Is Shopify good for a blogging website
Shopify vs WordPress - The Shop System Comparison 
Retail sales in e-commerce will be low by 2021 $ 5 trillion appreciated, and thanks to platforms like Shopify and WordPress it is now easier than ever to create your own online store. But which platform is the right one for your company? Shopify or WooCommerce?
In this post we will Shopify vs WordPress compare them, highlight the advantages and disadvantages and make recommendations.
Shopify is a special e-commerce platform that helps you create your own online shop. She hosts your site for you and gives you all the tools you need. In contrast, WordPress is an open source platform. You'll need to host your own website and install plugins like WooCommerce for ecommerce tools.
Both are Goliaths when it comes to webshop / website creation, but they meet very different needs.
To help you decide which is the right platform for you: Shopify or WordPress - I will show you everything that is important in this post.
We've researched and tested tons of platforms independently, including these two, and are now in the perfect position to share our findings with you.
By the end of this guide, you will know what the main differences are and have a clear idea of whether Shopify or WordPress is the best choice for you.
What's the difference between Shopify and WordPress?
Shopify is a so-called 'Website Builder'. So, to understand what Shopify is, we first need to know what a website builder is.
A website builder is an online tool that helps people with limited or no technical knowledge build their own website. They then pay a small fee to the Website Builder platform every month to keep their website alive.
Shopify was specially developed for e-commerce, so it is only ever used for creating online stores (as opposed to blogs or online résumés).
WordPress is a little different. It exists in two forms - WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is known as a blogging platform that works in the same way as a website builder and allows you to easily create your own website. WordPress.org is self-hosted software that is far more technologically advanced.
With WordPress.org you can build just about any type of website - including online stores - so it's this version of WordPress that we're going to be comparing to Shopify.
Amazingly, WordPress.org is the driving force behind almost one Third of all websites on the internet. On the other hand, there is Shopify - a world-renowned e-commerce platform that is used by large companies and celebrities alike and across the board overall 600,000 online shops operates.
Shopify is designed to help people start their own online stores, meaning it has all the tools you could need right at your fingertips. Unlike Shopify, WordPress isn't set up specifically for ecommerce, but there are some great plugins you can install to start selling online - we recommend the WooCommerce plugin to turn your WordPress site into an online one -To transform shop.
To set up a shop with Shopify, all you have to do is create an account, choose a theme, add your products and you're good to go. In contrast, WordPress takes a bit more time. You'll need to find a hosting first, then install themes and plugins to get started and customize your website.
Shopify vs WordPress - Pros and Cons compared
Shopify vs WordPress - Ease of Use
The coding is the biggest difference when it comes to Shopify vs. WordPress. With Shopify, you can create and customize your online store without knowing a single line of code.
At the beginning you tell Shopify a little bit about your current position - whether you already sell online or in person and, if so, how high your current sales are.
From here you can access the Shopify dashboard. Think of it like your control room, from which you can manage everything related to your online shop. There are even prompts and tips so you know how and where to start.
Adding products is really easy too. You can either add them individually - by uploading your product photos and adding descriptions, prices and variants - or in bulk by importing an existing CSV file with all of your product information.
The interface is similar to a Word document, so don't get stuck entering information. And even if you do, there is always support.
WordPress is a bit more complex. To get started, you need to know how to program - if only at a basic level - to use the platform.
It's also not inherently set up to sell online, so you'll need to install a plugin to make your website ecommerce ready. There are plenty of ecommerce plugins for that - like WooCommerce, Ecwid, and BigCommerce - so it's important that you spend some time researching them before deciding which one to use.
Like Shopify, WordPress has its own centralized dashboard that you can use to manage your website. Because WordPress is such a huge platform, it can get a little overwhelming as there are just so many tools and options.
It's pretty easy to create content and add products, but when it comes to customizing the look of your page things can get a little tricky.
It is best if you either spend a lot of time learning all the tricks and tweaks of the WordPress industry, or if you pay a developer to help you - even if they can charge you fees that will open your eyes.
Shopify is hands down the easiest platform to use. Unlike WordPress, you don't need to understand the code or install additional software that allows you to sell online. All necessary e-commerce functions are integrated with Shopify.
