Last week, we took a surface level look at the different website CMS options available to business owners. In this week’s blog, we’re going a little deeper, comparing two of the most popular options: Shopify and WordPress.
As we begin to compare the two, it’s worth mentioning both Shopify and WordPress are proven platforms that work for millions of customers. What distinguishes them from each other is how you plan to use them. Let’s break it down into some of the key ways people interact with these platforms.
A regularly updated blog should form a central pillar of any digital marketing effort. In this area WordPress excels. The platform started life as a blogging tool that later implemented ecommerce as a feature. WordPress reportedly runs 65 per cent of all websites on the internet today. With its array of plug-ins and tools, it’s the industry leader from a blogging perspective.
While WordPress is known for its blogging capabilities, Shopify is no slouch either. Though the focus is on ecommerce, each Shopify online store comes with the option to create a blog and the embedded capabilities will be plenty to meet your needs. All the blogging basics are handled in a smooth and elegant interface, covering common features like inserting images and video, automatic SEO and ability to schedule posts into the future. It’s not as robust a blogging platform as WordPress, but it should be more than enough for all but the most demanding of users.
Ecommerce isn’t handled natively through WordPress. Instead, users install an extension called WooCommerce to conduct business. This free tool is made by Automatic, the owners of WordPress so it’s completely trustworthy and safe to use. Around since 2011, WooCommerce integrates seamlessly with existing WordPress sites. One area it falls down is design. To craft a beautiful WooCommerce platform the services of a web developer are usually needed. If you have the budget, great! However, it’s often not feasible for start-up businesses.
Shopify’s strength is in its robust ecommerce offering. It offers dependable security and a range of beautiful templates that can be implemented without the use of a web developer. Shopify also offers a unique “ecommerce university” education platform, where users can avail of training, support and mentorship from a large community of users. Looking to add features to your store? Shopify has a convenient app store built-in to its platform. If you’re more focused on ecommerce than blogging, Shopify is the stronger platform for your needs.
Shopify is a hosted web solution. This means your site will run on Shopify’s servers. Everything you will need to get your store up and running happens “off the shelf,” meaning no developers, no web hosting fees or the need to install specialized software. Shopify is offered as a service, so you won’t own the software. Instead, you pay a monthly fee to Shopify and everything is hosted in the cloud. As long as you have an internet connection you can manage your store or website.
WordPress does things slightly differently. You can follow the Shopify model and host your website on WordPress for a monthly or a yearly fee. Going down this route provides a quick and easy way to get simple websites online. Unfortunately, it’s less of an all in one solution than Shopify, as you’d need to use a third-party tool (such as Shopify) to add an ecommerce solution to your site. Alternatively, you can self-host on your own existing server. This is more of an advanced solution, allowing users to customize pretty much every aspect of their site.
Ease of Use
We’ll finish by looking at an important factor that plays a huge role in people’s decision making – How easy is each platform to use? Shopify is the winner in this regard, with its off the shelf template and easy setup making it the platform of choice for everyday users. That being said, WordPress offers a deeper layer of customization for those willing to tinker under the bonnet, or employ a developer to do it for them.
Overall, each platform has strengths and weaknesses. Shopify excels for those looking to find a robust ecommerce solution. While WordPress is aimed more at bloggers and casual websites. Which platform works for you is very much dependent on how you plan to use it.
Find Out More
As a Shopify Partner, GD Commerce can help you launch beautiful ecommerce stores for every size and budget. Contact us, and we’ll be happy to discuss your individual needs.