Is WooCommerce or Shopify right for your business? How is the experience of working with one different from the other?
Maybe you’re scaling or upgrading your ecommerce platform.
Maybe you’re thinking about switching from Shopify to Woo or Woo to Shopify.
Or maybe you’re just ready for a redesign and want to make sure you’re on the right platform.
Really, both platforms provide the features you need to build an effective online store, and both can accommodate scale.
We can tell you which platform is more popular…
…But, in truth, they are two of the most popular platforms for ecommerce businesses, and what matters is what your business needs. (Not what other businesses or the average business is doing.)
So, we’re going to break down all the features that matter and where both platforms fall so you can make an informed decision.
And, if you’re really not feeling confident or just want an expert to tell you what to do, we can help you with that, too.
WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin, meaning it’s built on the WordPress platform. It lets you turn any WordPress website into an online store.
The popular and standard WooCommerce plugin is what we’ll compare to Shopify throughout this guide, but there is the less common WooCommerce Enterprise plan—as well as Woo Express, which was launched in March 2023. We’ll cover what you need to know about these options towards the bottom of this guide.
Shopify is a standalone and self-hosted ecommerce platform that provides a more streamlined and user-friendly set up for non-developers. No code is required, but there is less flexibility.
This guide covers the standard Shopify platform, including its 3 plans from Basic to Advanced, which is enough for most businesses.
That said, there is also a Shopify Plus platform for large-scale enterprises. We’ll cover the main differences of the Plus platform towards the end as well.
Learning Curve and Ease of Use
Shopify is generally considered the easier of the two platforms to use because it was created to be accessible to non-developers.
That said, developer knowledge is still required if you want certain customizations. So, how easy or difficult it is to use either platform depends on one’s experience, skill set, and preferences.
But if you plan to hire an expert to design and build your ecommerce store, the learning curve won’t matter as much to you as long as you hire an agency with expertise in your platform of choice.
Both platforms can be set up by the team you hire to make managing and updating your site simple. We personally like to train our clients in any actions they may want to take after launching their website.
Woocommerce development largely involves PHP. The experience you or the developer you hire has with PHP will influence the time it takes to build your website. You can say the same for selecting and implementing Woo plugins.
Of course, the platform comes with a Setup Wizard that can walk you through the steps of setting up your website, but any greater customizations will require code know-how.
Some people do opt for a WordPress page builder over coding or a developer, but these cause greater problems that hinder website performance in the long run.
Shopify has a well-structured backend that’s meant to be usable for the everyday user, and it can also walk you through the steps to design and set up your store without much coding required.
Naturally, this also has the potential to mean a faster turnaround.
However, much of the complexity and turnaround time will depend on how custom you need to go.
The more customization you want, the more coding knowledge and experience you or your development agency will need with the platform and its templating language, Liquid.
WooCommerce itself is free to install. Your main costs from using this platform come from hosting, domain name, security certifications, and plugins since these aren’t included in the base platform.
Fortunately, you have control over your choices and don’t have to pay for features you don’t need, which gives you greater control over your costs. For this reason, WooCommerce can be more cost-effective.
The thing to be careful of is tracking separate costs, or they can pile up.
Instead of WooCommerce’s flexibility, Shopify offers set subscription pricing that tends to be pricey but easier to track.
Shopify does include hosting, domain, and security costs but adds up in other areas like themes, apps, and transaction fees.
Shopify’s subscription tiers are:
- Basic Shopify ($39/month): best for new ecommerce businesses and individuals
- Shopify ($105/month): best for small growing businesses selling online or in-store
- Advanced Shopify ($399/month): best for scaling medium to large businesses
These rates don’t include transaction or app fees. You can see all associated and up-to-date plan costs on Shopify’s pricing page, including credit card rates.
Support and Community
Both ecommerce platforms offer support, though Shopify provides more options.
For either platform, if you integrate apps or services and end up needing help with them, you’ll need to rely on the support those apps and services provide. Shopify only provides support for apps built by Shopify, and most are built by third-party developers.
WooCommerce support primarily comes in the form of their Help Desk, where you’ll submit a ticket with as much information as you can and await a response. While not unusual for open-source software, it’s not ideal either.
