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Shopify vs. WooCommerce: Which Really is the Best?

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

It’s easier than ever to set up an online store in a matter of minutes. By using Shopify, WooCommerce, or one of these other store builders, you can start selling online quickly!

You want to know what’s funny though?

The MORE options there are, the more confusing it gets. Right?

Wouldn’t it just be great if you new exactly which site you should go with?

That way, you can stop spending time dealing with the technical specs and get back to doing what you love.

I’ve interviewed LOTS of entrepreneurs on my podcast who have gone on to set up online stores. Some of these guests have grown six and seven figure ecommerce businesses.

Here’s my agenda. I want you to come on my podcast as a success story. I want you to share all of your tips and advice with my listeners.

That story first begins with setting up YOUR OWN online store. That’s why I’ve put together this comparison highlighting some of the major differences between Shopify and Woocommerce.

Shopify

Shopify boasts 325,000 active stores that have generated $24 Billion worth of sales. Since their founding in 2012, the company has experienced rapid growth as more and more online store owners have turned to their platform.

Shopify now also offers Shopify Plus, which is an enterprise-grade solutions for larger businesses. The site has developed a myriad of themes, apps, and extensions that you can use to enhance the functionality of your website. They have also created a robust drag and drop store creator that makes it super easy to customize your site.

Let’s take a look at the standard Shopify plan and what you’ll get:

  • Payment processing
  • Unlimited product listings and storage
  • 24/7 support and fraud analysis
  • Discount codes, gift cards, and abandon car recovery
  • Free SSL certificate and more.

Thankfully, there are no setup fees, no longterm contracts, and you can try out the software without entering your credit card information.

But, that’s not what I like most about Shopify.

I personally host several highly trafficked websites and an online forum. I know how annoying it is to deal with technical issues and server errors that occur.

It really, really sucks.

That’s why I like that Shopify hosts your online store. You don’t have to deal with the code, updates, security, or anything else. It just works.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce has been downloaded over 20,366,499 times and according to the website, powers over 39% of all online stores.

WooCommerce runs on WordPress which is one of the most popular CMS (content management systems) on the planet. Similar to Shopify, WooCommerce has a huge library of themes and extensions that you can use to make your website look sexy and add powerful functionality.

When you install WooCommerce, you’ll instantly get help with all of the key components of a healthy ecommerce site. This includes:

  • Shipping and tax tool
  • Inventory management
  • Marketing and SEO features
  • Discounts ad coupons
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Product reviews
  • Open source community and more

If you’re already familiar with how to set up WordPress, there is going to be an easier learning curve as to how to use WooCommerce.

All you have to do is register an account on Bluehost and use the one-click WordPress install feature to get set up.

Which is Best?

It really comes down to your technical capabilities and needs, but I will say one thing.

If you don’t want the headache of hosting your own website, dealing with coding, and fixing your site when plugin updates break your theme, then go with Shopify.

Yes, you’ll be paying more at the end of the day. After all, WooCommerce is free!

However, I look at it as paying to eliminate headache.

As I continue to get older and wiser, I’m beginning to come to learn that while yes, I can do MANY things, that doesn’t mean that I should.

Certain types of work make me happy and other types make me stressed. I’m good at a few key skills and I should concentrate on being world-class in those areas.

Feel free to argue with me in the comments below, but I think that the functionality and themes available are relatively comparable. I think the main difference is the hosting issue and the level of technical control that you want over the online store.

I must also disclose that I am an affiliate of Shopify, but that’s only because SO MANY of the guests on my podcast recommended them.

Finally, if you do end up launching your store, hit me up and let me know if you’d like to share your story on my podcast. Always looking for new compelling guests!

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  • Great article! Thanks Sal. I just have to disagree on one thing though . I don’t think that ‘plugin updates break your theme’ while using WordPress. It’s just up to you to set up the website properly using a ‘child theme’ and use plugins that are proven to work with each other. WP can be a Frankenstein if you have no idea what you’re doing, but if you take time to set up everything correctly, there’s no headache at all. Cheers!