No ecommerce platform is the same. You must choose one that fits your company’s needs. A popular choice for entrepreneurs in Los Angeles looking to create an online store for their business (through a web design company) is either Shopify or WooCommerce. Each has its pros and cons, so let’s analyze them side by side.
What is an ecommerce platform?
An ecommerce platform, such as Shopify or WooCommerce, is an online shopping cart application that allows businesses to easily set up a store with the ability to sell products or services. These ecommerce platforms usually offer basic website templates for your business and provide you with all of the tools that you need to start making sales right away.
What to look for in your ecommerce platform? (A comparison between Shopify and WooCommerce)
• Shopify price:
When it comes to cost, Shopify is usually the cheaper option, usually costing $29/month for their Basic Shopify plan. With this plan, you will receive unlimited bandwidth and disk space, 24/7 support, over 120 professional themes that a web design agency works with, and all of the apps that come with Shopify, including Facebook Pixel and others.
• WooCommerce Price:
In comparison, WooCommerce is free to install on your server, but hosting packages start at around $5-$15 a month, depending on what features you want. You can also choose to use WordPress hosting or dedicated hosting if you prefer an easier solution. The downside to this is that ecommerce security is now your responsibility, as well as updating any plugins or software used in your store. If there are no available updates, then you may be exposing yourself to security risks. Alternatively, you can employ a website design company to help you patch-up any security vulnerabilities.
Ease of use comparison
• Shopify ease of use
Shopify has an easy-to-use interface that is suitable for most users. Shopify has a wide range of themes in their theme store that a website development company can use to customize your shop with little effort. The limitations on customizing your website are mostly related to the e-commerce functionality, rather than ease of use or how it looks. This makes changing things like product details, layout, and appearance relatively simple, although you will likely need design experience to get your site looking just right.
• WooCommerce ease of use:
If you are using WordPress hosting, WooCommerce is fairly simple to install and get started with but can get more complicated if you need functionality that isn’t available in the standard plugin. For example, adding subscriptions or building an online store is difficult for someone who isn’t technically proficient with coding. There are many different ecommerce plugins available on the market, which means there’s plenty of choices when it comes to design and features. If these aspects are important to you, then you should consider hiring a website developer.
• Shopify payment options
Shopify has a much wider range of payment methods available than WooCommerce. The big players, like PayPal and Apple Pay, are supported by both Shopify and WooCommerce, but Shopify also has the option to integrate with Authorize.net and other less-known providers such as GiroPay (Germany), Eway (Australia), Bluepay (China), and many more.
• WooCommerce payment options
WooCommerce supports a vast selection of payment services. Namely, PayPal, credit and debit cards via Stripe and Google Wallet, as well as offline payments through ‘Cash on Delivery’ and automated invoicing.
• Shopify add-ons
In terms of pre-built apps, Shopify offers more than WooCommerce does. This is large because Shopify has had a long time to accumulate third-party support, but both platforms have a respectable array of features to explore, from shipping integrations to accounting software. You can see the full list here.
• WooCommerce add-ons
The main difference between WooCommerce’s store compared with the official WordPress plugin repository is that WooCommerce add-ons are almost exclusively for use with the official WooCommerce plugin only. This means that if you want to integrate a shipping carrier, accounting package, or ecommerce app into your store, you’ll need to sign up for paid plans on both Shopify and WooCommerce, whereas these features come standard with either free or bundled plans on most other platforms.
• Shopify dropshipping
Shopify has made several big moves towards catering to drop shippers, and this is evident in the platform’s recent additions of “drop ship-centric” apps such as Oberlo.” However, there are lots of third-party apps available within the Shopify directory, which also offer drop shipping capabilities.
• WooCommerce dropshipping
There are a lot of WooCommerce dropshipping plugins available in the official directory. However, I have found that not all of these work as advertised, and some require coding skills to get them working, which isn’t great for beginners. There is also a lack of support from other dropshippers using this platform compared with Shopify.
• Shopify scalability
Shopify has a knowledgeable team behind it, so they have the resources to expand their platform as they need to. They also have a dedicated team working on new features and updates for existing ones, so your website is always getting the latest features. As Shopify already runs a large number of online stores, there will be more people using this platform, which makes finding developers easier, along with good quality third-party apps being created for it.
• WooCommerce scalability
One of WooCommerce’s main strong points is that it can be used by anyone, from beginners up to experienced users, such as web design services due to its high customizability. However, this does mean you may face problems integrating WooCommerce with certain plugins or themes as not everything has been made for WooCommerce yet.
• Shopify support
Shopify does a great job at providing extensive documentation and guides on its website. They also have a very active community base with many users who are willing to help those with problems, as well as have various support channels such as FAQs, forums, and email so you can always get an answer if you need one.
• WooCommerce support
Similarly to Shopify, WooCommerce provides extensive documentation across its site along with many user-submitted FAQs. One of the main differences is that there’s no dedicated forum for WooCommerce where users can share advice and opinions like on Shopify. Instead, they use their WordPress.org repository. Also, due to the sheer size of the Woo market (over 40%) compared to other platforms, there is a large user-submitted blog on the WordPress.org site with many posts and tutorials that can help.
Conclusion: WooCommerce vs. Shopify: Which is better?
There’s a lot to consider when choosing between Shopify and WooCommerce, and there’s no right or wrong here. It comes down to what your requirements are and which platform best fits those requirements. If you’re in Los Angeles, and you need a website design company in Los Angeles, we can help you choose the best option depending on your needs.