The rapid growth of the e-commerce industry is extremely enticing, which is why people nowadays are increasingly looking to start their own online stores.
Without a doubt, Shopify and WordPress are the platforms most commonly used by those who are launching their digital storefronts. But which one of them should you use to set up your shop? Is one better than the other? Or, are they both just actually the same?
Main difference between Shopify and Wordpress Platforms
The biggest difference between Shopify and WordPress is the fact that the former is a website builder while the latter is a blogging platform. This means that Shopify allows people to create their very own website from scratch, even if they have limited to no technical know-how. More than that, though, the platform is geared specifically towards those who wish to set up their own digital storefronts, which is why users are automatically given access to important e-commerce features, such as secure payments, inventory management, and the “add to cart” function.
On the other hand, WordPress can be used either as a blogging platform (WordPress.com) or as a self-hosted software program (WordPress.org). Self-hosted meaning users will need to find a suitable hosting plan, whether monthly or yearly, and install the WordPress software. While users can build any kind of website they want with the latter, creating an online store requires more effort, some technical knowledge since third-party plugins and themes need to be installed, and quite often there is a lot of fiddling around with the plugin and theme settings that can be quite overwhelming for new users.
Shopify’s themes are mobile responsive, but not all WordPress themes are.
Shopify has more than 70 themes to choose from; those who are on a strict budget can make do with the platform’s ten free themes, all of which are beautifully-designed and aesthetically-pleasing. If you have a bit more money to spare, though, then their other themes carry price tags that start from $140. Since Shopify is geared specifically towards e-commerce, all of their themes – both free and paid – are mobile responsive, which means that your website will automatically adjust to different screen sizes, allowing customers to easily browse through your store, whether they’re on a mobile or a tablet.
In contrast, WordPress has more than a thousand themes to choose from, many of which are free. However, not all of them are mobile responsive. More importantly, some of these themes are created by third-party developers, which puts them at risk of clashing or downright malfunctioning when WordPress introduces updates to their platform.
When it comes to running an online store, the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can’t be overstated. With Shopify, users can improve their metadata by adding specific titles and descriptions, as well as by customizing the URLs of their pages. The platform also provides them with a slew of other incredible SEO features, such as a Google Analytics tool, built-in social media integration, and more.
Improving your SEO on WordPress, however, can only be done by installing external plugins. Although most of them are free to install for basic features, most do require paid subscription plans or a once-off payment to get access to their advanced features.
Shopify has round-the-clock customer support, however, WordPress has none.
Shopify prides itself on providing its users with nothing but an excellent experience, which is why their customer service team is second to none. Their trained representatives can be reached through multiple different channels, including by email, live chat, and even via a phone number. More than that, though, users on their Shopify Plus plan can receive constant guidance and support from their designated Merchant Success Manager.
On the other hand, WordPress has no customer service team. Rather, the platform only has community-based resources, like online forums, to help you out with your issues. However, the WordPress software itself hardly ever runs into an issue, if your site is a self-hosted WordPress site, the issues you encounter will be either relating to the hosting company you've signed up with or a plugin or theme you've installed. You can easily resolve these issues by changing your hosting company and by uninstalling plugins or themes. Quite often, the new hosting company will assist with the migration easily and smoothly.
Shopify has several plans to suit everyone's needs. The basic plan starts from $29 per month with necessary transaction costs across all their plans.
The main cost associated with running a WordPress site is hosting. Hosting such as Bluehost and Hostgator can start from as low as $5 per month which makes it very affordable for people starting up with a low budget. Other costs to consider are plugin and theme costs. Although many of them are free to install, to use it's advanced features, a once-off payment or a yearly payment is required. However, you will find that you can go quite far with all the available free plugins.
If you’re planning on building a digital storefront, then Shopify is undoubtedly the platform to go with especially if you are not tech-savvy. Not only do they have built-in features and tools that are specifically geared towards e-commerce, but their stellar customer support will also help ensure that your online shop is constantly earning, no matter what.
However, if you are on a very tight budget and $29 per month is too costly for you, WordPress would be the way to go. It may not be as user-friendly as Shopify but there are plenty of Youtube tutorials to get you through it.
Zeron87 on November 30, 2020:
Wow... Shopify it is then. Thank you for posting this article. I was wondering where I should start with my e-store I'm drafting up.