You can also review WooCommerce’s Documentation for helpful resources.
On the bright side, you will benefit from the extensive WordPress community. There are many WooCommerce-specific channels, including the WooCommerce community forum.
Some of your support will also come from your hosting provider, so you’ll want to keep this in mind and look for 24/7 support when selecting a host.
One pro of operating a closed platform is that it helps Shopify’s customer support provide fixed solutions to your problems.
And like Woo, Shopify has a large community you can access through community forums.
Just want to learn how to improve your business and don’t need urgent support? They have something for that, too, via the Shopify Learn Portal.
Flexibility and Customization
In the WooCommerce vs Shopify battle, customization is the most distinguishing point between the two platforms.
Because WooCommerce is open source (has an entirely editable codebase), it has a significantly higher degree of flexibility and customizability when it comes to both looks and functionality.
As a result, WooCommerce can be a smarter choice if your website has unique requirements or functionality—or if you want complete control over your user and customer experience.
It does mean you have to make more decisions regarding the details of your store, and development is more complex.
As a standardized drag-and-drop platform, web development on Shopify is easier and often faster, but customizations are limited to the Shopify theme system. You’re offered a decent level of customization regarding look and feel but not complete control over design and features.
Some Shopify themes do allow you to safely add custom code snippets to your website without directly editing the theme code (to ensure your theme remains eligible for updates). These will render in the template, section, or block containing the setting, but this option is limited and depends on your selected theme.
This is one reason why it’s still recommended to have a developer help you build your Shopify website unless you’re a new or small business.
You can check if your theme offers this option in the theme’s documentation.
Just because full-on customization is available in WooCommerce doesn’t mean you can’t just use a theme and call it a day. (Though, what you can and should do are not always the same.)
Like Shopify, WooCommerce offers themes as a starting point and provides an enormous selection.
- The WooCommerce theme store has 94 themes available at the time of this writing.
- WooCommerce also works with the thousands of WordPress themes available. You’ll want to pick a theme built for online stores that integrates with Woo.
- Sources like ThemeForest also provide over a thousand WooCommerce themes.
In fact, WooCommerce has access to a larger range of themes than Shopify, which can be helpful to businesses who want a theme that looks like their design on a previous platform.
At Boldist, we don’t rely on starter themes because we create clean, custom code, but we recommend starter themes for developers that are just getting started with Woo development.
When picking a theme, you can follow WooCommerce’s guide or hire a web design agency to guide you in the right direction (or to design a completely custom website).
Of course, how good your design looks and how effective it is depends on the hours you’re willing to put in, your technical skill set, or who you hire.
Shopify has its own theme system with themes built for the platform that you can access in the Shopify Theme Store. At the time of this writing, the store offers 154 paid themes and 12 free themes.
Since Shopify has a limited set of themes and limits how far you can customize each one, there is a limit to how unique your website can be, as you’ll be sharing the same theme with thousands of businesses.
Plugins can help you achieve features that aren’t built into a theme, and custom development work can help you get closer to a unique interface.
WooCommerce relies on WordPress, which innately offers mobile responsiveness. Still, the theme and plugins you use can influence your site’s performance and mobile-friendliness.
A proficient developer can help you select quality plugins and, because of the editable codebase, adjust your site for mobile devices.
Shopify themes are usually built with mobile responsiveness in mind, but it’s wise to check the theme’s feature and design specifications to make sure the one you choose does.
Extending Functionality: Plugins and Apps
While the availability and functionality of specific apps or plugins may differ between the two platforms, both offer an extensive enough library to satisfy the needs of almost any ecommerce store.
Choosing the optimal plugins on either platform does require research or experience.
The larger of the two libraries, the WordPress Plugin Directory boasts over 58,000 options.
You can also use the WooCommerce marketplace for extensions. A good place to start is with their featured collections, which include:
- WooCommerce essentials
- Sell in person
- Booking essentials
- Membership essentials
- Subscription essentials
- Tech essentials
- DTC essentials
- Grow your business
- Launch your store
- Top marketing solutions
While WooCommerce plugins can accomplish anything a Shopify plugin can, each may have its own UX to familiarize yourself with.
