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Shopify Vs WordPress Development: What to pick for your online store?


WordPress powers around 26% of the web and has been around for over a decade. For such a long time, it has been the top dog in the domain of website creation. But in recent years, many online store owners have been switching to Shopify and other eCommerce platform providers. So what are the main reasons for the switch?

An eCommerce platform should be focused on its customers and selling its products. It should be a flexible platform that grows and adapt to your business. Here are three main concerns when choosing a base for your store.

  1. Budget

These days one can build and host an eCommerce site for less than $10. There are many free and open-source options (Woo-commerce (WordPress), Shopware, Magento) and paid ones like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Squarespace. 

You do not have to pay for using WordPress, free and easy to use, although some fees might have to be paid like hosting, security and support.

If you are on a low budget and don’t have coding skills or are new in the market and don’t want to learn web development, Shopify can be the best option.

  1. Target Audience

Businesses have to capture the maximum audience to grow. When choosing a base for a website consider platforms offering built-in integrations with Facebook and Instagram, so you can market directly in their news feeds. 

Moreover, Shopify has a built-in Payment system making it easier to accept payments.

  1. Room for growth

Many small business owners underestimate their future growth, and this mistake costs them huge fees later in the future. It’s critical to consider a web host that can grow along with your business. It’s a better idea to do your research before buying a web host, as changing it later costs a hefty workload and is a nightmare for many. Could hosting is one of the best options for eCommerce sites because you have almost unlimited growth capabilities.

How is Shopify different from WordPress?

People often ask us why Shopify instead of WordPress. There are a few reasons why Shopify is better for eCommerce development.

  • Shopify is one of the most used eCommerce platforms, easier to set up and use than WordPress.
  • Hosting matters a lot, and Shopify includes hosting in all plans. Meanwhile, with WordPress, you have to sort this out separately.
  • Maintaining your site is far easier with Shopify, while in the case of WordPress, frequent system check-ups are a necessity else your site will become vulnerable to being hacked.
  • 24/7 support is available for Shopify via email, phone, and live chat, while support for the WordPress site largely depends on whether you have commissioned somebody to provide it.
  • The backend has Storefront Renderer infrastructure that improves site loading speed, making loading 2x faster than average.
  • All packages include Social selling features, and while using these, you can efficiently sell your products using Buyable Pins, Facebook Shop, and Facebook Messenger.
  • Amazon Integration extension available at Shopify App Store allows you to match your product listings on Amazon.
  • A few things might be deal-breaker for some users like No free plan available, limited customization to theme and platform capabilities, can’t change backend codes as its proprietary code.

Websites using shopify:

  • Gymshark
  • Fitbit
  • Penguin Books

So, do all these features make WordPress obsolete? Pretty sure it’s not. 

WordPress is a open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP. Easy to use and install, WordPress is an easy choice for small businesses looking to start an online presence.

Why WordPress over Shopify?

  • WordPress offers flexibility so that you can build all types of sites. 
  • WordPress features like revision history and archiving tools save users a lot of time while making changes and unexpected issues arise.
  • As long as you have good hosting and have configured all settings correctly, SEO features in WordPress are more reliable than the Shopify counterparts.
  • WordPress has a long history and has a large user base than Shopify.

Websites using WordPress:

  • Skype
  • BBC America
  • Microsoft news

Which one to pick for your ecommerce store?

One of the most common questions people ask is which platform is best for eCommerce – Shopify or WordPress. The answer to this question is not very simple and involves a lot of factors.

Every online shop has unique needs, and choosing the right platform for your business depends on many factors. There are, however, some basic things you must consider while making your choice.

  • Cost of Ownership: Shopify has a free trial and plans to start from $29/month, and this basic plan allows you to embed products and product catalogs on an existing site or sell via Facebook. You can use best mobile credit card processing services to avail this offer.

On the other hand, WordPress isn’t an entirely free option, the WordPress content management system (CMS) is free, but you have to pay for hosting, themes and plugins. For small and simple businesses, Shopify costs less, here Shopify is the winner.

  • Templates: Professional-looking websites grab audience attention more than anything. Well, Shopify offers a wide range of templates that are available on the Shopify theme store. Moreover, they are super smooth and responsive both on mobile and desktop. The Prices range from $150 – $350.

WordPress is the clear winner here, currently 1000+ themes both free and paid, and expects to go higher quickly, thanks to the massive developer community. 

  • Performance on Mobile View: Shopify and WordPress both supports tons of themes but some aren’t coded well, and can cause performance drop when browsing through a mobile browser. Both platforms support Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which drastically speeds up the loading of your pages on mobile devices by stripping out certain parts of code.
  • Interface and ease of use: The basic layouts of WordPress and Shopify interfaces are similar enough. However, Shopify is arguably more contemporary and clean in appearance.
  •  You can use visual editor plugins in WordPress (like Divi or Elementor) to edit in real-time. Also, to sell products in WordPress, you will need to use a third-party plugin such as Ecwid, WooCommerce. 

When to pick Shopify and When to pick WordPress?

So which one is best for your business to need? Ultimately, WordPress is a better-established and more flexible platform than Shopify. It has a larger user base and a much greater selection of themes and apps to choose from – with the right skills and resources, one can essentially build any sort of website with just WordPress. 

On the contrary, Shopify is the best option if you are planning to launch your online store in a short time or those lack web design skills. 

WordPress has an edge in search engine optimization too: you have Yoast, choose a hosting provider, and tweak source code to boost performance and SEO to the nth degree.

Shopify is meant to simply meet the needs of eCommerce users better, helping those who don’t have technical skills. It’s designed specifically to make building an online store straightforward, and it does a great job in doing so.

Additionally, if you use Shopify, you don’t have to wait hours to get your issue fixed as Shopify has amazing customer support and security.

In end, if you have a decent budget and a good developer, go with WordPress; although there is a steeper learning curve involved with WordPress. 

If all you need is just get your e-commerce website running with all essential tools and tweaks, Shopify is all you need.

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