Shopify vs WordPress – Which One Is For You?

  • October 23, 2021
  • Websites

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Shopify vs WordPress – what to choose & which one is the best one for you? A lot of website managers must have listened to this phrase during meetings or maybe some educational sessions. No worries; we’re here back again with an exciting intellectual topic to grab maximum information regarding the topic of discussion!

Which Software as a Service (SaaS) is suited to your needs? Well, before we go on and delve into how either of these two differs, we first need to understand the two individual platforms.

However, if you wish to get the best website development services, give us a call; we’re just a call away from building your perfect digital medium!

Online Shopping Behavior In United States – Shopify VS WordPress Comparision

shopify vs wordpress

Image Reference: Statista

Rightnow, in 2021, it’s impossible to find someone in the states that don’t do purchasing through online forums. 85% of the consumers have shopped online until now, which is a benchmark in itself! That’s where we understand the importance of Shopify website builder as a digital ecommerce service provider. Whereas WordPress is a widely used content management system to give users an everlasting experience! Anyways, let’s start the discussing the core differences between Shopify vs WordPress in an upcoming section.

What is Shopify – The Digital E-Commerce for All

The first thing we’ll discuss in this blog of WordPress vs Shopify for ecommerce would be what is Shopify website builder & how it differs from WordPress?

Shopify website builder is a web application (SaaS) tool designed with one goal in mind; to allow everyone to launch their online e-commerce store. Users can have both digital and physical goods up for sale, which depends entirely on the merchant.

Shopify vs WordPress

Image Reference: Shopify

But why is that significant? WordPress vs Shopify for ecommerce is designed to allow those with no knowledge of the codebase or technical savvy to create an online store. Moreover, it still retains the ability to allow those with the knowledge and skill to apply it to their online store and create an even better online outlet.

This is done by providing users with a template with various themes for specific use cases. These themes are tailor-made but can also be customized to suit your business’s needs. The flexibility allows it to be tweaked to however your specific brand needs it to be.

If that was not enough, Shopify website builder also hosts everything you create on its servers. That means you require no hosting maintenance, and everything is handled from the platform’s side. Of course, it does mean that you have to pay its hosting fees, but with the bonus of only having to shell out a few bucks every month, it can be quite an offer.

You can even read about scripting vs programming to get a better insight into coding languages in detail.

What is WordPress – Your Digital Toolbox?

To those who might not know enough about creating websites, WordPress is where they start. It allows them to build, edit, tweak and maintain websites. However, WordPress is more known to be a Content Management System (CMS). In its most simple explanation, a CMS platform allows for creating and editing content on the web.

Similar to Shopify, e-commerce functionality can be integrated into a website through WordPress, but where their differences lie will be discussed later in this blog.

Wordpress vs Shopify

Image Reference: WordPress

Now, let’s talk about WordPress, of which there are two variations to choose from. The most commonly used will be the hosted version, while the second will be self-hosted. The hosted version hosts all the website and its content on WordPress servers, while self-hosted requires users to provide their web server host with WordPress integrated into their website. However, if you wish to read about dos and don’t of saas content marketing, then read out the exciting blog from their website!

There are two types of versions available for WordPress:

  1. Hosted WordPress
  2. Self-hosted WordPress

1. Hosted WordPress

Hosted WordPress is available exclusively on WordPress.com and is the same as Shopify’s Software as a service tool! WordPress is open-source as well, with its code being tweakable, but also one with no license restrictions and freely available everywhere. The open-source nature of WordPress offers even more customization than its closed-source counterpart.
Pricing Packages

The monthly fee starts from $4 to $45 to access the broad range of features enabling you to build your website with a simple blog page.

2. Self-hosted WordPress Version

The self-hosted WordPress version is one of the best, without any headache in managing the hosting services. You can download the self-hosted WordPress version from the WordPress official and install it on your web servers.

It’s an open-source software which means – code is available freely everywhere & can be easily edited! Sounds amazing?

Practically means that you can build the WordPress website with customized features at multiple points – which is very flexible & easy to handle! You can select whatever theme you want for your website.

