The Information Technology (IT) revolution has given a huge boost to eCommerce. The volume of business in the virtual world is no less substantial than that in the physical world. The online marketplace is seeing a profusion of shopping sites and other such eCommerce ventures. With the advent of frameworks exclusively designed for eCommerce, launching such sites has become very easy. There are two big players in this field and the question that arises is which of the two is better- WooCommerce or Shopify? Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of these two rivals.
WooCommerce comes from the stable of the most popular CMS, WordPress. It is an open source plugin specifically created for designing eCommerce stores. Easy to install and customize, it is extremely popular among users, whatever the size of their business be.
Shopify is owned by a Canadian company of the same name. Unlike Woocommerce, it is not free but proprietary in nature. Easy to use and functional, Shopify also takes care of a user’s technical needs like hosting and security.
WooCommerce is a free platform but the client has to pay for a hosting account, domain name, and SSL certificate. The customer can either pay separately for all the plans or utilize the services of many online companies selling WooCommerce hosting plans.
Shopify, on the other hand, takes care of all of these issues as the cost of these services are included in the package that a customer chooses at the time of purchase.
Ease of Use
WooCommerce clients have full control over every aspect of their store as there are numerous plugins-free or paid, available for any functionality. Even an amateur can be expected to make modifications to his online store on his own. It does not have a theme store but one can always take the help of a third party service for this purpose like a WordPress designer for custom made themes. People looking for multi-language options can use the well known WPML (WordPress MultiLingual ) plugin to add more than one language.
Shopify customer, on the other hand has to depend on the platform for all his functionality needs. The options for customizations are limited but to a layman, the whole process seems easy. It has a theme store showcasing over 100 themes, some of which are paid but a majority of them are free. In order to add multilingual options to their store, sellers had to either duplicate their e-store or add subdomains until the paid Langify app came out, which has made their job easier.
SEO professionals the world over renown WordPress as one of the most reliable options for their job and WooCommerce takes full advantage of this fact. There are plugins like Yoast SEO which can be used for optimization of the business while exercising full control over every aspect of the process of editing page URLs or adding rich snippets. The uploading time and page loading speed of your site depends totally on your hosting service and that can be a minus point as Google does not rank slow sites highly.
SEO requires URLs to be easily identifiable by crawlers and Shopify users face problems in this regard while trying to do off-site SEO as they do not have full control over editing their URLs. They also do not have the liberty to include rich snippets unless and until they take third-party help for it. On the other hand, sitemap and meta tags are automatically generated to avoid duplication, which always helps in making a website SEO friendly. Another point going in favor of Shopify is that the sites are hosted on its server and there are no issues regarding the speed of the site.
People using WooCommerce have to manage all the issues regarding backup, updates, security etc. themselves as it is a self-hosting platform and does not offer a single point system to address these matters. Amateurs may have to take help from professional WordPress developers for solution.
Scalability issues are addressed in Shopify simply by upgrading to a better plan which can be chosen according to the growth of your business which will take care of all the issues concerning backup, speed, and security.
WooCommerce supports free payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe and also paid ones like Amazon Payments and Braintree. As it is free in nature, many regional gateways also have a presence on it. The only cost one incurs is the transaction fees charged by the gateway or the bank.
Shopify Payment is the Canadian company’s own gateway which is free. It also supports third-party gateways like PayPal but the user has to pay an additional fee apart from transaction charges of the gateway.
Shipping costs on both the platforms are dependent on various factors like the dimensions of the package, nature of the location and the time of delivery.
WooCommerce offers the clients plugins for this purpose, some of which are paid. Dropshipping or direct delivery of a product from its manufacturer to the buyer is not available in it.
Shopify asks the customer looking for shipping functionality to buy a plan. In addition to this, it also has partnerships with some big players in the field like Amazon which means that dropshipping is possible on this platform.
WooCommerce users depend solely on the large developer and user community and on encountering any problem they have taken help from online forums or guides.
Shopify provides all its users with 24/7 customer care support through phone, email and online chat.
Now you may have a fair idea about the basic features of both the platforms which have a considerable following among eCommerce entrepreneurs looking for launching online stores. The key for a person pondering over which one to choose- WooCommerce or Shopify, is to identify his own requirements and make a choice accordingly as eCommerce projects involve large investments and choosing incorrectly may result in an infeasible project.
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