Shopify vs Wordpress with WooCommerce - What I prefer.
Shopify vs Wordpress with WooCommece, what would you choose? There are probably thousands of people each month thinking that same question and they scurry around the internet to figure out what to use. Hopefully they come along this discussion and get the info they were hoping to read.
Shopify is a platform that is specific to Ecommerce which is selling items online. If you have a product, you can use Shopify to sell it pretty easily. Their registration is simple and right to the point. You pick the package you need in order to sell your items and set up your account. After your account is set up you can then purchase a theme for your website or use a free one and customize it to your liking. When I use Shopify I use the $30 a month plan and get some additional Apps installed to customize it a bit more.
The one thing that I don't like much about Shopify is that a lot of the really good Apps are charging a fee to use them. If they were a monthly fee it wouldn't be a bad deal, but a lot of the popular ones are charging $50+ up front for the entire year. Paying $50+ a year for an app on a website piles up pretty quick when you need 5 or 6 different apps. I'm sure that when Shopify gets bigger they will have a bigger draw of developers who can put up apps for a low price. Right now it seems like the developers are making money from new webmasters wanting to sell something online.
One thing that I really love about Shopify is that the automated emailing system is top notch. You don't really have to configure anything besides adding in your email to a field and you're done. If you've ever dealt with automated welcome emails or newsletters you know how much of a pain it could be. Shopify streamlined this for new users so they don't have to hire a programmer to configure everything.
I really don't like how you can't set up your own email through Shopify. You can aim your domain at their hosting but you can't configure an email@example.com email within their dashboard. You have to set up an email with the company you purchased your domain through. At the time I had my domain on Godaddy and was paying an extra $5 or $7 a month just for an email with my domain name in it. With normal hosting you can usually configure a massive amount of emails for free and avoid the pointless charge.
Wordpress with WooCommerce
Wordpress has been my go-to CMS for a while now because it's so diverse. I think Wordpress powers around 30% to 40% or all the websites in the world, and that's and insanely high amount. When I started out I was paying $250 to $3,000 for a custom website design because I didn't know any better. After I found out the power of Wordpress I never talked to another designer again except for when I wanted something specific or if I needed a logo.
The amount of plugins that are offered for Wordpress is staggering. You can always find multiple plugins for the same feature and you can read through all the reviews to make your decision much easier. I have a list of plugins that I add to ever single one of my Wordpress websites because they make the my life a lot easier, and I think all of them are free. The only downside is that sometimes a new plugin with conflict with one of my go-to plugins and then I have to delete the new one.
I realllly love the themes you can get for Wordpress because not only are they more than half of the price compared to Shopify themes, but there are a lot more of them. You can get a theme for almost any niche and that makes it much easier to figure out what you need. I've even purchased themes out of my niche because I loved the layout, and I would just customize them with images to make them niche specific
The time it takes to set up Wordpress is a bit longer than Shopify because you have to upload your own themes and with Shopify you just click the theme and it's instantly changed. It's only a few minutes longer and worth the time because you have 100% freedom to customize whatever you want, unlike Shopify who has a lot of their files unaccessible. With Wordpress you need to log into your hosting and go through softilicious to download Wordpress (if there isn't a wordpress shortcut). Then after you download wordpress to the designated file or homepage, you have to then go into your Wordpress dashboard, which is a different login and then upload your theme. After your theme is uploaded you can begin to customize everything. And even after you're done with all of that, you now need to install WooCommerce which is an ecommece platform within your Wordpress website. It's a bit longer and more technical, but I think it's worth it because you can be more unique.
In the end I guess it just depends on your level experience when it comes to website. Wordpress with WooCommerce takes a little more knowledge than Shopify since you have to go into your hosting and upload files where as with Shopify you just sign up. Wordpress can be more customizable with all of it's plugins and themes where as Shopify is sort of limited because it's only been around for a couple years an developers haven't targeted it as much. I personally like using Wordpress with WooCommerce if I'm setting up a big website and I know I'm going to be working with it for years to come. I still use Shopify but only for quick websites that I want to get some testing done with since it has a quick setup time.
Hopefully all of this information helps you make the right decision