For business owners

Shopify versus Woocommerce

Shopify vs WooCommerce

Who tops the chart?

Shopify is an all-in-one solution which enables you to create an online store, manage your products, and handle payments using a single service.

WooCommerce is an open-source solution built on top of WordPress, which supercharges the Content Management System (CMS) and enables you to run an online store using the platform you know and love.

Design and Themes

Shopify has its own theme store, which comes with over 180 different themes. Some are premium, but a lot of them are free. Most of them come with customization options so you can change their look and feel without touching one line of code. All the templates are mobile responsive, so they’ll look good on any device.

Premium themes offer more options, but if you really want to tailor the style to your liking, you’ll have to get your hands dirty with the Liquid programming language or hire someone to do it for you. A great thing is that you are not limited to the templates Shopify provides them as Themeforest has more than 600 Shopify themes available.

WooCommerce doesn’t have its own theme store, but you can use third-party services to source them. On Themeforest, for instance, there is a whopping 600+ WooCommerce themes available, with prices ranging from $29 to $64. There are also free themes, but these don’t come with any support.


Shopify comes with far more ecommerce tools in-built. Sign up with Basic Shopify and you’ll get impressive features to help you sell, including:

  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Discount codes
  • Unlimited products
  • Website and blog
  • Over 100 payment options

Features Shopify include can cost you money in WooCommerce’s Extensions store. For example, accepting payments from

Shopify’s sales features are second to none. It’s a dedicated online shopping platform. Everything aims to help you sell and Shopify bases features on what it knows works. It’s why they’ve helped businesses generate over $55bn in revenue!

One strength of WooCommerce is flexibility. Because it’s an open-source platform, developers add custom-built plugins to the store. Add-ons are up-to-date, but to get the most out of the service you need to invest time (and money) to develop your store.

Key WooCommerce features are:

  • Built-in blogging
  • “Unrestricted customization” – you can edit anything from the homepage layout to the ‘buy’ button.
  • Ability to embed products and checkout onto wider range of store pages
  • One-click refund for customers

Abandoned Cart Recovery

One feature Shopify includes as standard that WooCommerce doesn’t is Abandon Cart. When thinking about WooCommerce vs Shopify, this is important. It allows customers to complete an abandoned order without filling out their details again. It also sends a gentle email reminder inviting them to finish the sale. Having an Abandon Cart option is like fixing a leak in your pipe – sales aren’t going to slip through the cracks!

While both platforms meet the selling needs of merchants, Shopify’s features are in-built. They’re ready to use from the moment you sign up.

Having features in-built and ready to use makes Shopify more accessible. Important features like abandoned cart recovery are vital to any big business and that’s something WooCommerce doesn’t offer.

Ease of Use

Shopify is a hosted ecommerce platform. That means it takes care of a lot of the technical side of operating a store. From your domain name, hosting (where your site lives online) to any security certificates, Shopify has you covered.

On top of that, with Shopify, you don’t have to install, manage or update any software. Or worry about security or back-ups.

By contrast, with WooCommerce you need to do a lot more of the legwork yourself. WooCommerce can feel a little bewildering. Especially if you’re a first-time store builder or not the most technically-confident.

Shopify designs its dashboard to help non-technical users manage their store. For example, you can change a product’s price, name or image from one screen. You don’t need to navigate around different pages. There’s also tons of help widgets to guide you through editing and personalizing your store. Designing a customer-winning product page is a piece of cake with Shopify!

This isn’t to say you cannot design a stylish WooCommerce store unless you’re an MIT-level computer technician. But, if you’re starting out selling online, there’s no doubt Shopify is the smoother option.

WooCommerce is a far more technical platform that will require a certain level of knowledge to use. Shopify is accessible to the everyday person and you don’t need to know how to code. 


Time to Build

Shopify will let you get your store live quicker than WooCommerce.

With WooCommerce, the setup is more time-consuming. You have to sort out things like hosting yourself. You also need to have a WordPress site already. It’s doable, but Shopify is a one-stop-shop that will provide all the bare essentials for you.

If you’re starting from scratch or have limited technical skills, Shopify is the best option. Getting your store ‘live’ is far quicker and easier. You have your hand held as you setup your store and give it a look and feel by choosing and editing themes. Unlike setting up a store with WordPress, the process is not manual. Shopify stores everything you need in one place.

WooCommerce’s setup is A LOT more hands-on. If you’re willing to sacrifice time for greater technical control, WooCommerce is worth a shot.

Shopify key features are in-built, its themes just need to be populated with your content, and it’s easy to use. All in all the set-up time with Shopify is a lot quicker than WooCommerce if you’re building an online store from scratch. 



Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to attracting customers to your virtual shelves. It boils down to this: making sure your store appears high in Google’s search results. When shoppers type in words related to your product, you want them to find you.

Shopify handles basic SEO practices like meta information and site copy with ease. So long as your business is producing quality content, there’s no reason to suggest you won’t enjoy great results and strong user engagement.

Shopify makes it easy to add basic SEO information your store. You can add descriptions and titles for your images, products and pages.

Shopify has faster loading times and stronger performance than WooCommerce due to its dedicated servers. Add in an SSL certificate – which you have to buy separately on WooCommerce – and it’s a deal-breaker.

