Whether you are new to Shopify and WordPress or seeking to shift your business to a new platform, the information here can aid you in learning more about the two options. In my opinion, if you want a quicker, easier option for your store, and don’t intend to spend a lot of time building it outside of product pages, go with Shopify. If you want more control, the ability to own your platform and move hosts, grow it larger than purely an e-commerce store and are willing to learn the platform, go with WordPress.
Comparing Shopify and WordPress
Shopify is famous for being an advanced website builder that addresses every business demand. In contrast, WordPress is a dynamic and open-source content management system (CMS) that enables store owners to manage their sites fully.
In addition, the pricing plans provide saving options, where you can save up to twenty percent when you pay upfront and buy a biennial or annual Shopify plan.
WordPress.org and WordPress.com are two service types you can get on the WordPress site. WordPress.org is a self-hosted service that lets you enjoy total control of your website.
Therefore, you and your hosting provider are in charge of your WordPress installation and maintenance, requiring you to undertake security updates, backups, and upgrades directly.
WordPress is open source and completely free for anyone to utilize, and thus, you only need to have web hosting and a domain name.
You can choose from many companies for WordPress website hosting such as:
WordPress.com is a hosting service where the provider does the installation and maintenance for you.
The level of service you get depends on functionality and the plan you sign up for, meaning you have to verify if WordPress.com provides what you need before committing to it.
These plans, customarily categorized into five types, also determine the kind of domain name available.
The categories under WordPress.com include free, personal, premium, business, and eCommerce plans. All five plans have free themes and pre-installed SSL certificates, with the four paid ones including live chat support, email, and a free domain for a year.
When you want to use the site cost-free, the free plan allows your site to stay on a WordPress sub-domain such as litextension.WordPress.com. However, if you intend to pay for usage, you can obtain a custom domain name for your site.
Who Do They Suit Best?
Although you can use both as eCommerce platforms, Shopify and WordPress have unique elements that suit different users.
If you want to create a large eCommerce business or a full-on online store more “out of the box”, Shopify is the option for your needs. It is also suitable when you have a flexible budget, allowing you to select a pricing plan best suited to realize your business vision.
In contrast, if your interest is in writing blogs along with your e-commerce store, you might want to go for WordPress because its designers originally developed it for blogging.
You can add Plugins like WooCommerce to turn your WordPress website into an eCommerce solution.
WordPress requires you to have some technical knowledge to edit the underlying code.
WordPress is ideal when you have a tight budget since you do not need to pay additional fees on each transaction, unlike Shopify.
Additionally, you can get free versions and affordable rates on WordPress.com, making it perfect to launch a site as a hobby, personal project, run a small-scale business or share exciting thoughts.
Notably, when you intend to launch a more serious website within WordPress, it is ideal to use WordPress.org.
The software provides a technical support team and unlimited possible customizations, making a convenient pick to run a pro-blogging project or a robust business site.
In all, your technical skills, budget, and business size are the primary factors that determine your preferred and suitable choice between the two.
Similarities Between Shopify and WordPress
WordPress and Shopify share a few similarities that can enhance your convenience when shifting from one to the other.
Familiarity with one side will make the transition more comfortable to handle the new system or software.
Here are some key elements that similarly occur in Shopify and WordPress:
1. User-friendly Interface Design
WordPress and Shopify have a quality interface design with user-friendly features to make it comfortable for experienced and new users to navigate.
You can conveniently operate Worpress.org and WordPress.com because their existence on WordPress software makes them function in a kindred way.
You need user registration since you can utilize your WordPress website to launch online stores, blogs, portals, landing pages, and company websites.
You can efficiently utilize everything on the dashboard, with the back-end featuring a clean and simple design.
In addition, you can look at the different content areas of your site and manipulate the settings along the page’s left side.
The specific features ensure you can avoid confusion and quickly adjust the settings to add a new blog post, set up social sharing, and personalize your design.
Previous experience with a WordPress website can make using Shopify even easier since you would immediately feel familiar with its interface.
The easy-to-use design lets anyone comfortably maneuver Shopify, allowing you to use an online retail store within a few minutes.
You can see all your store’s back and front-end components in one place, enabling you to configure your settings, look at customer information, and order details.
With this layout, you can also design your site according to your preference while quickly modifying, deleting, or adding products.
You can access a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate pre-installed in Shopify and WordPress. Thus, you only need to activate it once you obtain your site, making it easier to run and secure your website.
The pre-installation also adds to your comfort when you have little coding knowledge since you can activate it easily within a few clicks.
3. Pricing Plan
Shopify and WordPress include various plans that deliver different advantages to cater to users with multiple needs.
They operate the plans monthly and annually, allowing you to use your credit card for ongoing payment or a one-off charge.
The two options also have free versions to help new users adjust to the site. Even though Shopify only has paid plans available, the software supports a 14-day free trial, enabling you to discover and experience the dashboard before making your final decision.
