At 79DESIGN we have experience with both. We tried Shopify some years back for a client who wanted to give it a go. We did run into issues, such as our ability to editing styling and layouts, just wasn’t doable, as Shopify is kind of ‘locked down’. Plus plugins you want to use for various Commerce purposes, were either not cheap by any means, or actually cost per month to run.
So we do have some experience with Shopify, and loads more with WooCommerce, so we thought a little review might be worth doing. We are a ‘review website’, so this is not one of those lengthy reviews.
In short, Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the most popular, most used as well as easy-to-use eCommerce platforms available on the market today.
They both have plenty of strengths and can be the perfect solution with which for you to build an eCommerce shop. The best news is that you can do so all on your own, without any help from professional designers and/or WordPress developer like us. haha!
But which one of the two is going to fit your specific needs, Shopify or WooCommerce? Which is more feature-rich? Which is cheaper? Which is better-looking? Which is more flexible? Which is the easiest to work with? And which do we prefer (tho I think you already know that one).
Shall we first have a look at the Pros and Cons of both these platforms – get that bit out of the way.
Shopify Pros and Cons
Shopify Pros 👍
- You know how much you’ll be paying every month.
- There is access to thousands of apps to improve your shop.
- There are plenty of themes to hopefully fit your brand.
- Shopify handles your hosting and security.
- It takes just a few minutes (so they say!) to launch your store.
- Dropshipping is rather simple with Shopify.
- The support is the best in the business (tho we struggled a little bit).
Shopify Cons 👎
- You don’t have as much control over your site with Shopify.
- Customization is better with other platforms like WooCommerce.
- You’re stuck with a monthly payment that’s only going to get higher.
- The majority of plugins cost money, and usually per month, so it racks up!
WooCommerce Pros and Cons
WooCommerce Pros 👍
- WooCommerce offers complete customization and control of practically everything.
- WordPress has a huge community online for support, including our WordPress Support.
- The themes and plugins are endless, since just about anyone can make and sell them online.
- Many of these plugins are free, such as printing, wholesale, labels on screen and more
- WooCommerce is simple to configure on WordPress.
- The WooCommerce plugin is free. Zero monthly cost.
- WordPress does have a bit of a learning curve.
- You may find that WooCommerce ends up being more expensive due to plugins, themes, and hosting.
- You’re stuck managing everything from hosting to security, and maintenance to backups.
WooCommerce & Shopify: What’s the difference?
When you search Google and others for reviews of WooCommerce and Shopify, you will find a lot of opinions from different business owners. While these insights can be helpful, the truth is that whether you choose WooCommerce vs Shopify will boil down to a few core differences, and personal choices.
For instance, the main difference between WooCommerce and Shopify is that Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce solution designed to give you everything you need to get started online.
Shopify takes the complications and technical parts out of running an online business, replacing them with easy-to-use tools. Your Shopify store can be set up and running really quickly. However, this also means that you’re not going to get as much granular control over your site. This means if you want to change the size of images, border colouring, layout changes and so on, most themes are “fixed”. You either like it all, or you don’t. If you don’t, you cannot change minor aspects of it.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for more customization options, WooCommerce is a self-hosted software for eCommerce – you have to get the hosting sorted out (which is super easy if you hire a web designer like us! This means that you can tap into the code and access various parts of your shop to get it just perfect for you.
You can also run your Shop with your WordPress blog, seamlessly. As well as other aspects of website from pages to other content. For example: if you wanted to design a page, with icons, and images in certain places, you can do that super easy in WordPress, with the right Theme – and…. (cough cough) the right designer making it magical for you.
However, when you compare Shopify vs WooCommerce, remember that the freedom that you get from WooCommerce comes at a price. Paying a design agency like us to do all this for you – however that removes the stress of the design work. It’s handed over to you on a plate, and you just ask for tweaks here in there in design, which 99% of the time, can all be done.
If you’re starting out with a beginner, and you don’t want to look at things like web hosting and hosting provider details, and you are open minded to a fixed theme, then Shopify is a good choice.
But if you want more freedom to experiment with your site, and you already like using WordPress, opt for WooCommerce.