WooCommerce Vs. Shopify; Which One is Better?

shopify vs woocommerce, which is better

In the dynamic world of e-commerce, selecting the right platform is a critical decision for businesses looking to establish and grow their online presence. Two popular choices, WooCommerce + WordPress and Shopify, offer unique features and functionalities. We get asked all the time, “which one is better? which one should I use?” Frankly, there isn’t a right answer straight out of the gate. The answer is different for every business depending on their needs. In this blog, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each platform to help businesses make an informed decision based on their specific needs.

WooCommerce + WordPress


Flexibility and Customization.

WooCommerce, as a WordPress plugin, provides unparalleled flexibility and customization options. Businesses can leverage the vast library of WordPress themes and plugins to tailor their online store according to their brand.

Content Management:

WordPress is renowned for its powerful content management system (CMS). Combining WooCommerce with WordPress allows businesses to seamlessly integrate their product pages with rich, engaging content, fostering a holistic online experience.


Both WooCommerce and WordPress are open-source, meaning they are free to use as a baseline platform. This can be particularly advantageous for small businesses or startups looking to minimize initial costs. The upfront cost of adding plug-ins can range greatly depending on what functionality is being added to the site. However, they are ONE-TIME fees, unlike Shopify’s subscription model. 

SEO Friendly:

WordPress is inherently SEO-friendly, and with the right plugins and optimization strategies, businesses can enhance their online visibility. This is crucial for attracting organic traffic and improving search engine rankings.


Learning Curve:

The extensive customization options may present a steeper learning curve for users who are not familiar with WordPress. While it’s presented as a platform “anyone can use”, the complexity of layering all the functions together, and often customizing the way elements look is usually more time-consuming than many business owners want to invest. However, we are a one-stop shop that can do any WordPress customizations needed, including fixing up someone else’s old duct-taped code – or building you a spiffy, brand new site from scratch. We have been working in WordPress since it was first introduced as a bouncing baby blog platform and boy has it come a long way. It’s been like watching a niece or nephew grow up right under our noses. 

Maintenance Responsibility:

As an open-source platform, businesses using WooCommerce must take responsibility for regular updates, security, and maintenance. This requires additional time and technical expertise. We offer hosting and maintenance packages, so you don’t have to worry about those pesky updates breaking things on your site.


Now, Let’s Talk Shopify


Ease of Use:

Shopify is renowned for its user-friendly interface, and we love that aspect of it as well. Setting up an online store is straightforward, making it an ideal choice for businesses that have a straightforward e-commerce model, and want a quick and hassle-free solution.

Hosted Solution:

Shopify is a fully hosted solution, eliminating the need for businesses to manage servers or worry about technical aspects. This convenience allows entrepreneurs to focus on their core business operations. (This could also be listed in the cons area: if Shopify itself has a system glitch – there is NOTHING we can do to fix it because it’s a closed system, managed by them. It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while there is a small glitch in their matrix and unfortunately when that happens – we all have to wait it out.) 

Security and Compliance:

Shopify takes care of security and compliance issues, including SSL certification and payment gateways. This is especially beneficial for businesses dealing with sensitive customer information. 

App Store:

The Shopify App Store offers a wide array of applications that extend the platform’s functionality. This allows businesses to add features and capabilities to their online store without extensive development work.


Limited Customization:

While Shopify provides some customization options, they may not be as extensive as those offered by WooCommerce + WordPress. Businesses with highly specific design or functionality requirements may find Shopify’s limitations restrictive. That being said, we can do most customizations a client may desire. This does restrict future client editing capabilities in some instances (unless they know liquid code pretty well), but ultimately can lead the desired visual result. 

Transaction Fees & Monthly App Costs:

Shopify charges transaction fees on sales made through external payment gateways, in addition to the standard subscription and app fees. App fees are charged on a monthly basis, and we have found that the app fees for our clients have ranged from anywhere as low as $50/month, all the way to $400/month (on top of the baseline Shopify hosting and transaction fees). 

One other important thing to note, is that there are some functional components that REQUIRE the highest Shopify plan: Shopify Plus. For example, if a business plans to use a third party shipping app integration, or wants to use AvaTax instead of the built-in Shopify Tax system: Shopify Plus is required and that fee starts at $2,000/mo. as a baseline price (not including apps).  These are not the only functions that require the Shopify Plus platform, but they are real-life instances we have run into with clients of ours, and required the upgrade. 




We like both platforms here at Sage Marketing Group; we have built beautiful Shopify sites, as well as awesome WordPress+WooComm websites. 

Ultimately, the choice between WooCommerce + WordPress and Shopify depends on the specific needs and preferences of the business. WooCommerce is ideal for those seeking maximum customization and control, especially if they are already familiar with the WordPress ecosystem. On the other hand, Shopify provides a user-friendly, all-in-one solution for businesses that prioritize simplicity, security, and scalability. Before making a decision, it’s crucial to assess individual business requirements, budget constraints, and long-term growth goals.

Get in touch with us today for a one-on-one consultation for your business. We want to make sure you get the right platform for YOUR specific business needs. 

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