If you run an e-commerce website, choosing the best possible platform for your business needs and client preferences is challenging. Figuring out how to navigate Shopify vs. WordPress requires knowing the pros and cons of each system and figuring out what is affordable and functional for your team.
You also want a system you can scale up with as your business grows without breaking the bank. In a perfect world, your e-commerce store would grow so quickly that you’d have to worry about things like saving money on third-party software.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Shopify Vs. WordPress?
Online sales have been on a fast upward trajectory ever since the pandemic, which increased the rate of businesses selling online and people buying through websites. Experts estimate e-commerce is worth $5.7 trillion per year and growing.
Both Shopify and WordPress platforms work well for various online retail needs, depending upon your level of technical expertise. However, there are a few differences between the programs that can help you choose which is best for your company.
Shopify Vs. WordPress: How Do They Compare?
Both platforms are quite popular with online retailers. Those who aren’t familiar with building sites or working in WordPress may find Shopify more user-friendly for newbies. On the other hand, those who’ve worked with WordPress or already have a site set up might find the capabilities of things such as WooCommerce too much to resist.
WordPress wins some categories, while Shopify takes others. Here is how the two compare:
The fees for hosting and managing a WordPress site may be less than a Shopify one, especially as your brand grows and you see an increase in traffic and sales. You’ll also be in control of the type of package your website has, speed of loading and other factors you can’t control on a third-party site.
For example, a Shopify site basic plan runs $39 per month but limits you to 1,000 inventory locations and two staff accounts.
Hosting for a WordPress site varies. If you manage the site yourself and take out a shared hosting account, your fees could be less than $10 per month. Even if you upgrade, you’ll likely still be under the $39 per month threshold.
One thing to consider when thinking about Shopify vs. WordPress is that you’ll pay more for many additional features via plugins on WordPress. You might need some additional features for WooCommerce or another plugin to get your store to work the way you want.
However, Shopify can also charge extra for the capabilities you likely need, so when it comes to cost, WordPress wins the battle with many Open Source features and the ability to code on the backend and make things look the way you want.
Around 18.7% of companies said artificial intelligence (AI) will be part of their future SEO strategy. People are still figuring out exactly how to best utilize AI in their business models, but it’s likely we’ll see it in things such as smart shopping models that are very intuitive.
At the moment, WordPress wins with SEO and the ability to add plugins and customize the system to be more responsive and keyword driven. However, Shopify constantly adds features and has numerous apps for upgrading. It also is very intuitive and talks users and customers through specific steps in the buyer’s journey and design process.
We call a tie on SEO for Shopify vs. WordPress.
Shopify is likely so popular because people without any design experience can jump into it and have a store setup in a day. The system walks you through all the steps you need to start selling online.
The finished look of the site might be similar to every other shopping site out there, but most customers don’t mind. Your product images can give the site a unique appearance.
WordPress has a bit more of a learning curve, although many designers are already quite familiar with WordPress and its coding and capabilities. The decision about which of the two is best for your needs may boil down to how familiar you are with WordPress or how much time you have to invest learning the ins and outs of creating with the content management system (CMS).
When you compare Shopify vs. WordPress, how well the e-commerce store looks depends on the expertise of the person creating it. Shopify has a very uniform look that works well with e-commerce stores. People are used to shopping on Amazon, and the finished result is similar on a smaller scale.
However, you do have a ton more flexibility with WordPress. If you plan to use your site to also have a blog and other features, WordPress is the clear winner. If you want to get something set up quickly that looks good, then Shopify may be the choice for you. We call this a tie, depending on your expertise and needs.
When it comes to marketing, WordPress wins. WordPress is a blogging platform, so the look and functionality of your blog wins. You’ll find many plugins to automate promoting your posts on social media or to your mailing lists.
With Shopify, the look and function of the blog is not up to par. You also will have a difficult time integrating third-party plugins to do some of the extra work for you.
Since social media marketing is a must with a digital store, we name WP the winner in this showdown area.
If You Love the Look of Shopify But Have a WordPress Site, Do This
If you already have a WordPress website but you love the idea and simplicity of building your store on Shopify, you have the option to integrate your Shopify store onto your WordPress site easily.
Create an area for your store pages and use the buttons and cart commands to embed the store onto your main website. You’ll still have full control over inventory and tracking via Shopify but you’ll maintain the personalized look of your store.