If you are in the market for a reputable e-commerce platform, it’s likely you have heard of Shopify and WooCommerce. These are some of the most popular e-commerce platforms for site users around the world, which will be discussed in this article comparing the two. Before we dive into this Shopify vs WooCommerce review, it’s important to know what these platforms are all about. Keep reading to find out why now many online merchants are considering a move from Shopify to WooCommerce.


Shopify is an all-in-one e-commerce platform that allows users to easily create and design an online store, manage their products and/or services, and handle payments. WooCommerce is an open-source plugin solution that allows users to create and design a fully customized, powerful online store through WordPress, as well as choose their own hosting, manage their products and/or services, and handle payments. Shopify requires a monthly premium to run a functioning online store, while WooCommerce is free to install aside from the costs for hosting, domain registration, and security protection.

Which e-commerce platform is best depends on your specific site needs, budget, time, and experience level. In this article, I will discuss the site customization, SEO functionality, security, pricing, and customer support for both e-commerce platforms to help you determine which is the best choice for your business.

Site Customization

Shopify Design

When considering site customization, it’s important to keep your site needs in mind. If you only need a basic online store that allows you to choose from a limited amount of themes and design options, Shopify may be an ideal choice. This platform makes it easy to customize your site all in one central location. With less customization choices, a user can build their Shopify store much quicker than with a more complex platform, such as WooCommerce.

Shopify users have access to over 70 free and paid themes in the Shopify Theme store, which are designed specifically for e-commerce sites and each have unique variations. Premium themes range from $149 to $189, which can be a pricey investment depending on your site budget.

Shopify allows users to customize their chosen theme, including the colors, content, and font styles. Skilled developers can also customize Shopify’s Liquid language, which can help establish a personalized site that doesn’t look just like other Shopify stores.

Additionally, this platform’s theme editor allows users to easily customize their store. For example, users can choose to hide certain content sections, which will not be visible on their live site. This can be helpful if certain products and/or services are not ready to be launched yet.

WooCommerce Design

If you have the time, budget, and desire to build a powerful, fully customized e-commerce store, you may consider WooCommerce as an ideal choice. WooCommerce is an open-source platform, so it allows users to customize everything from their hosting provider, security protection, store design and features, and SEO functionality. If you plan on scaling your e-commerce business, WooCommerce allows you to fully customize your site to meet your unique needs.

As for themes, WooCommerce users receive a default theme called Storefront when they set up their initial online store. This theme is fully responsive and has a fresh layout that can be customized to suit your design needs. If you need a personalized website, this open-source plugin makes it possible to choose from thousands of free and paid custom themes available online and on WordPress.org.

It’s important to note that since WooCommerce is a plugin, the design of your e-commerce site will be based on your current or new WordPress theme. WooCommerce is compatible with most WordPress themes, but it may be helpful to look for store themes made specifically for WooCommerce. This will help ensure your product and/or services look great and provide a positive user-experience for customers.

SEO Functionality

Aside from building a beautiful, responsive online store, it is essential to optimize your e-commerce site with search engine optimization. SEO is the process of improving your store, to help it rank higher for relevant searches and offer useful, accessible products and/or service information to your current and future customers. This is essential for bringing customers to your virtual store. Let’s see how the two powerhouses rank up.

Shopify SEO

This platform allows users to add basic SEO information, such as appropriate meta information (meta descriptions and titles that show up on search engine results pages). Shopify’s clean code and natural linking structure also helps provide a user-friendly site experience, which helps boost search result rankings on search engines. There are a limited amount of SEO plugins in the App store to help scan your store and provide simple suggestions to improve site performance.

WooCommerce SEO

Like WordPress, this plugin is built using SEO-optimized code and provides a wide range of free and paid SEO plugins through WordPress.org. Indeed, this allows users to optimize their site on a deeper level by adding detailed meta information to every page of a site. This meta information is important because it lets search engines know what a specific page is about. WordPress plugins also allow users to customize their page URLs, which helps search engines and customers find a site and its pages more easily. If you need to optimize your site to stay competitive and in front of customers looking for products and/or services you offer, WooCommerce is the SEO workhorse to choose.


In the world of virtual shopping, customers need to know they are using a site that is safe, secure, and trustworthy. If it doesn’t have these requirements, visitors will take their business elsewhere. Therefore, having a secured site that keeps your customers’ payment and personal information safe is essential when operating an online store. Let’s see how these platforms handle security.

How Safe is Shopify?

Since Shopify is an all-in-one e-commerce platform, your online store will be hosted through Shopify. This means that Shopify will provide security protection and handle potential security breaches for you. If you don’t have the time to regularly monitor your store for security threats, this may be an ideal option. Everyone wants peace of mind that their virtual store is in safe hands, which Shopify takes care of for their customers.

