’t be shocked to learn that Shopify isn’t particularly beneficial for multilingual shops. This issue is partially handled by langify, a Shopify app that supports many languages and currencies. The application, on the other hand, charges $ 17.50 each month.

If you require a multilingual eCommerce shop, WooCommerce is definitely the best option with many compatible multilingual plugins available.


  1. SEO Optimization

Positioning WooCommerce or Shopify items on search engine results pages (SERPs) is critical for increasing exposure and, as a result, sales.

WooCommerce is an open-source platform, it has an integrated SEO structure and its control is yours to customize. We can help you to further optimize it.

Shopify has fantastic SEO features as well, but with some caveats:

Snippets of value: This information enables search engines to better analyze the content of sites and provide relevant SERP rankings. Rich snippets provide information such as product availability, manufacturer, and customer feedback. To isolate this information in Shopify, you’ll need to use apps or go into the code.

The page URLs are as follows: Shopify does not enable you to freely alter the URLs of store-level pages. For the blog, the folder must be shown as/blog/news/, which is not a good structure for SEO optimization. Shopify requires /pages/ in the URL for standard content pages.


  1. Marketing Elements

Emails/newsletters: Shopify has a native email system that allows you to customize the layouts and contents of automated emails. WooCommerce has a vibrant community and fantastic compatibility of WordPress behind its back, therefore, has a multitude of options when it comes to marketing campaigns.

Shopify has its proprietary data analytics tools, while WooCommerce can integrate with industry giants like Google’s analytics tools, to further give you insights into your customers. You can learn more about how we can help you achieve that.


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