Shopify vs WooCommerce: A definitive guide for beginners - ThemeTim

Shopify vs WooCommerce: A definitive guide for beginners

Disclosure: After reading this, if you purchase something from the websites that I have mentioned here, I will receive a commission. The point that I have tried to make throughout the post is highly fact-based, but, in the end, the verdict is my opinion.

If you are planning to start your first eCommerce business and thinking whether you should choose Shopify or WooCommerce, then you are not alone! This is a dilemma that pretty much everyone has face when considering to start a brand new eCommerce business.

But for those of you who are partially inclined towards Shopify and looking for someone who would tell you why you should choose Shopify over WooCommerce, then you are in the right place. 

In today’s post, I will cover the pros and cons of this evergreen duel between Shopify vs WooCommerce. By the end of the post, you will know why Shopify is better than WooCommerce.

Let’s go through the pros first:

Highly optimized: One of the main reasons why Shopify is considered the best eCommerce platform is because of its components. Shopify builds and developed its components by itself: Shopify gives you a highly optimized and clutter-free website from the get-go.

No coding skills required: Often, if not always, people shy away from starting their own eCommerce business because of the fear of codding. And I don’t blame them. In the past, if you wanted to run an eCommerce site, you either needed to know to code or had to hire a developer. But because of Shopify, things have changed now. Shopify lets you build a fast, secure, and crisp website from scratch without resorting to codding. This is why Shopify is best for small businesses that are just starting out and are on a tight budget.

Easy and seamless payment systems: It may seem obvious, but many online businesses fail not because of what they sell but how they receive payments. When you are asking for payment from your customer, you are putting their neck on the line. If you fail to provide a mainstream and secure payment system, your business will evidently FAIL! With Shopify, you don’t have to worry about such a significant yet trick problem. Shopify supports most of the mainstream payment providers, and it is highly unlikely that you won’t find your preferred one among them. 

Frugal maintenance: If you decide to use WooCommerce instead of Shopify, you are going to spend a lot of time for site maintenance. Site maintenance includes manual updates and resolving plugin conflicts. This can be quite a chore if you have no prior experience with WordPress, which is why Shopify is the best eCommerce platform if you’re just getting started.

Customization(themes and flexibilities): Out of the box, Shopify comes with 60 paid themes and 10 free themes. Almost all of the themes are extremely elegant. However, if you want further customization, you can do that with the Liquide programming language. WooCommerce, on the other hand, comes with only a handful of stock themes. If I put it bluntly, they are not cut out for the job. So, if you are someone who wants to set up a dandy eCommerce site within a few hours, then you’ll love Shopify. 

Security: Yet another reason why Shopify is the best eCommerce platform. Unlike WooCommerce, Shopify comes with its own security system that provides two-factor authentication. On top of that, Shopify is ever vigilant to prevent any unauthorized access. The privilege of not worrying about security can be a major plus point for you. You can focus more on your customers and practically none to security if you choose Shopify. With WooCommerce, you are responsible for security updates and hosting provider, which can be draining sometimes.

All in one SEO support: If you are a startup, hiring an SEO can put a major dent on your budget. As we all know, SEOs are tend to be expensive. Good thing, Shopify comes with a versatile SEO solution that lets you customize page title, description, sitemap, you name it! For startups, yet another reason why Shopify is better than WooCommerce.

Legendary support: I have saved the best for the last. Support. When it comes to user support, Shopify is the clear winner, period! Shopify provides 24/7 premium customer support for any conceivable issue. As an online entrepreneur, you are bound to come across a few hiccups and roadblocks every now and again. If you choose Shopify, the road ahead will be less bumpy!    

No system is perfect. Now it’s time we look into some cons that you must consider before jumping into the world of Shopify:

The payment gateway with a catch: Shopify may have a wide array of payment provider, but if your region doesn’t support any one of them, then you are in for trouble. Get ready to pay a hefty transaction fee for every payment you receive. Without any payment provider, the transaction fee may go up to 2%. For a startup eCommerce, this can be detrimental.

