Woocommerce V's Shopify. Which is Better?

January 31, 2023
4 min Read

Choosing the right platform and sales channels is essential to the success of any e-commerce business.

Just because a platform is working doesn't mean it's the best choice for your business. No matter how long you've been using a platform, you should always be willing to consider alternatives if they have more to offer to support your growth. If you're wondering 'Should I move from Woocommerce to Shopify?' here's what you need to consider.

Should I move from WooCommerce to Shopify if I want to keep using WordPress?

WooCommerce is designed from the ground up as an open source WordPress plugin, so if you have built your main website using WordPress, using WooCommerce as an e-commerce platform is logical. However, WooCommerce isn’t the only option for WordPress.

If you are considering moving to Shopify there are two options, completely switching to the Shopify platform with a new website, or continuing to use WordPress and solely using Shopify to handle purchases by embedding buy buttons into your website.

Using WordPress for an e-commerce website is a popular option for those who want a high level of customization and great content publishing features. Combined with the WooCommerce plugin to add e-commerce functionality this can be a low cost and flexible solution.

Many start-ups find that as they grow, options like Shopify can look increasingly attractive for the ease of use and scalability. To take full advantage of the platform you will need to completely switch to Shopify. The most important question for most businesses is whether they can switch to Shopify seamlessly without interrupting their operations.

Is Shopify easier to use than Woocommerce?

Ease of use is always an important consideration when choosing software for your business. eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce and Magento, allow full control for deep customisation with custom code. The catch is that you need to know how to code or hire someone who does to take advantage of this. Most e-commerce business owners are less concerned with the endless flexibility of their sites appearance and functionality. For many, finding a platform that makes it easy to run an effective website and storefront is the priority.

Shopify is generally considered easier to use. Shopify is a hosted platform, meaning they push out updates centrally and take responsibility for ensuring their platform's security and stability. Users don't have to worry about configuring everything correctly themselves, and Shopify can handle your growth and spikes in traffic to your site without you having to think about the hosting. Additionally, with third-party tools, you can schedule automatic backups, and make other site management tasks simple, if not automatic.

Like WooCommerce, Shopify offers themes and doesn't require any coding or CSS knowledge. Themes are designed to make it easy to show off your products and maximise the effectiveness of your online shop. However, unlike WooCommerce there are limits on how you can modify your site as not all of the code is open for you to edit. 

Anyone wondering, 'Should I move from WooCommerce to Shopify?' should consider what they want in terms of customisation. WooCommerce gives the user full control over their store, whereas Shopify offers less freedom for customisation, but most people find it has enough flexibility to create a unique site while remaining easier to use.

Which has better support for payment methods?

The more payment methods an e-commerce website supports, the larger its potential audience. For UK-based businesses looking to sell primarily or entirely to domestic customers, most of their customers will pay using a credit or debit card. However, some people still feel uncomfortable providing their card information to businesses they haven't used before, or merely prefer to use alternative payment methods. Offering your customers a choice of payment gateways could be the deciding factor between clicking to buy or abandoning their cart.

WooCommerce is incredibly versatile in this regard. It supports PayPal and Stripe out of the box, but users can add support for other gateways through add-ons.

By contrast, Shopify supports numerous payment gateways but also offers its own payment solution; Shopify Payments. Shopify Payments offers a wide range of payment services, but charges an additional 2% fee for every transaction processed through third-party gateways. These fees are charged on top of the standard transaction fees charged by the gateways themselves. Users paying for Advanced Shopify ($299/month) have the fees reduced to 0.5%. Shopify Payments also charges flat credit card fees, starting at 2.9% for the basic plan. Higher tier Shopify plans lower this figure.

Is woocommerce better than Shopify?

There's no simple answer to this question; it depends on your particular circumstances. If you're working with a limited budget, WooCommerce is the obvious choice because it's free. However, you will still need to pay for a domain name, hosting, site security etc. On the other hand, Shopify starts at $29/month for the most basic package and their monthly plans include everything you need to run an online store. The Basic Shopify package is fine for new businesses, but growing stores will need to look at the more advanced packages. It is worth remembering that the cost of both platforms can soon add up when you start adding on third party apps for more features.

WooCommerce is also an open-source platform, which will immediately make it more appealing to some people as you have the freedom to modify all of the code making it infinitely customisable. It also has a larger library of free and premium third party plugins that add features without the need for coding. Meanwhile, Shopify is a much more closed system. However, being a closed system it ensures platform stability and ease of use with all of the hosting managed for you it can support high levels of traffic as your business grows. Between the Shopify platform and it’s third party app library most users find there is plenty of flexibility, features and functionality.

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