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WooCommerce vs Shopify: Best eCommerce Platform for 2023?

WooCommerce and Shopify compared as top eCommerce platforms for 2023.WooCommerce and Shopify compared as top eCommerce platforms for 2023.

Are you looking to bring your product online with an eCommerce website? As a business owner, it's essential to choose the right eCommerce platform for your business, and WooCommerce Vs Shopify is a fair fight to consider.

If you're looking for a solution to build an online store, both Shopify and WooCommerce can be great options, each with pros and cons. Both of them have multiple strengths and can be the perfect solution for you to bring your business online. The best news is that you can do so all independently, without any help from professional designers or developers.

Let's get to know the comparison between Shopify vs WooCommerce, breaking down their advantages and disadvantages to help you choose the best option for your online store.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an eCommerce website building platform specially designed to provide ease of use and systematic backend management. Shopify offers a theme catalogue to decorate your websites and add the feature to give a pleasant user experience to online shopping customers. The page load speed is also remarkable, making users come back for more. See more detail on our Shopify Website Guide.

Shopify Homepage

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open-source plugin for WordPress which allows you to leverage the most powerful content management system (CMS) and use the software to run an online store. By being an open-source tool, WooCommerce lets you customize every aspect of your store and quickly add a custom feature, theme, and extensions.

Woocommerce Homepage

WooCommerce vs Shopify: What's the Differences?

There are a lot of opinions on the web when you search for reviews of WooCommerce vs Shopify. The truth is that even though these insights can be helpful, you will have to consider a few core differences in the feature that could fit your needs the best.

1. Ease of use

Ease of use is a significant factor to rate the fight between WooCommerce vs Shopify, especially for non-programmers like us. Most online store owners are not web designers or developers. Even people who are familiar with basic concepts need a platform that is easy to use. 

Shopify is a fully hosted, intuitive drag and drop platform. You don't need to install, update or manage any software nor worry about security, performance, backups, and compatibility issues. One downside of this is that it limits your freedom to optimize your website. You can only use the design and development tools provided by Shopify or add-ons available in their marketplace.

WooCommerce is not a hosted platform like Shopify. You will need to manually install the eCommerce plugin on your WordPress site, manage updates, keep backups, and ensure your website is secure. You have to sign up for a merchant account or similar services like Stripe or PayPal. However, when it comes to making changes to your website, it is super flexible. You have complete control of the whole platform with tons of premium themes and third-party plugins to add any features to your website.

2. Pricing

Another factor you need to consider is Shopify vs WooCommerce pricing. Each platform's pricing that might cost your budget month by month. Let's see who could fit you most between WooCommerce vs Shopify.

Shopify is all about delivering you a single, out-of-the-box solution with just a few pricing packages. Every built-in feature you need is included from the get-go so that you can use your new store right away. It has a range of packages offering different advanced features upfront – Starter ($5 per month,) Basic Shopify ($25 per month,) Shopify ($65 per month) and Advanced Shopify ($399 per month).

WooCommerce is a free open-source plugin. But like building a WordPress website, you have to consider the additional costs of making an online store. Things like hosting, the cost of a theme, a domain name, any other extensions and an SSL certificate all add up to about $29 / month.

Even though the WooCommerce software is free, it still costs the same as Shopify to run an actual store. You might have to consider the additional extensions for things like payment gateway, SEO, and so on.

The transaction fee is another factor to consider. Whenever you sell something with either of the platforms, they will charge you a small fee of 2%-3% per transaction for processing the payment, delivering the money to your account, etc. Be sure to check this out before signing up with either of the platforms.

Shopify Payments

3. Payment Methods

There are a lot of payment gateways that you can use to accept online payments solution. Some of them may not be right for you, and others may not be available to your customers. Let's see what each of them offer between WooCommerce vs Shopify.

Shopify offers plenty of payments solution and all popular third-party payment gateways. It has its payments solution called Shopify Payments (powered by Stripe.) Shopify Payments has credit card fees but no other transaction fees. Credit card rates start from 2.9% + 30¢ for the basic plan and lower for different plans.

Each transaction made through third-party payment gateways is charged an extra 2% fee. This is on top of the transaction fees charged by the payment gateway. The fee can be reduced to 0.5% if you pay $399 per month for the Advanced Shopify plan.