Ouch! I know.

So, before you make up your mind, make sure that the region you live in supports the payment medium offered by Shopify.   

Language barrier: One of the main reasons why Shopify stores fail is because of the language barrier. Most of the shop owners are so fixated with their products and price that they totally forget one crucial element of the equation: language. The Shopify apps that provide language support are way more expensive than what WooCommerce offers. Therefore, many shop owners are reluctant to use them. This practice hurts their sales and overall ranking. Multi-language support is super important because many of your visitors are going to be non-English speakers. So, if you decide to use Shopify, then get ready to put a dent on your wallet in exchange for multi-language support.

No room to geek out on SEO: Shopify lets you do pretty much all the basic SEO stuff. Still, it has its limitations, like a restricted slug and inadequate structured data implementation opportunity. The bottom line, if you want to go deep with your SEO efforts and want every edge you can get, then choosing Shopify can put you at a slight disadvantage. Also, doing SEO on WooCommerce can be a bit cheaper.   

Higher overhead cost: Unlike WooCommerce, Shopify requires you to pay a getting started fee. Yes, you may say that with WooCommerce, you have to pay for hosting and domain, but, aside from that, if you have the technical knowledge, you don’t have to pay a dime from that point forward. With Shopify, the cost does not stop just at the sign up; you also have to pay for premium apps and transaction costs.

User flexibility: Shopify only allows you to add a certain number of users, aka staff. WooCommerce, on the other hand, has no such restrictions.   

All right.

All eCommerce platforms have their pros and cons. But, let’s face it, we all are small business owners, just trying to keep our heads above water with our limited budget.

If you ask me, for people like us, Shopify is the best pick. It is best to start things simple. And, nothing can be simpler than Shopify. Later on, when you have more budget and income, you can move on to something more customizable, like WooCommerce.

Now, if I have convinced you why Shopify is best for small businesses, then it is time to move on to the next phase: THEMES.

Before you choose a theme, you need to select the theme of the theme. That sounds confusing, right?

Before you choose a theme, you need to select the theme of the theme. That sounds confusing, right?

Let me explain what it is.

If you are an online store, then your primary focus is to sell products. Hence, your single product page is your focus point.

Single product page can be of two kinds—

  • Featured style 
  • Box style

If you are trying to sell something trendy and highly anticipated, then you should probably go for a featured style theme like Wokiee. Featured style themes are perfect if you want to break down the features of your product in great detail with lots of visual cues and rich media. This is particularly useful for those who are trying to market fewer yet highly curated products.

On the flip side, if you have a wide array of products that need a lot of describing to do, then you should probably go for a box style themes like Ella. The plus side of using a box style theme is, you don’t need to spend hours customizing your page. All you have to do is put some useful pictures of your products, describe what they are made of, what do they do, and how do they work, and you are good to go.   


If you are one of those people who like to keep their options open, then you should probably go for something versatile like is great if you want to experiment with your layout and see what works for you and goes with your style.

However, DON’T forget that most of your traffic will come from mobile, so you have to make sure that you choose a theme like Shella which are specially curated for mobile visitors. Making sure that your site is mobile friendly is crucial because Google follows the mobile-first approach. If your site is not mobile-friendly, it doesn’t matter how good of a product you have; your website won’t not rank. If you don’t rank, you will not SELL. Scarry, but simple.  

I tried to keep the post quick and concise, rather than dancing around the topic like most posts out on the web. Most post that covers Shopify vs WooCommerce will make you more confused than you originally were. Therefore, I gave you my honest opinion based on my personal experience. Now the rest is up to you!  

That being said.

I think Shopify is best for you if you are just starting out with a limited budget and limited technical knowledge.

Disclosure: These posts often contain affiliate links referring to a clicking and purchasing of an item will generate some commission for our site. Positive reviews are genuine and are not based on any payments. Above statements reflect our findings on the respective theme.

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