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WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which is the Best Platform? 2021

Updated: February 18, 2021 By: Dessign Team

WooCommerce vs Shopify comparison

Are you looking to learn more who is better in eCommerce platform? WooCommerce and Shopify are the most popular eCommerce platforms with the most users. When you want to open your online store lets see which one is better for you?

WooCommerce is free open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It is designed for small to large-sized online websites using WordPress. With WooCommerce you can create very large online store, we would consider a WooCommerce more for technical people. WooCommerce is free platform but you will need to pay for hosting, security and domain name. If you need to know more what is WooCommerce? in more details and statistics.

If you looking for a platform that you own all the database, product and is hosted on your own hosting, then WooCommerce is the perfect eCommerce platform to use to build powerful online store. If you decide to go with WooCommerce and use Bluehost as we recommend to be the best hosting for WooCommerce online stores you will also get a free domain included.

WooCommerce best eCommerce platform featurs

Shopify is hands down the easiest one to use with the best customer support, beautiful templates and monthly billing. Shopify offers 14 day trial with no credit card required, so you can test the platform before you commit to it. Even if you decide to use Shopify and not happy you can cancel any time, as there is no long contract required, only month by month. This is all in one solution eCommerce platform where they host your site for you.

Shopify eCommerce platform compared

Did WooCommerce outperformed Shopify? Statistics & Performance

As you can see the image below shows how popular WooCommerce is compared to Shopify. WooCommerce is used on over 28% of websites vs Shopify 19% websites use it.

WooCommerce is so popular because it's easy to setup and install and also because of the popularity of WordPress itself as over 35% of all the websites are running on WordPress CMS. WooCommerce also got very popular because of the free WooCommerce plugins or extensions you can download for free that will improve or add more features to your store. Because WordPress is so popular some of the best free WooCommerce themes are available for free

Shopify also has many free themes to use and help you get started for free, but if you looking for something with more features, better support and performance than using one of Shopify premium themes will help you grow your business even faster.

You must remember that you can only use the themes that Shopify provides, you can't use any theme that is not part of Shopify approved themes. With WooCommerce you can use any WordPress theme you like there is no limits on that so you are in total control of what themes you use.

What makes Shopify powerful is the apps that you can add to make your website performance even better and faster. Shopify free apps are super easy to install and activate, most apps are for security, SEO, and eCommerce marketing related.

WooCommerce chart popularity vs Shopify

Is Shopify better for beginners? Compared to WooCommerce!

If you just a beginner looking to open your first online store, and you don't know who is the better choice for you WooCommerce or Shopify. From our experience and building WooCommerce themes we can say that Shopify is hands down much easier to use for beginners. If you just want to open a store with as little technical knowledge as possible and start selling your product, Shopify is the best solution for you.

It will take you few minutes to signup for your free 14 days account with no credit card required, you will get free temporary domain and not have to worry about hosting. You can pick a free Shopify theme and add your product, once you ready to start selling add your billing and bank or PayPal account information and you ready to sell online.

Shopify has 24/7 support by phone or email, if you get stuck or confused they will help you in matter of minutes or you can watch their how to build an eCommerce website video tutorial.

WooCommerce is also easy to install and setup, but requires more technical knowledge. You will need to get a WooCommerce hosting, install WordPress and then install WooCommerce on top of your WordPress CMS. It will take you more time to setup and build your first eCommerce website with WooCommerce but in long run you have more control over your product, hosting perfromance and backend database. We put easy to follow tutorial how to open your online store with WooCommerce and WordPress, it will help you understand what you need in order to get started and see if this is what you need for your first online store.

If you decide to use WooCommerce because you feel comfortable with some of the technical aspects of setting up an online store, then we recommend picking the best WooCommerce hosting which will be the main and most important step in getting your online store ready for your visitors and potential clients.

Below is quick overview video to learn more about what WooCommerce is and how to use it, you can watch it and compared to Shopify video to see which one is better and easier for you to use it and get comfortable with.

Is WooCommerce cheaper? Pricing Compared

One of the most common questions when comparing two eCommerce platforms in this case WooCommerce and Shopify is how much will it cost me to host and run my online business.

WooCommerce Cost: $2.95/month

As we mention before WooCommerce and WordPress are both 100% free to use. With WooCommerce you will only need to pay for hosting. In this case we recommend Bluehost for $2.95/month with Free domain name. So the bottom line is WooCommerce will cost you around $2.95/month that includes free domain. You can use many of the free WooCommerce themes which are WooCommerce compatible.

