WooCommerce or Shopify? • SagaReach Marketing

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Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the most popular solutions for powering ecommerce websites. The decision between Shopify vs WooCommerce can be tough, so we’re breaking down what each has to offer you in a comparison chart!

The “woocommerce or shopify reddit” is a question that has been asked by many people. The answer to the question is that Shopify is better for smaller businesses, but WooCommerce is more suitable for larger ones.

WooCommerce or Shopify? • SagaReach Marketing

Creating an online shop is now simpler than ever. It’s not easy to choose the correct tool to power your new shop. There are other solutions available, but most individuals will choose between Shopify and WooCommerce, the two industry leaders. Both ecommerce systems offer a similar feature set, but their mindset is different. Let’s look at both of them.

TLDR: There is no such thing as a perfect solution.

Let’s begin with the last point. When it comes to deciding which ecommerce platform to use, the answer is those two words that every SEO professional loves to say: it depends! It’s virtually a philosophical tug-of-war between two worlds: open and flexible vs closed and “rigid.” In general, both systems allow you to do the same tasks. Both WooCommerce and Shopify are fantastic systems for building fantastic online shops. The biggest distinction is in how they go about it and the ideology that underpins it.

WooCommerce allows you complete control over your store and data, as well as a lot of flexibility. This is an excellent alternative if you desire complete control and believe in the open-source philosophy. Plus, if you already have a WordPress site, adding a WooCommerce shop to it makes a lot more sense than starting a new Shopify business. And, if you want a hosted version of WooCommerce, there are a plethora of excellent hosting options to choose from.

You receive a closed system with Shopify, also known as a SaaS (Software as a Service). Everything is set up for you and in such a manner that you can create and launch an online shop in minutes. A closed framework, such as Shopify, offers several advantages since it provides you with a system that is properly calibrated to its purpose: to enable you to sell as much as possible. Shopify will control your data, and you will lose freedom. Everything you need to know is included inside the platform and its applications.

Simply said, it isn’t a case of one being superior to the other. All you have to do now is choose the platform that best suits your needs and tastes.

What exactly is Shopify?

Shopify is an ecommerce platform that runs about 1.7 million online retailers globally. It was founded in 2006. Shopify is a hosted web application, or Software as a Service (SaaS), that has been fine-tuned to make it simple to create and manage online businesses. It provides a wealth of tools for store owners to launch and operate their online business.

Shopify has developed various in-house solutions to typical ecommerce issues, such as payment systems (Shopify Payments) and fulfillment networks, throughout the years. Shopify is now a full-service ecommerce platform that makes a lot of sense and provides plenty of possibilities for many customers.

screenshot of the homepage on shopify.comShopify enables you to create an online shop in a matter of minutes.

What is WooCommerce, and how does it work?

WooCommerce, which was first released in 2011, is deeply rooted in the open-source WordPress community. WooCommerce is an all-in-one ecommerce solution that you can easily integrate into your WordPress site. It’s feature-rich and reliable, with a track record of success. WooCommerce has been a member of the Automattic family since 2015.

WooCommerce is a well-liked and cost-effective approach to manage an online business. WooCommerce is free to use on this basis, and many of the plugins are also free to use. WooCommerce has spawned an entire industry, with tens of thousands of services, themes, and plugins available at varying price ranges. People like the flexibility they have while using WooCommerce to create a shop.

screenshot of the homepage on woocommerce.comWooCommerce is a popular e-commerce platform with a lot of flexibility.

A managed platform vs. one that is self-hosted

The most significant distinction between Shopify and WooCommerce is how your site is hosted. WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that can be downloaded and installed on any host. Simply choose a suitable hosting package and you’re ready to begin. You have complete control over WooCommerce’s functionality, and you may increase your tech stack if your site is doing well.

Of course, there are certain disadvantages to this. For example, you are entirely accountable for all aspects of your shop. You are responsible for keeping everything safe and secure, as well as implementing the necessary speed adjustments. There are services that can assist you with this, but it still involves some additional work. While WooCommerce is free to use, it does come with a price. This is something to keep in mind. If you truly want a hosted WooCommerce solution, you can always sign up for one of the ecommerce plans offered by several WordPress hosting providers.

When you pick Shopify, you join up with them and pay a monthly fee to have your shop hosted and handled by them. Everything you do is contained inside their “walls,” as it were. Restraints are purposefully incorporated into Shopify to ensure that all of their shops run smoothly. From payment to backup and security, Shopify handles it all.