Wordpress themes

Image Reference: Themeforest

You can enjoy installing a WordPress server accessible for your website, but the hosting cost, domain registration charges & development process might cost you some extensive efforts! For your information, let me explain that this WordPress vs Shopify website builder comparison will focus entirely on self-hosted WordPress versions making it easier for you all to make the final choice. Moreover, a digital audit is critical to ensure your website is working correctly once deployed over Google.

What Sort Of Users Does Shopify VS WordPress Ecommerce Targeting at? – The Niche

It would be no more minor and unfair if we say that Shopify website builder & WordPress ecommerce primary target audience comprises of users who’re not capable of doing the following two tasks;

  1. Web Development With Core Coding
  2. A Heavy Budget To Hire A Professional For Building Online Ecommerce Suite

You would be amazed to read that; Business Branding Services include the mechanism of choosing the perfect Website Design & an Optimistic Logo design that grabs the users’ attention instantly. So, all those who lack in coding shift towards Shopify.

Whereas, as if we’re precisely focusing on WordPress vs Shopify website builder, then in contrast; WordPress offers the following niche;

  • Web Design Services
  • Users with solid web development skills
  • A budget to hire developers for custom web projects

So, after this section, we’re pretty evident with the concept between Shopify & WordPress ecommerce; however, the key to learning the difference between WordPress vs Shopify.

How Many People Tends To Use WordPress & Shopify Website Builder?

While choosing a content management system, a website manager has to look after many things to ensure everything is up to the mark! They know that website maintenance is required after a definite time, so the decision must be made very carefully.

If a platform has a considerable user base, it is challenging to find support options, Shopify plugins available, & resources lined up. In most cases, the chances of platform disappearance are most likely to happen to take your website with a boom!

But no worries, we’re here with fantastic news for you! WordPress vs Shopify website builder has gained a lot of popularity, coming with a large userbase. And we’re not lying; more than 75-90% of self-hosted websites are built on WordPress whereas, Shopify ecommerce powers around 3.2 million stores. You can even check the details by entering the website on Builtwith.com, allowing you to get an idea about websites.

Shopify vs WordPress – WordPress Hosting & Shopify offer similar hosting methods

A website can be enhanced and tweaked even further with plugins, and with templates based on themes also available, it makes WordPress ecommerce both friendly to beginners and advanced users. However, that makes WordPress ecommerce less friendly to complete novices, as the number of customization options can be overwhelming.

The self-hosted version is what most businesses requiring a professional website might prefer. The hosted version is free and might not be a display of professionalism that businesses need.

The Pricing Packages For Shopify vs WordPress?

This section will read about exciting pricing packages of both the platforms, Shopify & WordPress, to make it clear for the users to make the final choice!

Shopify Pricing

  1. Lite: $9/month
  2. Basic: $29/month
  3. Advanced: $299/month
  4. Plus: $2000/month

Moreover, a Shopify trial is also available, which lasts for approximately 14 days. You can get access to the trial version from here.

Let’s discuss each one of these packages in detail;

  • The ‘Lite’ plan allows you to add products & catalogs to any existing site via a buy button. Moreover, you can sell products via Facebook, so you don’t stand alone in this digital ecommerce race.
  • A ‘Phone Support’ is made available for the users for $29 & higher plans.
  • The number of active users who can access your account precisely varies based on the plan you’re choosing.
  • The credit card & transaction fees decrease as the monthly plans become more expensive day by day.

WordPress Pricing

It’s evident that in comparison with WordPress vs Shopify, WordPress wins the race with a large audience using it daily. WordPress is one of the standard cms content management systems that are entirely free, but some points make it costly for the users.

Let’s quickly discuss each one of them!

  • Hosting: You have to pay for the hosting on which you will install your WordPress website.
  • Templates: You have to pay for the themes.
  • E-commerce Integration: You need to pay for the additional tools you’ll utilize in your website.
  • Plugins: If you’re planning to add some additional plugins to your website, then you need to pay for them!

