While buying things online has been popular for some time now, in 2020 with the COVID-19 global pandemic taking over the planet, online shopping has become even more prominent. With many businesses shutting and people in lockdown to stop the spread of the virus, deciding to sell wares over the net has become a matter of not just choice but rather survival.
As a result, many who are choosing to set up an ecommerce site may be finding a choice is needed between Shopify and WordPress. While both are popular and effective, they are poles apart. So, which one is better? Stay with us and we’ll outline their main differences to better inform your choice to suit your business needs the best.
Key Points Of Difference
WordPress is an open source software program. There two types of WordPress at WordPress.com, and WordPress.org. The first is hosted by another entity and the latter, more popular one involves sourcing your own host and domain name as well as plugins such as WooCommerce. Setting up your online store with this one can be complex and can often involve developer and designer services.
Alternatively, Shopify is an online application developed for creating ecommerce sites at www.shopify.com. Here you sign up, create an account and then follow the easy setup steps. With Shopify you don’t need a high level of tech skills and building your online store is quick.
Let's Talk About The Pricing
Shopify costs anywhere between $9 and $299 per month and beyond. The relatively new Shopify Lite plan commences at $9 per month, next is the Basic Shopify plan for $29 per month which is a good choice for a new business as it includes all the basic features needed. Following on is the main Shopify plan for $79 per month and the Advanced Shopify plan for $299 per month. Additionally, the newest version/plan is the Shopify Plus offering which is the most expensive and is quoted and priced case by case.
Costing WordPress isn’t as straightforward as there are variables. While the downloadable software is free, you’ll need to first pay for web hosting and a domain name and then the program will cost you around $5 per month. However, there are added costs such as web design and designer fees, paying for developer to help with coding plus any integrations/plugins carrying different prices that your store may need to run well. Add all these add up so WordPress ends up generally more expensive than the basic Shopify programs.
SEO And Content
With Shopify SEO is simple and reliable. SSL can be accessed for security keeping Google happy enough to give your site good search rankings and XML sitemaps don’t need to be created as these are automatic with around 301-page redirects. There is also excellent Shopify editing to realise own business SEO strategies.
With WordPress you’ll find excellent SEO options. Choosing to use the Yoast tool with WordPress is good as it will comb through an entire site, analyse the data then show a business how to better search engine search results/rankings. Yoast will also search and highlight any duplicate content.
Positives And Negatives Snapshot
- Coding or tech expertise is not needed to set up
- Security, hosting and many sales tools are all included
- Unique discount codes can be created for customers to use at checkout these are also good for digital marketing
- Multi-channel integration enables selling directly across social media platforms and marketplaces such as Facebook and Amazon
- Tracking and arranging inventory is effectively managed
- All product information can be added easily individually by uploading pics and adding descriptions, prices, and variants, or in bulk, by importing a CSV file with all info
- Customer accounts can be set up for easy information flow such as contact details and reviews
- Products can be organised via tools so shoppers can find and purchase easily
- Blogs and new web pages can be created easily and added increasing search engine ratings
- Tracking tools and abandoned cart recovery make order follow up easy including those not completed at checkout
- Large number of different payment gateways are available
- Several administration logins can be created at once
- Transaction fees are charged if the Shopify’s payment gateways are not used
- Content may need to be designed if you want an individual look
- Using a non-expensive WooCommerce plugin with WordPress enables the same features as Shopify
- Messages to customers can be sent via pre-programmed email templates while they are on their buying journeys
- Customisation is made easy because of the flexibility of this platform
- Customer addresses can be tracked via geo-location tools
- Local delivery and collection made easy via shipping and pricing variant options
- Offers can be sent to your customers via discount coupon templates
- Customers can review products easily via review tools
- Analytical tools and integrations that easily connect with other search engine analytic tools such as Google
- Excellent tech skills are needed to use this platform properly
- Pricing becomes easily expensive
- Web hosting, domain name and security etc. does not come with WordPress
Shopify or Wordpress: Preferences
- Need a tailored solution – Easy to use and can be customised to meet the needs of different ecommerce businesses
- Not techy – Exceptional tech and coding knowledge are not needed to set up
- One stop shop –Setting up online shop is easy, especially when shipping, pricing and organising product and in-depth inventory is required as these are all built into Shopify
- On a budget – Shopify is made to be affordable with a starter rate of just $9 a month
- No own website – Creating a Shopify store does need a separate website
- You have a retail location –A real store location can easily be integrated with your online Shopify ecommerce site
- Customer support is important – With Shopify you’ll get 24/7 customer support
- No money constraints – Paying for various things such as hosting and plug-ins to get access to Ecommerce services, SEO and social media features are required with this program
- Design is important – A designer will be needed to make your ecommerce store look amazing
- You enjoy tech – Connecting to servers, editing PHP files and experimenting with coding comes easily or there is a budget to work with a developer to set up your WordPress site
- Already have a WordPress website – Knowing how to work with this interface already will make setting up your online store easier and possibly cheaper.
- Customer support is not important – WordPress does not offer immediate customer support
Shopify VS Wordpress: More Analysis
As we always say do not rush into choosing either application or any other platform for that matter. Do your research first and consider what your business needs. Talk to people in the know especially any developers or friends that have recently set up an online store.
As we all know businesses come in all shapes and forms, so while we couldn’t possibly list all the types of businesses and which platform to go for, we can broadly summarise. We can say WordPress is good for a business that needs a flexible and blog-style website format first and ecommerce functions second and that Shopify is perfect for businesses which require a high level of ecommerce acumen and a 24/7 support network assistance.
Both Shopify and WordPress are popular in the ecommerce realm because of common reasons including providing free SSL certificates, a variety of services, features/add-ons, and solutions. Additionally, for new retailers they both offer a free incentive such as a free trial with Shopify and free downloadable software with WordPress. Individually, however, Shopify offers numerous coding and payments options while WordPress is all about flexibility and adaptability.
Technologically speaking Shopify is the one to choose if you are unsure of the ways of the internet and coding; it’s simple, saves on setup time and includes most things like hosting and security. It also offers approximately 70 design themes (ten of which are free) to choose from. WordPress is the one for you if you can code and want to be in total control of how you would like your ecommerce to look. The ability to purchase different plug-ins to enhance your website also makes WordPress flexible but a more expensive option.
For many start-ups Shopify is generally the one to choose because it is one of the most simple website building tools. But for some more complex new businesses WordPress may suits their needs better because it is made to build all types website online. Overall, we can say choose Shopify if you are a beginner predominantly ecommerce business and choose WordPress if you have more experience, time and money to invest into your store.