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Shopify VS WordPress, Which One Should You Choose and Why?

‘Shopify’ and ‘WordPress’ are major buzzwords when looking into building a business website. They are two of the major platforms for web design in 2020, but they offer very different service and experience. *Which is the one you need for your website? *Which will serve your business’s interests the best?

1. What Is WordPress 

WordPress is a content management system, which you can use to design and build your website and blog. It is widely recognised as the #1 blogging platform and is used by almost a third of the internet. 

WordPress’s success comes from having a technically advanced website that can be used by anyone of any IT experience. It has plenty of plug-ins and add-ons to make a user’s website building experience easier, while also provides plenty of flexibility and freedom for customisation for those who are more familiar with coding and web design.

wordpress

2. What Is Shopify

Shopify came into prominence in recent years as a worthy competitor specifically for building eCommerce websites. It has become a go-to platform for eCommerce, with over 1million stores. 

With a monthly subscription plan, Shopify is an easily accessible and easy-to-learn tool to set up an online store with features such as processing orders, a shopping cart function, and more. It has a relatively small learning curve and is a great way to set up an online shop quickly.

shopify

Which Is Better?

Obviously, the better platform will depend on your business model and branding strategies. These two platforms are both popular because they have a large variety of advantages that other services do not, so it’s important to consider which of these advantages will create the biggest benefit to you.

Prices:

Shopify is a relatively affordable service when starting out. There are many different subscription plans you can choose from, ranging from USD$29/month for a basic plan, which is a very reasonable price for a website builder, to $299/month for the advanced plan. These plans cover the online store, web hosting, sales channels, payments, and more – with increasing features the more expensive your plan. However, Shopify also takes a percentage of your sales (which will vary from 2.4%-2.9%). 

WordPress, in contrast, is interesting in that there are two different ways you can get use the platform. You can register an account on WordPress.com, which has a basic $0 Free Plan with minimal features, and $10-$59 monthly subscription plans; or you can access WordPress.Org and get all of WordPress’s features for free – however, this version doesn’t cover web hosting, and you will have to pay for your own domain and hosting.

Domains & Hosting

As is common for online website builders, both WordPress.com and Shopify offers a free domain and hosting as part of its subscription package. This means you can easily buy a domain through these platforms and you don’t need to pay extra fees to keep your website online.

Templates, Coding & Customisation 

Both platforms offer many templates that you can access to build your website upon. There are many free themes and also premium themes available, and you can choose the one which is most structurally efficient for your business model. 

WordPress also offers complete flexibility in customisation, by allowing its users to access and customise the code of the website. This allows web designers to tailor the themes and change the website to the specific needs of your shop.

Sales Tools, Blog, Other Web Features 

The basis of an eCommerce website requires a set up where you can showcase your products, a shopping cart and checkout function, an application for monetary transactions and other sales tools. To stand out against competitors, you want to connect with your audience with a blog, and you may want to implement other web features such as promotions and discount codes, review sections, contact forms, giveaway competition pages, analytics, and more. 

Luckily, you have these tools accessible on both websites. Shopify excels primarily on its range of sales tools features, but it does have a passable blog that has its basic features. Meanwhile, WordPress has extensive blogging features, but there are many plug-ins that help implement sales tools.

Plug-Ins 

There are also plenty of plug-ins and third-party integrations offered by both platforms to enhance your web design experience. This makes up for any flaws and missing features that either platform is missing. As mentioned earlier, WooCommerce is one example of this plugin. WordPress is built primarily for blogging over eCommerce, but with plugins like WooCommerce (or even the Shopify plug-in!), it implements a shopping cart function that allows you to host an online shop. 

There are plenty more plug-ins that allow you to add other features, from contact forms to visitor stats, to instant chat boxes, and more.

Help & Support 

Also, as both are prolific web design services, there are also many third-party web designers available to provide any coding assistance or any other technical troubleshooting. Although they might require a bit more money, they are a great way to ensure that your website works flawlessly!

Which Is the Most Suitable?

If you want something simple, quick, and easy, consider Shopify, as it’s designed to be accessible for beginners. It’s easy to pick up and comes with a domain of your choice and web hosting. The pricing for its most basic and standard features and you will have everything you need to set up a simple online store. 

However, if you want something truly unique that is tailored specifically to your needs, consider WordPress, This gives you the ability to set up your website to your designs, but requires knowledge of coding. Of course, it is also an option to hire a professional developer at this point to help you build your website. As such, if you want a website that does more than basic eCommerce, this is the ideal choice for you. 

Keep in mind that Shopify has a free trial for seven days, and WordPress has free options as well, so if you’re uncertain which to choose, you can always experiment with both before making your final decision.

Written By: Jessica Zhou

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