Shopify vs WordPress? - expenditure of time
The construction time is directly linked to the ease of use. Of course, the easier a platform is to use, the faster you can set it up.
Shopify is hands down the faster option when it comes to building an online store. It's a website builder specially designed to help you create an ecommerce website.
Shopify is not suitable if you don't want to sell online. So, if all you need is a regular personal or business website - and you value your time - something like Wix or Squarespace is far better suited.
WordPress gives you the ability to create both e-commerce and non-commerce websites. However, setup time is longer for two main reasons:
First, WordPress is much more technical and therefore more difficult to work with. You will also need to install additional ecommerce plugins if you want to create an online shop.
Second, you have to set up things like web hosting and a domain name separately.
Templates and themes in the shop system
Templates (often referred to as themes) are the basic layout of your website. Think of it like a PowerPoint design where you choose how you want your slides to look before adding the content.
Shopify has over 70 themes for you to choose from.
10 of these themes are free, while the other 60+ start from € 140. That sounds steep, but it's a one-time investment that will bring your website to life.
This means that the layout of your website automatically adapts to the different screen sizes when you surf with your mobile phone or tablet.
When it comes to choice, WordPress blows Shopify out of the water. WordPress offers over 1,000 themes - and only for e-commerce!
There are many other themes that are either provided by plugins themselves or created by third-party developers.
With so much to choose from, it's inevitable that some WordPress themes will be better than others. Not all of them are responsive to the phone, and those not designed by WordPress itself can collide with the platform when updates roll around.
For this reason, we recommend using one of WordPress' own ecommerce themes. You can also customize them to your heart's content. If you have in-depth knowledge of programming, there is almost limitless control over the aesthetics of your site.
Ultimately, Shopify vs. WordPress themes come down to whether you want simplicity or customization. Shopify’s themes are responsive and out-of-the-box, but the choices are limited and there is only so much that can be edited. WordPress themes vary in quality, but you can customize anything. For us it's a tie.
E-commerce tools and functions
Tools and features are the meat and bone of an ecommerce website. They are what help you market and sell your products.
Shopify has its own ecommerce tools that you can take advantage of, while WordPress relies on ecommerce features provided by third party plugins.
Shopify allows you to sell an unlimited number of products on any pricing plan. You can also sell both physical products and digital downloads.
All major marketing, shipping, inventory, and analytics tools are built in, with alternative or more advanced versions of each being offered on the Shopify app store at an additional cost.
Shopify has hundreds of ecommerce features. We'll take a closer look at the main ones and explain why they are so important:
- Abandoned Cart Recovery - Set up your website so that customers who leave your website with items in their shopping cart will receive an email reminder before they check out.
- Discount codes - Create unique codes that customers can use at your checkout to withdraw funds. These are also great for email marketing.
- Multi-channel integration - Don't limit yourself to your website, but sell directly on the most important social media platforms and global marketplaces, such as Facebook and Amazon.
To clarify: WordPress initially has no e-commerce functions. These must be added via third-party plugins.
With each plugin offering tons of different ecommerce features, it's impossible to tell what your particular website might be. To give you a taste of what to expect, here's what WooCommerce can offer:
- Sell unlimited products, both physical and digital.
- Built-in blogging option
- Product reviews and ratings
- Sorting and filtering products
Shopify vs WordPress: Ecommerce Tools and Features
WordPress only beats Shopify on tools and features. You can look around for a plugin that tick all the boxes that you are looking for and install it. However, you will have a hard time finding a lot that you can't do with Shopify - almost anything you can think of is covered by one tool or app.
Payment options and transaction fees
The way you accept payments could mean the difference between selling and not selling. It is important to present the most popular options to your customers.
Shopify supports 100+ different payment gateways, including all of the big hits: PayPal, Stripe, Square, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay. It also has its own payment gateway - Shopify Payments - which can process orders in most major currencies. The benefit of choosing Shopify Payments is that you won't be charged any additional transaction fees. With the other payment gateways, you can expect fees of between 0.5% and 2% per transaction, depending on which Shopify pricing plan you choose.
