Are you looking to create an online store?
Fantastic! Let’s compare the two most popular ecommerce platforms: Shopify and WooCommerce. Welcome to WebsiteToolTester where we review
ecommerce website builders all day so you don’t have to! The setup experience between the two is actually
very different. With Shopify, you simply sign up for a free trial. Once logged in you are
already able to add your first products. It’ll only take you a couple of hours to get your
store set up. With WooCommerce you definitely score bonus
points if you’ve worked with WordPress before. To set it up, you first need to find a hosting
provider. SiteGround for example. There you’ll need to first install WordPress and then the
WooCommerce plugin. It’s all much more technical and complex than with Shopify.
Also in day to day operations, you will realize that WooCommerce needs a lot more maintenance
as you’ll have to take care of updates and sometimes you may need to solve plugin conflicts.
It’s all doable but Shopify is definitely a smoother ride. So this round goes to them. Shopify offers 10 free templates and more
than 60 paid ones. The paid ones cost between $140 and $180. They look modern, are relatively
easy to customize and will also receive updates from time to time. Having said that, you can
also modify your theme in the code, using the Liquid programming language.
WooCommerce.com offers a couple of themes, but the free ones are very limited, and to
be frank, I wouldn’t go for either of them. The paid selection looks better and starts
at $39. That said, I’d recommend checking out Envato, as their selection is much, much
larger. It’s hard to pick a clear winner. Shopify’s
templates are easier to manage and generally look better. WooCommerce on the other hand,
offers a larger overall selection and it’s probably easier to find a theme developer,
should you ever need one. Let’s call it a draw. The key thing to know about Shopify is that
you should definitely use Shopify Payments if it’s available in your region. Because
if not, Shopify will charge hefty transaction fees of up to 2%.
The selection of payment providers is huge and it’s unlikely you won’t find your
preferred one. WooCommerce also has a massive selection
of payment gateways. What you have to keep in mind here is that the more niche ones come
at a one-time charge of around $79. Shopify and WooCommerce are also on par in
Shipping and Taxes. Both of them offer pretty much everything you could ask for, like real-time
shipping cost estimates and tax rates that are automatically calculated. Some of these
features require paid plugins though. You’ll find more details on shipping and tax options
in our blog post. No clear winner in this round. After two draws I now promise you a clear
winner. If your goal is to set up an international
store in multiple languages there is a significant difference between the two.
Shopify requires a plugin. The most popular is Langify, which is $17.50 per month.Not
exactly cheap. For WooCommerce there is WPML, which is very
established and integrates seamlessly with WordPress. You can even offer your products
in multiple currencies. At $79 for the first year, it’s quite affordable
and renews at a yearly rate of $59. That’s the equalizer. 3:3 is our new score. Security is another factor where both platforms
follow very different approaches. Shopify is hosted by Shopify themselves. So
you don’t need to spend even a single second thinking about hosting providers. In our tests
we always had very decent uptime and speed results. There is also two-factor authentication
and Shopify permanently monitors their systems for unauthorized access.
WooCommerce is built on the popular WordPress platform. Unfortunately, their popularity
stretches to hackers too. Since you, the site owner, is responsible for installing security
updates, it can be fatal not to do so. Shopify wins this round. In the SEO arena, Shopify has nearly everything
you’ll ever need. Customizable page titles, descriptions, sitemaps and 301 redirects.
A small downside is that Shopify always adds slugs like “pages”, “products” or
“news” to your URLs. This isn’t going to kill your SEO but it’d be nice if they
didn’t force you to use this syntax. For WooCommerce you need to install an SEO
plugin like Yoast. This will give you complete flexibility over everything. It’s
also a bit cheaper to get your structured data set up for things like ratings and additional
product information. All in all, you have more flexibility with
WooCommerce, which gives them a slight push into the lead. Well this round is a quick one. Shopify provides
pretty amazing support via live chat, email and even phone. 24/7, no less.
WooCommerce also provides support, well, kind of. You can only ask them questions if
you’ve purchased a product, for example, a theme, at WooCommerce.com. If not, good
luck roaming the user forums. With Shopify you have a well-rounded support
system for all your questions. With WooCommerce, you have to figure much more stuff out on
your own. Shopify takes the lead again, securing itself
as the clear winner of this battle. Even though Shopify won this competition,
your ideal choice will still depend very much on what your goals and individual needs are.
Beginners and people who want to avoid technical headacheswill definitely have an easier
time using Shopify. Proswho need full flexibility and want
to be able to do some serious code-tweaking will appreciate the freedom WooCommerce provides.
International sitesthat are set up with different languages and currencies are best
built on WooCommerce. Cash-strapped startupswill appreciate the
fact that a WooCommerce store can be built for very little money. But be aware that going
down the DIY path can become very costly once you hire a developer. In many cases Shopify
will be the cheaper choice in the end. I hope my video has given you a clearer idea
of what to expect from these two ecommerce platforms.
If you like to delve even deeper, head over to WebsiteToolTester.com and check out our
Shopify vs WooCommerce blog post. And if you have a question about this video,
please leave a comment!