WooCommerce Vs Shopify: Which One is Ahead of the Pack?

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[Guest post by Amanda Cline from Xicom Technologies]

E-commerce is a big business and has been dictating trends incredibly. E-commerce websites have been around for a while now and have really made an unconventional leap when it comes to claiming their fame among their users. It’s easy to become the part of an online retail space. With so many themes, extensions, and platform choices available, one can easily start selling products and services online. But, if you want something robust in less investment then you have two options: Shopify and WooCommerce.

In this article, I am bringing you a comparison between Shopify and WooCommerce. You can consider the comparison to dissect their features and functions. By the end of this post, you’d be able to make their decision on which platform you can invest your resources.

WooCommerce and Shopify: Basis

WooCommerce

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is basically a WordPress plugin and has been around for a while now. Installing this plugin one can conveniently turn their website into a fully-featured online store. As an open-source project from WordPress theme firm WooThemes, the plugin is also benefited from bespoke features, intuitive interface, and a simple representational state transfer (REST) application programming interface (API), which provides online merchants better ways to satisfy their shipping and oder fulfillment related needs.

Shopify

shopify

Shopify is an amazing platform that lets you build a dynamic e-commerce website. The platform is designed best and is one of the best cloud-hosted e-commerce solutions available today. Being a hosted solution, Shopify allows you host your online store on their servers and doesn’t provide you an access to its backend code. However, this might not be the problem of many retailers, you still have a lot of options to customize your website as per your needs.

WooCommerce and Shopify: Design

WooCommerce

As far as aesthetics is concerned, WooCommerce comes with a handy collection of themes where you simply need to invest some efforts to select the one which serves you better. Since WooCommerce is a plugin developed by WooThemes, you also need to purchase a theme affiliated with them. However, you also have the freedom to integrate the plugin with any existing theme. You are provided with 5 free themes, and the rest of them are available with one time fee that ranges between $79 to $39 coupled with Adobe Photoshop options. You can also choose to purchase all the themes at $399 to add an edge to your online business.

Shopify

One thing that makes Shopify truly stand out is its wonderful collection of free and paid designs. The platform boasts an outstanding selection of free themes, and you can also pay for them up to $150 to give them a professional touch. The templates please merchants due to their fashionable design, clean aesthetic, and coloring options.

Some functionalities are already built-in to the themes, so consider this aspect carefully while choosing your theme. The developer should be knowledgeable enough to unleash the full potential of platform’s ‘liquid’ language to introduce more changes to make their website unique. WooCommerce is based on PHP which has grown as a standard among PHP developers and other webmasters, thus making this plugin all the more attractive choice.

WooCommerce and Shopify : Price

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is available for free. If you own a WordPress powered website, you can easily add this plugin and start your online channel without breaking the bank.

Now, this will be sounding you good, but there is a flip side. To make the most out of this plugin, you need to take the help of different extensions that come with it.

The majority of these extensions are absolutely free and perform at par with Shopify. However, there are many useful apps available between 5$ to $500 a year, you can choose after analyzing your needs and budget.

You might look at them as additional expenses you need to bear to run your store, but they do offer a considerable amount of flexibility you need to give your channel a competitive edge. You can pay for exclusive features and uninstall the ones which don’t serve you any value.

Shopify

In terms of pricing, Shopify comes with a more comprehensive pricing structure. It is available in three packages- Basic ($29 per month), Professional ( $ 79 per month), and Unlimited ( $179 per month).

Shopify Pricing

You can choose any package based on your needs. Every package has its own set of features, facilities, and options to run your store. Also, being a hosted platform, any issues you may have related to payment process and hosting, it will be resolved as you login.

WooCommerce and Shopify: Flexibility

WooCommerce

One thing that most of the people love about WooCommerce is the level of customization ability it offers. The plugin is extremely helpful to beef up the front-end user experience and playing with back-end administrative tools to control the look and functioning of your website. Shopify, thought is a good option, but it is not as powerful as WooCommerce when it comes to managing robust features.

Shopify

Shopify is an easy to use platform but it restricts its users when it’s about customizing their website. It does provide them with a library of apps, but you still don’t have access to its backend make the out of this platform and make substantial number of changes you desire the most.