Only if later you decide to upgrade your hosting to more expensive one because you have higher traffic or need more performance or you will upgrade from free WooCommerce theme to premium one for around $59 those expenses will add up, but for the basic WooCommerce pricing it will cost you $2.95/month.

Shopify Cost: $29/month – $299/month

Shopify has a simple pricing with 3 different price options.

Basic Shopify for $29/month will be probably the plan you will start from, as this is best for new business or single person selling online this option comes with 2.9% + 30¢ USD per transaction.

Shopify for $79/month this option is best for growing business with 1 retails online, once your business outgrows the basic plan you should upgrade to Shopify plan with better transaction fees 2.6% + 30¢ USD.

Advanced Shopify for $299/month this is for growing business with 2+ retail stores and probably making over 1+M a year in revenue, if you in this situation, nice work and you should use this plan because of the credit card transaction fees 2.4% + 30¢ USD are the lowest of all the 3 plans.

Who is better when it comes to SEO and Security?

One of the most important aspect of any online store is security and SEO optimization. You need high security site when you taking customers credit card informations, you don't want any fraudulent transactions to happen and get credit card charge back fees.

Shopify runs on their own SSL secure hosting and network so all transactions are secure and safe, they also have many apps that will secure your store even better than default security. With WooCommerce you will need to install few security plugins and make sure you have SSL certificate install and activated so all your transactions are secure. With Bluehost you will have your free SSL certificate install for you once you purchase any hosting plan.

Both Shopify and WooCommerce come with secure SSL certificate install for you once your store goes live so there is not much you have to do or worry about it.

When it comes to SEO both WooCommerce and Shopify have extra free SEO plugins that will help you rank better on Google search. At the end of the day, you will need to have presents on Google in order for anyone finding your store and purchase your product.

We strongly feel that WooCommerce has better advantage when it comes to SEO and ranking on Google search. With so many popular free WordPress SEO plugins you have better chances of ranking WooCommerce store compared to Shopify store, as WordPress powers over 35%+ of all the websites on internet.

And once again if you using Shopify you can only use that apps they approve in their apps store, compared to WooCommerce you can use any SEO plugin you like plugins such as Yeast SEO with over 5+ Million active users gives you more advantage over some of the Shopify SEO apps.

Who has the Best 24/7 Support?

For any beginner or newbie looking to build their first online eCommerce store, support will be one of the key components. As you will be new to the platform such as WooCommerce or Shopify many thing will be totally new to you and confusing. But with a great support team always on your side 24/7 to guide you with friendly recommendations and support you will feel safe.

Shopify has a 24/7 phone and email support plus a live chat support, we tested their support and its great and friendly, the support is very knowledgable of their platform and apps to help you setup your store in as little time as possible so you can start selling online. We would rank Shopify support at 4.8/5.0 stars for the speed, friendliness and technical aspect.

WooCommerce if you decided to go with Bluehost also have 24/7 phone and live chat support, they will help you with any of the WordPress or WooCommerce technical aspects of your online store. There might be limited support if you using some less known plugins or if you have specific question about theme customizations as this is not part of the support. If most of your questions are about setting up WooCommerce and adding your product than you will get the best support you can from well train professionals.

Conclusion – Which one is the best for you?

So the question is which of the two most popular eCommerce platforms is best for you? Let's go over few things before you decide which one you should use.

Use WooCommerce if you planning on large scale online store and need a lot of freedom and customizations. If you want to own your domain, hosting and database and not be limited to code or apps. If you want to pick any WordPress theme you like and not be limited to the ones they offer, if you are persona that is more technical savvy and can figure most things out then WooCommerce is for you. If you planning on expending your store, add international rates, change the look and feel of checkout shopping cart and you like to make adjustments to fit everything perfect we would recommend WooCommerce for you.

Use Shopify if you are looking for simple to use and go online in short period of time kind of platform where everything is easy to follow and managed in one place. If you are not technical person but just a beginner who wants to sell few things online and need some support and friendly adjustments to make simple online store a reality. Shopify is for someone that is looking for basic online store eCommerce platform to sell their product digital or physical and have everything in one place with fix monthly price, than Shopify is much better for you than WooCommerce.

If you want some more eCommerce platform options we have a great list of the best eCommerce platforms both free and premium one to take a look and decide maybe some other platform will cache your attention over WooCommerce or Shopify.