Why Should You Choose Shopify Over WooCommerce
In the last 10 years I helped build thousands of e-commerce shops. I have a good point of view over what’s the best choice in 2017.
The two big main categories of shop building solutions can be separated in Open Source CMS-based, and hosted services. In the CMS category I can list the 2 most popular, WordPress and Prestashop, but of course there are endless possibilities. Same for the hosted services, I list Shopify because I think it’s the best, but there are many, many other players in the field.
Open Source means that the source code is available, and generally for free, too. While the entry price is free, not always this means it’s the best alternative, especially if what you need to spend instead of money is your time, and sometimes basic features are upsold in addons that summed up cost quite a lot.
So now that I have done a brief introduction, let’s dive into why, and when, you should avoid WooCommerce and instead pick Shopify as the foundation of your e-commerce business.
Ease of use
Shopify is extremely easy to use. You can set up a shop without knowing anything about the technical details of how it works. The same cannot be said with WooCommerce, as being a plugin inside another platform, you need to understand quite a few things before starting out, and it’s a time and energy consuming distraction, and while managing the shop day to day is a comparable experience, the setup phase is completely different.
Both platforms have a huge number of themes that can be purchased and customized. There is no real advantage on choosing one or the other, although I have to say that premium Shopify themes are really, really well designed, and compared to WordPress themes, they are built with just one thing in mind: presenting your products, and sell them.
Shopify is more popular
According to Google Trends, Shopify is a more popular search term (almost 2x) than WooCommerce, and growing, and this is always a good things, as it makes sure the buzz is going, and with it the ecosystem and the offer around Shopify is always great.
Shopify handles the technical stuff
Might seem counterintuitive choosing a paid service over a free one, but here’s the trick: the money you put upfront is money saved in the long run.
Using WooCommerce you generally need to think about
- Setting up SSL
- Making sure there are no security holes on your server
- Making sure the site is working all the time
- Set up a CDN to speed up site loading times
Now, if you have no idea about those things right above, then simply don’t think about it, and use Shopify. Your monthly fee includes the servers, speed is great, and there are whole teams whose duty is to make sure everything is secure and running 100% of the time.
The only alternative for getting this on WooCommerce is to pick a specialized hosting company that does this for you, but then you need to spend a premium for that, you can’t expect to pay cheap hosting and have you covered.
Handing payment and security is not a joke, and Shopify implements PCI compliance by default for all the shops.
PCI compliance alone should be a reason to use Shopify over platforms that need you to manage this on your own.
You have support
While every hosting has (or should have!) support, they cannot solve everything, and if there is a problem in the payment process for example, it might come from the server software, from WordPress, from WooCommerce, the theme, or any other plugin you have installed that interferes. In this case, you might spend weeks before determining what’s the issue, talk to many different people, reach out plugins developers, paying to access support, or pay an expert to solve it on your behalf.
Shopify on the other hand is straightforward. If there is a problem on the site, you’re pretty sure it will be solved, and it’s all included in your monthly fee, and you can reach them out 24/7, even by phone.
Hosted means always evolving
One of the key difference in Shopify is that once the store is set up, you don’t really need to touch anything in the underlying platform. You just focus on your products and what your customers see.
WooCommerce on the other hand has many updates, WordPress has updates, you need to login (or have someone competent login) from time to time in the website to backup, apply those updates, run through the checkout process to make sure all is still running again as before, because some changes in the updates might have introduced a bug.
You don’t have such issues with Shopify. Consider that you hired their developers to always make sure everything runs smoothly, to introduce new features you can use to sell more, and never ever worry about the technical details of a website.
Both WooCommerce and Shopify can have their functionality enhanced by plugins/apps, if you need specific features that the standard packages do not handle.
Additional features for real-world shops
Shopify is not just an online platform. It grows up with you, and you can start by using the iPhone / iPad POS App, which syncs with your inventory, and you can expand their POS offering with other specialized hardware, something that WooCommerce does not provide.
While WordPress is considered among the best platforms for blogging, Shopify allows you to have a blog as well. Don’t be tricked by the fact that it builds e-commerce sites: they know perfectly well that content marketing is a great way to expose you and be found by search engines, so they make it easy to have a blog.
I hope you had a good read, and you found out a couple things that you didn’t know yet. If so, please recommend or share it.
Please comment below if you have something to add or ask.
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Fire Up Your Shop! 🔥