Shopify vs WordPress: Which Platform is Best For e-Commerce
12 August 2021

Shopify vs WordPress: Which Platform is Best For e-Commerce

Shopify vs. WordPress: Which is the best e-commerce platform? This question was also asked on Reddit, and it started a heated debate. The Shopify community said they were far superior to WordPress because of their themes, which are more flexible than WordPress. However, many people from the WordPress camp argued back, saying that their themes are just as good as those found on Shopify. In this blog post, we’ll be comparing Shopify and WordPress for e-commerce business owners. We’ll provide a comparison of the two platforms and help you decide which one is best for your needs!

First let’s check eCommerce usage distribution in the top 1 million sites:

ecommerce technologies usage globallySource: Builtwith

Now. let’s look at six key areas that make up a successful e-commerce website, including design, ease of use, hosting services, security features, scalability, and learning curve:

1. Design

Design is essential because you want your website to be attractive and easy to navigate. WordPress can handle both of these things when it comes to ecommerce websites, whereas Shopify focuses more on design for ecommerce stores only. There are many themes available with various features that help create the perfect look and feel for an online store.

When it comes to site design, WordPress has been the winner for many years, with its easy installation of quality themes that allow you to make your site look how you want. Shopify’s designs are more limited and static.

2. Ease of Use

Both Shopify and WordPress are easy to use because they both offer drag-and-drop design templates, store management tools, and various integrations with social media platforms. Therefore, you can start marketing your business right away and SEO features that make it easier for various top search engines like Google and Bing to find your website.

WordPress will likely be popular among e-commerce websites due to its easy setup and highly user-friendly interface. Shopify, however, might also be a great option for those who are looking for something with more accessible customization options. You need to create your account on Shopify, and then you have access to the web admin panel where you can start designing your store right away.

The installation process on Shopify takes only about ten minutes total and doesn’t require any technical skills or coding knowledge. This means that there’s no difference in ease of use between the two platforms. However, because Shopify offers more features than WordPress does, it could be a better choice if your business requires anything above the basic e-commerce store.

3. Hosting Services

The hosting services that are associated with Shopify and WordPress are very different. WordPress is a free download, which means you would have to use third-party hosting services to host your website and store files on the internet. Shopify provides its own hosting service that will automatically update as you make changes; this ensures everything stays up-to-date without worrying about third-party hosting services.

With Shopify, you have various options for how much you pay in the beginning and how much you want to pay per month. On the other hand, with WordPress, there is only one option: you have to pay every month.

Shopify is hosted on a cloud server in the Shopify data center, where anyone can get an account for free and start their own store (although premium features of shopify cost you).

On the other hand, WordPress has its custom-built servers. If your site is busy or starts getting large amounts of traffic (and thus needing additional resources), then scaling will be much cheaper because you won’t have had to pay monthly fees upfront in WordPress.

Building your business site from scratch like some other websites might take months before they’re ready for heavy demands. So, remember this when choosing what type of eCommerce builder may work best for you!

4. Security Features

One of the primary differences between WordPress and Shopify is security features. For example, Shopify has an SSL certificate that comes with every store and you have to pay extra for it. WordPress has two types of security options. The first one is called Jetpack, which comes as an add-on and includes a firewall, malware protection, spam protection, virus protection, and other additional features.

The second security option with WordPress is Wordfence Security, which includes these features plus more in-depth analytics to find out what caused the breach. It has an automated malware scanner.

Each platform provides different levels of security, so you’ll need to determine which one best suits your needs! A Shopify store comes with an SSL certificate that protects your information. WordPress does not come with this by default, the Jetpack add-on provides you with some basic security features like spam and malware protection. Still, it doesn’t have an automated malware scanner or advanced virus detection capabilities. If you need more in-depth analytics to determine what caused the breach, you’ll need to get Wordfence Security for WordPress.

