You want to start in eCommerce and have to decide which shop system to use.
During your research you came across the two market leaders WooCommerce and Shopify and don't know which one is better suited for you.
If so, then our comparison, based on our experience as a webshop agency and working with our clients, will help you.
Read the article carefully and make your decision based on the data and facts we have collected in our work.
WooCommerce or Shopify - No easy decision.
And it doesn't get any easier if you look at the statistics.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify - the statistics
In total there are 10,431,605 online shops in the entire Internet at the time of publication of this article.
Of these, 22 % are Shopify Shops and 15 % WooCommerce Shops.
This clearly indicates that Shopify is preferred by webshop operators worldwide.
The question arises as to whether it is therefore the better or more successful shop system.
If you look at the statistics for the TOP 1 million pages, you get the following results:
Of the TOP 1 million websites on the Internet, 360,045 are webshops.
Of these 360,045 web shops, 25% are WooCommerce shops and 20% Shopify shops.
The statement of this second statistic could therefore be that WooCommerce is better than Shopify because it scores better in the TOP 1 million pages.
But is that also true? Is this statement admissible based on statistics?
Now we are just as smart as before.
Let's compare some important criteria.
So, let's get started.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify – the comparison
Let's start our comparison by setting up the shop.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify – Setup
The basic interest for Shopify seems to be greater worldwide than for WordPress WooCommerce. This is also in line with our observations and the requests of our customers. There are currently more Shopify Shops than WordPress WooCommerce Shops.
A major reason for the strong demand and spread could be that Shopify is very quickly set up. WordPress WooCommerce requires a little more knowledge and skill as well as time and financial resources.
Check out the following two tutorials. You'll see step by step how to open and set up a shop with both systems.
Here you can see the Shopify system:
Shopify Store Tutorial for BEGINNERS
Here you can see the WordPress WooCommerce System:
Woocommerce Tutorial German
Now that you've had a first impression of the two shop platforms, let's look at the costs of the two counterparties.
WordPress WooCoomerce und Shopify - Costs
The two systems differ in the type of technology used. This has advantages and disadvantages, which we will talk about later. But it also entails different costs for running the shop.
WooCommerce is a plugin that is installed in WordPress. This installation runs on a hosting provider of your choice.
Shopify is 100% hosted and operated by Shopify and is not downloaded or installed. (Comparable to GoogleMail)
What would be the better online shop from a cost point of view - Shopify or WooCommerce?
The costs for the creation of the shop (from planning to the finished online shop) are roughly the same in our agency for Shopify and WordPress WooCommerce web shops. Both webshops can be developed from about 2.900 €.
It is the running costs that make the difference.
Let's look at the comparison of running costs using two examples. Online shops that we have created for our customers.
Example 1 - Small webshop
- 100 products
- 100 orders per month
- 2.000 € turnover per month
In this example we assume that we need the basic Shopify system because only simple functions are required. The hosting volume of the WordPress WooCommerce installation does not have to be very large here, as the shop only needs to trade 100 products.
|Basic costs per month||approx. 26 €||0 €|
|Hosting for webshop per month||0 €||15 €|
|Support by an agency for backup / updates per month||0 €||80 €/Month|
|Fees per sale||2 %||0 %|
|Fees per sale||40 €||0 €|
|Sum of costs per month||66 €||95 €|
In this example the running costs for a Shopify Shop are lower.
Example 2 - Large Webshop
- 10.000 products
- 1000 orders per month
- 200.000 € turnover per month
In this example we assume that we need the larger Shopify system because more features are required. The hosting of the WordPress WooCommerce installation must also be higher here, as the shop must trade 10,000 products.
|Basic costs per month||approx. 53 €||0 €|
|Hosting for webshop per month||0 €||35 €|
|Support by an agency for backup / updates per month||0 €||80 €/Month|
|Fees per sale||1 %||0 %|
|Fees per sale||0 €|
|Sum of costs per month||2.053 €||115 €|
In this example, the running costs for a WordPress WooCommerce shop would be significantly lower.
What do we learn from it?
In terms of running costs, Shopify is cheaper than WooCommerce for small shops with fewer products and lower sales.
This changes if you run a large webshop with a large number of products and high sales. Then WooCommerce is ahead by a nose.
And while we're on the products. How does it look with the putting on of the products? At which of the two online shops is it easier to add products to the assortment?
Creating products with WooCommerce and Shopify
If you want to maintain your shop yourself and create or remove products, you are probably interested in how simple or complicated the two systems are in relation to it.
Let's put it this way. In both shops’ products are easy and uncomplicated to create. You don't need any programming skills. If you can use WordPress, you can also create products in Shopify and WooCommerce.
Here are some instructions for Shopify.
Here a manual for WooCommerce.
WooCommerce or Shopify - Design difference between the two systems
An individual design can be programmed in both systems. Shopify has its own template language called Liquid.
Both systems offer free themes and paid themes. However, the two systems differ in the number of available themes:
- On themeforest there are 1294 themes for WordPress WooCommerce.
- There are currently 72 Themes available on Shopify.
However, there are hardly any Shopify shops that resemble each other too much.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify – Extensions and Plugins
If you want to expand your business, special functions are usually required that are not integrated in the basic version of both shop systems. To do this, you can use third-party tools and services. In both Shopify and WooCommerce, you can easily integrate third-party extensions or plug-ins.
Shopify offers a variety of free and paid apps in all relevant categories in its App Store. You'll find everything you need to expand your shop as you need it.
