WordPress vs Shopify: which platform is better?

July 30, 2020
Shopyfy_vs_wordpress

If you’re setting up an e-commerce business, chances are you’ve been contemplating which is better: WordPress vs Shopify? The truth is both platforms have their merits and will be right for different people. However, WordPress is by far superior when it comes to customisation, design and flexibility. For this reason, we believe that WordPress is more often than not going to be the better option over Shopify, however it does depend on how many products you plan to sell.

Let’s take a look at a few of the pros and cons of each so you can decide for yourself whether WordPress or Shopify will be right for you.

1.     Understanding Shopify

In a way, Shopify is similar to the website building platform Wix—it has been designed specifically to allow merchants who have zero web development experience to build their own online stores without having to use coding. That said, those with coding skills will be able to customise more extensively as there is a feature to edit the HTML and CSS of your website. As a ‘hosted’ solution, everything is run from Shopify’s servers and the merchant selects from a range of templates that can be customised (to an extent) to reflect a business’s preferences and individual branding. On the Shopify platform you can sell either physical or digital products and they offer set pricing plans that you can choose from, depending on your needs.

Shopify pros

• Perfect for e-commerce users with little technical skill
• Competitive pricing structure
• Easy to set up
• 24/7 support via email, phone and live chat
• Shopify is largely responsible for the site’s security
• Hosting platform
• Ideal for the DIY route
• Great for e-commerce 100 - 1000 products

Shopify cons

• Even with coding experience, customisation is limited
• Templates are basic and can look unprofessional
• Templates make Shopify websites look similar
• Limited range of e-commerce options
• Ongoing fees

2.     Understanding WordPress

If you’re setting up an e-commerce business, chances are you’ve been contemplating which is better: WordPress vs Shopify? The truth is both platforms have their merits and will be right for different people. However, WordPress is by far superior when it comes to customisation, design and flexibility. For this reason, we believe that WordPress is more often than not going to be the better option over Shopify.

While definitely still accessible to people with little web development or coding experience, WordPress is often best navigated by professionals who can make the most of the flexibility to deliver a truly unique and customised e-commerce platform. With the option of hosted or self-hosted websites, WordPress allows you to build a website from scratch or choose from their extensive collection of customisable layouts. One important difference is that e-commerce functionality is integrated rather than being readily available the way it is in Shopify. In fact, you can choose to integrate Shopify into your WordPress website (or you may prefer Woocommerce or another third-party tool). WordPress fees are a little harder to identify because there are so many variables involved. Essentially, it will depend on the choices you make regarding hosting, templates, e-commerce integration and plugins.

WordPress pros

• Greater flexibility
• Much wider range of templates
• Add more functionality with an extensive range of plugins
• Choose the e-commerce integration that works best for you
• A more professional and polished finish
• Better SEO capabilities
• A superior content management system
• Great for e-commerce 1- 100 products
• No ongoing fees

WordPress cons

• Challenging to build without assistance or web development experience
• More expensive
• Hosting not included
• Requires technical maintenance to avoid hacking
• Not great for e-commerce if over 100 products

Conclusion

Have you made up your mind, WordPress vs Shopify?  Both website platforms are great depending on the project and it's requirements. Please don't fall into the trap of building a website on any platform without doing thorough due-diligence and research first. The last thing you want is to have to build the whole website again from scratch because the platform doesn't meet you requirements. This happens more than you realise, if you get stuck ask a professional.

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