Shopify’s App Store for extensions and add-ons includes over 8,000 apps split between the following categories:
- Finding products
- Selling products
- Orders and shipping
- Store design
- Marketing and conversion
- Store management
Both WooCommerce and Shopify offer guest checkout and account creation.
Both offer affiliate or referral solutions.
Both can offer features like 3D product models.
What we’re saying is that, once your web development team has everything up and running, you and your customers probably won’t notice much difference in what’s doable—especially if your team did a good job of setting up your backend and ecommerce integrations.
The main difference here is simply between which features are built in versus requiring a plugin or app.
With WooCommerce, many features will require plugins and extensions, some of which cost money. As we said above, the big difference here will be in which tools are native to the platform.
For example, Shopify has a built-in solution for abandoned cart recovery, while WooCommerce requires a plugin (unless you have Woo Express).
On the flip side, WooCommerce comes with built-in options to upsell product add-ons and related products, whereas Shopify will require an app or coding expertise to acquire these features.
Shopify has more built-in sales features than WooCommerce. But, it’s worth noting that Shopify places pretty intense limitations on checkout page customizations to ensure its platform remains secure and usable. You can update certain look and feel elements, but some businesses find the checkout restrictions stifling.
They do have a new Checkout Extensibility solution for customizing checkout pages, but you need a Shopify Plus plan to use it.
Further Reading: Ecommerce Checkout Best Practices to Encourage the Sale
Both platforms offer:
- Numerous payment gateways
- Support for international payments and currency conversions
- POS systems for in-person sales
- Options for recurring subscription payments
- Options for payment deferment or installments
- And anything else you might need
The main differences here will be in the exact apps or plugins available and the platforms’ fees.
Like Shopify, WooCommerce offers its own solution (WooPayments).
But unlike Shopify, WooCommerce doesn’t charge transaction fees for using the available third-party payment gateways instead. For this reason, WooCommerce can make more sense for those who sell a large volume of products and want to use their own payment processor.
Using Shopify’s payment gateway (Shopify Payments) is the only way to avoid additional transaction fees.
If you opt to use a third-party solution, you’ll pay the following fee per transaction based on your Shopify plan:
- Basic Shopify: 2%
- Shopify: 1%
- Advanced Shopify: 0.5%
Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer standard shipping options and allow you to ship internationally, with the ability to use extensions for additional features.
And if you use third-party fulfillment services, they likely integrate with both platforms.
Built into the platform, WooCommerce offers customizable shipping zones with options for local pickup, flat-rate shipping, and free shipping. You can also set shipping classes to provide different rates for different classes of product.
If you need an integration with a shipping, fulfillment, or order management provider, WooCommerce likely offers it.
And if you’re looking for a tool, the WooCommerce Extensions Store has much to offer in the Shipping, Delivery, and Fulfillment category. The WooCommerce Shipping extension displays real-time shipping rates from carriers, offers shipping rate discounts, and allows you to create and print USPS and DHL labels from your WooCommerce account.
As is standard for WooCommerce, you can create a customized solution if desired, but coding knowledge will be required to configure specific shipping rules.
Shopify offers options for local pickup, local delivery, and shipping, for which you can use flat or calculated shipping rates for all products or create custom shipping profiles for products. If you have multiple locations, you can also set shipping rates by location.
Shopify’s partnerships include USPS, DHL Express, UPS, and Canada Post, but the exact carriers available to you depend on where you’re located and if you have a subscription plan with the carrier-calculated shipping feature.
For example, for businesses in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, and Spain, the Shopify Shipping feature connects your account with providers like UPS, USPS, Canada Post, and FedEx and offers discounted shipping labels.
Taxes and Accounting Integration
WooCommerce offers adjustable tax calculations by location and tax class and lets you pick details like whether to include tax in displayed prices or not.
The platform provides documentation on everything you need to know to access and set up your tax settings, from tax classes and rates to shipping taxes.
You can also import and export your tax rate configurations if you have them in a CSV to set up multiple tax rates quickly.
If you’re not feeling manual implementation and management, you can choose from a myriad of WooCommerce plugins that assist in managing taxes from a small scale to an international level.
The WooCommerce Tax plugin is free and provides automated tax calculations for you.