WooCommerce Vs Shopify: Content

WooCommerce outperforms Shopify when we talk about content effectiveness. Since, Shopify isn’t a blogging platform, so supporting different content is an ability you can’t expect from Shopify, though it handles some basic SEO practices. But, with WooCommerce, it’s absolutely easy to add and edit content as well as meta information to make sure your pages enjoy better ranking.

Conclusion

Both WooCommerce and Shopify have their own sets of qualities. And ultimately it boils down your needs which way you should go. If you don’t like to do much customization and like simple pricing structure then Shopify is a nice option. However, if you want more control then go for WooCommerce.

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  1. Nevertheless, Magento is a global leader, thats why MageCloud works on this platform. MageCloud is new hybrid model for both merchants and developers. The most advantage of it – your store will run on your own hosting environment that is 100% cloud based, private and secured. You are able to get an access to the store, do any modifications to the code and build your business the way you want it, using number of free themes and extentions. http://www.magecloud.net/

    • WooCommerce isn’t a “global leader”? Someone needs to re-check their numbers. WooCommerce has passed Magento already in “all website counts” and are right behind Magento in top 100k, 10k, and 1k site usage counts. Won’t be long till Magento is behind WooCommerce. I’d give it one or two quarters for 100k. Maybe a year on 10k and 1k

      • I don’t say it’s not. If we are speaking about USA, I agree that WooCommerce has passed Magento, but if to compare to the worldwide figures the situation differs.

        Please check http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=magento%2C%20woocommerce&cmpt=q&tz=
        Magento has the most feature-rich platform on the market. This requires a sophisticated codebase to accommodate the near-infinite amount of flexibility it offers. Also I’m not sure WooCommerce, by its own admission, is PCI-DSS compliant.
        After all, every platform has their own followers. And as I mentioned above, there is a new option for Magento lovers – MageCloud. It’s secured, fast and very easy to make use of and above all with the option to modify the code. I don’t know services similar to this, do you?

        • Google Trends is not a valid way to determine the usage of a platform. If a system called XCommerce was released tomorrow, and 50 million people were talking about how terrible it was, you would see 50 million in Google Trends, which has no bearing on the fact XCommerce probably has 0 users because it’s so terrible

          Instead, you need to use a system that actually calculates installs. One of the most reliable ones out there is BuiltWith, which aggregates data from Quanticast to determine users. You can then filter the data by country, industry, how large the site is, etc. http://builtwith.com/ecommerce/

          WooCommerce has already passed Magento in most of the filters possible (note BuiltWith is counting different major versions as seperate programs so you have to do WooCommerce + WooCommerce 2.2 + WooCommerce 2.3 in the pie chart). This isn’t suprising at all. WooCommerce has a much lower barrier to entry, and you can get almost any feature you can find on the Magento platform using the hundreds of addons designed for it. Also, since it’s based on WordPress, any extra features you need can be developed a tab bit easier.

          Now, if you’re asking if I’ve ever seen a hosted eCommerce service before like MageCloud, the answer is yes. There’s dozens of them. There’s so many of them you can actually make categories out of them. You can use anything from Shopify to the Rainmaker platform to (if you’re using WooCommerce) one of the dozens of hosted, managed WordPress services out there. WooCommerce is PCI-DSS compliant, if you use a PCI DSS complaint hosting provider

        • The problem is what metric do you use to say that any technology is the market leader. In number of installations, WooCommerce has surpassed Magento, but if we take into account that Alexa <100K are small eCommerce site which in most cases process a few orders per day, I'd say that would position Magento as market leader.

          But comparing Magento to WooCommerce is like comparing apples and peaches. Each platform as a different target and different value proposition.

          I'd say Magento is the market leader for medium to big sized eCommerce websites and WooCommerce is the market leader for small to medium sized eCommerces.

    • lol Magento is shit, probably the worst software platform out there. It is horrendously slow and a nightmare to work with.

  2. That’s a nice article, but why not look into something more advanced? We are using http://virtocommerce.com/ – it’s open code and works both for our B2B and B2C websites, I suggest you check it out.

  3. I agree that Shopify is the best choice for beginners. They
    have a very user-friendly back-end, and are putting a lot of efforts in
    marketing Shopify as a platform for “DIY e-commerce websites”. But if
    you have 50+ products and when your business is growing, Shopify could become
    quite expensive. At that point it’s better to spend some money on the
    development of WooCommerce-powered website than continue paying 180$ per month
    to Shopify.

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