And of course, how can you forget to pay for the developer who’ll be responsible for developing the website. Where you go, you need to pay for the developer who will deploy your website on the server.

There are different WordPress hosting companies like Kinsta or WP Engine that specialize in WordPress hosting. Now looking at the pricing, you’d be responsible for paying around $4 for the shared hosting whereas; $25 to $30 monthly for managing your website hosting.

For your assistance, I’m mentioning all the payscale in detail;

  1. Annual hosting: It would cost around $300 for WP Engine.
  2. Premium Theme: $175 maximum
  3. Ecommerce Integration: This would cost you around $180
  4. Plugins: $100 maximum
  5. WordPress Maintenance: It would cost you around $50 maximum.

So, it would be no less if I quote you around $1080 maximum for the entire WordPress development process along with hosting, themes, and plugins.

Costing For Developers Developing Websites?

If you’re a developer looking around for the charges for building, maintaining, and managing any WordPress website, then the pricing would be as follows; As lower as $29 for Shopify basic plan, along with $10/monthly for the application development process.

In simple words, you’ll cost around $299/month & $1/month per application. Isn’t it amazing? Stay back, as we’ll explore some points in the blog of Shopify vs WordPress.

Shopify vs WordPress – Economic or Premium?

It is essential to understand that both platforms’ audiences overlap but are not wholly the same. When comparing Shopify vs WordPress, Shopify stands as the more budget-friendly, restrictive, and by-the-numbers option. On the other hand, WordPress can have wide and varied use cases, making it more specialized but still serviceable.

If you are a small business that cannot hire a dedicated web development team, perhaps a design department for the website, and hosting servers for their domain, then Shopify is the way to go.

Suppose you are an IT company or at least a company with the necessary resources and use-cases. In that case, WordPress, specifically the self-hosted version, is the better option, given its modularity.

Shopify vs WordPress – Apples and Oranges?

Pricing is where Shopify vs WordPress can get challenging to compare. While they can offer similar functions, the range of what they offer can vary significantly between users.

In addition to a two-week free trial, Shopify offers multiple monthly payment plans with features for new, growing, or expanding businesses. The price can range from 29 USD to 299 USD, depending on the plan selected.

WordPress ecommerce vs Shopify is a different story. In addition to the payment plans offered, ranging from 3 USD to 30 for different use cases, WordPress CMS also needs to be hosted if you want to go professional. That means paying hosting fees, which is often an annual or bi-annual, recurring cost, which can also vary in cost based on what type of hosting you purchase. There are also custom designs, shopify plugins, and functionalities you will need to add, which can add up in costs, not to mention the cost of paying developers and designers to make it all happen.

It might seem based on that Shopify vs WordPress example that the latter is the more expensive option, but that may not always be the case. Of course, a complex, bespoke website may require WordPress. Still, WordPress offers a more extensive variety of uses, making a cost comparison an unreliable method to determine the better option.

Shopify vs WordPress – The ‘Apple’ of CMS?

While both platforms offer templates based on themes, the selection on WordPress is significantly higher than on Shopify. However, this comes with a caveat. As the platform is open-source, specific WordPress themes can have hidden viruses or malicious code.

Shopify vs WordPress – The former brings storefronts that are designed to be flawless.

Shopify, on the other hand, might offer fewer options but is also a curated platform. A close comparison can be made in differentiating Android and iOS. While the latter is limited in customizability, it also means that everything is designed to run perfectly on that platform. Android, however, can be more prone to bugs, software issues, viruses, and more.

Templates Available For Shopify vs WordPress

The critical concept while developing any website is answering a question, how professional my official site looks? You can explore templates information in this Shopify vs WordPress blog.

The professional look and feel of the website matter a lot! Shopify offers a wide range of templates like ten free templates whereas, 71 are paid exclusively on the platform. Don’t forget to introduce some animations on your website, making it look more attractive!

You can browse all of them from here, adding beauty to your website! The Shopify web designs are made with delicacy and 100% responsive to give the users a fantastic experience! Whether you open it on mobile phones, tablets, or desktops, it will work perfectly.

