Shopify vs WordPress – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons)

According to Shopify, eCommerce retail sales are estimated to reach five trillion dollars by 2022. If you have ever considered launching your own online store, you might have thought about the tools required to create it. Although there are multiple eCommerce platforms on the market, Shopify vs WordPress have always been considered the most prominent ones.

Shopify vs WordPress - Comparing the eCommerce Platforms

As you approach deciding which eCommerce platform to use, think about your usage scenario that can help you to choose between the two platforms. Shopify is the dedicated eCommerce platform that provides you with all the necessary tools to create an online store. On the contrary, WordPress is an open source platform, which asks you to host your own site by installing plugins like WooCommerce.

Although they are considered the goliaths of web development, they cater to different needs. So, we will help you to understand the difference between the two with the help of this guide.

What Is Shopify?

shopify vs wordpress

Shopify is a web application designed specifically for merchants to build and launch their own online store. It offers a wide range of templates or themes that every business can customize according to their branding requirements. However, the thing that makes it the best platform for an eCommerce store is its capabilities of selling both physical and digital goods and services.

Also, it is useful for users who are ignorant of technical or design skills. It means that they do not have to code to use the platform. However, it allows the users to edit their website’s HTML and CSS. It makes the platform effective for people who are well-versed in coding skills as well. This way, they tend to customize the store more extensively.

It is a Software as a Service (SaaS) tool in which you don’t have a copy of the software. Instead, you have to pay monthly fees to use it. Also, since it is a web application, it runs in the cloud and enables you to manage the store as long as you have access to a web browser and the Internet from anywhere.

Shopify Pros

Shopify offers the following advantages to its users:

  • Offers Professionally Designed And Mobile Responsive Themes – Shopify encompasses ten free and 64 premium themes that cost 140 dollars. Each one of them is mobile responsive, which makes it appealing in the eyes of the customers who are surfing the site from their mobile phones. You can choose themes that have different styles and are professionally designed to suit your requirement.
  • Provides Better Security – a customer only waits for three seconds on a website. If the site takes more time to load, they solely abandon it. That is why Shopify provides their users 100 percent SSL that makes their site load faster. Also, several customers find credit card payments convenient. So, Shopify takes the initiative to keep its websites secure. They hire cybersecurity experts to keep their platform hack proof. Moreover, they integrate with several payment methods that enable them to keep checkout fast and secure for their customers.
  • Provides Scalability – Store owners who want to expand their store to the next level tend to obtain scalability from Shopify. They help them in managing sudden traffic spurts or increasing traffic over time. Therefore, it eliminates you from the worry of changing and redesigning the store.
  • Delivers 24/7 Customer Support – Shopify not only provides an eCommerce platform with several effective features but also provides 24/7 customer support. It makes the platform the most preferable among eCommerce owners. It provides you direct access to enormous database FAQs, including email, chat, and phone support with a knowledgeable sales rep.
  • Facilitates Top Notch Analytics – Shopify provides you a considerable amount of built in analytics features when you want to keep a track of your store. It makes you aware of the performance of your store and the part that should be optimized to provide better results. It also provides an analytical insight into online store sessions, total sales, products, returning customer rate, and average order value.

Shopify Cons

Apart from multiple advantages, there are some disadvantages as well. Let’s explore them in detail.

  • Transaction Fees – Shopify provides its users multiple subscription plans to choose from based on their needs. However, users face some issues while selecting the plan. First, the basic plan comes with a basic feature, and second, users have to pay additional transaction fees if they do not opt for Shopify payments. Also, it provides only ten themes for free. A one time fee has to be paid for premium themes.
  • Lacks Email Hosting Facility – Shopify does not offer its user an email hosting facility, which restricts them from hosting a domain based email address. However, it provides an alternative in which users have to set up email forwarding. In this process, all the domain based emails are sent to your regular email account. It might leave a negative impact on the customer and stop them from thinking of giving it another shot.
  • Have Steeper Leaning Curve – Like other eCommerce platforms, Shopify does have a leaning curve. However, it is slightly steeper, thereby making the users’ experience relatively complicated.
  • Limited Customizations – Shopify has a customizable theme, but it has some unavoidable limitations too. Users have to work on their coding skills if they want to unlock additional features.

