Undoubtedly, choosing the best eCommerce platform for your online store is a significant decision that comes with a unique set of challenges.
Sure, if you want your business to succeed, you need to know how to motivate your employees, reduce costs (for example, by outsourcing or using a free fax app), but a choice of eCommerce platform will be of even bigger importance.
Currently, Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the most popular and easy-to-use eCommerce platforms available on the market. However, even if you’re trying to decide just between these two options, there are still plenty of different variables to consider. Factors such as popularity, overall reputation, features, pricing, and ease of use can make or break your experience just like the selection of payment tools you offer or even your products, so it is much more important to do the research before fully committing to one of these platforms.
Both Shopify and WooCommerce have their own set of benefits and disadvantages. Below, you will learn about them to make a more informed decision when choosing the best platform for you and your business’s needs.
There’s no denying that Shopify and WooCommerce are both good platforms for a clothing store and can help you make good money by selling clothes online. Still, there’s a difference in how you can present your business online through each of them, so before even you start comparing the two, you should ask yourself the following questions first:
- Are you new to the industry, or are you looking for a way to boost sales in an already existing shop?
- Do you need a fast and straightforward solution or a complex and highly customizable platform?
- How proficient are you in SEO?
- Do you have a budget for a developer, or are you planning to handle everything on your own?
By answering these questions, you can establish just what kind of business you want to run, consequently allowing you to determine what tools might be the most advantageous for reaching your goals.
Shopify was launched in 2006 and claims to now power over 1 million businesses in 175 countries. It is a closed-source hosted tool, meaning that the public has no access to the source code, and only the individual or organization who has created the software can change it. This platform also offers the Shopify App Store, which is a collection of free and premium plugins that you can use to extend the functionality of your online store. Shopify isn’t free, and the costs may vary depending on the plan you choose. However, if you are new to the site, you can start with a 14-day free trial.
Because Shopify is a closed-source hosted tool, it doesn’t require you to install any software to create a Shopify store. Instead, it provides all the essential eCommerce stuff you might need and manages your website’s technical aspects, such as speed, security, or hosting.
Essentially, all you need to do is register your account and start adding products. On top of that, the Shopify app and Shopify theme store give you an opportunity to customize your Shopify store, but you won’t be given access to edit your store’s code directly.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. Being one of the most popular ways to build a website, it powers around 40% of all websites you see on the internet. Like WordPress, WooCommerce is a free, open-source project, meaning that anybody can use, study, or modify it. You just need to download the WooCommerce plugin and copy the code or edit it according to your needs, preferences, and abilities.
As soon as you add it to your WordPress website, it transforms into an eCommerce store that’s ready to operate. On top of that, there are thousands of other official and third-party WordPress plugins you can use to extend your WooCommerce platform. You can use them for marketing your store or improving the client experience. As a result, WooCommerce is often praised for its adaptability and flexibility.
A Look at the Details
Now that you’re familiar with the overview of the main differences between Shopify and WooCommerce, let’s compare some of the factors that can help you decide which platform will work best for you.
Aside from installation and configuration, Shopify is pretty much ready to go right from the start. It may be excellent for startups, but fast-growing businesses might face some limitations. Conversely, WooCommerce is essentially a limitless platform.
Little design or development is required when it comes to Shopify — you can have your store fully running in a matter of a few days. WooCommerce is easy to work with, but as your business grows, you might have to switch to a fully custom website, which will require lots of work.
Shopify has its own sets of limitations which, if you ever want to go outside the box, might equal having to pay a good chunk of money for an experienced Shopify developer. On the other hand, WooCommerce capitalizes on the fact that WordPress is easy to use. Thus, finding a skilled and affordable web developer to set up and modify this platform shouldn’t be a problem.
What draws a lot of people to Shopify is that there’s literally zero maintenance required as long as you won’t decide to pay a developer to change the code for you (which will have to be done under the hood). It’s also crucial to keep in mind that changing the code will cause you to miss out on auto-keep that Shopify does automatically.
On the contrary, WooCommerce requires minimal maintenance in the first few months, but as your website grows older, you’ll most likely need some updates. The average cost should hover around $350 per year.
To sum up, both Shopify and WooCommerce are good platforms that come with their own sets of pros and cons. The article above unpacked their key differences to provide you with everything you need to know to choose the platform that will work best for you. Now, all you need to do is decide which of these two options will suit your interests better.
If you want flexibility and tend to enjoy a level of ownership, then WooCommerce should work great for you. In contrast, if you value simplicity and want everything to be handled for you, you should probably go for Shopify. Are you ready to make the big decision?
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