It seems like these days everybody wants to make money online. If not affiliate marketing, blogging or writing reviews, there’s always e-commerce. With so many tools around, setting up an online shop has never been easier.
While you can go for various web hosting options and create your website all by yourself using your development skills, there are also a few tools which can make your e-commerce establishment much easier. The two ultimate and most popular tools for that are WooCommerce and Shopify. With equally enticing, feature-rich interfaces, both devices are powerful and bound to make you successful. Therefore, it’s up to the complexity of the e-shop you’re aiming to establish, which platform is best for you.
Both, Shopify and WooCommerce, offer feature-rich platforms. You’re enabled to create pages quickly, contact forms, check and fill in orders only with a few clicks. Anything from eye-catching design and various payment options, to marketing and SEO tools, is available for you to use when running your online shop. A bunch of extensions and add-ons you didn’t know you needed are also there.
The only real difference between these two platforms is the setup. While WooCommerce is a plugin created for WordPress, Shopify is a self-hosted platform. To set up a shop with WooCommerce, you first will have to create an account on WordPress, create your website and then install the plugin. If you already have a WordPress website, then it’s no doubt that WooCommerce is easier for you to set up. With Shopify, it’s slightly different. You have it all on one platform, no need for any extra installations. Both of the platforms are designed for complete beginners. However, WordPress has more flexibility for your possible future needs.
When it comes to your website, which represents your business, the design is critical. WooCommerce embraces eye-catching layouts of their templates and makes it effortless for you to start selling online. As it is a plugin, the developers optimized WordPress templates for e-commerce, so the choice of templates for your e-shop becomes endless.
Envato market offers a wide array of WordPress themes that have been explicitly designed to accommodate WooCommerce plugin. On top of the professionally designed layout, it also provides a few features that include MailChimp integration, zoom in option, carousels and responsive design.
Shopify, on the other hand, might have a lot of the themes to offer, however, they are not as feature rich as WooCommerce’s. Some of the themes are available for free, and some are for purchase only, ranging from around $100 to $180.
Envato market is there to help if options to fit your industry aren’t available on Shopify or you can’t afford the theme that fits your needs best. Most of the themes on Shopify include features like showcasing, zoom in, and quick viewability, newsletter integration, social sharing buttons and many more. As opposed to WooCommerce, Shopify offers templates explicitly designed for the industry your shop is in as, for example, The Boutique Shopify theme.
As mentioned above, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. Therefore, immediate SEO benefits are available for your shop. WordPress is designed to make your content SEO friendly, and when creating it for your e-shop, you can instantly edit it, so it’s search engine optimized, add meta tags for all your pages, and edit snippets of your products.
Shopify’s SEO optimization is slightly different to the one WordPress provides. Shopify has its dedicated servers serving only its stores. Therefore, the speed, reliability and overall performance of e-shops might be better. On top of that, it also has SEO features integrated: alt and meta tags, defining the title and product descriptions.
Both of the platforms also offer free SSL certificates. On WordPress, it’s a Let’s Encrypt plugin, which needs to be installed for your website separately and with Shopify, it comes already integrated with every hosting plan.
Helping you sell
When it comes to features that help you raise your revenue and make more profit, both of the platforms are ready with their integrated features as well as any extensions or add-ons you might need.
WooCommerce has selling optimization features integrated into its core. It’s more than enough for a beginner, but once your shop takes off and you feel that you need more help to cope with the high amount of sales, there are always plenty of free and paid add-ons and extensions. Anything from Quickbooks, which will help you record your sales, Mailchimp integration for your newsletters to Facebook selling can be found online. Prices for the paid plugins vary from $30 to $200.
Shopify, similarly to WooCommerce also has features already integrated within the platform. The features include a cart recovery system, discount codes for your goods, and gift vouchers. On top of that, you also can upload your products through a CSV format. If you can’t find features needed for your shop in your platforms interface, you can always have a lookout for add-ons online. Such include delivery tracking, cross-selling, and many more.
WordPress is known for its vast community made of web enthusiasts and developers, helping to improve the platform and its plugins. On top of that WooCommerce separately offers thorough documentation and a broad array of tutorials online to help with the setup and optimization of it.
Shopify similarly has documentation and community available online. On top of that, experienced and professional customer support is also available 24/7 to answer all your queries regarding Shopify and e-commerce.
So, which one?
Choosing the right platform for your e-shop is essential. Both of the platforms offer great features, pricing, and help, however, it is solely up to you and your needs which one will fit you best. If you’re more focused on the design and product variations, WooCommerce is probably better as not only WordPress themes are optimized for e-commerce but also, it has its separate selection, free and paid. Most importantly, you would be able to choose a variety of web hosting packages which could supplement your needs the best. If it comes to that, Hosting.review comes as one of the best web hosting review resources out there.
Shopify only offers three main product attributes: size, material, and color, which might turn out to be limiting a bit if you’re not selling clothes, whereas WooCommerce offers much more product variations. However, if you’re new to the online world and just starting out, customer support is vital. As mentioned above, WordPress does offer community help, but Shopify has its in-house support.