Shopify or Woocommerce, which one is better for you?
When you consider opening an online store, many questions arise with an endless list of options.
Which hosting provider to choose? Which domain to buy? What theme to choose, what name will my store have?… and so on for hours, days or even weeks.
One of those crucial questions we face is the question of Shopify or Woocomerce?
Of course, there are many other options available besides these two, but today we are going to talk about the two most popular ones at the moment, Shopify and WooCommerce.
During this article, we will take a closer look at both platforms to find out which one is the best.
What is special about each e-commerce platform?
Shopify is an all-in-one solution that allows you to create an online store, manage your products and handle payments with a single service.
WooCommerce is an open source solution built on top of WordPress, which powers the content management system (CMS) and allows you to run an online store using the WordPress base.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: an overview of their features
When we talk about some of the most striking differences between Shopify and WooCommerce, we have to mention pricing. While Shopify offers plans starting at $29 per month (about 25 euros), WooCommerce is free, but you must purchase your own domain and hosting.
These are the key points of the showdown between Shopify and WooCommerce, so keep an eye out for your favorite features:
It offers three different plans for its users, starting at $29 per month, including hosting, so you won’t have to hire any external service.
Completely free, although you will have to purchase your own hosting. You can hire it from WordPress or any other provider.
It does not include a free domain; you must purchase your own.
Allows you to add unlimited products to your store.
It also supports an unlimited number of products.
It charges specific fees for all its payments. The amount of the fee depends on the plan contracted. In the $29 plan you will be charged 2% of each sale you make.
Payment rates depend on the payment processors you choose to work with.
The platform offers its own app store, both free and paid, which allows users to extend the functionality of their stores.
It comes with an extension system (basically the same as WordPress plugins) that provides additional functionality to your store. Extensions come in free and premium varieties.
24/7 support in English. To receive support in Spanish there are a few hours a day.
The developers behind WooCommerce offer support through a help desk for their users, as well as extensive documentation for the software.
There are a number of premium themes available to customize the look and feel of your site. In their theme store they will be somewhat more expensive than in other independent platforms. The variety of free templates is very limited and they are often too basic.
There are hundreds of free and paid premium themes to customize your store.
A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is included with all your plans.
You will need to purchase your own SSL certificate.
It has its own analytics system and can also be integrated with Google Analytics .
It can be integrated with Google Analytics through an add-on.
It can be integrated with Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping, Pinterest and Tik Tok through very simple to set up and completely free sales channels.
You will need to install plug-ins to make connections with social media sales channels.
It allows the configuration of SEO by means of tools integrated in the application itself.
To control SEO properly you will need to install external plugins.
What about prices?
Shopify offers a simple pricing method that includes three basic plans and a custom business option. Its three plans are priced at $29, $79 and $299 respectively, and the main difference between each lies in the fees it charges for accepting credit cards.
These differences may seem minimal at first, but anyone familiar with retail transactions can attest to the fact that credit card fees are rising rapidly. In addition, each successive plan also reduces transaction fees for using external payment options such as PayPal and Stripe.
You will have to be very careful with the apps you install from the app store to customize your store, as most of them are offered through monthly subscriptions that will make your monthly bill very high.
Each Shopify plan changes the number of available staff accounts (employees), as well as the ability to send gift cards and recover abandoned shopping carts. Both features are limited to the last two plans, although due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was decided to extend them to the basic plan on a temporary basis. Even today they are still accessible from the $29 plan and it is not known if they will remain that way for life, or if they will again require the higher plans to enjoy them.
WooCommerce, on the other hand, does not cost anything upfront, but as I said you must configure the hosting on your own. Hosting costs will vary depending on the size of your store, but generally, for a modest store it is cheaper than the basic Shopify plan.
WooCommerce extensions typically cost more upfront than their Shopify counterparts, but are generally sold as one-time licenses (a one-time payment) rather than month-to-month subscriptions (as is the case with Shopify).
Shopify vs WooCommerce: Which one is right for you?
We’ve reached the end of the Shopify vs WooCommerce fight, and now it’s time to determine which platform is best for you.
It is perfectly normal to be intimidated by the choice of which e-commerce platform to choose. Managing an online store is a complicated task and choosing the right platform will determine the viability of the project from the beginning.
Both Shopify and WooCommerce are great platforms in their own right, although each has its pros and cons. As long as you choose the one that best suits your needs, you will have made the right decision.