The Battle of eCommerce platforms: WooCommerce vs. Shopify

Choosing an eCommerce platform is one of the first decisions you have to make when starting an online store. WooCommerce and Shopify emerged as industry leaders, and they both have their own loyal followers who try to prove the superiority of their favorite platform. That is where confusion kicks in for many business owners.

This comparison, which experts from Alpha Efficiency helped us create, might make your decision easier. So prepare to witness the battle of the two biggest eCommerce platforms.

1. Design

A great design is crucial for every website. If your online store looks nice, it will leave great first impressions, and visitors will love navigating through it. But which eCommerce platform offers better options when it comes to design?

WooCommerce design

As WooCommerce is built on WordPress, it does not offer any pre-made design templates. You will be using a WordPress theme. But this will not give you much trouble, considering that many themes were built with WooCommerce in mind. However, if you are ready to invest time in designing a unique-looking website, this platform will not stand in your way. You can achieve practically any look, depending on your skills and effort. If you are not a web developer, you can buy themes professionals have made, or hire them to build a custom design for you.

Shopify design

Shopify themes look fantastic even without customizations. You can choose to use a free or a paid theme depending on your budget. This platform allows you to easily change element colors and styles to fit your taste. However, you can only use tools provided by Shopify for modifying the look of your online store.

Round winner

Draw. Shopify offers great-looking themes that you can quickly set up, and WooCommerce is an open-source platform which means you can customize your website however you want if you have enough time and knowledge.

2. Ease of use

Now let’s see how easy it is to set up an online store on both WooCommerce and Shopify.

How easy is it to set up and use WooCommerce?

Before you start configuring your WooCommerce store, you’ll have to:

  1. Get a domain name
  2. Find a hosting service
  3. Install WordPress
  4. Choose a WordPress theme
  5. Install WooCommerce plugin

This might require some effort and knowledge. But once your online store is up and running, you will not have much trouble using it for everyday needs.

How easy it is to set up and use Shopify?

Shopify is very convenient for setting up. All you have to do is signup, and the platform will help you through the rest of the process. It does not require any specific knowledge. Shopify will then give you all the tools necessary to manage your store.

Round winner

Shopify. Even though WooCommerce is as easy to use for daily matters, this round goes to Shopify because of the easier setup process.

3. Flexibility

We’ll be straightforward with this one – WooCommerce is more flexible as you can get almost any extension integrated with it. There are more than 50,000 plugins available, and as it is an open-source platform, you will be able to contribute to the community too.

Shopify does have a wide range of features you can choose from, but it can hardly compete with WooCommerce in this field.

4. Price

In this section we will see which platform is more budget-friendly.

WooCommerce costs

Calculating your costs for a WooCommerce store can be complicated. It is a free plugin for WordPress, but you will need to find a hosting provider and buy an SSL Certificate and domain name separately. An SSL Certificate costs $69.99, and a domain name can cost between $2 to $20 annually. Hosting a website might cost you around $8 per month, depending on many factors. However, you can find specialized WooCommerce hosting plans some companies provide. It can reduce your costs a lot. WooCommerce does not charge any transaction fees.

Shopify costs

Shopify subscription plans range from $29 – $299 per month. But if you want your own domain name, you’ll need to buy it separately. Also, you will be paying 2.9 percent plus 30¢ for each transaction. But your costs will not stop there if you want to use Premium themes and applications.

Round winner

WooCommerce is a much cheaper option when we count everything in. However, the price range on both platforms largely depends on your preferences and features you are ready to pay for.

5. Search Engine Optimization

SEO is important for obtaining more organic traffic on your website. But which eCommerce platform is better when it comes to search engine optimization?

How good is WooCommerce when it comes to SEO?

WooCommerce is a great choice if SEO is vital to you, because it runs on WordPress – which is mainly a content creation platform. It allows you to edit your content and add meta tags and other crucial elements for optimization without any trouble. You can also use plugins such as Yoast SEO to get even better performances and rank as high as possible on Google and other search engines.

How good is Shopify when it comes to SEO?

Shopify also offers decent plugins for search engine optimization – SEO Booster for example. This platform provides great infrastructure, so your website will be pretty fast. It is also easy to add important on-page SEO elements and you will not have a hard time using Shopify for daily optimization tasks.

Round Winner

WooCommerce, as it has many plugins that can help you with SEO and runs on WordPress. However, Shopify is also decent in this field, and we believe you wouldn’t have much trouble optimizing your website on this platform.

Who wins the battle: WooCommerce vs. Shopify

There is a reason why WooCommerce and Shopify are considered to be the best eCommerce platforms. When compared, they both have pros and cons. Which one you should choose heavily depends on your personal preference. In our opinion, you will not regret choosing either option.