If you do decide to grow, Shopify has an app store with a variety of useful tools like as SEO software, email marketing, inventory management, and more. These might vary from free to a monthly fee that can soon add to the expense of your shop. Another thing to keep in mind is that when not utilizing Shopify Payment, Shopify imposes a 2% transaction fee on the lowest plan. I’ll get to it later.

screenshot of our checkout on yoast.comWooCommerce powers the SagaReach Marketing online shop.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison

Shopify and WooCommerce did not become the world’s two most popular e-commerce systems by accident. Both systems are very stable, simple to use, secure, and packed with features. The aspects are similar, as is their attitude toward ecommerce. The most significant distinction is between open-flexibility source’s and closeness’s solidity. Let’s look at the differences between the two in more detail.


Shopify is a premium service that does not provide a free plan. There are three options to select from, with prices ranging from $29 to $299 each month. The various plans have different features; for example, the basic plan does not include reports or internationalization. Shopify Plus is available for companies at the enterprise level. Shopify Lite is another option, which allows you to add items to an existing blog for a minimal charge.

The kind of plan you choose has an impact on how much you pay Shopify for transaction processing. For example, if you don’t use Shopify’s own payment system, the transaction cost is 2% for the Basic plan, 1% for the intermediate plan, and 0.5 percent for the Advanced plan. There are also various prices for credit card processing online, beginning at 2.9 percent + 30 USD each transaction.

Shopify payment rates per planShopify has varying payment rates for different plans, and if you don’t use Shopify Payments, you’ll have to pay a fee.

You don’t pay a cost to process credit cards if you use WooCommerce Payments, however there is a usual price of 2.9 percent + 30 USD every transaction if you use WooCommerce Payments. WooCommerce is free to set up and use, but there are a lot of hidden charges. For example, you’ll need to pay for hosting (be sure to choose a solid WordPress provider), a domain, themes, plugins, development charges, and so on. It is possible to keep costs low by doing the majority of the work yourself, but if this is not feasible, you will need to spend.

Even yet, a WooCommerce shop will almost certainly be less costly – particularly if you’re on one of Shopify’s more expensive plans and require some pricey software subscriptions to get your business up and running.


While both tools are quite simple to use, Shopify takes things to the next level. One of the major benefits of a hosted ecommerce platform is that you can start working on your site right away after signing up. Shopify is designed to take you from beginning to end, allowing you to create your site in minutes. You won’t see any code, and you can just browse around to customize your store’s appearance.

Because you must go through the process of installing WooCommerce, it may take a bit longer to get started. Furthermore, if you do not already have a WordPress site, you must create one. Fortunately, there are several high-quality web hosting that provide all-in-one WooCommerce solutions. After you’ve put everything up, you can go through the settings, install WooCommerce add-ons, choose a theme, and so forth.

WooCommerce is known for its versatility, thus it includes everything and the kitchen sink, allowing you to have complete control over your business. What WooCommerce lacks out of the box, you can supplement with add-ons. All of this means that WooCommerce is less user-friendly than Shopify for beginners.

Themes in terms of appearance

It’s critical to have a fantastic, practical appearance for your online shop. Potential clients will be hesitant to trust your site if it looks to be cluttered. Fortunately, both ecommerce systems provide a wide range of design options to help your items stand out.

In the Shopify Theme Store, there are roughly eighty free and paid themes to choose from. Shopify has released Online Store 2.0, which features a totally overhauled theme architecture and a cutting-edge new default theme. This makes customizing themes a lot simpler since you can now alter any element of your site, not just the homepage. To assist you in creating such pages, Shopify will employ a Gutenberg-like block structure. All of this will assist you in getting more done without having to touch any code.

Screenshot of the Shopify Online Store 2.0In action, the new Shopify Online Store 2.0

WooCommerce is aided by the fact that it has a sizable market. While the official marketplace only has roughly forty themes, resellers like as ThemeForest and TemplateMonster have hundreds of WooCommerce themes in various shapes and sizes. Not to mention premium WooCommerce-compatible WordPress themes like Astra. You just have a plethora of choices in the WordPress world. Of course, if you’re looking for something immediately, this might be overwhelming.

Screenshot of the WooCommerce theme StorefrontAlthough WooCommerce comes with a good theme named Storefront, there are many of alternative themes available.


Is it feasible to take charge of your online business and make minor changes, or are you locked into a system that is managed by someone else? It’s nice to have choices, and although both WooCommerce and Shopify offer a lot of settings and addons to choose from, Shopify seems a little more restricted.

Of course, providing flexibility is beneficial since it allows the user to customize the ecommerce site to their preferences. On the other hand, it adds complexity, and setting it up and keeping it operating like a well-oiled machine requires time and effort. As previously said, Shopify is a closed platform designed to provide you with everything you want, but not too much. WooCommerce is open source, which means you may customize it and make it your own. It’s all up to you.


