WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which One Should You Choose?

WooCommerce and Shopify are two of the most popular eCommerce platforms out there today. And deciding which one to go with might feel like a difficult decision. The truth is that they both have their advantages and disadvantages, and ultimately, the best one for your business will depend on a number of things.

What type of website are you looking to build? How customized do you want it to be? How much control do you want to have over your site? Do you expect to have a lot of sales?

These are just a few of the questions that you should be considering. To help make this decision a little easier for you, in this infographic, we break down the most important factors that you should take into consideration when deciding between WooCommerce vs Shopify. Hopefully it helps in your decision-making process!

Price

ShopifyWooCommerce
A fixed monthly price, with plans ranging from $9/month for the Lite version to $299/month for Advanced ShopifyFree, but extensions (add-ons) are normally extra (usually one-time payments of $49-$79); you’ll also have to pay for hosting, a domain, SSL certificate and possibly a theme (if you pick one that’s paid).

Bottom line: If you want a highly customized site, you might end up paying more for WooCommerce. If you want to know exactly what you are going to pay upfront and don’t mind having a monthly subscription, Shopify might be a better option for you.

Design

ShopifyWooCommerce
Offers a range of sleek and modern-looking templates that you can choose from, all of which are mobile-friendly and come with various color schemesCan either choose from the official WooCommerce theme (Storefront) or a theme created from an independent developer; on top of that, you can customize those themes with “child themes,” which are like variations of the parent themes

Bottom line: If you want an out-of-the-box, sleek design, and originality isn’t that important to you, then Shopify might be your best bet. If you want a design that’s original, but takes a bit more work to create, then you’ll probably be better off with WooCommerce.

Ease of Use

ShopifyWooCommerce
Has a drag-and-drop user interface that’s made for beginners, and you don’t have to worry about managing or updating softwareA bit more complicated to set up, but once it is set up, it’s just as easy to use as Shopify (although it does require a bit more maintenance)

Bottom line: If you aren’t very technical and are setting up your store yourself, then you might want to go with Shopify. But if you are more technical—or will have some help setting up your store—then WooCommerce is a good option.

Maintenance

ShopifyWooCommerce
Technical maintenance is taken care of for youRequires a bit more technical maintenance; you’ll have to update WooCommerce Core and plugins on regular basis

Bottom line: If you don’t expect to be making a lot of sales and your site won’t require a great deal of maintenance (or you don’t want to worry about dealing with it), then Shopify might be best. But if you expect to be making a lot of sales, then your store will inevitably require more maintenance, and WooCommerce might just be worth it.

Customer Support

ShopifyWooCommerce 
24/7 support (via chat, email or phone)No support team on call, but there are numerous blogs, forums and even a Slack group dedicated to answering questions

Bottom line: If you’re someone that needs to have a support team on call at all times, then Shopify might be best for you. But if you’re more independent and okay digging around a bit to figure things out, then the support provided by WooCommerce will probably be sufficient for you.

Control

ShopifyWooCommerce
Not open-source; website is managed through Shopify database, so core code can’t be changed and you will have to report any bugs to Shopify (rather than being able to change them yourself)Open-source, so you have much more control over your site; you (or your developer) can change core code and fix bugs yourself instead of waiting for someone to fix them for you

Bottom line: If you want more control over your website, go with WooCommerce. Otherwise, Shopify will probably be a safe bet.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Summing Up 

When choosing between WooCommerce vs Shopify, there are a number of things to think about.

If you don’t have a lot of technical experience or support and want a website that’s easy to set up and maintain, then Shopify might be the best fit for your business. The disadvantage is that your website probably won’t be as original, you won’t have as much control over everything, and you might not be able to customize it as much as you would like.

If you have technical experience or support and are looking to build a site that’s highly customized that you will have more control over, then you’ll most likely be better off with WooCommerce. It will probably be more difficult to set up and require a bit more maintenance, but the end result—an original site that’s customized to your liking—will make it worth it. 

Oh, and one last thing: If you decide that you want to go with WooCommerce and need some help setting up—or maintaining—your store, get in touch. We’d love to help you grow your shop!

Mary Blackiston

Mary is the Content Marketing Specialist for eScale. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, rock climbing, blogging, traveling, and soaking up as much knowledge as she can.