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WooCommerce vs Shopify for ecommerce


With some many ecommerce options available to help you sell online, it can be confusing to know which system to choose. In this article we’ll discuss Woocommerce vs Shopify and outline some key differences.

Similarities between WooCommerce and Shopify

Before we get into the differences, let’s cover some similarities.

  • Both systems are widely used, with lots of help available from forums etc.
  • Both have easy to use interfaces that have been developed over time to be friendly to ‘normal’ people instead of developers.
  • WordPress has a blog so your WooCommerce site will have that built in, and a Shopify site also has a blog section
  • Both systems are extendable with plugins to add new features
  • Most hosting plans now come with free SSL from Let’s Encrypt, Shopify includes SSL too
  • Both now have Facebook shop integration


WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress. WordPress comes in two flavours: A version hosted by Wordpress themselves at WordPress.com and a self hosted version of the software you can download from wordpress.org. They are largely the same core software, but WordPress.com restricts what plugins you can install and does not allow WooCommerce.

In order to use WooCommerce you will need to install WordPress to a hosting account you have control of, like our green web hosting. This gives you complete control over plugin and theme installation.


  • You can install plugins to add functionality and these are often free
  • There are lots of free themes available and you can also make your own
  • There are no monthly fees for the software
  • You can use whatever payment gateway you want as long as there is a WooCommerce plugin for it
  • Flexible product variations and ability to create your own


  • You will need hosting with good uptime and support
  • You need to update WordPress and WooCommerce yourself and this can break things
  • Some WooCommerce plugins are commercial, with a yearly renewal fee


Shopify is a hosted ecommerce solution, so the software cannot be downloaded and installed to your own hosting account.


  • The system is kept up to date for you, no software updates required
  • It’s quick to set up and start selling
  • They offer optional payment processing as part of the package


  • There is a monthly fee
  • Adding more features increases the monthly fee
  • Themes can be expensive
  • Product variations are limited

So which system is best?

In our experience, Shopify can be the best option for checking if your product will sell. The ongoing costs can add up when you need more features however and we’ve seen people start with Shopify and then move to a self hosted system like WooCommerce when their shop is established.

We can help with both Shopify and WooCommerce design and development. Call 01636 812551 or contact us to find out more.

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