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Let’s compare Shopify vs. WordPress as eCommerce websites for businesses that sell products and services online. Ideally, you need a solution that streamlines customer experiences both in the store and online.

For retail shopping, most customers now expect the ability to purchase both in-store and online. As restrictions continue to lift, in-person shopping will rebound. But some may still feel hesitant to shop in public. Others simply grew fond of shopping from the comfort of their keyboard.

So online shopping will continue to grow as well.

Let’s look at two of the most common eCommerce platforms: Shopify and WordPress with WooCommerce. 

Shopify Website

This is a software solution developed specifically for building an online store. It allows you to design the store, display products, track inventory, calculate shipping and taxes, and process payments. A point of sale (POS) app and hardware allow store owners to sell in physical store locations as well. This integration can help you keep track of your inventory and which channel is performing the best.

Starting your store has low barriers for entry with a 14-day free trial. After your trial is over, you pay monthly subscription fees to keep your store active. However, as your store grows, your monthly costs will increase. This is something to keep in mind as you scale your store for growth.

You start by choosing a Shopify theme that dictates the style, layout, and functionality of your store. Shopify offers free themes and premium ones you must pay for. Then you customize your store and add products.

Editing your site is all done from a well organized dashboard. No coding is required.

To complete the setup, you need to choose a payment gateway. These differ in transaction fees charged, types of cards and forms of payment accepted, and levels of control over the shopping cart checkout process. The expenses charged by the payment gateway are besides Shopify’s own transaction fees for Shopify payments processed. And you must also register and pay for your domain, or website address separately.

WordPress Website

A WordPress site is a free, open source platform for content management. Initially created for blogs, it evolved to support other uses, including email marketing, media galleries, learning management systems and online stores. You own the property of the website. You can download it onto a zip file and take it with you.

While WordPress itself is free, you must pay for your domain name and a web hosting service that provides the server for your site to be installed. The layout and functionality of your site is determined by WordPress themes and WordPress plugins.

WordPress has a plugin archive with approximately 54,000 plugins available to download and use on your site to handle a variety of tasks to simplify and automate your business. For instance, WooCommerce is the popular choice of eCommerce plugins to turn a WordPress site into an online store. To process online sales and sales made at physical locations, the OliverPOS plugin simplifies inventory tracking.

You can purchase pre-built templates to drag and drop your content on your WordPress website. And there is no shortage of possibilities to customize. But to take advantage of all the flexibility, some knowledge of coding is recommended. Or you can hire website builders to help you.

Shopify vs. WordPress – What’s the major difference?

WordPress is a standalone software you install to publish content that you own on the web. Shopify is an online service paid by subscription to enable you to sell products online. The best solution for you depends on your goals.

Let’s look at the pros and cons when comparing Shopify vs. WordPress

Shopify Pros

Powerful inventory system managed easily ideal for business growth and scaling. 
Free or paid templates provide multiple choices for design and a wide variety of apps allow elevated functionality. 
Over 100 payment options including Shopify’s own payment gateway. 
Accessible integrations make it easy to sell across popular platforms like Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, etc. 
24/7 customer support. 

Shopify Cons

Monthly costs increase significantly as you add templates, apps, transaction fees. 
The editor can be difficult to navigate and is known to have a steep learning curve when customizing your store. 
Minimal built-in features require multiple apps to improve functionality. 
High transaction fees on top of payment gateway costs. 

WordPress Pros

Powerful content management system easily navigated by an administrator to add or change pages and update the material. 
An endless number of free and paid plugins to customize functionality. 
Easy to optimize content for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Mobile responsive themes improve user experience across multiple devices.
Open-source platform allows code sharing potentially saving time and money on development and allows flexibility to move.

WordPress Cons

Updates are regularly required to maintain the health of your site and security. These have the potential to cause minor issues.
Open-source sites are attractive to hackers so site security is important.
Generic code within themes can slow website speed.
Amount of flexibility is great but can be overwhelming if not familiar with the platform.

How do you decide?

Customizing a website often means expensive or difficult. Shopify offers a variety of ways to make your online store unique, but they come at a cost. WordPress’ flexible platform has endless possibilities but requires a basic level of skill.

If you want something quick and relatively easy, Shopify may be the best option. But if you are looking for an eCommerce site that performs over your competitors, offers high levels of control and custom flexibility, and allows you to maintain ownership of your content, WordPress could be the answer.

dark skinned man shrugs shoulders cant decide

We can help!

If the list of cons concerns you, consult with a WordPress professional to discuss them before you decide on the best option for your business. PressHero’s Unlimited Support membership could be the simple answer to take away all those fears and make it possible to take advantage of benefits like unique content, functionality, SEO, and user experience.

Make your online store enjoyable for customers to shop and they will choose your store over others. A slightly higher investment at the beginning allows your business to grow and achieve your goals. Permit your website to be a tool for efficiency and improvement, providing substantial savings in the long term.

If you are curious about learning more, contact us and our team of professionals can further explain WordPress and how we can help you.

Contact PressHero Today

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