November 29, 2022 7 min read
If you’ve clicked on this article, chances are, you are probably trying to open your e-commerce store.
E-commerce has transformed the world of shopping for customers and businesses alike. Businesses can build a bigger customer base and reach beyond the barriers of territorial borders, without even stepping into another country. Having an online store can exponentially boost sales and it is due to these benefits that more and more businesses now opt for an online approach for their sales and marketing. This digitization has led to many website builders that provide easy and efficient ways to build an online store.
What is a website builder?
A website builder is a tool to create entire websites quickly without the need to write code from scratch. It can even provide a simple drag-and-drop interface, along with pre-made templates to use for creating websites in minutes. Two of the best website builders are Shopify and WordPress, both with a reputation for simplicity, flexibility, and great performance.
What is Shopify?
Shopify and WordPress are two of the biggest names in the domain of website building. Shopify is a website builder that is specifically dedicated to building e-commerce stores. It provides you with all the tools to boost your sales and create a reliable online store. An e-commerce platform that can give you a domain name, access to PayPal, your e-commerce plugin and a shopping cart, and other useful features, It provides all the features to efficiently run an e-commerce store with minimal effort.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management platform that can be turned into any type of website from an online store for your new business to a personal portfolio. It is an open-source platform where you need to host your own site and install plugins according to the type of website you want to create. The WooCommerce plugin is one that you can utilize for building an ecommerce store. There are two kinds of WordPress, WordPress.org and WordPress.com. WordPress.org requires you to host your website yourself and is technically advanced whereas WordPress.com is hosted by a separate company.
Ease Of Use
To start using Shopify all you need to do is create an account, select a theme and add products. Whereas WordPress has a more complicated method of creating a store. You have to find a hosting and then select plugins along with the theme. Being a general tool rather than a specific one, it can get very confusing to use. It might be a tool to help you make websites without the use of a developer but it still requires you to have some basic knowledge regarding HTML. Shopify has a relatively simpler interface and user interaction design as compared to its competition. It provides tips along the way while also providing multiple ways of doing things.
Both Shopify and WordPress come with a huge gallery of pre-made themes, tailored to all users. But sometimes you may want to tweak things up, which can be done in both the tools but due to WordPress's ability to let you work with the code, it takes the cake on customization. Shopify offers an adequate level of detailed customization but WordPress provides you with full control over your site. You can determine precisely how you'll need your web page to appearance with the aid of using customizing the diverse sections like header, footer, checkout, product pages, and so on.
Shopify gives you a plethora of built-in analytics options to maintain track of your business, and analyze consumer behavior, stock levels, and conversion monitoring. This provides you with information on your store's performance, and areas of improvement. On Shopify, you can also measure goods, sales, returning customer rate, and average order value.
WooCommerce allows you to build web stores selling both physical and digital products, providing you with the option to add items regularly and set different product kinds. The platform simplifies inventory management with its WordPress-centric user interface and allows you to manage stock levels and inventory.
Key services offered by Shopify include:
WordPress provides the following important features:
Help and Support
With such simple tools, you may think you wouldn't need help, but that is far from the truth. Customer Support can help minimize the time spent on maintenance and increase productivity. In this context, Shopify has a 24/7 customer service, lots of online forums, and a help center. It also includes customer support with even the most basic of plans. WordPress, on the other hand, provides support through only forums and customer sites. It does not provide dedicated and in-depth help in case of any issues, you might face. You can take further assistance using the support provided by any of the third-party plugins you have used, hence it is advised to use plugins that offer good customer service.
Pricing is one of the major concerns of opening up a store, whether it is online or offline. Since a huge amount of capital and revenue go into managing the business, adequate pricing is very crucial and helpful. Shopify has several pricing options, starting with a free 14-day trial and three major monthly or yearly plans. All plans come with an online store, sales channels, point of sales, and 24/7 help and support. The three major plans offered by Shopify are: Basic at $29/month, Shopify at $79/month, and Advanced at $299/month.
WordPress is completely free to use on its own, but most plugins and extensions are paid. This is both a bane and a boon as it is a cheap option for website building but every functionality that you decide to add raises the price, piling up to a huge amount. Hosting can cost from $5-$100, themes can cost anywhere from $0- $5000 and each plugin can cost from $5-$150.
Shopify has various useful SEO features to use to boost your visibility on search engines. It provides you with the option to add metadata to your web pages that will help you increase your reach. Shopify provides all this at no additional cost. It even allows you to customize your URLs and site structure to make it easier for search engines to read. Shopify shines as a fast-loading online store, which is also an important feature in SEO ranking.
WordPress does not provide any inbuilt features for SEO. Since it's a general-purpose content management system, implementing any specific features requires the help of external or third-party plugins. WordPress provides many plugins for SEO optimization, with free and paid options.
Dropshipping grants sellers the facility to avoid stocking and shipping their products. they can refer to a third-party supplier to fulfill their orders. Both Shopify and WordPress provide plugins for the inclusion of dropshipping in your online store. It is not an inbuilt feature since a majority of users do not require it for their store. But both website builders offer a great range of plugins such as Dser (for Shopify) and AirDropShipping (for WordPress).
The main reason for the popularity of website builders is themes or templates. The aesthetic of an ecommerce store is its biggest selling point as it is what creates a user's first impression. Both Shopify and WordPress offer a wide gallery of themes that allow users to pick whichever suits their niche. All the templates are designed by professionals and are mobile responsive too. Both tools offer a huge variety of free and premium tools. But WordPress allows for even more detailed customization where you can add additional features with just a few lines of basic HTML and CSS code.
WordPress also offers a lot more themes than Shopify, with WordPress' ecommerce templates totaling over 1000 excluding the huge library of third-party templates.
Shopify includes SSL certificates which provide encryption-based protection that goes a long way in improving the SEO security of eCommerce stores. But with WordPress, it is available as an add-on instead of an inbuilt feature.
Both websites come with their own set of regular security updates and both employ a great team of cybersecurity experts. The only difference is, Shopify has a single update that includes all features, while WordPress has separate updates for all plugins, especially if you're using third-party plugins.
You've got a store set up but that's not the end of it. Sales can only grow with excellent marketing. Both Shopify and WordPress provide useful features for marketing your products. Shopify includes social selling on social media platforms while providing a multichannel marketplace on eBay and Amazon.
However, it does not come with any tool to provide email marketing, but it can be done with a tricky process of combining multiple plugins. WordPress also uses plugins for email and social media marketing, which are much more streamlined than those of Shopify.
All in all, there is no definite answer as to whether Shopify or WordPress is the ideal option for building an ecommerce store. It all depends on your needs and desires. If you are looking for a highly customizable, low-budget option with advanced features of your own choice, WordPress is the way to go. If you are looking for a simple, easy-to-use option that covers all the essentials to make an excellent online shopping store, Shopify is the obvious choice.