This platform also provides SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to store owners, which is the little padlock icon that appears next to your URL located in the browser tab. This not only protects your customers’ personal information from hackers, but also gives site visitors a peace of mind that your site is trustworthy and safe. SSL also helps improve your SEO because Google tends to favor e-commerce sites with SSL protection.

Furthermore, Shopify is PCI-DSS compliant. This term stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), which means an online store is set up to legally accept credit card payments.

How Safe is WooCommerce?

Since WooCommerce runs on top of WordPress, the plugin doesn’t automatically come with security protection. To run a self-hosted WordPress.org site, users need to choose a hosting provider of their choice. Fortunately, most hosting providers offer security protection and will take care of any security breaches or issues just like Shopify does.

Additionally, WooCommerce doesn’t provide SSL protection for users. However, most hosting providers offer free or paid SSL certificates when users sign up for a hosting plan. While it takes a couple more steps compared to Shopify, WooCommerce store owners have the freedom to choose the best hosting provider for their budget and site needs.

Furthermore, WooCommerce doesn’t provide PCI-DSS compliance by default. However, users can follow these steps from WooCommerce to make their site PCI-DSS compliant.


Shopify Pricing

As an out-of-the-box web solution, Shopify makes it easy to choose the pricing package to meet your needs. After signing up and selecting a package, you have access to your e-commerce store. This all-in-one solution allows users to set up an online store with little effort. A basic package starts at $29 a month, which includes an online store, fast checkout system, content management, apps, payments, shipping, and 24/7 customer support. Of course, Shopify offers more expensive packages at $79 and $299 a month. Store owners can also add an unlimited number of products to their store, which is nice for growing businesses.

As for payments, Shopify charges certain fees for all forms of payment, which is something to think about. After all, credit card fees can add up quickly. Check out the list below for the specific fees.

Basic Shopify at $29/monthly:

  • 2.9% + 30¢ USD for online credit card payments.
  • 2% for third-party payment processors or 0% if you use Shopify Payments.

Shopify at $79/monthly:

  • 2.6% + 30¢ USD for online credit card payments.
  • 1% for third-party payment processors or 0% if you use Shopify Payments.

Advanced Shopify at $299/monthly:

  • 2.4% + 30¢ USD for online credit card payments.
  • 0.5% for third-party payment processors or 0% if you use Shopify Payments.

WooCommerce Pricing

Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce is free to set up a store, but will require hosting. As an open-source solution powered by WordPress, WooCommerce users have the freedom to choose their own hosting. Typically, hosting sites offer various packages that include site domain registration, hosting, and security protection. This allows users to research and choose the best hosting at the best prices to meet their needs, which is not offered to Shopify users. Similar to Shopify’s pricing, you can set up a basic WooCommerce store for about $29 a month, which includes hosting, site domain registration, and a SSL certificate.

As for plugin extensions, WooCommerce’s extensions may cost more upfront compared to Shopify’s extensions. However, WooCommerce plugins are usually a one-time purchase, rather than a monthly subscription for Shopify users.

Customer Support

Shopify Support

If you need assistance or have questions about your online store, Shopify offers 24/7 customer support for users. You can communicate via email, live chat, and phone, ensuring that you are able to reach a customer support advisor. This type of support is beneficial, especially if you are not familiar with Shopify’s platform.

Aside from contacting their team, Shopify also provides a helpful knowledge base to the most commonly asked questions and problems that users have. If you need to get your online store set up quickly, Shopify makes this process as smooth and easy as possible.

WooCommerce Support

Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce is a free plugin available to WordPress users. In turn, there are different forms of support available for users. For example, you can look up commonly asked questions on WordPress forums. WooCommerce also offers customer support, which requires you to create a free account on their site. After setting up an account, you can read through their documentation, send a support request ticket as an existing customer, or fill out a non-customer form for questions about WooCommerce.

As you can see, WooCommerce has a different approach to customer support. This type of support requires doing some research and troubleshooting, which may or may not meet your site needs and timeline. If you have the time though, this platform has a lot of resources to offer both through their site and online.

Which E-Commerce Platform is the Best?

As illustrated in this article, the best e-commerce platform depends on what your site and business needs are. If you need to build an online store without the fuss of having many choices for hosting providers, designs, themes, and store features, Shopify may suit your needs best. However, if you have the time and desire to build a truly personalized e-commerce site that is powerful, responsive, fully optimized, and unique, WooCommerce may be your best choice.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you are looking for the perfect web solution for your e-commerce business, consider hiring WordPress experts. Here at Awesome Website Guys, we can do everything from hosting and e-commerce website design to search engine optimization and content creation for your online store.