When it comes to building your ecommerce store, there are two leading solutions that really are head and shoulders above the rest: WooCommerce and Shopify. These are the two most well-known ecommerce platforms for a reason. Shopify’s market share currently is about to reach 11% whilst WooCommerce’s market share is over 29%. But if you’re trying to choose between WooCommerce and Shopify, how do you know which one is for you? Should you switch from WooCommerce to Shopify or vice versa?
Apparently, no platform is ever perfect. For most of the time, they come with a set of great features as well as a set of limits. The important thing is to make sure the platform you opt for has everything you need. There are many pros and cons of WooCommerce and Shopify that are worth acknowledging before setting foot into the world of eCommerce. From our previous comparison last year, we have introduced to you WooCommerce as a Shopify’s alternative regarding its overall purpose and customisation abilities. In this article, I will walk you through the key performance data as well as its pros and cons all the way from WooCommerce to Shopify. Hopefully, after reading this review, you will come to the right decision in accordance with your needs.
Let’s dive into it!
Plans and Pricing
Since it is an open-source WordPress plug-in, WooCommerce itself is free. But a domain name (about $12/year), and a hosting provider are needed ($5-$25 monthly). WooCommerce can have extra costs like a theme (~$59), plugins & extensions (from $25 each) and developer fees. Of course, you may not need all these features that we mention here so the WooCommerce cost may vary, but it will give you a good idea what you should consider.
On the other hand, as a hosted platform, Shopify offers the full package for your online store. A complete solution! Do not even bother finding any hosting or theme provider, cause Shopify has it all. Of course, this comes with monthly and annual plans. Here are the details of the pricing plans:
Google Speed Score
If your site isn’t fast, bounce rate increases. No one is willing to wait for a page to load its product pics. Hence, your SEO is hurted. It is no news for anybody that mobile optimization will become the main trend in 2020, as now 50% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Therefore, we have to mention this!
On the one hand, the performance test I gathered from this study showed that WooCommerce is actually really slow. The average page load time of all monitored stores reached 776 milliseconds, and the average cart page loads in 1.32 second!
On the other hand, Shopify’s web pages loaded in 309 milliseconds, the ideal load time for any website since Google recommend an average of 500 milliseconds of loading time! Thanks to its fast response times, Shopify delivers a very good overall user experience, no doubt.
WooCommerce sites tend to load in 3.4 seconds. Optimizing load time in WP is up to you and the hosting plan you’re on. You can optimize the load time of your WooCommerce store though. That might take much money and time, and your hosting provider also plays a huge character in this case. If you choose to go for those cheap $2 hosting, you cannot expect it to be fast no matter how much you pay for SEO experts to optimize your site for you.
WooCommerce has one and a thousand plugins! Yes, a huge number. But this has a drawback which falls into oblivion sometimes. It is likely to slow downloading speed and overall performance when installing too many plugins and extension. This is due to the memory taken out for those plug-ins and apps. Consider this carefully as you may add the fee for high-speed hosting in the decision-making process.
One thing that we’ve seen over and over again is that beginners struggle with WordPress themes. Keep in mind that it has to be compatible with WooCommerce. If not, don’t waste your time and look further. WooCommerce offers free themes, but if you mean to scale your business and looking for a more efficient and eye-catching template, some of the most fantastic source for WooCommerce themes are:
Their themes support the latest version of WooCommerce, which is also essential for security, and come with premium support.
Apart from that, plugins are also available for store ơwners to avail of which would certainly improve customer experience such as:
There are also add-ons available for WooCommerce. They are similar to plugins, but made for WooCommerce and add handy eCommerce functions. For instance, you can add credit card preprocessors, shipping options, a customer data export function and much more. And yes, you’ll need to pay an extra WooCommerce fee to be able to use those.
In this competition, Shopify is packed with over 2500 apps and extensions which were developed by both in-house team and third-party developers.
