E-commerce platforms have become a significant part of the way we do business today. Retailers have been depending on platforms such as Shopify to operate their business. However, WooCommerce is a solid up and coming competitor which many have turned to.

Keep reading to see what are the differences between the two platforms and understand which one best fits your needs.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: What’s the difference?

First, let’s take a look at WooCommerce

WooCommerce may sound unfamiliar for some as Shopify often makes appearances and is a sponsor for many online events. In fact, WooCommerce is a plugin that works in tandem with WordPress to power your online store. Unlike Shopify, it’s an open-source platform which means it’s free to install, but there are additional costs for operating services.

If you are familiar with WordPress and know how to code your website, then WooCommerce is a great option to have for easy of use. It leaves the customization in your hands as you can access different parts of your store and gives you the freedom to experiment with your business.

Now, why is Shopify so popular?

While WooCommerce is about taking total control over your website, Shopify is the one to take most of the control for a monthly fee, including web hosting services.You have a choice to include additional features and apps to further customize your online store. What makes Shopify popular is its all-inclusive platform which makes it easy for beginner users to run their business. However, this also comes with a higher price.

Pros and Cons

Here is a quick run down of the pros and cons of each.



  • The plugin is free to install
  • You get full control of customization and have access to a wide array of themes and additional plugins
  • Simple to work with WordPress


  • Might need time to learn if you’re not comfortable using WordPress
  • You have to manage hosting, security and do regular maintenance
  • May be more expensive if you choose to purchase plugins, themes or buy into their hosting services



  • Shopify handles everything from hosting, to security and maintenance
  • Provides excellent user support and takes care of the technical side of your store
  • You can launch your store in minutes


  • You need to pay monthly payments which tend to increase over time
  • Not much control over your site, which also means less freedom to customize

Visuals, Security and User Support

Now that you have a general idea of the differences between WooCommerce and Shopify, let’s dive into the properties that make them unique, and which one may be best fit for you.

Design and Themes

Both have intricate design and a wide range of themes, but which one is the best?

WooCommerce uses a third-party source theme provider whom you can purchase from specifically made for WooCommerce. Because it works well with WordPress, you can also put hours into the customization process using your coding knowledge, which is one of its perks.

You have complete creative freedom using your skills, but you can also purchase premade themes for your convenience. Because it’s an open source platform, theme creators also have the freedom to sell their themes, which means there is a ton from which you can choose from.

Shopify’s most unique feature which makes them stand out is the aesthetic of their themes and the overall visual quality. It has a store with over 180 customizable themes that also look good on mobile devices.

To have access to over 600 themes outsourced from hundreds of different creators, you’ll need to pay for premium. The upside of this is that you will have access to a wide array of options which you can edit with their Theme Editor, and have a professional looking store.


Since you’ll be dealing with transactions, it’s important to consider the security properties of each.

WooCommerce doesn’t include security measures in the free plugin, so you’ll need to get your own SSL certificate and look for a reliable hosting company. Furthermore, you’ll be responsible for configuring the WooCommerce and WordPress security updates.

Shopify covers all the security measures and is PCI compliant which is essential to secure credit and debit card information. Shopify is on top of any security discrepancies which helps you dodge any future headaches.


The quality of their customer support lets you know how responsive they are to your problems.

WooCommerce users rely on an open-source community who posts solutions to your problems. You’ll need to look up the solution online but there are definitely answers out there. However, if you use Bluehost to power WooCommerce, then you’ll have access to their 24/7 customer support and have access to their knowledge centre.

Each Shopify plan comes with available support via email, phone or live chat 24/7. It also has a community forum and a library of guides which you can look up if you need help.

In Summary

Shopify seems to be the best option if you’re looking for an all inclusive service. As you noticed, WooCommerce relies on external providers and add-on products while the plug in itself is free. If you prioritize flexibility and are comfortable dealing with technical details, then WooCommerce is the best option for you.

If you’re a beginner and would rather have a provider host all your services, then Shopify is definitely the way to go. In fact, this is the reason why they’re at the top of the industry.

Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s up to you to see what you value more and which one will answer to your business needs best.

For the best Tampa web design services, contact us now to see how we can help you get your business up and running online!

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