When it comes to accounting, WooCommerce integrates with a range of accounting software, including Xero and QuickBooks. Integrating an accounting platform’s plugin will sync your sales, inventory, and expenses data for greater efficiency.
If choosing between WooCommerce’s accounting extensions, account for your budget, needs, and if it’ll work with other relevant apps you use.
All Shopify plans come with an automatic tax calculator that can automate most tax rates by location for you. You can create overrides to address unique tax laws and scenarios as needed.
It’s worth noting that while both platforms offer an automated option, it’s still your responsibility to consult with local tax authorities or a tax professional to ensure you charge the correct tax rates and file correctly.
If you sell in the US, you have a few options for managing your US sales taxes:
- Shopify Tax: The default tax service for those selling in the US, Shopify Tax offers the highest level of compliance with the least amount of upkeep. It comes with helpful features like liability insights, precise calculation technology based on specific addresses, auto-suggested tax rate categories, enhanced sales tax reporting, and availability for in-person sales through Shopify POS. But it’s not free. After the first $100,000 of US online sales each year, there’s a 0.35% calculation fee on orders where tax is calculated or a 0.25% fee if you have the Shopify Plus plan. These fees have caps of $0.99 per order and $5,000 per store.
- Basic Tax and Manual Tax: Both of these solutions are free but come with significantly fewer features, a lower level of automated compliance, and require more diligence from you to keep rates accurate and within regulation. You can compare all features in the image below or on Shopify’s choose a tax service page.
- Shopify Tax Platform: The Tax Platform is Shopify’s newest offering and allows you to connect your preferred sales tax service to Shopify, so you can stick with the service you deem best for your business and handle all sales tax needs in one place. This is a good option for companies looking to manage taxes globally, have unique tax requirements, sell across many channels, or require extra support. Shopify doesn’t charge fees to connect your approved tax service to Shopify, but the only platform partner so far is Vertex.
Image Source: Shopify Help Center
For accounting, Shopify’s app store offers multiple accounting software integrations, including QuickBooks and Xero. You can view all of Shopify’s finance apps, but if you have a tool you currently use and are determined to stick with, you can also check its website for the ecommerce platforms it integrates with.
WooCommerce allows you to take advantage of selling on other platforms as long as you get the extension or plugin for that platform, some of which cost money.
Shopify comes with built-in omnichannel abilities. Through Shopify, you can sell on platforms like Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Instagram, Facebook, Etsy, TikTok, and Google for free—and manage them all from one unified dashboard.
SEO is arguably WooCommerce’s biggest advantage besides customization. As a plugin for WordPress (a content management system at heart), the platform is code-optimized for SEO.
You also have the innate ability to edit all SEO facets of your site pages, from URLs and meta descriptions to alt tags and schema.
Additionally, WooCommerce offers a ton of great SEO guides and plugins, including the popular and user-friendly Yoast SEO.
Shopify provides some SEO features and optimizations, including their built-in blogging engine, but less than WooCommerce. Some missing features may be obtained through the Shopify App Store.
While Shopify is generally SEO-friendly, a common complaint for businesses is Shopify’s default URL structure.
Their URL structure can’t be fully edited, so you can’t wholly optimize them for SEO purposes. This also leads to duplicate content issues that require additional strategizing as Shopify will create multiple URLs for the same content when someone sorts or filters collections.
Both ecommerce platforms integrate with Google Analytics for thorough, customizable reporting and come equipped with built-in reporting dashboards to track various aspects of store performance.
WooCommerce comes with WooCommerce Analytics, a reporting tool that features advanced filtering and segmentation tools, the ability to download all data to CSV, and a customizable dashboard.
You can customize each section of the dashboard, and each section functions as a launching point to dive deeper into available reports.
WooCommerce Analytics has 10 reports:
- Categories Report
- Coupons Report
- Customers Report
- Downloads Report
- Orders Report
- Products Report
- Variations Report
- Revenue Report
- Stock Report
- Taxes Report
Further, within the dashboard, you can track metrics like:
- Gross Sales
- Total Sales
- Net Sales
- Average Order Value
- Product performance
- Discounted Orders
- Net Discount Amount
- Total Tax
- Order Tax
- Shipping Tax
Leaderboards showcase your top customers by total spend, top categories and products by items sold, and more.