What Is WordPress?

difference between wordpress and shopify

WordPress has two different versions available, hosted and self hosted WordPress. Alike Shopify, Hosted WordPress is also a Software as a Service (SaaS) tool. It provides users access to a variety of features to build and maintain blogs, websites, or eCommerce sites.

On the other hand, Self Hosted WordPress is a software that users can download from It is an open source platform, which means that you can customize your site effortlessly with the help of extremely flexible tools, installing plugins, or giving it to a WordPress web developer.  There are many different WordPress themes and plugins available to build any type of website.

Though it can be installed on the server for free, additional fees concerning the hosting costs, domain registration charges, and potential development charges are necessary.

WordPress Pros

WordPress serves the following benefits to its users:

  • Provide Flexible Product And Inventory Management – Alike Shopify, WordPress also offers a web store that allows its users in selling both physical and digital goods and services. It provides an option to keep adding products and set different types. This way, inventory management becomes relatively straightforward on this platform. You can track current stock levels and manage daily inventory in this eCommerce platform.
  • Mobile Friendly – Today, mobile phones have become an essential part of our lives. Keeping this point in mind, WordPress offers its users a mobile friendly and responsive website.
  • Provide Multiple Extensions – WordPress enables you to choose the most suitable extensions based on your requirements. It helps you in adding appropriate functionality to your online store and boost customer experience without worrying about writing codes. They provide extension options that include product page, store management, checkout, shopping cart, SSO etc.
  • Provide Multiple Payment Gateways and Currency Support – With the help of WordPress, you can accept payment from people all across the globe. This feature tremendously attracts customers living in a different location and boosts your sales and revenue.
  • Have Uncompromised Cybersecurity – WordPress offers a trustworthy and secure environment to its users by prioritizing privacy and protection in transactions. The frequent updates enable this platform to stay one step further against security issues.  Check out the best Free Security plugins for WordPress
  • Provide Useful SEO Capabilities – WordPress plugins and extensions make SEO less challenging. It is because no matter whatever plugin you choose, the frequent updates make them efficient and secure at all times.

WordPress Cons

WordPress has the following limitations as well.

  • Performance Glitches – WordPress users have to install multiple plugins to add functionalities. It takes up a lot of storage space and slows down the downloading speed and average performance. It makes the entire process frustrating.
  • Not Beginner Friendly – WordPress web design, development, and management is challenging for people who do not have prior knowledge concerning web development or marketing. Also, it provides minimal maintenance support. So, users have to look for solutions in online forums.
  • Constant Updates – Although the frequent update provides WordPress users optimal security, it sometimes becomes very time consuming.
  • Do Not Have Sufficient Advanced Features – WordPress lacks several advanced features that make store management relatively arduous for its users. Not only that, the themes that tend to improve customer experience charge additional money, thereby increasing your project overheads.

Shopify vs WordPress: The Difference

Shopify is known as a website builder and is built specifically for eCommerce stores. Therefore, those who want to create an online store with limited technical knowledge, want to keep accurate track of their budget, and value convenience can opt for Shopify.

On the contrary, WordPress enables its users to create any kind of website, including online stores. Hence, people with a spare knowledge of coding, can invest some money in opting for an appropriate web developer, and want sole control over their site’s customization can choose WordPress for their eCommerce store.

To conclude, WordPress is a force that outperforms nearly a third of the websites on the web whereas Shopify is a popular eCommerce platform used by leading businesses and celebrities.  We hope our article Shopify vs WordPress helped you decide which CMS / eCommerce platform to use for your website.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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