At WooCommerce you have access to over 55,000 free WordPress-Pluginsand numerous other paid plugins.
If you enter "WooCommerce" in the search field, you will see about 1000 plugins.
The integration of the plugins in Shopify is somewhat more complex and therefore more difficult to implement than in WooCommerce, but also feasible for inexperienced users. In case of problems you can find support in the Shopify Community.
Shopify vs. WooCommerce – SEO
Basically, the SEO of webshops follows the rules of "normal" SEO. This means that you have to take care of OnPage and OffPage optimization.
With Shopify, all themes from the Theme Store are already optimized for SEO, so you don't have to worry about technical SEO.
All you have to do is fill the pages of your shop with relevant content (SEO-optimized product descriptions, category pages, etc.), store a relevant and informative meta-description and an SEO-optimized page title and tag the product images with relevant alt tags.
At WooCommerce, you should make sure that the theme you choose is SEO-compatible. Find out whether it is mobile responsive, and the loading time is short. As with Shopify, you need to take care of OnPage SEO optimization. The WordPress plugin Yoast SEOis a great help for the SEO of texts.
With the OffPage SEO optimization it behaves like with any other website. Our article Backlinks for Search Engine Optimization - Importance and how to build some helps you with that.
In comparison Shopify has the nose in front with the themes, since each of the themes offered in the Shopify Theme Stores is already prepared for OnPage optimization and SEO-suitable. The WordPress plugin "Yoast SEO" gives WooCommerce clear advantages when it comes to SEO optimization of texts.
Security, support and DSGVO at WooCommerce and Shopify
In the area of security, we believe Shopify has the edge. At WordPress WooCommerce you are responsible for the security of your shop. With Shopify Webshops the responsibility in the area of security lies primarily with Shopify.
Both systems are currently popular targets for hacker attacks.
WordPress WooCommerce is a free system. Therefore, the manufacturer cannot offer comprehensive support. There is support in English and an English speaking WooCommerce Community available to answer your questions.
Shopify is not free of charge and can therefore provide good support. English and German support is available here. They also help with the migration from any webshop to Shopify.
WordPress WooCommerce has no problems with the basic data protection regulation.
The Shopify webshops run in a European Google data center, therefore Shopify webshops are DSGVO compliant.
With both systems, however, it is important to be aware of which apps are being used. The fact that both shop systems are DSGVO-compliant does not mean that every installable Shopify or WooCommerce app is DSGVO-compliant.
More about the DSGVO at Shopify (German): https://help.shopify.com/de/manual/your-account/GDPR
More about the DSGVO at WooCommerce (englisch): https://woocommerce.com/posts/gdpr-compliance-woocommerce/
What are the advantages and disadvantages of WooCommerce?
- Full access to website code / website customizability
- Constant costs independent of the number of products
- Constant costs independent of the number of orders
- Based on WordPress, a full-fledged CMS or website system
- Operation of the webshop necessary (maintenance, backup, security, etc.)
- From 10.000 products slow (bad for SEO)
- Updates of the webshop usually costly
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Shopify?
- High flexibility when extending functions
- Administration is very User Friendly
- 100 % availability of your own web shop
- No maintenance tasks necessary (maintenance, backup, security, etc.)
- No updates necessary (makes Shopify automatic)
- Very fast load times (good for SEO)
- Only a few adjustments possible in the checkout process
- Cost per sale (2% - 0.5%)
- Multilingualism cannot be implemented via detours
- Some feature enhancements cost money per month
Conclusion: Shopify or WordPress WooCommerce
I have now shown you the advantages and disadvantages of both shop systems. From our point of view the question WooCommerce vs. Shopify is answered as follows.
Basically, both shops are easy to use, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
If you want to have a webshop quickly and save yourself the effort of installing it, Shopify is the system of choice. The exception is when many orders per month are planned or a high adaptability of the webshop is desired. Then WooCommerce is better suited for you.
The main advantage of Shopify: As a webshop operator, you can concentrate 100% on marketing and selling the products. You don't have to deal with topics like updates, backups, etc. Your webshop runs and runs and runs. Almost indestructible.
For all of you who run a WooCommerce shop and want to switch to Shopify, I'll show you briefly what to look out for when migrating.
Migration WooCommerce to Shopify
The migration from one shop platform to another is basically feasible without any problems. If you know how it works.
During a migration, the following points must always be observed and transferred:
- Products and information
- customer data
- order details
- Active and deactivated vouchers
If you want to perform the migration yourself, you can use a tool called Cart2Cart.
Here you pay a calculated amount per run. This depends on:
- Number of products
- Number of customers
- Number of orders/sales
For a surcharge of 59 US dollars you can also transfer your blog.
We perform most migrations manually, using export and import capabilities. In both shops, Shopify and WooCommerce, the data can be exported as a .csv file (Excel). Then you can customize and import the .csv file back into the new shop system.
In order to avoid downtimes and loss of earnings, we leave the existing shop in operation until the complete migration on a test environment is completed flawlessly. Only then will the new shop be transferred to the domain and the old web shop be deactivated.
The most frequent migrations we perform are the following:
- Other online shops after WooCommerce
- Other online shops by Shopify
- WooCommerce after Shopify
Interestingly, we have never had a migration from Shopify to WooCommerce as a request. Apparently, the Shopify shop operators are satisfied with their online shop?
What is your preferred shop system? Are there advantages or disadvantages of one of the two systems that we didn't mention? Write it to us in the comments. We are looking forward to your feedback.