Despite this functionality, WooCommerce Analytics isn’t quite as comprehensive as Shopify based on built-in capabilities. However, WooCommerce offers an extensive range of plugins that allow you to increase functionality as needed.
If looking outside of Woocommerce Analytics, consider your budget, the depth of insights you need, and the support you may need with another platform.
Shopify offers a robust and user-friendly analytics solution that provides a holistic view of store performance, from marketing to fulfillment, including:
- An analytics page
- Finances reports
- Fraud reports
- Order reports
- Live View
- Acquisition reports
- Inventory reports
- Behavior reports
- Marketing reports
- Sales reports
- Retail sales reports
- Profit reports
- Customer reports
On the analytics page of the dashboard, you can access metrics such as:
- Average order value
- Conversion rate
- Sessions by device type
- Sessions by location
- Sessions by traffic source
- Sessions by social source
- Returning customer rate
- Sales by POS location
- Sales by social source
- Retail sales by staff
- Sales by traffic source
- Top landing pages
- Top products
- Top referrers
- Total sessions
- Total orders
- Total sales
- Sales attributed to marketing
- Customer cohort analysis
- Sales by channel
- Search conversion
- Top online store searches
- Return rate
- Top returned products
- Gross sales
You get all these features with all Shopify tiers, plus benchmarks to compare performance to businesses like yours and over 60 pre-built reports.
Of course, you may want custom reports. In this case, you can adjust your reports from their default settings to meet your specifications, but you can only save them if you have Shopify Advanced or Shopify Plus.
Like Woo, Shopify also offers analytics apps and integrations as your data needs grow.
WooCommerce requires a separate hosting and domain name provider. As a result, your site’s performance can depend on the hosting provider you choose, but a good developer should be able to help you pick the right one.
Storage and maximum file upload size also depends on your host and hosting plan, but it’s possible to find one that supports your needs, and there are methods to increase upload size if needed.
Shopify offers built-in hosting and a domain as part of their subscription fee, which is part of how they simplify the setup process.
If you already have a domain, your options are to connect it to Shopify and continue managing it through your original provider or transfer ownership of it to Shopify to manage it within the platform.
Shopify includes unlimited bandwidth and online storage in all of its subscription plans. There are, however, file limits and requirements, including:
- File Size: Maximum of 20 megabytes
- Resolution: Maximum of 25 megapixels
- Aspect Ratio: Between 100:1 and 1:100
- File Formats: JPEG, PNG, WEBP, HEIC, and GIF
Domains and Subdomains
WooCommerce doesn’t innately restrict the number of domains or subdomains you can connect with your website.
- Set up multiple domains to manage with your hosting provider and direct them to your WooCommerce site.
- Create a new WooCommerce install for each domain or subdomain.
- Use one WooCommerce install to power one or more subdomain sites.
With WordPress Multisite, you can create a network of WordPress sites all powered by the same WordPress install to manage from a single dashboard. WooCommerce is compatible with Multisite for creating a WooCommerce Multisite.
As a self-hosted platform, Shopify sets your domain and subdomain limits. You can add up to 20 domains or subdomains to your Shopify store in addition to your .myshopify.com URL as part of your subscription plan.
WooCommerce comes with a level of security, but it is ultimately up to the hosting provider and tools you choose to use.
A common complaint about WooCommerce security is that you have to keep your software, theme, and plugins regularly updated or risk security issues. This is something your development agency can handle for you as part of your website maintenance.
Shopify, being the standalone platform it is, makes security a breeze. With your subscription, you gain SSL and PCI-DSS compliance by default, and Shopify keeps everything updated for you.
(This is part of why you’re more limited in what you can customize and add to a Shopify website; they want to ensure control of security matters).
Both platforms can support the scale you’re at or hoping to reach, but Shopify tends to be the choice for simpler businesses, while WooCommerce can be more cost effective for larger businesses with complex needs.
WooCommerce can support all the growth you throw their way, from increased traffic to greater product variations or location expansion. The real key is in selecting a hosting provider that can, too.
Like WooCommerce, Shopify can scale with you in traffic, resources, and location.
The main kicker is that Shopify does have some built-in limitations when it comes to your store that you may need to correct through additional apps.