Apps, often known as add-ons, are a well-known idea. Many solutions provide you with a software that is pre-configured to provide you with the bare minimum of tools to get your business up and running. You can work within these limits and create a successful shop if you want to. However, you’ll need applications to expand the platforms if you want additional control, insights, or functionality.

You may use Shopify’s applications for anything from complex analytics to email marketing. Some of them are free to use, but the finest ones are premium subscription services that you pay on a monthly basis. These aren’t cheap, and the pricing isn’t comparable to what we see in the WordPress world. For example, our WordPress plugin SagaReach Marketing SEO Premium is just $89 per year, but a Shopify app costs roughly $20 to $30 per month on average. Signing up for a few applications may quickly add to the cost of your Shopify business. Also, bear in mind that installing more programs than you need will slow down your computer.

Screenshot of the Shopify app storeIn the Shopify app store, you’ll find everything you need.

WooCommerce is WordPress, with all of its advantages and disadvantages. WooCommerce comes with a number of ecommerce tools pre-installed, but you can supplement them with add-ons. WooCommerce has a plethora of extensions in all shapes and sizes, both created by WooCommerce and by third parties. These add-ons are often less expensive than their Shopify equivalents. In the WordPress world, pricing is just different.

Regardless of whatever platform you pick, both allow you to customize your online shop with specialized and often narrow applications or add-ons that help you get the most out of it.

Payment service providers

Accepting payments is the lifeblood of every online shop; without it, there would be none. It’s also the point at which the pricing and availability of (local) payment providers will be crucial. You can be confident that both WooCommerce and Shopify excel in this area. However, one is not the same as the other.

You must use Shopify Payments, according to Shopify. It isn’t mandatory that you utilize it, but it does have a cost-benefit analysis. Shopify has a wide range of payment alternatives, and practically every payment source in the globe is supported. However, since Payments is inside Shopify’s boundaries, they would like you to utilize it. If you go with a different supplier, you’ll find that Shopify charges transaction fees, which may mount up quickly. Unfortunately, Shopify only supports Payments in a few countries, so you’ll have to rely on a local payment source in many circumstances. You’ll have to pay extra for this.

WooCommerce Payments, WooCommerce’s own version of Shopify Payments, was released last year. Yes, it’s true. It doesn’t support everything in every area, but add-ons for practically every payment provider in the globe are available. Using a different payment source does not incur any additional fees in WooCommerce. Except for the expenses imposed by the service provider. WooCommerce Payments does not have a monthly subscription, however it does have transaction expenses.

Screenshot of page on woocommerce.com explaining WooCommerce PaymentsWooCommerce Payments allows you to accept credit card payments in a matter of seconds.


Of course, setting up your business is merely the beginning. How and whether you can reach an audience that will purchase from your shop will be determined by marketing. It makes a lot of sense to have marketing available to you directly from the backend.

Shopify offers a variety of marketing features, including a Facebook channel, the ability to sell on Amazon, email marketing, gift card choices, specials and discounts, and more. The Shopify applications also excel in terms of marketing, since there are several specific features focused at attracting new consumers – or encouraging existing customers to spend more. Every Shopify plan has an abandoned cart recovery option.

WooCommerce offers fewer marketing tools out of the box, but it has an entire app store dedicated to marketing extensions. WooCommerce does not have an email marketing capability, although it does interface with services like as MailPoet and Mailchimp. That means you’ll be able to set up your marketing the way you want it; finding the ideal extensions will simply take a little more time.

Marketing with content

Writing an intriguing product description isn’t the only way to market your store. It’s also a good idea to figure out how to communicate your narrative and create content that will rank highly in search results. This allows prospective buyers to locate you even if they aren’t seeking for your stuff yet. Having your own blog is one of the methods you may utilize for this.

Shopify offers a blog option that is rather simple to use. It’s also, however, quite simple and bare-bones. It’s nice to have it, and it provides you the choice, but don’t expect it to have the same capability as WordPress.

Because WooCommerce is based on WordPress, it makes use of the block editor. Using WooCommerce to add a blog to your site is simple, and it provides you a strong tool for telling your story. You’ll also get access to all of the great tools, like as the SagaReach Marketing SEO plugin, to ensure that the material is well-written and search engine-friendly. Furthermore, the block editor allows you to create even more creative things, such as landing pages and the like. WooCommerce even has its own set of block editor blocks.