Behavior & Performance of the templates

As discussed in the previous section, Shopify templates are hundred perfect responsible, but you need to run all of the websites on mobile phones and tablets to ensure this.

To rectify the behavior of the website, you can use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on both Shopify vs WordPress. AMP is a Google Backed Project that speeds up the pages on any platform and shows results in case of any issue.

WordPress Vs Shopify? – Ease Of Use

After reading the blog till the previous section, you must be clear with the fun fact that both Shopify vs WordPress share a similar layout. Still, Shopify wins the race with a contemporary and clear appearance!

The difference lies in the platform’s approach, like Squarespace – which displays a more comprehensive and clean look of your edits like the pages in a real-time environment. However, you still choose to adopt visual editor Shopify plugins in WordPress like Elementor to create an impressive interface, which will help in appealing to the audience.

Shopify vs WordPress? – Ecommerce Platform

A lot of readers from this Shopify vs WordPress comparison blog would be waiting for this section. You can turn your website into an ecommerce portal where buyers and sellers can come to perform all the activities. Sadly, WordPress doesn’t have a built-in tool for Ecommerce Shopify plugins, but still, there are many third-party options available.

Surprisingly, in WordPress vs Shopify, you would be amazed to read that Shopify offers ecommerce support and has a dedicated online store for this. However, if you wish to add a WordPress ecommerce with an Ecommerce look & feel, then some of the plugins are mentioned as follow;

  1. Ecwid
  2. Easy Digital Download
  3. WooCommerce
  4. WP E-Commerce

Shopify vs WordPress? – SEO Services

Lastly, the focus is on adding SEO practices to your website, making it perfect to use! With content management comes SEO practices added up in the website to make it rank over SERP. Without SEO, it’s impossible to get an authentic audience to your website. With good google visibility, you can get a lot of sales and traffic over your website. You can use Google Adwords, Social Media Ads to drive traffic over your website.

For a start in Shopify vs WordPress, you can install the Yoast plugin to implement the best SEO practices to your website. Moreover, Shopify shows how good your website is performing, showing all the SEO points to view at a glance!

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Shopify Ecommerce vs WordPress?

Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of choosing Shopify vs WordPress in detail;

Why Choose Shopify Over WordPress?

  1. Shopify is easy to develop as compared to WordPress.
  2. It has an ecommerce Shopify plugin built-in with every purchase!
  3. Shopify includes hosting services for free.
  4. While using Shopify, you don’t need to focus on the technical aspects of the website.
  5. A 24/7 customer support service is available for the users.
  6. Shopify is responsible for keeping the security concerns of the users preserved.

Why Choose WordPress Over Shopify?

  1. WordPress software is open-source & available for free.
  2. You can build any type of website with WordPress, with exciting features indulging within it.
  3. A wide range of templates is available on the website, making it easier to use comparatively to Shopify.
  4. WordPress is one of the best content management software with sophisticated features and functionalities.
  5. You can enjoy a large range of options when it comes to WordPress ecommerce plugins.
  6. The SEO features are available widely in WordPress websites.
  7. You can enjoy exporting pages and posts in WordPress easily. 

Alternatives – Shopify vs WordPress

Undoubtedly Shopify & WordPress are some of the best cms but still, there are some alternatives available in the market, which users can use in case of any difficulties.

  1. Joomla
  2. Drupal
  3. Squarespace
  4. Wix
  5. Big Cartel
  6. BigCommerce
  7. Amazon Shootout

Shopify vs WordPress – It Depends on You

I hope you’re now quite clear with the difference between Shopify & WordPress after reading a detailed comparison between Shopify vs WordPress. There is no ‘right answer’ when it comes to selecting either platform unless you know what you need. The short answer, however, is that for users with limited needs  Shopify is the way to go. For both newcomers and power users, however, WordPress is more of a long-term investment with a gradual, but ultimately higher return.

Ayesha Hashmi

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I'm a tech-savvy Digital Content Producer who loves to write unique content regarding ongoing technology trends. I love to take on challenges and come up with fruitful solutions.