When creating a dropshipping store, it is important to pick an eCommerce platform that is secure, easy to use and flexible to your dropshipping requirements. WooCommerce and Shopify are two of the most popular eCommerce platforms. They both offer high security and are easy to use, however, they both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Below is a guide which compares the two platforms for a variety of different categories by seeing which platform excels where. We hope with this information, you are able to choose the right platform for your store.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Pricing
When it comes to pricing, both WooCommerce and Shopify are very different.
WooCommerce is a free, open-source piece of software. This means that it doesn’t cost you anything to download or use WooCommerce. The costs associated with WooCommerce arise when you purchase hosting and site security; things that Shopify offers out of the box.
Shopify has a straightforward pricing model, which starts at $29 USD per month. the pricing of Shopify can be scaled to fit the size and needs of your business. This means that there are little to no unexpected costs that come with owning a Shopify store.
Although this information may suggest that Shopify is the better option for most people, it should also be noted that with a little bit of extra work, you can get a fully functional WooCommerce store running for a lot less than $29 USD a month (Shopify’s starting rate). Thanks to Free SSL certificates and reasonably priced web hosting, it is possible for a tech-savvy store owner to get a website up and running for as little as $10 – $20 per month.
When it comes to price, WooCommerce is generally a cheaper option. However, this will not be the case for all eCommerce and dropshipping businesses. With Shopify, your store will not need any additional setup or tech knowledge to get a working store set up. Time is money, and Shopify prevents you from paying with your time.
If you are familiar with hosting, web development or have a good understanding of how websites work, WooCommerce will be cheaper in the long run. However, if you want to save money by setting up a store quickly, Shopify will let you skip all the technical aspects of setting up a website and allow you to focus on what is important.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Ease of Use
Since it has been created, Shopify has been praised for its simple, straightforward interface, hassle-free setup and great tools that work out of the box. This makes it ideal for businesses that want to simply get things done. With Shopify, all of the important information is right in front of you, reducing the work associated with tasks like listing a new product, issuing a refund or changing the layout of your homepage.
WooCommerce is a little different. Although WooCommerce is arguably very easy to use, its downfalls come from the difficulties associated with setting up a store, maintaining the website and configuring various options. Things like adding a collection of products to your home screen will often require knowledge of HTML, something not everyone possesses. Also, WordPress can be difficult to get up and running. To get a working WooCommerce store, you need to:
- Purchase a domain
- Purchase hosting
- Install WordPress on your web site’s directory
- Download and configure WooCommerce
On the other hand, making a store with Shopify couldn’t be easier since all you need to do is sign up, follow a short setup wizard, then you are ready. This allows for almost anyone to start an eCommerce store within minutes, not hours.
For overall ease of use, Shopify is the clear winner here. This is because it requires little setup or maintenance, and makes tasks easy for dropshippers and eCommerce owners of all experience levels.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Plugins & Customisation
Both WooCommerce and Shopify offer a variety of third-party plugins and themes which can be used to customise your store and add additional features. However, WooCommerce’s sheer number of plugins and themes mean that it is at an advantage here.
With WooCommerce, you have access to over 46,000 WordPress plugins, meaning there is basically a plugin for everything. A significant amount of these plugins are free, meaning that all of their basic features will be available to you without you having to pay. In regards to dropshipping, this is a great thing. For dropshippers, WordPress has third-party plugins that manage your dropshipping inventory, add custom shipping methods for specific product types, and much more.
WordPress also has a huge amount of free and paid themes which usually work well with WooCommerce. It should be noted that many of these free themes will not be as polished as a premium Shopify theme, meaning extra customisation will often be needed. However, WordPress has a variety of paid themes, many of which are made with eCommerce owners and dropshipping in mind. This means that premium solutions are there if you need them. There are also many multi-purpose WordPress themes, which means that they can adapt to whatever route your business ends up taking.
Shopify has an integrated app store, which allows you to easily add custom functionality to your website. However, the main issue is that the apps are a lot more expensive. Many apps will require monthly subscriptions for the functionality you could get from a free plugin a WooCommerce store. This leads to increased store-running costs.
Shopify has a range of very premium themes, which often work exactly how they should out of the box. This makes installing a custom theme a really simple process. You can also trial a theme before you buy it, allowing you to make sure the theme works as it should on your dropshipping store. Just like their apps, Shopify themes usually come at a higher price than WooCommerce themes. However, what you get (most of the time) is a solution that simply works, with little to no extra customisation needed.
