Shopify vs. WordPress – Which Platform is Best for Online Shopping?


Best for Online Shopping

If you have been planning on launching an online store, you must have come across the names like Shopify and WordPress. These two platforms are perhaps the most popular and the largest e-commerce solution providers in the market right now. While both platforms come with tons of features that allow you to build a successful online shop, they both are also quite different from each other. That brings us to the dilemma of which platform to choose for building an e-commerce site?

Well, if you already have a WordPress site, it is easier to switch to the e-commerce version of WordPress. All you need to do is install WooCommerce plugin and your online store is ready to go. That also means much less effort on your end. But, if you don’t have a website yet, Shopify is a dedicated e-commerce solution that comes with rich features out-of-the-box to make your life easier. It has everything you need to run an e-commerce business efficiently.

Without further ado, let’s compare both these platforms in terms of key functionalities, customization, ease of use, multi channel sales support and pricing.

#1 Shopify vs. WordPress – Account Set Up & Ease of Use

Getting started with Shopify is really easy. Just sign up for the free 14-day trial and follow the instructions to set up your account. Within a few minutes you will have your dashboard ready from where you can control your business. Shopify offers straightforward and intuitive user interface, allowing you to customize your website’s theme, add products, set up payment gateways and more in a jiffy. Shopify also allows you to purchase the domain through its own platform without having you to go to third-party sites.

WordPress is pretty different from Shopify. First, you will need to buy a web hosting and domain name from third-party sites, such as HostGator or GoDaddy. Then, you need to integrate WordPress on your website hosting and create login credentials. Then, you need to install WooCommerce, which is an e-commerce extension of WordPress, offering all the features you need to build an online store.

When it comes to setting up and ease of use, Shopify seems a winner here as it offers many e-commerce features out-of-the-box. On the other hand, WordPress doesn’t come with e-commerce functionality, and you need to go through some additional steps before your store is ready.

#2 Shopify vs. WordPress – Design and Customization

Shopify offers about 8 free themes and 64 premium themes that are developed under Shopify label. The premium themes cost anywhere between $120 to $180. Also, there are third-party developers, like Theme Forest that offers hundreds of other Shopify themes. These themes are responsive and mobile-friendly out-of-the-box. That means, your store will automatically adjust to suit the user’s screen size. Furthermore, Shopify’s theme editor is pretty easy to use, allowing you to customize your store without much of the technical or coding language.

On the other hand, WordPress has over 8,000 themes to choose from, and most of them are free or low-cost. These high-quality themes are 100% customizable, meaning you can choose how you would want your website to appear by customizing different areas of the website. However, WordPress themes require a bit of tweaking and editing knowledge to get them working for you. Therefore, you will need some coding knowledge or hire a WordPress developer to manage your site. But, once you get comfortable with the WordPress environment, you have better control over your website’s theme.

#3 Shopify vs. WordPress – Apps and Plug-ins

Both WordPress and Shopify have their own app stores, and both these platforms are supported by third-party app developers, allowing you to build fully-functional e-commerce store. The Shopify app store offers over 6,000 apps that enable you to build the store the way you want. Moreover, Shopify requires far less help from third-party app developers as the platform has inbuilt e-commerce features that enable you to streamline and automate business processes.

By contrast, WordPress has more than 50,000 plugins to choose from. WooCommerce itself is a plugin that converts your WordPress website into a feature-rich e-commerce store. Likewise, there are plugins for different tasks, such as MailChimp for email marketing, Yoast SEO for SEO and content optimization and Google Analytics to measure your store performance.

If you are looking for easy-to-work-with apps, you can go for Shopify, but you will not get as diverse options as WordPress.

#4 Shopify vs. WordPress – Payment Gateways

Payment transactions are an important aspect of an online store. Both Shopify and WordPress supports various payment gateway integrations, including popular PayPal, Amazon Pay and Stripe. Shopify allows you to integrate more than 100 payment gateways, along with its own Shopify Payments for easy payment transactions. But, an important point to note here is Shopify charges a per-transaction fee for using any payment gateway other than its own Shopify Payments.

WooCommerce, on the other hand, also seamlessly integrates over 100 payment gateways. However, unlike Shopify, none of these payment gateways charge transaction fees. Your payment-related fees are only those that are charged by your online payment processor. Moreover, WordPress accepts multiple currencies, allowing customers across the globe to pay for your products.

Thus, if you don’t want a cut in your profits, WordPress is the way to go.

#5 Shopify vs. WordPress – Support for Multichannel Sales

Both these platforms allow for multichannel sales. Shopify offers built-in integrations with Amazon, Instagram, Facebook and eBay, allowing you to easily sell on some or all of these platforms. The integration options are included in every plan and you can manage all of these channels right from your dashboard.

With WordPress, multichannel sales depend on the e-commerce plugin you are using. For instance, WooCommerce supports social and marketplace sales integrations with some extensions. While some of these extensions are absolutely free, for others you may have to pay annual fees. Simply put, multichannel sale is possible with WordPress, but with the right plugins only.

Shopify seems to be the winner here because it is much easier to set up and sell on multiple channels compared to WordPress.

#6 Shopify vs. WordPress – Pricing

We compared several aspects of Shopify and WordPress, but the most important considerations for any business is how much it costs to run an online store. Shopify offers total 3 plans and the pricing is pretty straightforward.

  • Basic Shopify – $29 per month
  • Shopify – $79 per month
  • Shopify Advanced – $299 per month

For startups, Basic Shopify offers every e-commerce feature you need to start an online store, including product catalogue, order and inventory management. Before you buy any package, Shopify offers a free 14-day trial, so you can try and understand its features.

The cost of WordPress website varies greatly depending on how you customize it and what features you include. Downloading WordPress is free, but overall price of your e-commerce store will depend on things like:

  • Domain name – $10 to $40 per year
  • Hosting – $5 to $300 per month
  • Theme – free to $200
  • Plugins – free to $1000 (some charge a one-time fee, while others charge monthly fees)

Furthermore, WordPress requires a bit of programming language. And there is good chance that you need to hire a professional WordPress developer for store development. Therefore, you should also consider the cost of hiring a WordPress developer if you are going to seek professional help.


Shopify and WordPress both are terrific e-commerce platforms, but which one is right for your business? If you are looking for fully featured and relatively ease e-commerce solution, Shopify is perhaps the right platform for you. Rather than spending much of your valuable time on managing security, hosting and other e-commerce integrations, Shopify lets you focus on growing your business, while taking care of the technical aspects of your store. This platform offers everything to start an online business and scale it.

But, if you have used WordPress before and have some coding knowledge, WordPress is one of the most versatile platforms. It gives you full control over every aspect of your site, including hosting, security and maintenance, so you can customize and optimize it to your heart’s content. So, choosing the right e-commerce solution comes down to your particular business requirements and goals.

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