WordPress has a free plan on its WordPress.com service, allowing you to run a site without paying in one of its sub-domains.
This feature makes it an attractive prospect for users looking for a casual blogging site or a place to operate a small business project.
How do Shopify and WordPress Differ?
Despite sharing a few similarities, Shopify and WordPress differ in many more ways. For instance, among the most popular website builders available, Shopify offers all the elements necessary to create an online store in a matter of minutes.
On the other hand, WordPress needs you to have some technical base to set up and upgrade the system by yourself.
Knowing the differences between WordPress and Shopify enables you to pinpoint the precise characteristics you vitally need for your needs.
Using this knowledge, you can identify which of the two perfectly addresses your requirements and ensure you make the right pick for your website creation.
The following are a few primary differences that you can find between Shopify and WordPress:
WordPress incorporates regular enhancements and the addition of new features to make it one of the fastest-changing platforms.
If you use WordPress.org, you must regularly update your components to ensure it runs on the latest WordPress update. Otherwise, you can experience functionality errors when you operate a website with many outdated features.
Nonetheless, as previously mentioned, WordPress WordPress.com is a hosted service that does everything for you, meaning you can comfortably run your site without worrying about plugin compatibility and updates.
In contrast, Shopify is a fully hosted solution to deliver the highest level of server maintenance.
In addition, you only need to check maintenance problems a few days yearly because the platform provides the latest security fixes and features by regularly pushing out bug fixes and technical upgrades.
2. Blogging Capability
Initially created for blogging purposes, WordPress incorporates numerous features to support content posting, previewing, and publishing.
It enables you to embed videos, images, audio, text, and links, including adding media from your media library.
Aside from these, you can also utilize custom fonts to brighten your site and attract readers’ attention.
These elements make it the most powerful platform globally for casual and professional bloggers.
Shopify has less functionality than WordPress does but integrates capabilities ideally suited for eCommerce stores and blogs.
The software has convenient settings that you can easily control and configure, making it efficient to insert a visual editor, videos, and images.
You can also schedule posts in the future and add automatic SEO for the description and title.
3. Search Engine Optimization Functionality
WordPress typically focuses on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) since it is primarily a blogging platform.
It provides a series of features called Jetpack Essentials in its five plans that aid in optimizing your site while simultaneously offering protection against spam comments.
You can use these features to enjoy the perfect blend of performance tools, social sharing, and SEO tools.
If you want more command over your SEO, you can get higher plans like the Business plan and install additional SEO plugins.
Notably, WordPress.com differs from WordPress.org by targeting to perform eighty to ninety percent of your optimization on your behalf, including automatic generation and submission of sitemaps.
Shopify offers a favorable SEO functionality that allows you to add 301 redirects, edit description and meta title, and switch the page URL.
This platform prompts you with SEO whenever you add products, making it one of the best options for new users who are not tech-savvy.
Moreover, it has various add-ons and apps that optimize your store and boost your ranking on search engines such as Bing and Google.
However, Shopify has a pre-set ordered structure that your URLs and website must follow, meaning you must create a new category since you cannot form a subcategory of your root blogs.
Even so, you can apply some relevant SEO tips to maneuver this challenge and avoid issues related to multiple URLs for one page.
WordPress.com has free and premium themes to accommodate different users’ needs. You can use this service to customize your body page, including the background, colors, upload the logo, and make lovely sliders.
The Business Plan enables you to access all of the most common WordPress themes, making it your go-to option when you have the budget.
WordPress.org provides better customization options with numerous templates.
In addition, you can edit the source code whenever you want, unlike WordPress.com, which does not offer direct access to the HTML sections and source.
WordPress.org allows you to utilize specific WordPress plugins to build a creative theme through drag and drop tools.
Shopify presents more than seventy mobile-ready and professionally made themes, featuring quality customizations that you can manipulate without interfering with a line of code such as fonts, colors, and social media buttons.
Nevertheless, you can access and edit the source code for advanced customization if you have sufficient HTML expertise, including changing Shopify’s layout and template.
5. eCommerce Tools
WordPress relies on intermediary plugins to allow you to open an eCommerce store. The WooCommerce plugin is the most used option on WordPress and incorporates the most vital features you require in setting up an eCommerce site.
This plugin has several e-commerce features to enhance your conveniences, such as supporting over twenty-five languages, built-in payment for the top gateways, and thousands of eCommerce plugins. It also enables you to sell any product on your website, including digital and physical ones.
On the contrary, Shopify integrates numerous eCommerce tools into its design to make the utility more comfortable for store owners. Some features you can find on these tools include supporting over fifty languages, having coupon codes, and incorporating more than 100 external gateways for Shopify payments.
Understanding the features they provide, including the integrated similarities and differences, ensures you can recognize the key elements you need to choose the most fitting platform.
This knowledge also comes in handy when switching between these options, enhancing your comfort and convenience in maneuvering the new platform.
Understanding WordPress and Shopify allows you to consider various factors that influence your selection, including budget demands and technical knowledge.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.