Shopify vs WooCommerce - Which store system is better?

On January 18, 2022 by Christian Waske

Shopify vs WooCommerce - Which store system is better?

When it comes to building an online store, it can quickly seem overwhelming. For this reason, there are systems that take the user by the hand and help him create his own online store.

Two systems that undoubtedly catch the eye here are Shopify and WooCommerce. But which of the two best suits your own situation? And what are the differences between the two providers?

Shopify and WooCommerce have basically the same goal. They help users to realize the dream of their own online store, to design and run it. But still, the two different providers try to do this through different ways.

How quickly can your own store be implemented?

If you want to use Shopify, simply go to the Shopify homepage and register. Afterwards, it is possible to create your own store online with a few clicks for a fee. Of course, you can also test Shopify for free. Shopify then takes care of everything else itself. Thus, a new store is basically created in a few minutes.

With WooCommerce, however, this looks a little different. If you want to use WooCommerce for free, you have to install WordPress before. With the help of WordPress, WooCommerce can then be installed afterwards. However, since WooCommerce does not take over the hosting itself, for example, a hosting provider is also necessary, which provides the appropriate server. So such a store often requires a few hours of preparation time.

Since WooCommerce is only a plug-in, unlike Shopify, several other plug-ins are needed to create a full-fledged online store. But more about that later.

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Flexibility and safety in comparison

As mentioned above, unlike Shopify, WooCommerce offers the possibility to host the files of your own store yourself. So it is possible to store this data on your own server. This hosting option generally allows for any customization and individualization you can imagine. However, this also means that with WooCommerce you have to take care of security, updates and scalability, if you expect a higher number of visitors in your store.

Shopify hosts all files of their customers or their online stores themselves. Except for the template files (the design, how the store looks like), you generally have no access to the source code of the store systems. This means that customizations to the store system are only possible if they are desired by Shopify or can be mapped via appropriate extensions. Depending on the requirements, this can be a major restriction, but it also eliminates an enormous amount of time that is actually required to host, maintain and secure your store yourself.

Ease of use

There are many users who have never built their own online store. Especially these need a system that takes them by the hand and guides them on the way to a professional store.

Compared to WooCommerce, Shopify is a lot less complicated. While WooCommerce offers more choice of elements that you can integrate into your own store, it is probably more confusing and thus more inaccessible to new customers for that very reason. With WooCommerce, there are no limits to the store design. Everything is possible! Therefore, with a WooCommerce store, it is usually recommended to have at least one person on the team who has a basic technical understanding.

Shopify, on the other hand, is very clearly designed and can often be understood in a few minutes. Additional features can only be retrofitted as specified by Shopify. Therefore, Shopify is very well suited for classic online stores.

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Both Shopify and WooCommerce are providers that are ideal for creating your own online store. When deciding between the two different systems, it all depends on the initial situation you find yourself in, as well as any prior knowledge you may have in the area of hosting and WordPress interface.

So has Shopify has the advantageShopify has the advantage that it is more suitable for inexperienced users, for example, who want to create a website without having to deal with the topic and want to operate a classic online store.

On the other hand, WooCommerce offers an in-depth experience for experienced users who may already be using WordPress or even already have their own website and want to expand it with an online store. Especially users who want to make larger customizations to the store system and are not aiming for classic online sales are often better served with WooCommerce (e.g. subscription models, marketplaces, etc.).

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