We are gathered here today to answer the age-old questions that e-commerce website owners and small businesses have been asking for years. Who wins the age-old battle of Woocommerce vs Shopify? Both platforms undoubtedly have their strengths and weaknesses yet both are relatively simple to use and if you are looking for a do it yourself approach to small business web design then either platform could be a fantastic fit. Within this article, we will dive into the pros and cons of each platform and the various costs of Shopify and Woocommerce for your small business.
Shopify vs Woocommerce – Designs features
Shopify is well renowned for having a fantastic set of design features and templates that can be simply dragged and dropped into a small business owners Shopify store within seconds. The Shopify store has a vast combination of both paid and free templates with the store boasting over 54 different design templates where ten of them are completely free to use once signed up to Shopify. Each theme also has unique variations within each theme to add to the level of variety for Shopify users. The sleek looking designs are completely 100% mobile friendly and have been tailored to cater for shops of all sizes.
The website above is a T-shirt website that I have designed using Shopify. The Salubrious Designs website took little to no time to design once I had the images that I wished to use and I found that Shopify was incredibly versatile when it came to integrated with a variety of external services which we will cover later on in this blog. Although with all of these features in mind we can’t escape the main drawback for Shopify, which is that some themes can be a little pricey and at the end of the day every man and his dog is using the free theme options on Shopify. This leads to a lot of front end stores looking the same at the end of the day.
What about the Woocommerce review?
With a few of the design limitations of Shopify in mind lets dive head first into the realm of Woocommerce. One of the main benefits of using Woomerce is that you have so many incredibly powerful design tools at your finder tips ranging from WordPress based integrations to Woocommerce product blocks that increase the level of flexibility with your designs. If you can dream up a designs odds are you will be able to design it with a combination of Woocommerce and WordPress with a simple and easy to use visual canvas. If you haven’t really got the time to design a fully customised design WordPress has a large variety of themes that work seamlessly with Woocommerce. Now when I say a large variety I mean literally thousands of theme options with quite a few of them being completely free to use.
Shown above is the incredibly popular X Store theme that is integrated with WordPress and Woocommerce. The theme features a sleek eye-catching design with a landing page tailored to drive customer conversions. If would like to see a few more themes that Woocommerce has to offer Colorlib has produced a fantastic post on the 51 best Woocommerce themes for small businesses that are definitely worth checking out if you are still deciding whether Woocommerce or Shopify is the best fit for your business.
Who wins the design round?
When it comes to design I would have to say that Woocommerce wins this one, hands down. This is due to the high level of flexibility when it comes to design integrations combined with the limitations of the Shopify store.
Woocommerce vs Shopify – Cost
When you are looking to start out within the realm of business money is an incredibly important factor to consider as money saved here may be able to be used to further your business’s social media marketing strategy or website SEO. With this in mind, let’s jump into the brass tax here discover the cost of Shopify and Woocommerce.
The cost of Shopify
When it comes to comparing the cost of Shopify they operate on a pretty common multi-tiered level with the Basic Shopify tier being the most popular with small business owners. Shopify will include an all in one package for small business owners to jump online for a very competitive price. The cheap price of $29 per month will supply you with the ultimate out of the box solution for your online store including SEO, SSL certification, domain registration and hosting.
The platform will also cater for the processing and security of payments and storing credit card information. Even though Woocommerce does have this feature built in you will need to also integrate other payment gateways such as stripe to effectively cater for online payments. As a website designer myself building with Woocommerce I usually will look to charge up to $200 a month for the complete design and the e-commerce integrations within an all-inclusive website package.
The cost of Woocommerce
When you are looking to design with Woocommerce you will need to set up your website on WordPress. This will require you to purchase the domain name, add a hosting account, and to purchase an SSL certificate. To sum up, everything that you will need for your Woocommerce website lets take a look at the table below.
Listed above is a set of website packages that I provide to local customers that are looking to jump online with a Woocommerce website. The CarePlan on the right-hand side is an accurate representation of the costs of Woocommerce if you choose to design the website yourself. This price covers hosting, SSL certification, domain registration and regular website maintenance. If you would like to move down the do it yourself route you can use a combination of Godaddy (for domain registration and website maintenance) and Hostgator (for hosting) to get your website online for as little as $50 per month. One important thing to note is that there is a small transaction fee for processing the payments within Woocommerce. These fees usually sit around the mark of 2-3% of the cost.
Who wins the cost round?
