Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Which to Choose and Why?

Shopify vs WooCommerce illustration

Shopify Vs. WooCommerce – Which To Choose And Why? After realizing that an online shop is an ideal way to target new markets, the next important step is deciding what tools to use to make your dream of an online store come alive. There are numerous website building tools out there, but based on ease-of-use, affordability, flexibility, and other factors, two stand out: Shopify and WooCommerce. Having narrowed down to these two, you must delve into the details to settle on one.

Understanding the fundamental difference between Shopify and WooCommerce helps when you compare the two. Shopify is an e-commerce platform, while WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin for the WordPress content management system. As such, Shopify has a full suite of features that allow you to create an online store with minimal technical knowledge of web design. On the other hand, WooCommerce requires you to set up WordPress and install it as an extension. Most of the differences between these popular tools hinge on this dissimilarity.

Comparing Shopify and WooCommerce

Six comparison elements determine whether Shopify or WooCommerce is the right platform for you.

Ease of Use

Being a hosted platform, Shopify takes care of the core technical tasks a web administrator must do. All you have to do to create your online shop is sign up and follow a step-by-step guide to completion. Shopify will take care of important issues like creating backups, software updates, ensuring security, and maintaining website performance. The built-in drag-and-drop website builder in Shopify also contributes to the platform’s ease of use.

With WooCommerce, creating a functional online store entails steps like purchasing a domain and hosting a website. You may also need to add security certificates and create backups. Further, you are responsible for looking for updates and executing them. But don’t fret yet. WooCommerce has thousands of plugins, most of them free, which automatically implements the above tasks. Further, some web hosts go the extra mile and handle the technical tasks for you. However, you need to learn the basics of web design to create your shop using WooCommerce.

Verdict on Ease of Use

It is easier to create an online store using Shopify. The learning curve of WooCommerce is relatively steep.


Shopify features fixed pricing plans ranging from $29 to $299 per month. It is possible to create a store and start selling using Shopify Basic, the platform’s cheapest plan. The $29 charge will cater to an online shop’s essentials, including an SSL certificate, a domain name, and server space for hosting. However, you may need additional third-party plugins, which inflate the plan’s cost. Further, you will spend extra cash if using third-party payment solutions.

WooCommerce is open-source, and you can use it for free. However, it features costs like buying a domain name ($10-$20 annually), hosting ($7.99-$31.99 per month), and an SSL certificate (about $69.99 per year). In the long term, maintaining a WooCommerce store is comparatively cheaper. With platforms like Bluehost, you can set up a store using WooCommerce for only $6.95 monthly.

Verdict on Cost

WooCommerce allows you to reduce the cost of creating an online store significantly.


As your business grows, Shopify will accommodate the changes by allowing you to upgrade to a new pricing plan. The platform will continue to handle a large website’s technical aspects, including performance, security, and optimization. While you will incur some more cash subscribing to more expensive plans, you will still save on not hiring developers for the upgrade.

WooCommerce features superior flexibility, which means that you can scale the business as much as possible. However, the level of customization the platform affords demands that you either have technical web design know-how or set aside funds to hire someone who does. However, you will have the final say on how your website will look and function.

Verdict on Scalability

Shopify carries the day on being scalable. While WooCommerce will allow your business to scale, it may attract some “growth pains.”


Security is a vital consideration by search engines and your customers. Shopify guarantees a secure site in two primary ways. Firstly, all their websites will have an SSL certificate, which secures confidential information submitted on your site. Further, you can be sure that your Shopify site will be Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliant. Thus, accepting payments via debit and credit cards should not be a problem.

WooCommerce also features all the security a Shopify online store has. However, as it is a WordPress plugin, you have to implement the security measures yourself. As with other capabilities, there are numerous free and paid plugins to make your WooCommerce online store safe from the malicious actions of hackers.

Verdict on Security

Security is another win for Shopify. However, it doesn’t imply that WooCommerce is insecure. The merit is that Shopify takes all the security responsibilities off your shoulders.

E-Commerce Tools

Three built-in features make Shopify a superior e-commerce platform. The Abandoned Cart Recovery feature allows customers to pick incomplete orders and finish them after sending them a reminder via email. Multichannel selling gives you the opportunity to market and sell your goods on social media and e-commerce behemoths like Facebook and Amazon. Finally, Shopify partners with world-renown couriers like DHL Express and USPS to simplify your shipping.

WooCommerce has a plugin allowing you to reap all the benefits of the Abandoned Cart Recovery feature. Further, you should have no problem selling your products on Amazon, eBay, or Facebook. However, WooCommerce may charge extra cash to the tune of $79 to avail the capability to you.

Verdict on E-Commerce Tools

Shopify scores more on e-commerce tools. Its straight-out-of-box features are more accessible and cheaper compared to those of WooCommerce.

Customer Support

The customer support at Shopify consists of knowledgeable individuals who fully understand the ins and outs of the platform. As almost all software is in-built, they have insights into how the core system works. However, Shopify doesn’t provide customer support for third-party extensions. You may have to rely on a team of Shopify Experts or a community forum on the platform.

WooCommerce is widely popular and has an extensive knowledge base. Thus, it is easy to find solutions to any number of problems plaguing your site. If you can’t figure a problem out, be sure to submit tickets explaining what you are facing on the WooCommerce platform. Moreover, your web host, which will probably provide 24/7 support, will be there to guide you if you run into trouble with hosting. As popular WooCommerce third-party add-ons have wide usage, you can be sure to find detailed solutions to different problems on developers’ websites.

Verdict on Customer Support

WooCommerce has multiple and reliable sources of customer support, making it score higher than Shopify.

Which Should I Choose: Shopify or WooCommerce?

Settling on the ideal e-commerce platform to use is subject to your specific needs.

You should use Shopify if your goal is to create an online store without interacting with the technical side of web development. The platform will handle a lot for you, from buying domains to ensuring security to backing up your site’s data. A team of front-end experts creates Shopify’s templates and gears them towards e-commerce such that you only need to do very little customization.

WooCommerce is an excellent choice if you know web design and would like to customize your online shop with personal tastes. Further, you should go with WooCommerce if you expect your business to grow exponentially and serve customers all over the world.

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