For instance, when it comes to product variants, you can only have up to three options per product (like size or color), and the amount of possible variations per product is limited to 100. This can be problematic with products that have multiple dimensions or high customizability.
To create a product with more options or variants, you’ll want a third-party app or the ability to customize your theme’s code to allow custom requirements from customers.
WooCommerce and Shopify are capable of supporting global expansion, and the differences here once again come down to simplicity versus flexibility.
Both offer extensions that can help you with localization on an international level, and they continue to expand their offerings.
If you have a complex business and sell in several regions with diverse needs, Woo might be advantageous.
Since the platform is entirely customizable, you can adapt your website to suit each region’s requirements in terms of language, currencies, shipping, and so on.
And again, both platforms offer international payment options, but Woo can be more cost-effective.
On the flip side, all this customization to manage every region requires more setup and maintenance effort.
If simplicity is more important to you, Shopify will get you far globally. (You will just need the Advanced tier plan.)
Shopify has greater built-in support for international needs, from currency conversions to shipping rules and languages, which allows you to manage your global storefronts within a single dashboard.
You’ll just need to be aware of when a built-in option might not meet the very particular needs of a specific region.
When it comes to WooCommerce, your risk of outages or downtime depends on the host provider you choose. Woo itself won’t ever go down.
Downtime is one reason why choosing a quality host is crucial, and any good hosting provider will offer an uptime guarantee in their service agreements.
For example, Kinsta has a 99.99% uptime guarantee backed by their Service Level Agreement. This percentage is pretty standard.
That said, it’s also possible for someone without the proper expertise to cause outages when making changes to a website. Say, by not properly testing a plugin. This is one reason why it’s important to hire the right developers.
Shopify being self-hosted means that Shopify itself can have downtime.
Their promised uptime percentage doesn’t include downtime due to circumstances outside their control or planned downtime and maintenance (though this is fairly standard).
Maintenance and Updates
WooCommerce and WordPress undergo regular updates and require maintenance your developers will need to keep up with to keep your site secure and running.
Updates bring improvements and new features but occasionally result in compatibility issues your team will need to address.
As a hosted solution, Shopify will handle some maintenance and updates for you. This can save your developers time and allow them to focus on other aspects of your website.
Backups protect your site in emergencies and when updates don’t go as smoothly as planned. Fortunately, there are plugins available that make website backups fairly seamless. Woo also offers a guide on how to back up your website.
Some hosts, like WP Engine and Kinsta, offer daily automated backups as part of their hosting plans.
Contrary to popular belief, Shopify doesn’t back up your store for you. It’s true that Shopify undergoes platform-wide backups, but these can’t restore your account data.
To back up your Shopify store, you can manually export CSV files from your Shopify admin with your:
- Financial data
- Gift card codes
- Discount codes
You can then combine these CSV files with other data, like a copy of your theme, to create a backup or duplicate of your store.
Duplicating a store comes with limitations and some manual data entry. You can see the specifics in Shopify’s instructions for duplicating a store.
But, like WooCommerce, the easiest solution is to use an app from the Shopify App Store to handle backups for you.
What About Woo’s and Shopify’s Other Plans?
Woo Express is a fairly new WooCommerce offering launched in March 2023.
Woo Express competes more directly with the likes of Shopify as, like Shopify, it’s meant to be a one-stop shop for online retailers that makes getting started easier.
Woo Express comes with hosting from WordPress.com (so you don’t need a third-party provider) and a bundle of pre-selected extensions that allows you to start selling with less work.
While the standard WooCommerce platform is working on converting to block editing—a newer and more advanced website-building method—Woo Express uses block themes as the default. This takes no-code customization further (though this doesn’t affect you as much if you outsource your development team).
When it comes to built-in features, Woo Express takes everything WooCommerce offers and adds:
- AI-assisted product descriptions
- Built-in payment processing
- Live shipping rates and order tracking
- Security features like IP whitelisting, PCI compliance, fraud prevention, and data loss prevention.
- Marketing features like built-in social sharing buttons, product comparisons, wishlists, and abandoned cart recovery at the performance level.
- Report features like real-time reporting, customer segmentation, and profitability analysis.
- Live chat support, email support, and priority ranking in the queue.
