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Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Who We Recommend and Why

August 1, 2022

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Who We Recommend and Why

Looking for a comparison between Shopify and WooCommerce? We've compared Shopify vs WooCommerce for scalability, pricing, SEO, Dropshipping, and more.

Both WooCommerce and Shopify have multiple strengths and can possibly be the perfect solution for you to build an eCommerce store with. And the best news is that you can do so all on your own, without any help from professional designers and/or developers.

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is a web application that has been specifically designed to allow merchants to build and launch their own online store. It provides a range of templates (‘themes') that can be customized to meet individual businesses' branding requirements, and it allows both physical and digital goods to be sold.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform built for WordPress. Therefore, it provides you with the most powerful content management system (CMS) to run an online store. Thanks to its open-source nature, you can customize every aspect of your store and build custom extensions.

Store Set-Up

Hands down one of the easiest solutions available for a complete online store is Shopify. This is because, from the moment you create an account, they will guide you through the complete setup. 

They take care of the hosting for you, and will even give you the option to “play around” with your store before publishing it. It goes without saying that you won't need any technical abilities to get started in minutes.

Adding a product in Shopify WooCommerce is also pretty easy to set up. The only thing to consider is that there are a few steps needed beforehand. These include installing, or updating, WordPress on your website, and then installing the plugin. We're not going to lie, it can be a little overwhelming if you've never done it before.

Adding a product to WooCommerce But the good news here is that certain hosting providers such as Bluehost offer a 1-click installation that automatically installs WordPress and WooCommerce for you.


As far as hosted platforms go, Shopify is actually one of the more flexible solutions. But it still can't come close to the control that you get with a self-hosted WooCommerce site, which is why WooCommerce is the clear winner in this section. With WooCommerce, you have a few ways to customize your store's functionality. WooCommerce's flexibility is also evident when it comes to things like product variations. With WooCommerce, there's no hard limit on the number of product variations that you can use, while Shopify puts a hard cap of 100 variants per product and 3 total options per product no matter which Shopify plan you're on.  

True Cost

Cost is often the most important consideration for eCommerce website owners. You need to evaluate the cost of getting started while also keeping in mind the variable costs for add-on services and software.


The basic Shopify plan comes with enough features to set up a new online store. You can add unlimited products, 2 user accounts, unlimited file storage, and more. However, this pricing doesn't include third-party tools and add-ons that you'll need to take your Shopify store to the next level. As your business grows, these costs will start adding up, and you'll soon be paying a lot more than the basic plan

Payments are another factor that affects your costs. Shopify offers their own Shopify Payments solution which costs 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction for the basic plan. If you want to use third-party payment gateways or your own merchant account, then you will be charged a flat fee of 2.0% for all transactions. You can reduce this fee to 0.5% by using the Shopify Advanced plan which costs $299 per month.


WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress.org (also known as self-hosted WordPress). It is open source and available as a free plugin. However, you'll need a domain name , SSL Certificate, and a WordPress hosting account to start a WooCommerce store. Thankfully, there are several hosting companies who are now offering specialized WooCommerce hosting plans which significantly reduces the cost. 

As you can see, the cost of starting a basic WooCommerce store is significantly lower than Shopify. WooCommerce also doesn't charge you a percentage fee on transactions which is a very nice perk.


Any website that wants to make a splash needs strong SEO. Luckily, both contenders here have a lot going for them.

Shopify is lacking with SEO features available, but there's certainly no shame in the way that it presents content. It also 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.

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. You don't have to worry about optimization much, and your speeds are always going to be top-notch.


Other than keeping content and products up to date, Shopify users don't have to worry too much about site maintenance. All the technical aspects of running a website (software updates, hosting, server configuration etc.) are taken care of by the company.

With WordPress, it's a completely different story: you are in charge of ensuring that you're using the most up-to-date version of WordPress your server has been configured correctly your plugins and themes are all up to date. Although some of this can be handled automatically, it's still something you need to keep an eye on if you end up with an out-of-date version of the WordPress software or a plugin, your site is much more vulnerable to being hacked.


If all these comparisons still don't help you choose a selection, just keep in mind, these are just a few examples on what you need to see what is the best platform to help you make a decision on choosing a platform to create your E-commerce. 

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