Similar to the e-commerce functions, the WordPress payment options are provided through its plugins. WooCommerce, Ecwid, and WP E-Commerce all cover most of the major gateways, and you won't be charged anything on top of your own transaction fee.
Shopify vs WordPress: Payment Options and Transaction Fees
It's another tie, this time on payment options and transaction fees. While Shopify is the best solution in terms of payment options, there are additional fees if you use anything other than Shopify Payments. None of the WordPress plugins can compete with Shopify in terms of payment options, but there are no additional fees.
What's better for SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO for short) is the process of increasing the visibility of your website in search engines like Google and Bing by optimizing certain aspects of the website.
With Shopify, you can do this in a number of ways, including adding specific titles and descriptions that appear in the search results for each website (metadata), and tweaking your URLs and the structure of your website so that they are easier for search engines to understand are, or 'crawl'.
There are a number of other nice SEO features out there, but we're not going to get bogged down with them here. Instead, you should check out the Shopify SEO Review for a full breakdown of what exactly you can and can't do to optimize your site.
WordPress SEO, you won't be surprised to find out, is done through external plugins. The most popular SEO plugin for WordPress is Yoast, which can be used either for free or for € 69 to get the advanced features.
Shopify vs WordPress: SEO
Another area, another win for Shopify, with its SEO tools. Not only is most of its SEO capabilities built in, you can also install SEO-specific apps if you want to do something more advanced. There is a widespread belief that website builders are bad for SEO, but Shopify is forcefully dispelling this myth.
Is there ongoing maintenance?
Both Shopify and WordPress will do their own routine updates.
While using Shopify, this happens automatically and will not affect you in the least. However, it's something you may need to keep an eye out for with WordPress.
The main WordPress software, themes, and plugins can all be updated at different times, and if you're not using a theme or plugin created by WordPress itself, you can lose track of things.
Think of it like paying your bills. If you live in rented accommodation and have your bills included, you don't need to worry about the individual cost of each utility. However, it can become more difficult to manage bills when you have to manage water, heating, and electricity separately.
To avoid the hassle, we recommend using a hosting provider who will take care of the updates for you. Bluehost was at the forefront of our hosting research for WordPress websites, offering one-click installs and automatic daily updates.
The same goes for the security of your website. With Shopify you get an SSL certificate that is included in every package and protects you and the data of the visitors to your site. This is one more thing that you need to research and pay for individually on WordPress.
Shopify vs WordPress: Ongoing Maintenance & Security
Shopify retains its dominance over WordPress and wins the ongoing maintenance round. Shopify and WordPress both strive to make their platform perfect, so updates are inevitable - the difference is that you need to stay on top of the updates from WordPress, while those from Shopify don't require further thought.
Help and support for customers
Shopify's customer help is second to none. You can get help 24/7 in a variety of ways, including by phone, email, live chat, and through the on-site Shopify Help Center.
In addition, Shopify Plus plan customers get access to their own Merchant Success Manager, who is responsible for constantly looking after you.
WordPress is different in that there is no direct help. There are only resources, such as forums, that provide assistance.
As we know, WordPress is a far more technical platform, and as such, it doesn't assume that users need to hold their hand. It's free too, so you don't pay to get quality service.
There is a wealth of information online about WordPress, but you have to sift through some 'fake news' to find the really helpful stuff.
Shopify vs WordPress: Customer Help & Support
Shopify conveniently takes advantage of the Help and Support category. There may not be the level of information online about WordPress, but there is no substitute for personal, dedicated help. The sheer number of ways you can contact Shopify for assistance makes it the obvious winner.
Shopify vs WordPress - Cost
Cost is one of the most important factors when deciding whether to invest in anything, and choosing between Shopify and WordPress is no different.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial and three main plans, along with Shopify Lite (which you can use to set up a Facebook shop) and Shopify Plus (an enterprise-level plan that sells on an offer basis).
99% of you are probably best served with one of the three main plans, so we'll discuss that. Below is a breakdown of the pricing and the savings you can get on each plan if you choose to extend the term:
10% or 20% might not sound like a lot, but those savings can add up very quickly. For example, if you signed up for the Advanced Shopify plan, you would be $ 358.80
save if you register for a year in advance and € 1,435.20 if you register two years in advance. This is an easy savings for businesses when they are doing well with Shopify and have a stable business. A little planning ahead can save a huge amount of money.