5. Scalability

Shopify is designed with scaling in mind, which means it’s easier to grow your business and achieve higher sales goals without needing to worry about the load on your website or how much traffic you are getting. This platform enables merchants to have complete control of design, inventory, and customer service. Here are some points you need to consider about Shopify:

  • Shopify provides 24-hour support on the go for both desktop and mobile devices.
  • Merchants can use their own domain name or get one from Shopify at no extra cost.
  • The multi-channel store allows users to sell online as well as offline.
  • Shopify is able to scale with your business, expanding to meet demand and contracting when necessary.
  • There are no limits on product or customer numbers for users of this platform.
  • Shopify has a point system that allows customers to earn points through various activities such as buying products, referring friends, etc. These points can also be easily redeemed for discounts on future purchases, free shipping or other incentives that the user may want.
  • Shopify provides a point system to customers which they can use to redeem rewards and offers.
  • There are no limits on product or customer numbers for users of this platform.
  • The multi-channel store allows users to sell online and offline, meaning that there is no need for a physical shopfront. This enables merchants to work anywhere in the world while still being able to provide a service to their customers.
  • Shopify is able to scale with your business, expanding to meet demand and contracting when necessary. Still, a Shopify advertising agency is essential to reach your ecommerce business’ full potential.
  • Shopify has an app store that allows merchants to find apps that suit their needs: from accounting software like FreshBooks to delivery services like Postmates.
  • These include accounting software, customer support systems (live chat), email marketing tools, shipping carriers, social media management, and more.
  • Shopify provides a point system to customers which they can use to redeem rewards and offers.

WordPress development is perfect when you’re just starting out because the interface can be modified easily without worrying about scalability issues. WordPress is a scalable platform with numerous plugins to help you set up your website. It has a lot of free and paid themes, which are easy to use and customizable. WordPress also has thousands of themes available, enabling you to customize every facet of your website.

  • One of the plugins that many people use is WooCommerce because it helps you build an online store with WordPress for a reasonable price. In addition, you can sell physical products on your website, shipped directly from the manufacturer to your customer.
  • Another plugin that’s popular for e-commerce websites is Easy Digital Downloads which is much like the Shopify e-commerce system – however, it’s more affordable, and there are more features than Shopify offers.
  • WordPress has an intuitive blog system that allows you to create a website, or even just a blog with multiple pages if desired.
  • You have the ability to completely personalize your site by adding widgets and plugins which will make it more flexible for different types of purposes (e.g., e-commerce).

WordPress scalability is one reason that it is the best platform for your e-commerce website in 2021.

6. Learning Curve

The Shopify interface has a shallow learning curve. It is my personal opinion that developing your ecommerce website in Shopify is the better option for someone who doesn’t have any previous experience with e-commerce. The majority of templates of Shopify are straightforward to customize.

Shopify also has a WYSIWYG editor that lets you edit your content with formatting, images, list tags, etc. This means it’s much less likely for you to make mistakes when editing the template than using WordPress, which uses HTML and is more complicated to edit.

Shopify has a drag and drop builder, which will make it easier for someone who doesn’t understand code, as they can easily customize their theme without having to worry about messing up the code.

WordPress has a much higher learning curve as you have to know HTML and CSS to create a theme. This can be difficult for people who are new to developing or designing. It’s also important to note that the templates for WordPress will not be as straightforward as Shopify. It takes more time and effort to customize your website using the WordPress platform.

The thing about editing code is that it can be challenging for someone who doesn’t understand what they’re doing as it can be easy to make mistakes that will affect your theme. However, WordPress has a WYSIWYG editor that lets you edit your content with formatting, images, list tags etc. It also comes with the option to use HTML or CSS coding, and they both have their pros and cons.

So, What’s Better? Shopify or WordPress

Shopify is the more beginner-friendly option when comparing Shopify and WordPress. The platform also has a lower learning curve, and you don’t have to know code to get started with designing or developing.

The templates for Shopify are straightforward to customize, and you can use the drag-and-drop builder, which will make it easier if you’re not a developer. You also have less chance of making mistakes when editing your content than with WordPress, where you need to know HTML and CSS to create a theme.

On the other hand, WordPress has a higher learning curve and takes more time to customize your website. It also requires you to know HTML or CSS coding to create your theme, which can be difficult for people new to the development process.

However, with WordPress, there is an option of using either HTML or CSS code editing, which might help with the learning curve.

Both Shopify and WordPress have their advantages and disadvantages. Still, if you’re a beginner, it would be better for you to use Shopify as it has less of a learning curve as compared to WordPress.

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By Manmeet Anand

Manmeet singh is a SENIOR SOFTWARE ENGINEER with TIS India Business Consultants Pvt. Ltd. from many Years. He is a programming geek who spends most of his time developing web applications , enhancing user experiences and creating usable softwares. He has helped many overseas clients come out of the project management nightmares by comprehensive requirement analysis and ensuring timely delivery of projects.

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