WordPress vs Shopify: the 8 key differences
Every business enterprise seeks to create an online appearance for itself after surviving a tragic pandemic. In addition, the growth of the market and the pandemic have shifted the attention of shoppers to online shopping. By correspondence, you may be looking for an online solution for your e-commerce or online business.
The burning question is, what will be the best ecommerce platform for you? Like you, most entrepreneurs who come online are often faced with the dilemma of choosing between WordPress or any other dedicated ecommerce platform like Shopify for their business.
Therefore, in this article, we have tried to draw a fine line between WordPress and Shopify for your better understanding of these two platforms.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the largest open source content management system (CMS) that powers 42% of all websites in the world today. And since it’s an open source tool, it’s completely free.
Initially, WordPress started out as a blogging platform. But the emergence over the years has pushed WordPress to build and manage all types of websites. Specifically, the introduction of WordPress plugins and themes has had a significant impact on non-technical users choosing WordPress as their platform.
Another WordPress revolution is WooCommerce, using which you can build a fully functional eCommerce store without worrying about running a complex backend system. Since the inauguration of WooCommerce, WordPress has gained an influential place in the e-commerce niche.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a self-hosted web apps platform where you can build an online store without worrying about anything. It offers a wide range of customizable templates to meet the needs of each business. Therefore, logging in and building your website is as easy as playing a plug-and-play game.
Shopify hosts your website on its servers. Therefore, everything works in the cloud. Notably, Shopify is self-hosted, so you don’t need to buy a hosting solution. This is a Software as a Service (SaaS) tool, which means you do not fully own the software. You pay a particular amount of monthly or annual fee to use the software.
WordPress vs Shopify: the 8 major differences
WordPress and Shopify are two different emperors of two separate online niches. In the next part, we discuss some of the main differences between WordPress and Shopify.
Whether you want a magazine site, membership site, online store, or maybe a blog, WordPress can serve them all. Therefore, WordPress has versatile users each serving a different purpose. Moreover, it has a large ecosystem of themes and plugins, allowing you to develop any kind of website.
On the contrary, Shopify’s user base consists of entrepreneurs and eCommerce store owners because it is a store management system. Those who own or are considering having an online ecommerce store consider Shopify to be their platform of choice. Other than ecommerce users, other users don’t have a compelling reason to use Shopify.
The WordPress CMS is free. So, you don’t have to pay a single penny to use WordPress or WooCommerce. However, since the domain and hosting do not come with the WordPress package, you have to pay for them.
Although most WordPress plugins and themes in the WordPress repository are either completely free or come with a limited free version, you still need to purchase the premium version to access the advanced features.
On the other hand, Shopify comes with five different pricing plans. And its pricing plan covers everything for you as a user. So you don’t have to worry about other issues.
Templates and Themes
WordPress offers an unrivaled variety of themes. It provides over 8,800 themes for your website and over 1,500 e-commerce-only themes. Apart from that, there are many themes developed by third parties. However, considering the security and compatibility issues after updating WordPress, we suggest you use themes from WordPress.org.
On the other hand, Shopify offers a total of over 70 themes, including 10 free themes. The rest of the themes cost $ 140 or more.
The basic layout of WordPress and Shopify is almost the same. Both platforms come with a similar dashboard with a menu on the left side. You can select options and add, edit or delete items as needed using the menu.
Some users have confirmed that they find the Shopify interface a bit simpler and more contemporary compared to that of WordPress. However, WordPress offers more flexibility in customization as it comes with visual editor plugins like Elementor and Divi to customize your store or website to your liking.
Ease of use
Comparing the simplicity of Shopify, WordPress is relatively a bit complex to use. Since it is not specifically developed for building online stores, users need to install an ecommerce plugin like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, or Ecwid. Also, the main dashboard can feel a bit overwhelming for a newbie user as there are so many options and tools.
Adding products to your Shopify store is a straightforward process. The interface looks a lot like a Microsoft Word document. Users have to explain their activity to the system a bit and the system does the rest. There are two ways to download products: individually or in bulk.
Nowadays, a significant number of users browse from their mobile devices or tablets. In that case, a device responsive website is a must for you considering customer satisfaction.
Most WordPress themes are mobile friendly, although some don’t have this feature. On the other hand, all Shopify themes are mobile ready. However, you can use Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on both platforms to experience better mobile responsiveness.
Shopify is a precisely designed platform for ecommerce businesses and online stores, while WordPress serves a multipurpose interest. Therefore, Shopify has a slight edge in the ecommerce arena over WordPress.
Shopify has all the elements, themes, and everything else geared towards one goal: to provide you with a fully functional online store. While e-commerce is not the only concern of WordPress. To create an eCommerce store in WordPress, you need to install separate plugins (WooCommerce, BigCommerce, etc.).
Both platforms have multiple payment options integrated, and Shopify supports more languages. However, you can use multilingual plugins to use other languages on your WordPress site.
For dropshipping, WordPress has a native solution. On the other hand, Shopify integrates with Ordoro, eCommHub and Inventory Source for dropshipping.
Being a blogging platform has primarily made SEO a strong area for WordPress. The platform itself is SEO optimized. In addition, various SEO plugins like Yoast SEO and Rank Math provide you with great tips to achieve a strong position in the SERP.
Shopify’s SEO functionality is also pretty solid. For example, you can add meta titles, meta descriptions, and meta tags. You can also add 301 redirects and change the page URLs to suit your needs. Additionally, Shopify recommends SEO best practices when adding products to your website.
It’s now easier to choose between WordPress and Shopify
WordPress and Shopify both have their importance and weaknesses given your goals. So, considering the main differences between these two platforms, you can choose the one that best suits your needs. If you are not happy with any of them, there are other options on the market as well, such as Magneto and EDD.
While WooCommerce is a great plugin, an alternative option may better suit your business needs.
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