Most small retailers will find Shopify Basic perfectly adequate. You get access to all topics, use the same editor, get 24/7 support and have most of the e-commerce functions.
The benefit of upgrading to the Shopify plan is that in addition to all of this, you have a detailed reporting tool and abandoned cart recovery. Two massive bonuses for every deal.
The Shopify Enhanced Plan goes a step further by getting you involved in enhanced reporting and real-time shipping.
For us, the Shopify plan is the best value for money at € 79 / month. Just recovering from an abandoned shopping cart can help you recoup the € 50 difference in upgrade costs per month.
The use of WordPress, on the other hand, is completely free. But don't be fooled, it's far from free once you're on your feet.
On the other hand, the WordPress ‘WooCommerce plugin is free to use. Ecwid also has a free plan, but you can only sell unlimited products with Ecwid Unlimited, which costs € 99 / month.
A great way to look at Shopify vs. WordPress in terms of cost is with the hotels.
Shopify is the all-inclusive package that seems more expensive at first, but once you're there everything you need is included. WordPress is the more budget-friendly option to start with, until you realize you have to pay for everything from food and drink to sunbeds on the beach.
Shopify vs WordPress: Final Thoughts
Shopify is a popular ecommerce builder that is solely used to help people create their own online stores. On the flip side is WordPress, which requires a plugin like WooCommerce to sell online but gives you total flexibility about your shop. It's a powerful platform, especially if you have some technical know-how.
Shopify vs. WordPress is a huge battle between two web building heavyweights. Shopify is an ecommerce website builder that allows you to build an online store without being a master of the code.
That makes Shopify perfect for beginners and time-sensitive startups, while WordPress takes a little more time and effort to set up. Knowing the code is a benefit that unlocks a better level of customization, which makes WordPress ideal for ambitious and tech savvy salespeople.
WordPress is free, but you have to pay for hosting, as well as any premium themes or plugins that you want to use for your store.
This makes WordPress pretty hard to budget for as there are no fixed prices, but it does mean you can control your own costs. Meanwhile, Shopify has three top pricing plans for you to choose from, starting at $ 29 per month.
We recommend Shopify if
You have limited technical knowledge and want to create your own online shop. It's easy to keep track of your budget as everything from your hosting and security to extra features is included in one monthly fee.
We recommend WordPress if
You have some form of programming skills or the budget to pay for a developer's help. You get total control over customizing your site and have an almost endless number of options when it comes to themes and plugins. However, you have to be willing to pay a lot for a top ecommerce site.
Which one you choose ultimately depends on your budget and your skills. For us, Shopify is the better overall platform for ecommerce websites. You have everything you need to be successful and grow, all wrapped up in one easy-to-use dashboard.
But don't just rush into making a hasty decision. Try Shopify and WordPress for free today and decide for yourself. Your own online shop is just a few clicks away.
FAQ - Frequently asked questions
What is the best WordPress ecommerce plugin?
In general, it depends on what you need from your online store. The best plugin we've come across so far is WooCommerce. Developed by the same company that created WordPress, it has a ton of useful features, doesn't charge any transaction fees of its own, and is free to use.
Do you have to pay to host with Shopify?
No! At Shopify, the hosting is taken over for you and made available as part of the monthly fee you pay for using the platform. It's the same for every website builder. It's just self-hosted platforms like WordPress that require you to get your own hosting separately.
What is the best hosting provider for WordPress?
Many web hosting providers have hosting specifically for WordPress websites. According to our research, Bluehost has the best WordPress hosting service, with features like one-click installs and automatic updates. Why not read more about the best WordPress hosting providers?
Can Shopify and WordPress be used together?
Yes! WordPress actually has a Shopify plugin. This allows you to use a Shopify theme on your WordPress site and gives you e-commerce functionality. You can also use it to link your WordPress site to Facebook and get 24/7 support, all for just € 9 / month.
If you are looking for a partner for advice, planning and implementation of your high-performance online shop, we will be happy to take care of your request. Get in touch with no obligation and describe your situation to us.
Thank you for your attention, see you soon!
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