Both WooCommerce and Shopify allow you to edit your dropshipping website with custom code. WordPress is coded using PHP whereas Shopify uses a language called Liquid. Since Liquid is built to work with Shopify, it is generally easier to learn. However, it should be noted that PHP has been around for a long time and there are lots of resources and information to help you learn the language.
Although Shopify offers a good selection of themes and apps, it simply can’t compare to the thousands of readily available themes and plugins that WordPress offers. With WordPress, you can use free plugins to achieve more than what you could with Shopify’s paid plugins, making it the best deal for plugin pricing as well.
Whether you want to build a landing page (with no coding knowledge), add subscriptions to your site, or add custom shipping methods, WordPress can provide a great solution, which is often free as well!
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Security
A good, secure store is vital in the world of eCommerce. Security keeps out hackers, malicious code and other things that can damage your site.
WordPress is built to be very secure. However, its popularity can often put it in a more dangerous place than Shopify. This is because hackers will often target WordPress and WooCommerce. If an exploit is discovered, it can be used to target WordPress sites all around the world. In order to counter this, WordPress regularly releases updates and patches which protect your site from vulnerabilities. Regularly updating WordPress will keep your site very secure. Your WooCommerce website will need an SSL certificate as well, which will need to be added via your hosting control panel.
You can install several different security plugins on your WordPress website. These plugins can prevent unauthorised access by scanning for malicious code, limiting log in attempts or requiring two-factor authentication. Having a WordPress website also allows for a lot more backend customisation.
The hosting of your WooCommerce site can also affect its security. If you are using a host that doesn’t follow correct security protocols, your site and every other site on its server will be at risk. This is why using a secure host is important.
Shopify websites are hosted on Shopify’s own servers, which allows stores to have great security options with little to no work from the user. Shopify stores come with automatic SSL certificates and secure hosting. Shopify also takes care of various compliance assessments and risk management, ensuring your site is secure at all times.
It can be concluded that Shopify stores are secure by nature, whereas WooCommerec can be secure when correct practices are followed. If you are someone who wants to perform litlte or no maintenance on your dropshipping store, we would recommend Shopify. This is because it provides great security out of the box. However, if you are a tech-savvy person who likes to customise security to their liking, WooCommmerce will be the better option for you.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Site Speed
Load times are vital to customer interest, bounce rate and SEO. For this reason, it is important tha tyour dropshipping website loads instantly. Both Shopify and WooCommerce are well optimised, meaning the code itself should not take a huge amount of time to load. The big difference comes from how much you are willing to spend on hosting.
Shopify uses shared hosting, meaning your website sits on the same server as many others. As far as shared hosting goes, Shopify’s is actually pretty good. It even uses a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to accelerate your site speed all around the world. As far as processing information goes, there are no long wait times and Shopify’s smooth back-end interface doesn’t stutter under pressure.
The power and speed of WooCommerce varies depending on how much of your budget is dedicated to hosting. A good shared host may cost you $15 a month and provide speeds similar to Shopify. However, you have the option of choosing a more powerful or dedicated host. This will allow pages to load instantly, and result in very short load times when performing resource-intensive tasks from the WordPress backend. If speed is not a worry for you, you can choose a very cheap host, which saves you money at the cost of higher load times. Sometimes a cheap host will work perfectly fine for a WooCommerce site that doesn’t require a large amount of plugins or resources.
WordPress also has several caching plugins, which can speed up content delivery by serving static versions of pages to your customers.
Although Shopify offers great shared hosting, WooCommerce stores allow you to scale your site’s speed and power according to the needs of your business. Although Shopify is fast, WooCommerce stores have the potential to run faster (with higher costs involved). For most businesses, Shopify will be more than fast enough. This makes the platform ideal for people who don’t want to dedicate a lot of time to optimising their website. On the other hand, WooCommerce gives you the option to significantly increase speed, but only if you want it.
Like several other categories above, this one comes down to what type of user you are. If you want a clean, hassle-free website that simply loads quickly, Shopify will work well. However, if you want to customise your site’s speed to your liking using premium hosting and caching plugins, WooCommerce will allow you to do this.
WooCommerce and Shopify are both great platforms that allow you to run a great eCommerce or dropshipping business. However, the type of user you are will determine what platform is best for your business.
We recommend Shopify for:
- Users who want a quick, hassle-free setup.
- Store owners who don’t want to spend a lot of time maintaining their store.
- People who want a fully functional e-commerce solution straight out of the box.
We recommend WooCommerce for:
- Users who want to save money but don’t mind devoting a bit of extra time to setup and maintenance.
- People who want the ability to fully customise their site to their liking.
- Tech-savvy users who are comfortable with setting up hosting.