Shopify vs WooCommerce: What is Better for Small and Mid-sized E-commerce Businesses

Harley Reid
Read Time3 Minute, 58 Second

The debates around Shopify and WooCommerce are still passionate and fierce. Entrepreneurs are in permanent search of the fastest e-commerce platforms, learning every little aspect of these platforms and their impact on the store performance.

Choosing the perfect CMS and, therefore, running a successful online store is absolutely impossible without knowing the main aspects of a particular e-commerce platform. Below we will review Shopify and WooCommerce in detail, in order to give you a comprehensive impression and help you to make the right decision. 

Shopify

Shopify platform features

Shopify is a SaaS e-commerce platform that is particularly known for its high performance and easy operation.

What’s inside?

  • HostingShopify is a self-hosted solution, which is why you’re absolutely free from a headache about selecting the best hosting provider to run your store. Moreover – Shopify is responsible for providing high performance and the absence of downtimes during high loads. 
  • Out-of-the-box functionality – Shopify platform provides a wide variety of features intended to create an attractive online store. You can develop a feature-rich store without any risk of performance loss and keep it fast and user-friendly.
  • Shopify Apps – Shopify App Store provides a large number of different apps. You can easily find them through the search option or in suitable categories. However, each application is an additional load on the platform, which affects the page load speed, and makes your customers wait longer.
  • Custom themes – Shopify’s theme store offers over 70 free and paid store templates, and most of them are already optimized for better performance. Moreover – there are plenty of custom themes designed by private-label Shopify developers. However, before to choose any theme, inspect the theme’s performance indicators in order to evaluate its impact on your website. 
  • Caching – the platform doesn’t support leverage browser caching. Instead, Shopify provides extremely fast servers for online stores. In case someone experiences a slow page load, the company claims that the problem lay in the client’s local internet connection but not in Shopify’s server-side.

Summing up

If your purpose is selling online quickly, with minimal effort, and/or combining multiple online and offline sales channels – Shopify will work well for you. Nonetheless, if you tend to the significant scalability and full control of your store – this option is not the best one.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce platform performance

WooCommerce is not a platform itself, but an e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It gives you rich opportunities for the store’s design and optimization.

What’s inside?

  • Hosting – WooCommerce is not tricky in terms of hosting, thus you can choose virtually any provider you like. 
  • Out-of-the-box functionality – with WooCommerce both customers and developers are equipped with plenty of features backed by the WordPress CMS. Moreover, you get a user-friendly admin panel along with easy store management and simple product pages creation. 
  • Third-party plugins – plenty of free and premium plugins and extensions are available for you to enhance your store and make it feature-rich.
  • Custom themes – you can choose a theme from thousands of free and paid WooCommerce and WordPress themes. If you choose a WordPress theme for your online store, you need to implement e-commerce features to it manually via code. While a WooCommerce theme has this functionality out-of-the-box. If you are not satisfied with the default theme, you can create a custom design template or make changes to the existing one via editing the code.
  • Caching – WordPress provides multiple caching options – some are available to you right out-of-the-box, other ones are accessible via third-party plugins installing, such as W3 Total Cache. To configure caching for your store in the best way possible, we recommend you to engage PHP developers.

Summing up

The combination of WooCommerce and WordPress makes a powerful mix that is able to provide customers with fully customizable design and functionality. Lightweight and easily manageable, WooCommerce fits perfectly with small and mid-sized stores. 

However, you should always keep in mind to run performance analysis after installing every plugin. The point is that they affect speed load dramatically and thus, sooner or later, your store may require e-commerce optimization services.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right e-commerce platform can be really tough. However, this choice may save you from possible pitfalls and be a reliable basement for successful business scaling in the future. Thus, it makes a ton of sense to take care of this aspect of e-commerce. 

Perfectly, your choice should be based on your current and future business needs, the possibility of their technical realization within the chosen platform. If you have any issue with making the decision – it would be better to make an appointment with a trustworthy digital agency. 

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