Deciding which platform is right for you is often quite difficult when you are not able to try them all them all out before choosing one. You often have to reply on reviews and experiences that other people had which are most commonly one-sided because not everyone has tried multiple platforms. I have been asked the question “Which platform is best to build an E-Commerce site on’ multiple times. Today I would like to give you an honest opinion on whether Shopify or WordPress is the right platform for you to build your E-Commerce store with. I use both of them on a daily basis to create stores for both myself and my customers therefore I would like to give you a break down of all the aspects you should consider when choosing which of these two platforms is the right one for you.
I would first like to explain what Shopify is and how it is different to WordPress so you can get the idea of what we are talking about. Shopify is an E-Commerce store development platform that was build with one goal in mind – to allow anyone to create an E-Commerce site. That’s all it does and it does it extremely well. On the other hand WordPress is a website creation assistant tool that can be installed on a website in order to provide a user-friendly interface for anyone to create a website with. With that being said, WordPress is currently used my millions of people and business around the world and it is definitely an amazing tool that can help you create the website of your dreams.
This is something you have probably heard multiple times but the truth is that WordPress is not as easy to use compared to Shopify. As I mentioned above WordPress is a tool that can help you build the website of your dreams – A website with endless capabilities. In order for this to happen WordPress offers many different settings and options which might make it a little overwhelming for a non-technical user. WordPress also requires regular updates and backups which once again make the whole experience a little more frustrating. When it comes to building E-Commerce sites, Shopify is by far a cleaner and way easier platform to use due to the fact that it is only used for one purpose, to create E-Commerce stores. Whether you are tech savvy or not, when it comes to ease of use the clear winner will always be Shopify. However, before jumping to quick conclusions it is good to consider the points mentioned below which can have an effect on your decision.
Due to the rising number of new entrepreneurs and people who want to start their own business with little or no cash, the cost of these platforms and tools has always been an important factor. In order to run a Shopify store you will need to pay $29 a month. In order to get a WordPress site up and running you only need $3-4 a month, which will be the fee for your website hosting (paid in advance for 12 months). Now, that is indeed a big difference however I will like to mention the two important things that Shopify offers which WordPress doesn’t. These are:
Yes that’s right, WordPress will give you all the functionalities that Shopify does however Shopify offers the above two things that make the biggest difference in people’s decision. Remember, most people are not tech savvy, they want things to just work for them without much effort, to the point where they will pay $25 more every month. We can now draw a nice, simple conclusion which is:
“If you are not tech savvy go with Shopify, if you are and don’t mind a steeper learning curve, go with WordPress”
It’s as simple as that and it is absolutely true. Can wordpress be mastered? Absolutely! It just takes a little more time and patience.
As I mentioned, there is nothing you can’t do with WordPress. It has more than 29,000 plugins. Any feature you want your website to have, there will be a plugin for it. Shopify also has a large collection of plugins and add-ons but they are more based on the store’s back-end features rather than front-end website features. When it comes to website themes, WordPress definitely wins due to the endless themes that have been created for it all these years. Don’t get me wrong though, Shopify also has many themes that can be installed on any store.
I like both and use both. For my personal websites I will use WordPress when I want to build a store with unique functionalities and looks but if I want to build a quick E-Commerce store and start selling right away then my go-to platform is definitely Shopify. When it comes to my customers though, I recommend using Shopify because of its simplicity and ease of use.
So there you have it, my opinion on the two biggest E-Commerce store creation platforms. As you can see it mostly comes down to the capabilities you want your website to have, the cost and the ease of use. This means there is no winner. You just need to write down everything you need and then go through the above points one by one until you have a clear winner for your case.