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Web Wednesdays: WooCommerce vs Shopify

News 5 minutes read June 12, 2019

Are you considering creating an online store? With one in every five pounds spent in UK retailers now occurring online, starting an online store has never been such a big opportunity. But with so many e-commerce choices out there it can be challenging to decide which platform is right for you. Two of the most successful platforms available are WooCommerce and Shopify. These are powerful e-commerce solutions which empower anyone to effortlessly sell products and services online. In this article, we are going to share the advantages and disadvantages of using each platform to help make your decision a bit easier. Let’s begin!

Quick Overview

Businesses are constantly driving their resources and attention online because nearly 20% of all UK sales are occurring online, compared to roughly 3% in 2007. With the ever-growing demand for businesses to sell online, we have assembled a short list of the differences between WooCommerce and Shopify below and elaborate on these further in the article.



  • Unlimited customisation
  • Outstanding SEO capabilities
  • Developed on the world’s most popular CMS


  • The support team are reachable by only tickets
  • Hosting is not included




  • Website hosting is included
  • Effortlessly connect to additional marketplaces
  • Includes 24/7 email, chat and phone support


  • Restricted control of your website
  • Only paid plans are available




WooCommerce is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms, with over 70 million downloads so far, and is trusted by both small startups to established brands. It is a free extension which allows businesses to sell anything from guitar amps, books, subscriptions and much more; the possibilities are limitless. Below, we have chosen a number of advantages and disadvantages of WooCommerce.

1. Unlimited customisation

WooCommerce is an open-source platform which means the code is readily accessible. This allows businesses and web developers to develop an entirely bespoke and tailor-made e-commerce store, flawlessly designed to the individual needs and requirements of a business. Additionally, you also have the opportunity to choose a pre-built theme from thousands available instead of constructing your own.

2. Outstanding SEO capabilities

Once your e-commerce store is launched, you’ll likely be thinking about drawing in as many customers as possible. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a phenomenal process which gives you the greatest opportunity of your products appearing in search engines, such as Google. Although both WooCommerce and Shopify are robust platforms which can provide SEO friendly stores, WooCommerce provides store owners with greater control over every aspect of your store, which includes the elements that influence SEO. So by holding complete control over your store, you can optimise every element for SEO. WooCommerce is also developed on WordPress (see the segment below) which is renowned by SEO specialists as a highly reputable platform choice and includes a collection of powerful SEO extensions, such as Yoast SEO.

3. Developed on the world’s most popular CMS

WooCommerce has been constructed as an exceptional open-source extension for WordPress. WordPress is the worlds most popular CMS, with almost 30% of all websites in the world using WordPress. By using WooCommerce, it enables the millions of websites currently using WordPress are capable of adding the WooCommerce extension to start selling online. Additionally, by using WordPress you can also take advantage of the plugins and customisation that WordPress offers, such as incredible security plugins and an endless number of themes to choose from.

The Few Downsides of WooCommerce

Despite the fact that WooCommerce is a wonderful choice for businesses, there are some features which Shopify exceeds at. This comprises of the slightly limited customer support available, as users can only submit tickets online or use the forum, whereas Shopify users can speak directly with an expert. It’s also worth considering that WooCommerce does not include hosting packages with WooCommerce, which is something you or your web developer will have to set up.



Shopify is an excellent e-commerce platform designed to allow businesses to sell products to anyone and anywhere. It’s not as popular as WooCommerce, nonetheless, 18% of e-commerce websites still use Shopify. We have incorporated a variety of interesting features of Shopify below to help find out if it’s the right decision for you.

1. Website hosting included

When you purchase a Shopify plan, this will also include your website hosting and necessary security certificates. Shopify will automatically take care of all the technical aspects of running a store for you so businesses can focus on selling products. Shopify also gives businesses confidence by ensuring your website is equipped to handle high traffic numbers, ideal for small and large scale businesses.

2. Effortlessly connect to additional marketplaces

Shopify allows store owners to connect a store to additional marketplaces and social networks, including Amazon, eBay and Facebook. This gives businesses a larger number of opportunities and platforms to showcase your products for potential customers.

3. 24/7 email, chat and phone support

Shopify has an excellent support team where users can talk directly with experts over the phone, or via a live chat, to assist with any problems. So whenever you come across an issue, you will never be left on your own as Shopify will be able to help. They also have a list of Shopify Experts that are available to hire should you need any additional help.

Shopify – The Issues

Shopify is an exceptional choice, but when comparing Shopify to WooCommerce, you will find that Shopify gives users much less control over aspects of a store because Shopify is not an open-source software. This means you can only modify your store to the amount that Shopify provides. Furthermore, unlike WooCommerce (which is free), Shopify requires users to select a paid plan, although they do provide a free trial.

Online Stores

Final Thoughts

As a final point, both WooCommerce and Shopify are excellent platforms for anyone interested in selling products online. Presently, although Shopify is a simpler alternative, WooCommerce is more popular and gives store owners greater control to develop an exceptionally tailored website, which provides greater flexibility and opportunity to be successful. If you have any questions or would like to start an e-commerce website for your business, please ask the team at Success Local.

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