What’s more, Shopify is fast. Because it’s a hosted platform that’s built on huge infrastructure, Shopify offers each of its webmasters rapid loading pages. As a result, shops stand a better chance of ranking well and a better chance of leading customers to conversions.

Site wide, there are plenty of ways that Shopify proves to beat WooCommerce in the SEO game. It’s actually renowned by developers like me as having some of the cleanest code and natural linking structure, which offers a smooth user experience and in turn enhances visibility in search engine rankings.

WordPress is primarily a content creation platform, and it’s renowned by SEO experts as one of the most reliable options available. It’s easy to add and edit content and meta information to ensure that pages have a strong chance of ranking for specific keywords.

With plugins such as Yoast SEO, you can make your WordPress site highly optimized and be in full control of every little detail that’s SEO-related.

WooCommerce takes advantage of what’s already there in WordPress, or what’s available through third-party plugins like the aforementioned Yoast SEO, or the WooCommerce-dedicated version of the Yoast plugin.

In the end, WooCommerce gives you more SEO-specific options overall, purely because of the fact that it’s built on top of WordPress. The only problem is that your site speed largely depends on the hosting you go with. Because of this, the SEO category goes to Shopify.



With Shopify, security is taken care of for you. Because it’s a hosted ecommerce platform, Shopify is in charge of handling any security breaches, and makes sure your site is safe from hackers.

SSL Certificate

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. An SSL certificate is responsible for safeguarding your website so personal information can’t be tampered with by cyber criminals.

Shopify comes with built-in SSL. This can be seen by the little padlock icon that appears next to your URL. The main benefits of having an SSL certificate are:

  • Security when processing customers’ payments and personal information
  • Helps your store’s SEO, as Google looks favourably on sites with SSL
  • Let customers know your site is safe to browse, making sales more likely

WooCommerce, on the other hand, works with WordPress and is therefore self-hosted. The actual plugin doesn’t come with built-in security, so any security will need to be handled either by yourself or your hosting provider.


WooCommerce doesn’t have its own SSL. As it is part of WordPress – which is an open-source platform – you’re responsible for sourcing your own SSL certificate. Most people will do this through their hosting provider, most of which provide you with a free SSL certificate.

PCI-DSS Compliance

We know the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) sounds like a load of jargon. All it really means, though, is that your website is set up to accept credit card payments in line with legal regulations.

Shopify, again, is totally PCI-DSS compliant. You don’t have to worry or set up a thing, and can start processing credit and debit card payments from day one.

WooCommerce is not automatically PCI-DSS compliant.

It’s an easy win for Shopify here. It’s a hosted platform, meaning security is taken care of for you. Shopify comes with an SSL certificate, and is PCI-DSS compliant. With WooCommerce, however, you’ll need to source SSL and set up PCI-DSS compliance yourself.


Customer Support

There’s also the issue of technical support. Shopify is renowned for its high quality of customer care. Each client can enjoy 24/7 access to a customer adviser in case they have any issues or queries (via email, open chat, phone call).

Apart from that, you also get access to an extensive knowledge base that covers some of the common user questions and problem solutions.

The matter of support with WooCommerce isn’t as straightforward. First off, WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin. This means that you can get support through the WordPress forums. However, at the same time, the WooCommerce team also enables everyone to create a free user account over at and get support there.

There are also tons of blogs on the internet that cover WooCommerce topics. Overall, WooCommerce is great for people who don’t need to speak with a rep but would rather complete their own research online.

If you get stuck on Shopify, there’s always help on hand. With WooCommerce you’re left on your own to find the answer to your problem. There’s helpful WooCommerce information out there but with Shopify it’s readily accessible.



How much do WooCommerce and Shopify cost?

Shopify has set pricing. You unlock more advanced features, like professional reports, as you upgrade. Shopify’s pricing is clearer. What you see is what you pay.

Apart from any premium apps or themes you buy, this is what your monthly bill includes. No hidden extras, no nasty surprises. Shopify is an out-of-the-box, ready-to-go ecommerce platform.

You can save money with Shopify by signing up to an annual or even two-year plan.

No matter how long you sign up for, you still get the same amount of features for your money. From $29/month, you get everything you need to run a fully-functioning ecommerce store!

WooCommerce is free, but comes with extra costs, including hosting, a domain name, and security. With WooCommerce, it’s a little more difficult to say what your final monthly bill is going to be.

Although WooCommerce is a free plugin for anyone with a WordPress site, you need a lot of add-ons to start selling online. For example, you’ll need to purchase separate hosting, a domain name, any extensions you want and an SSL certificate. All of these are included in Shopify’s plans.

Most estimates put the cost of running a store on WooCommerce as roughly on a par with Shopify’s Basic plan. You could create a store and start selling for less on WooCommerce than Shopify. But the truth is, knowing what your final bill will be is a lot more difficult.

There’s another important pricing consideration: time. With WooCommerce, you will have to invest a lot more of your time getting your store off the ground.

In the ecommerce world, time does equal money.

As your store grows, you will want access to more advanced features so you can carry on growing. You may want access to great SEO support, for example, or an extra payment gateway. Because WooCommerce’s prices are less defined, you’ll have to be more careful at working to a budget when building your business.

The award goes to Shopify simply because you know where you stand with monthly fees. WooCommerce is a little more complex. With all the add-ons, working out your monthly bills can be a little trickier.


Now that you understand both Shopify and WooCommerce better, you know which one tops the chart in the eCommerce platform!


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