Shopify or WooCommerce: Which One is Better for Online Merchants?

Are you a startup who has finally decided to embark on building an online store?

But you are confused between Shopify and WooCommerce.

Every online merchant wants a feature-rich, flexible, and budget-friendly platform. The competition between both is quite close and you will know in this article which one will be the ultimate winner. We have tried to portray maximum differences between the two so making the decision easier.

Let’s begin!

Shopify’s Total Revenue WorldWide from 2015 to 2019.

 Source: Statista

Shopify generated $ 900 milion+ revenue in merchant solutions last year and have witnessed rapis sales growth.


This is an image that clearly depicts how many websites are using WooCommerce.

How did it all begin?

Shopify History

In the year 2004 three Canadian friends Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake

started selling snowboarding equipment online by opening a store called Snowdevil.

Later Lutke, a computer programmer build an e-commerce platform of his own. After two months of development, Snowdevil was released. Two more years later in 2006, the platform hosting Snowdevil was launched as Shopify.

WooCommerce History

WooCommerce was developed by WordPress subject designer WooThemes. Two designers of Jigowatt are Mike Jolley and James Koster progressed to create WooCommerce. In November 2014, the first every WooConf focussed on web-based business utilizing WooCommerce.

Few Shopify Facts

  • You don’t have to be an expert to use Shopify
  • Highly flexible and easy to use platform.
  • Multiple adds on available to customize the user’s experience
  • More than 100 free and customized Shopify themes available.
  • Shopify has a huge database of Shopify experts
  • The first-ever brick and mortar forefront store was built in October 2018 in Los Angeles.

Few WooCommerce Facts

  • Currently, 3.8 Million+ websites are using WooCommerce
  • WooCommerce plugin has 86.3 million downloads and still counting
  • WooCommerce has 331 official plugin extensions
  • 93.7% of WordPress stores consider WooCommerce
  • WooCommerce powers more than 29.16% of all the online stores

How Both the Platforms Approach Ecommerce?

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform this means that all the store files are on your server itself. You can customize anything in the store as per your requirement.

On the contrary, Shopify is hosted. Shopify hosts as well as manage the software for its users. It also offers a lot of flexibility and you are restricted to make the customization that only Shopify allows you.

Now, we will be discussing their difference in detail.

1. Usability

Shopify: Easy usability is by far one of the major reasons why online merchants love Shopify. Anyone from a beginner to a pro can simply add products, create discounts, and process orders. It offers the best comprehensive solution with no technicalities related to hosting and development of the online store.

The moment your Shopify account is created, they will guide you through the complete setup.

Shopify is quite straightforward. It has a clean, modern, and intuitive interface. Like other contemporary management systems, having a menu on the left, you can access the features that can be then customized. The web design is user friendly and easy with Shopify’s drag and drops editing tool.

It takes care of the hosting services for its users allowing you to give you the option of ‘play around’ before the final publish. A layman having no technical abilities can also get started with Shopify within minutes.

Woocommerce: Woocommerce is also simple to set up. But there are a few steps like installing, updating, WordPress, and plugin installation is required before you begin. This is going to be a bit overwhelming especially if you have never tried it earlier.

2. Scalability & Growth

When you are selecting the e-commerce application, you should also think about your business’s future. You may be a startup right now but you will eventually grow. So, the best is to choose an application that supports a busy store without imposing complexities.

Woocommerce is a platform that supports all stores whether they are startups or established ones. It can scale from a few products to thousands and from

a few shoppers to thousands per second.

When we talk about Shopify, it takes care of all the technicalities inclusive of web hosting. Shopify has the ability to built bigger stores and innumerable orders.

Scaling and growth are also easy as you can get everything from a single stop. There is no need to separately look for a hosting provider or a good e-commerce theme and thereby you save money.

3. Payment Option

If your business is located elsewhere, you will have to rely on what they call a “payment gateway”, or a third-party service. These are country-dependent and the fees vary greatly, so it will take a bit of homework to decide what’s best for you.

Similarly, WooCommerce has diverse payment gateway options. PayPal and the credit card support via Stripe is free. But other options like Authorize.Net or Braintree come with a price. Other payment options are also available but you will be charged to use them.

When you start comparing WooCommerce and Shopify, there is a lot to consider when it comes to payment options. Everything depends on where you are located and what is your budget.

4. Multilingual Support

Having multilingual support was a challenge for Shopify until an app called ‘Lanify’ was introduced. The app helps in offering multiple languages and currency options for the store and checkout page. But the cost rises to $17.50 a month.

WooCommerce on the other side has a reliable WPML plugin that enables a comprehensive multilingual solution at only $79 annually and later $59.

5. SEO Optimization

It is very important to position WooCommerce and Shopify in such a way that they gain visibility in search engine result pages.

For WooCommerce, you only have to install Yoast SEO which for SEO optimization. And the best thing is, it is free.

On the other hand, Shopify offers the best SEO functionality:

Snippets: It is important to understand the content of the pages and then provide SERP ranking. The snippet includes information regarding the availability of the product, manufacturer, and customer’s feedback.

URLs: You can’t easily customize store level pages URLs in Shopify. For example for the blog section of the website, you should display the URL as ABC/blog/.

6. Dropshipping

With the help of WooCommerce, you can install and integrate add-ons/extensions hassle-free. WooCommerce dropshipping extensions are available on Google, WordPress repository, and also as third party extension.

Shopify also has plenty of extensions as well as add-ons. It helps in running Dropshipping in a smooth manner. Shopify also integrates with third-party dropshipping marketplace like AliExpress, Oberlo, Printify, etc.

7. Support

There is no official support channel for the WooCommerce platform as it is an open-source platform. Tutorials, videos, and knowledge base are useful resources available. With so much information online, you can get all the answers to your doubt. Besides this, everything depends on your hosting provider.

On the other hand, Shopify experts offer 24/7 support giving customers the option of chat, calls, and also ticketing systems.

In addition to this, they have an extensive knowledge base that helps you in answering the frequently asked question. This helps in resolving most of the issues and contacting the support becomes less.

8. Security

Shopify is very strict when it comes to taking security measures. ‘HackerOne’ is a platform offered by Shopify itself where it challenges anyone that can find any loopholes. This further helps in fixing the errors if they are any. Shopify is also PCI compliant that helps if you are planning to accept credit card payments.

Users can also secure their accounts with the help of two-step verification. And a free SSL certificate is a must with Shopify. The platform is very good at backups as well. Copying your complete store is also possible with the help of a plugin called ‘Rewind.’ This option is free to startups but you have to pay as soon as you hit 200 orders per month.

WooCommerce has a different story altogether. WordPress is one of the most popular platforms and this may be the reason why the security is interrupted by a hacker or intruder. The user has to install WooCommerce and WordPress on the server so it is important that you take care.

WooCommerce is not even close to Shopify when it comes to security standards.

As the platform is not a PCI compliant, you’ll also need to set up SSL yourself with your hosting provider.

Which is the Ultimate Winner?

Out of the two Shopify is popular among online merchants because of its user-friendliness, flexibility, and practicability.

However, Woocommerce and Shopify have a long list of features and are excellent platforms for establishing your online store but Shopify wins the battle. Top-notch security is what helps in beating Woocommerce.

 Both are excellent platforms, but Shopify edges the battle with its built-in sales tools, superior ease of use, and quick build time. There’s no hassle with pricing, either – everything you need is included in its clearly priced plans.

The Tech Fit

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