When weighing up the costs of each platform it’s hard to overlook the all in one package that is supplied by Shopify and its ease when it comes to jumping online as quick as possible. In relation to being the cheapest Shopify wins hands down although it is essential that you keep in mind ways to scale your business online without just using Shopify as the main platform.
Woocommerce vs Shopify – Usability
When you are just starting out within the online realm the usability of the platform is essential to consider if you are considering building out the website on your own. When it comes to the usability of these two e-commerce platforms both definitely have their pros and cons so let’s dive into them now.
Shopify is a platform that has been developed with the main goal of providing a simplistic way for small businesses to start building their businesses online. This is shown by a large number of Shopify training videos online produced by Shopify themselves. The Shopify dashboard has an advanced setup wizard that streamlines the online store creation process and you can literally have your store online within minutes.
The video above shows an advanced tutorial that will guide you through every step when it comes to setting up your Shopify store. Once you progress through the Shopify store the backend working of the store is very seamless and you can add your products with ease. This can all be achieved without chopping and changing between multiple plugins.
During my experience in web design, I have found that Shopify often collaborates a lot more with print on demand services. If your business model is solely relying on a print on demand business model then in some cases Shopify may be your only option.
On the front end, Woocommerce is quite often just as easy to use as Spotify especially considering all of the fantastic integrations with Elementor and Beaver Builder. Although I wish I could say the same when it comes to setting up your store on the backend. Unfortunately, in order to effectively process payments and to create various product functionalities, a variety of plugins may need to be used. This forces you to have to chop and change between different plugin dashboards during the setup process which can be pretty frustrating. Fortunately, there are some fantastic videos out there that will recommend a specific set of plugins and they will often step you through using each one.
The video above will effectively step you through setting up Woocommerce and adding your first product to the platform. Some of the main usability strengths with Woocommerce will always be its integration with a variety of WordPress plugins. This allows the design process to become very visual and often much more flexible when compared to Shopify.
Who wins the usability round?
When it comes to usability it’s hard to beat the incredibly powerful Shopify setup wizard and the simplistic drag and drop approach that Shopify has adopted for its design. That said if Woocomerce is effectively integrated with Elementor or Beaver builder than from a front end perspective the design process will have a higher chance of looking exactly the way that you want it to.
Shopify vs Woocommerce – SEO
When it comes to developing a website for your small business SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) will be one of the most important factors that you will need to consider. Each platform has its own unique way of catering for SEO and one of them will have a hell of a lot more power then the other one when it comes to really establishing your digital fo0tprint.
When it comes to SEO if you have a set few keywords in mind and your website will be more of a set it and leave it option then Shopify will definitely be your go-to here. The Shopify platform is renowned for having very clean code and interlinking structures as well as boasting an incredibly fast website load speed. What it really boils down to is if you create fantastic content and you have clarity around which keywords you wish to rank for then Shopify will be all you need.
This will include establishing a great website structure and ordering your pages in a way that is best optimised for achieving the best user experience possible. If you are looking for a step by step guide for Shopify SEO Optin Monster has written a fantastic article outlining the process.
Woocommerce has the huge benefit of integrating with WordPress which is one of the most popular content management platforms in the world. WordPress integrates with a fantastic free plugin called Yoast. Yoast has even designed a custom Woocommerce integration for the plugin that is designed to specifically optimise product pages.
The setup wizard will step you through the process of effectively setting up your websites SEO as well as optimising your website for search engine indexing by creating custom sitemaps. The WordPress integration will also allow you to treat your website like a content management system. This makes creating new content that is optimised for SEO an incredibly easy task once you have the workflow down pat.
Who wins the SEO round?
If you are looking for a set it and leave it approach for your website SEO then Shopify will be your best option due to the clean coding structure and the incredibly fast website load speed. If you would much rather treat your website like a growing brand where you can create content that is designed to solve a specific problem for your customers then Woocommerce will be a much better fit due to it being built on the backbone of a content management system.
Woocommerce vs Shopify – Who Won?
If you are on the lookout for a simple out of the box solution then Shopify will be the best bet for your business. The platform is fantastic in relation to usability and SEO, which in most cases will more than compensate for its shortcoming within other areas of design. The Shopify platform will have you up and running with your website all within a short afternoon session on the platform. Just keep in mind that when it comes to establishing your brand over the long term you may need to migrate to a platform with more functionality in order to better serve your customers.
I hope that this article on Woocommerce vs Shopify has helped you make a decision on which platform will be the best fit for your business. If you have any questions feel free to add them to the comments section below. We own and operate an organic seo studio so feel free to reach out if you have any questions at all related to website design or SEO.