Blogs And Content
WooCommerce is more solid for content SEO. It integrates with the robust content marketing system of WP.
With Shopify, you can make the templates of blog posts look pretty and easier on the eyes, which can lead to more time on-page. If you’re creating a thorough content plan, having a nice design is a big plus. However, this goes beyond the pale of Shopify itself. You’ll need an app like PageFly for this which only cost you from $9.95 to $29.95 per month. PageFly is the most popular Shopify app for more customisation options and creating landing pages (read our PageFly review)
On top of that, both platforms generate sitemap.xml, allow bulk editing, and allow the use of canonical tags. Little things like social sharing buttons though, you’ll need to code those in yourself or get an app for that – both on WooCommerce and Shopify.
Product Page SEO
SEO is one of the best ways to ensure your customers find you. Without them finding you, you make no sales. It will be a waste of time, effort, and money on your part.
On WordPress, you’ll have to install a plugin to be able to add meta descriptions. Some of those plugins generate XML sitemap. Many WP themes like Neighborhood by SwiftIdeas have the metadata feature as well. That said, you can optimize your title and product description while adding your product. However, WooCommerce sites are dominating SEO with an almost 400% increase than the average organic traffic score. Shopify is below the average by about 50%.
There are many free integrations though. Marketing automation is one of them. Both WooCommerce and Shopify do this, so no edge over each other here. You can use MailChimp, Conversio, Klaviyo, Drip, etc. Integration with USPS is built-in as well.
If you want to sync your online shop to your social media store to have shoppable posts on Instagram and Facebook or Google, you can have that in a few slick clicks. However, Shopify does this better, especially if you’re going to use Pinterest. Shopify’s Buy Button is simply a button which allows customers to conduct the online purchase on any marketplaces or social platforms without having to visit Shopify’s store.
You can count on WooCommerce when it comes to syncing your shop with Amazon, eBay, and social media sites like Facebook. You can manage your channels from your WordPress dashboard with free extensions that are certified by the platform for that. Unfortunately, Google Shopping is not included in the list.
Pros and Cons Summary
Stay back and read on the recap of our pros and cons we have mentioned aboved:
|Pros||No monthly fee, many free plug-ins and extensions.||Easy to use even for beginners.|
|Excellent for SEO and content marketing.||Layouts can be modified to a large degree without any programming knowledge.|
|Get full control over your store.||24 hours support.|
|Cons||Hard to get the right support (unless hire a developer)||Cannot gain full development control.|
|Apps, plugins, and hosting can be pricey.||Monthly budget.|
|Require a bit of technical knowledge to operate||Extra transaction fees if not using Shopify Payments.|
|Abandoned cart, dropshipping are for higher plans.|
We have come a long way from WooCommerce to Shopify regarding its performance data, pros and cons and outstanding features. It is time for the final verdict.
If you’re looking for a solution with affiliate marketing handy SEO features, definitely go for WooCommerce. Also, if you want more help with your design, don’t mind tinkering, or your major marketing plan is to drive traffic through content for search engines, then choose WooCommerce.
If you’re new to ecommerce or you don’t want to bother about technical details, go for Shopify. Also, if you’re looking to test things and try a few products, go for Shopify. (read here for a comprehensive Shopify review on other features)
Finally, if you find your existing website no longer compatible for online business and wish to migrate from WooCommerce to Shopify or vice versa, LitExtension is at your service. LitExtension is designed for all users and requires no technical and programming skills. Currently, we are supporting migration for over 80 carts including Shopify migration, WooCommerce migration, and more specifically Shopify to WooCommerce or WooCommerce to Shopify.
We take pride in our comprehensive migration service and reliability. You can easily transfer all your data namely products, customers, orders, variants, etc. LitExtension also provides you with additional options so that you can expand the migration possibility, such as:
Should you have any questions regarding WooCommerce and Shopify migration, LitExtension support team is more than happy to help!