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The Pros and Cons of Woocommerce vs. Shopify
Last Updated:  
November 3, 2022

The Pros and Cons of Woocommerce vs. Shopify

If you’re thinking about starting an online store, one of the first things to consider is the ecommerce platform. Woocommerce and Shopify are two of the top platforms worldwide, and each one offers benefits and drawbacks. 

The best platform for your situation will depend on what type of online store you want to start and your skills and experience. Keep reading for Triple Whale’s detailed take on Woocommerce vs. Shopify. 

Is Woocommerce or Shopify Better for Small Business?    

When choosing between Woocommerce or Shopify for your small business, personal skills and preferences will determine which one is the best bet. In general, Shopify is much easier to use; however, it doesn’t offer you full control over everything, your costs can add up quickly, and the upgrade options are limited. 

Woocommerce, on the other hand, provides complete control of your online store and costs much less, especially if you use a Woocommerce hosting company. With that said, it can take a bit of time and energy to learn how to use this platform effectively, and you must frequently update the software. 

For the most cost-effective solution and complete control of your store, Woocommerce is ideal. If you want an easy-to-use platform that allows for unlimited scalability, Shopify is the better option.

How Do I Know Which Service Will Be Best for Me?

As discussed, your skills and preferences will determine whether you should go with Woocommerce or Shopify. If you have experience with ecommerce, you may not have any issues by starting an online store with Woocommerce, which means you can take advantage of the control and lower costs of the open-source platform. 

If you have never tried your hand at ecommerce, consider going with Shopify. You don’t have to install anything to use Shopify, it’s easy to set up payments, and the pricing plans are straightforward. Plus, it tends to be easier to use.

What Is Woocommerce?

Woocommerce is an open-source plugin built for WordPress sites. Using Woocommerce means you can leverage a robust commerce management system (CMS) for operating your online store. WordPress powers 39.5% of all websites as the most popular website builder globally. And, contrary to popular belief, Woocommerce is the top ecommerce platform globally.

Open source means that you can easily customize each aspect of your online store and add many extensions. Moreover, even though there is a learning curve to Woocommerce, most small business owners navigate the challenges reasonably quickly. 

What Are the Pros of Woocommerce?

Since it is open-source, any user can alter code in Woocommerce. And if you are familiar with WordPress, you will find it easier than some to navigate the interface. 

Also, Woocommerce is 100% customizable. While other ecommerce platforms offer customization, the options in Woocommerce stand out from the crowd. 

There are thousands of themes available, and you can tailor any section (e.g., header, footer, checkouts, etc.) to your needs. This is one reason Woocommerce is an excellent choice for professionals and beginners.

Another advantage to Woocommerce is that it is more flexible than other options. Your online store will quickly adapt to the Woocommerce platform, no matter the market niche. And it also offers optimal security. 

Because of the regular software updates, the platform always stays a step ahead of cybercriminals. While the secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate or backup tools are not included, you can easily add them. 

Your customers will also be able to pay with peace of mind whether they are using a credit card, PayPal, Stripe, or other payment methods.

What Are the Disadvantages of Woocommerce?

Though there are many benefits, there are a couple of disadvantages to using Woocommerce. For one, the many plugins available for Woocommerce can hinder otherwise excellent performance. More experienced users will recognize subpar performance if they have installed too many plugins and extensions. It significantly slows downloading speed and overall performance, given the memory they consume. 

If you add functions to your Woocommerce site, do so through CSS, HTML, or jQuery. And if that is not possible, you can maintain good performance by keeping the plugins to a minimum. 

Woocommerce is a free platform, and most of the available widgets and add-ons are free. With that said, installing specific extensions can require immediate payment or for you to purchase a plan with monthly fees. 

What Is Shopify?     

Shopify is the second most popular ecommerce platform in the world. It is the easiest to use, making it ideal for beginners. The platform is also known for its clean and attractive templates and themes. 

What Are the Pros of Shopify?

The fact that Shopify is so simple to use makes it very appealing to a range of small business owners. If you have never opened an online store before, Shopify will allow you to do so with the least amount of headaches and stress involved. It also provides beautiful storefront themes that make your website look professional and unique.

Another one of Shopify’s most substantial aspects is the plugins it offers. More than 1,200 Shopify apps help you automate a slew of tasks, leaving you more time and energy to focus on marketing, boosting sales, and other essential responsibilities. 

And if you have any problems with your online store, this platform has a 24/7 support team that is second to none.

What Are the Disadvantages of Shopify?

If you are an experienced ecommerce entrepreneur and desire more functionality from your online store, you might find Woocommerce or another competitor to be the better option. Shopify does not offer as much customization. And when it comes to templates, Shopify offers only ten free ones. They charge a one-time fee for all other themes.