WooCommerce offers PayPal and Stripe payments by default. They also have a WooCommerce Payments solution powered by Stripe. It also supports all other popular providers and many regional payment services.

As a self-hosted platform, transaction fees are only charged by your payment gateway or bank. Unless you are using WooCommerce Payments, the fee on credit card payments is never charged.

4. Scalability and Growth

The term "growing pains" has been used by several CEOs and founders. As your business grows, you will need more resources to handle new challenges and goals. WooCommerce vs Shopify can both be scaled to handle a large amount of traffic and orders, but they're not created equal.

Shopify takes care of the technical parts of your store, which means you don't ever have to worry about performance, security, and scalability. If your business starts to grow, you can upgrade your plan. This takes out the painful part of the growth, but it also adds to your cost of business. Your expenses will grow, and you'll have to plan accordingly.

WooCommerce offers many options for growth management since you are in complete control of your WordPress site. Your hosting costs will increase, but you will have better control over the resources you upgrade, and you can make sure that you aren't paying for resources you don't need. You can even use a managed WordPress third-party hosting service provider to help scale your WooCommerce store.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Pros and Cons Summary

Shopify Pros

  • The pricing is fair, and you know how much you'll pay every month.
  • You can extend your store with thousands of apps.
  • There are plenty of attractive themes.
  • Shopify handles everything for you, from hosting to security.
  • You can launch your store in a few minutes.
  • Dropshipping is relatively simple with Shopify.
  • User support is top-notch.

Shopify Cons

  • The control over your website is limited.
  • Customization is better with other platforms.
  • The monthly payment is only going to get higher.

WooCommerce Pros

  • It offers complete customization and control.
  • WordPress has a huge community online.
  • Since anyone can make and sell themes online, there are endless themes to choose from.
  • It is a simple way to set up an eCommerce business on WordPress.
  • The WooCommerce plugin is free.

WooCommerce Cons

  • There is a significant learning curve on the site.
  • You might find that it's more expensive because of themes, hosting and the like.
  • You need to constantly manage everything from hosting to security plugins and maintenance to backups.
Shopify VS Woocommerce

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which Is Right for Your Business?

When you compare these two eCommerce platforms, the freedom to customize that WooCommerce offers comes at a price. It's essential to know how to handle the technical side of your site and how to keep it safe.

If you're starting with no coding knowledge and don't want to consider things like web hosting and hosting provider details, then Shopify is a good choice. If you want more freedom to experiment with your site and already like using WordPress, go for WooCommerce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Shopify good for beginners?

Shopify is one of the easiest ways that helps beginners and small business owners to set up and run an online store. Anyone with no prior experience or coding knowledge can create an online store fairly easily.

Does WooCommerce work with Shopify?

The Shopify Connect for WooCommerce plugin lets you add your Shopify products as WooCommerce products on your WooCommerce storefront, and sends your purchases via Shopify, making WooCommerce your catalogue. You can get features like reviews, linked products and more with the add-on features of WooCommerce.

Is Shopify or WooCommerce better for dropshipping?

If I had to choose, I'd go with WooCommerce for AliExpress over Shopify because of its better SEO capabilities, being more pocket-friendly than Shopify, an extensive theme catalogue with thousands of free themes, and its customizability.

Is Shopify bad for SEO?

Shopify is not inherently bad for SEO. When you understand that these problems may arise, you'll be better equipped to avoid them, because they are just the individual issues that owners have encountered.

Can WooCommerce handle 10,000 product catalogue?

WooCommerce Stores are scalable and can handle an unlimited amount of product range as long as they don't slow your website down. Make sure to optimize the website's speed, page load time and database queries to avoid this.

Can WooCommerce handle high traffic?

WooCommerce is a very scalable framework right out of the box. It's designed to process large volumes of orders and handle high volumes of traffic.

Need Help Deciding Which E-Commerce Website is right for Your Business?

Does your brand need help with developing eCommerce websites? Our team at Sphere Agency is here to help you create the online store you dreamed of, whether it runs on Shopify or WooCommerce. Check out our Web Design & Development for more information. Getting interested? Contact us today!

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By Yaya Adam on April 26, 2023


Sphere is a digital agency that helps brands create meaningful relationships with today’s highly-connected consumers. Based in Bangkok, Thailand, we offer end to end digital solutions built on strategy and driven by data.

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