But these additions plus hosting aren’t free.
Woo Express has two pricing plans: Essential and Performance.
- Essential plan: $39/month or $25/month when billed annually.
- Performance plan: $70/month or $45/month billed annually.
You can learn all about the additional features and how it works in the platform’s Woo Express documentation.
Medium-to-large businesses with high order volumes may qualify for WooCommerce Enterprise.
WooCommerce for enterprise is simply WooCommerce plus a dedicated team of experts and additional resources for sales growth and business processes.
Features advertised on the site include:
- Exclusive discounts on extensions and hosting
- A dedicated Customer Success Manager
- A priority spot in the queue when you need technical assistance
You have to contact their team for further specifics and pricing on a case-by-case basis.
Shopify Plus is an omnichannel enterprise platform offering apart from Shopify’s other subscription plans.
It provides significantly more options and control to large-scale businesses but at an equally higher price point.
The starting price is $2,000 a month for standard setups and switches to a variable fee once your business reaches a certain sales volume. Shopify says this fee flexes with your requirements and to contact them, but according to Forbes: once $800,000/month in sales are reached, Shopify Plus switches to a revenue-based model that maxes out at $40,000/month.
That’s a ton of money, but on top of all standard Shopify features, you receive additional resources and benefits like:
- Organization admin management tools such as Users, Store, and Shopify Flow.
- Advanced apps and support for APIs for custom apps.
- The Merchant Success Program, Shopify Plus Partner Program, and Shopify POS Pro.
- A Merchant Success Manager and Account Manager for support.
- Up to 1,000 domains or subdomains.
- Automation features, like Launchpad for price changes and inventory levels.
- Greater access to website code.
This last one may not sound as fancy, but it’s one of the strongest benefits since it allows your development team to more thoroughly customize your ecommerce solutions—contending more with WooCommerce customization than the other Shopify tiers.
If you’re interested in Shopify Plus, you can review more plan features here.
Choosing Your Ecommerce Platform
When all’s said and done, both WooCommerce and Shopify are excellent platforms for building your ecommerce store.
You can summarize the differences as WooCommerce provides greater customization for a truly effective customer experience, and Shopify offers simplicity for greater speed and less work.
But a summary like this is over-simplified and fails to account for the nuances in your business and how these traits fluctuate.
Take the time to assess the considerations we’ve covered in this guide and how they compare to your priorities, business complexity, and long-term plans.
And if you still want help deciding which platform is right for you, we love ecommerce and would love to help.
Shopify vs WooCommerce FAQs
Can I migrate a store between Shopify and WooCommerce?
Yes! You can migrate between Shopify or WooCommerce, regardless of your starting platform. There will just be several factors to account for, such as your products, collections, redirects, customers, orders, discounts, and more.
When migrating to WooCommerce, you’ll need a developer to bring your design to life. And though Shopify is more beginner-friendly, you’ll want a developer’s help to ensure features carry over correctly since Shopify doesn’t naturally support all the customizations your WooCommerce site does.
Is it true that Shopify websites are faster than WooCommerce ones?
While WooCommerce sites can have slower page speeds than Shopify’s, this is due to Shopify’s server and simplified code. The right developer can correct this gap by helping you with host selection, file compression, plugins, code optimization, and other factors that influence site speed to ensure your WooCommerce site is just as fast.
Do Shopify and WooCommerce offer free trials?
Shopify currently offers a 3-day free trial that doesn’t require a credit card, and you can access 3 months for $1 a month for select plans. WooCommerce is an open-source platform, so it’s technically free, but you can’t run a site without a hosting provider.
That said, it’s hard to test an ecommerce platform in a short time as an established business, and if you plan to invest in building a website, it’s not worth doing that just for a trial. You can, however, take a look around the platforms’ interface and dashboards.
Is it possible to fully customize a Shopify theme?
It depends on your Shopify plan. With a regular plan, not entirely. With a Shopify Plus plan, you gain greater access to your theme’s code so that you can create a truly unique website.
There is the option to build a Shopify theme from scratch, but you’ll need to meet Shopify’s theme requirements and put it on the theme store. The last bit makes your theme accessible to other businesses, even if you put a price tag on it, so you still won’t be the only website with that theme.