Moreover, you must pay for the Shopify apps you use. And, for your online store to have a chance of bringing you a profit, you will need to use these apps so that you don’t have to insert your data, consuming much of your time manually. Hiring someone to take care of data entry could cost more than the price of the apps. 

Is Shopify or Woocommerce More Expensive?

For most ecommerce business owners, the cost is the most critical factor when choosing a platform. Starting costs, add-on software, and services all play into the total amount you will pay. 

Generally speaking, Woocommerce is a less expensive option than Shopify. You can start an online store with Woocommerce for $2.75 per month. 

You will pay at least $9.00 per month to open a Shopify store.

Is Woocommerce or Shopify More Beginner-Friendly?

Shopify is the clear winner when it comes to user-friendliness. Many beginners can learn how to use Woocommerce, but it will still take time and effort that could otherwise be invested in running the business. 

The Shopify business model provides entrepreneurs an accessible platform for selling online products, regardless of experience. It doesn’t offer as much customization as Woocommerce, but the features it does offer are of high quality.

Does Woocommerce or Shopify Have a Faster Setup Time?

This is another area where Shopify shines. Shopify does not require installing, updating, or managing any software as a fully hosted platform. 

And security, backups, compatibility, or performance will not be an issue either. You simply create an account and choose a design for your online store before going through the top-notch onboarding process.

With Woocommerce, you are responsible for many more aspects of your online store. You must install the Woocommerce plugin, keep backups, manage updates, and ensure your website remains secure. 

Woocommerce also does not have a built-in drag and drop design builder like Shopify. Woocommerce offers a guided setup wizard to help new customers launch their stores, but it is not as fast and easy to use as Shopify.

Which Has Better Themes: Woocommerce or Shopify?

Most people would say that Shopify has the better themes. It comes with the sleekest and most polished templates of any ecommerce platform, and you can customize your themes by using code. 

That said, Woocommerce comes with limitless customization, but its themes are not up to par with Shopify.

Does Either Service Allow You To Change Themes Later On?

Shopify allows its users to customize its themes further, but not to the level of Woocommerce. The latter offers unlimited customization, not to mention about a thousand more ecommerce themes to choose from. 

However, keep in mind that Shopify is a designated ecommerce platform that prides itself on offering users attractive templates in every detail.

What Plugins Are Offered?

With a powerful API and an impressive app store, Shopify allows you to buy many different third-party add-ons for your online store. You can add any feature you wish through the hundreds of apps available in the store. 

For example, the OptinMonster will help you generate leads by minimizing cart abandonment and building your email list. You will also see plenty of Shopify apps related to discounts, countdowns, product reviews, search engine optimization (SEO), and more.

Because it is built on WordPress, Woocommerce has more than 59,000 free plugins available to go with many other paid plugins. 

If you need to boost lead generation, SEO, performance optimization, social media integration, payment gateways, or any other feature imaginable, there is a Woocommerece add-on for the job.

How Do Shopify and Woocommerce Compared Regarding Management of Inventory?

Woocommerce offers much flexibility with inventory management. You can create inventory reports and modify any product attributes you wish. But you will need third-party apps to get the most from your Woocommerce inventory management.

You also have complete control over your inventory tracking system by using Shopify. Included features allow you to keep track of stock, access stock alerts, automate purchase orders, easily create revenue reports, and many other tasks. 

Shopify also provides access to many inventory apps to help you seamlessly run your business.

The Bottom Line

There is a reason Woocommerce and Shopify are the top two ecommerce platforms worldwide. Each has pros and cons and can make for an excellent platform for an online store.

Consider the information above to determine which platform will best meet your needs. And don’t forget to look into Triple Whale to keep your data in one place, boost profits, and have faster scalability. Triple Whale currently integrates only with Shopify, to provide Shopify users the best look at their data. We are working on creating an integration with Woocommerce and plan to launch this sometime in the future.

Sources:

WordPress Powers 39.5% of All Websites | Search Engine Journal 

Shopify Pricing and Plans 2022: Which Plan Should I Pick? | NerdWallet 

How Many WordPress Plugins Should You Install? What's Too Many? | WPBeginner 

About the Author

Rabah Rahil

Live in Austin. Ride a @BoostedBoards. CMO at @TryTripleWhale. Marketing, Tech, Outdoors, Photography, Webdev and Stoicism.

Rabah Rahil

Live in Austin. Ride a @BoostedBoards. CMO at @TryTripleWhale. Marketing, Tech, Outdoors, Photography, Webdev and Stoicism.

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