WooCommerce Or Shopify? They are both e-commerce platforms, which means both of them are a way for businesses (including a one-man business) to create and run an online store.
So which is better and what is the difference between them?
Advantages of WooCommerce
It is an open-source platform, meaning it is free to use. And there are tens of thousands of online stores using it. And it’s got a bright future because Automattic, the company that owns WordPress.com, makes it. In about 2015 Automattic bought it from the company that originally made it. Automattic is reputable, so WooCommerece is reputable, and thy have the resources to continue to actively develop it.
You can run WooCommerce on a self-hosted WordPress site or on a Business plan on WordPress.com
It is also highly customisable because users have access to the code. That means there are lots of add-ons that enable a store owner to tailor their store to their needs.
It is suitable for small stores and it can grow and handle lots of simultaneous transactions. It is, to use the jargon, scaleable.
WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress. In other words, it is built on WordPress. And WordPress is search-engine-optimisation-friendly and WooCommerce is optimised for SEO. That makes it easier for a store to rank higher in search engine results. In other words, it is optimised to make it easy for people searching for products to actually find them. And when they find the products they find the store.
WooCommerce has a large community of developers and users who can help you.
Disadvantages of WooCommerce:
You need som technical expertise to set up and maintain a WooCommerce store. But that is so much easier to do than used to be the case, that most people can do it. Look at motor cars. They are complicated, but not impossible. Look at the number of drivers. The car companies want you to drive, so they don’t make their cars impossible to drive. It’s that simple.
While WooCommerce itself is free, you will need to pay for hosting and you may need one or more of the paid plugins to make the store as you want it.
In itself, WordPress and WooCommerce are safe. And there is a huge community working to keep them safe. That said, you have to look after the security of the website to make sure it isn’t hacked. Follow the rules and it’s manageable, but it does require a bit of education to be secure.
Advantages of Shopify:
Shopify is a fully hosted platform. That means all the Shopify stores runs on Shopify’s servers, so you don’t have get your own web hosting. It is what is called, software as a service, or SAAS.
You don’t have to look after security. Shopify does all the updates and maintenance.
It has lots of features, from the look of the store to the checkout, to order tracking and inventory management.
Disadvantages of Shopify:
You have to pay a not inconsiderable monthly subscription fee.
You don’t have access to the code, so while Shopify does allow some customisation, it is not as customisable as WooCommerce. And if there is something you want to do that the Shopify platform doesn’t cater for, you are stuck.
Finally, the biggest disadvantage of all. All you really have is the name of the store. If you stop paying the subscription you can’t take the data with you. The store stops working and you have nothing.
WooCommerce Or Shopify: A Choice
Let’s imagine that Shopify’s servers experience downtime because of a technical problem. That is disruptive to your business. And there is nothing you can do except wait. We’ll assume that with your store set up on your own hosting, you take regular backups. That means that if your web host suffers disruptions, you can up sticks, take your data with you, and change hosts.
So which is better? Is the extra effort to get a store up and running with WooCommerce is worth it? Yes if you want independence. No if you just want to concentrate on the product and the sales. If the monthly fee is within your budget then you can concentrate on business and give over the rest to Shopify.
More Information On WooCommerce
If you want to read more about setting up a store with WooCommerce, read this article. And if you want to know about how to set up a store selling B2B (business to business) then read this article.