When it comes to attracting clients, SEO is critical. Of course, SEO is more than merely creating permalinks and improving the structure of your website. User experience, content creation, speed optimization, and much more are all covered.

Shopify comes with an SEO-friendly default configuration. You may work on your meta descriptions, canonicals are automatically produced, redirects function as expected, and you can even change your robots.txt file if required. If you want to go further, there are various SEO plugins available on the Appstore. Of course, not everything is perfect, and the default arrangement could surely be improved. Duplicate content, for example, may be a serious problem with Shopify.

Because WooCommerce is built on top of WordPress, you can do a lot to boost your WordPress SEO with it. WooCommerce is quite SEO-friendly, and you have a lot more control over it if you use a plugin like the SagaReach Marketing WooCommerce SEO add-on. This plugin assists you in correctly setting up the metadata for your items, including the required structured data markup. It also improves your site’s product XML sitemap and assists you in visualizing your items in Google.

Make your online business stand out from the crowd!


The SagaReach Marketing WooCommerce SEO plugin includes all of this and more!


A quick site provides a positive user experience, which helps convert visitors into buyers. It’s critical to concentrate as much as possible on increasing the performance of your online business. Again, Shopify and WooCommerce take different approaches to this.

Because Shopify is a managed web app, they are in charge of speed improvement. There aren’t much things you can do to improve it other than make sure everything is set up correctly and that you restrict your app use, utilize a well-designed theme, and optimize your photos. Fortunately, the Shopify development team places a high priority on performance, and they are constantly improving it. Another nice feature is that Shopify comes pre-installed with a Fastly/Cloudflare CDN. You may always switch to the enterprise-level Shopify Plus package if you require greater control over performance.

You have complete control over the performance of WooCommerce. That’s fantastic, but it also has a disadvantage in that you’re in charge of the performance. This implies you’ll need to decide where to host it and double-check that everything is in order. You’ll need to choose a fast theme, manage your plugins, optimize scripts, set up a CDN, and so on. This is fantastic since you have complete control over which knobs you adjust. Of course, it’s not as user-friendly for beginners. Fortunately, with good WordPress hosting, your WooCommerce shop should run well without requiring too much tweaking.

Screenshot of the WooCommerce plan on siteground.comSiteGround is a top-rated hosting company that also offers a WooCommerce package.


An online store’s security is crucial. You don’t want your store’s credit card information to be leaked, do you? Taking additional precautions for security makes perfect sense. Security is a key aspect in client trust, and if they don’t trust your site, they won’t purchase anything.

Shopify and WooCommerce are not equivalent in terms of security out of the box due to their distinct methods. Because Shopify is a web-based service, it has complete control over its operations. They are in charge of your site’s hosting and security. All of the regular security features, such as SSagaReach Marketing certificates and 2-factor authentication, are now accessible. Shopify is also PCI-DSS certified out of the box, which means you can start accepting credit cards right immediately.

Things are different with WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a pretty safe piece of software, but you must take care of it yourself. You must install it on a server that you must manage, get an SSagaReach Marketing certificate, keep your software up to date, and so on. Of course, there are several tools and services available to assist you with securing your website in a professional manner. None of this is very difficult, but it is worth noting.

Conclusion on Shopify vs. WooCommerce

The topic of whether Shopify or WooCommerce is superior has no definitive solution. Both of these solutions are fantastic for powering your ecommerce site. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but the primary difference is how your internet business is managed.

Shopify forces you to live and breathe their platform, but WooCommerce gives you complete autonomy. Although WooCommerce is more cost-effective, Shopify is a more laid-back option. It’s not that one is superior to the other; it’s just a decision you must make based on your abilities, money, and objectives.

Check out our ecommerce SEO blog entries for additional information.

Toonen, Edwin

Edwin is an expert in content strategy. He spent years polishing his craft at The Netherlands’ largest online design magazine before joining SagaReach Marketing.

Avatar of Edwin Toonen

“WooCommerce vs Shopify” is a question that has been asked many times. Both platforms have their pros and cons, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference. The “dropshipping” is the most important factor when deciding between these two platforms. Reference: woocommerce vs shopify dropshipping.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Shopify or WooCommerce better for SEO?

A: Shopify is a better choice because it has more features, such as social media integrations. WooCommerce has fewer features and limitations.

Should I choose WooCommerce or Shopify?

A: Although Shopify has a slightly higher initial cost, it is significantly cheaper to maintain in the long run.

Is WooCommerce good for e-commerce?

A: WooCommerce is an open-source ecommerce platform. It uses PHP and MySQL to provide a variety of tools for online stores as well as providing the underlying code for many websites, including WordPress

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