Back to blog overview

Shopify vs. WooCommerce which one is better

Profile picture Rimbout Bobeldijk.
Founder Rimbo Designs
Rimbout Bobeldijk
1 October 2023
8 min

Choosing the right e-commerce platform is crucial for the success of any online store. In this article, we'll dive into a comparison of the two leading e-commerce platforms WooCommerce and Shopify.

26% of the e-comerces sites use Shopify. With the combination of reliability, ease of use, and a range of design templates that cater to various needs Shopify a clear preferred choice for many.

However, this isn't to sideline WooCommerce with a 17% marketshare. As a potent plugin for WordPress, WooCommerce brings the flexibility of turning any WordPress website into an efficient online store. Its open-source nature means it's free to install, giving users a cost-effective way to commence their e-commerce journey.

In the following sections, we'll dive deeper into each platform's attributes to provide you with a clear picture and, hopefully, guide you toward the best choice for your online store's needs.

Quick Comparison Table

Biggest Differences

Shopify stands out as a dedicated giant, fine-tuned for efficiency and a top-notch user experience.

Meanwhile, WooCommerce benefits from the widespread use of WordPress, which powers a significant chunk of the internet. While WordPress is loved for its open-source flexibility its a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none. However, when talking money, WooCommerce often comes out as the more affordable option, being free to use. But this cost-saving might come at the expense of efficiency and quality. 

With the online market becoming more competitive, platforms like Shopify, with their focused approach, often hold an edge. The choice then depends on what you value more: the high-quality efficiency of Shopify or the affordable, versatile nature of WooCommerce.

Ease of Setting Up and Managing Your Store

When starting an online store, especially for beginners, the initial setup process can be daunting. The speed at which you can launch and manage your store often depends on the platform you choose.

Shopify: Shopify stands out for its simplicity. This plug-and-play platform allows even those new to the online realm to have a store up and running within hours. The intuitive dashboard, a central management system, and guiding prompts throughout make the process straightforward. The built-in features mean that, initially, there's little need to wander off seeking external tools or additions.

WooCommerce: As a WordPress offspring, WooCommerce demands a touch more from its users. You'll need a WordPress site first, and then the integration of the WooCommerce plugin follows. While this procedure provides a level of control over your site’s inner workings, it does introduce added layers of complexity. Those new to the platform, especially if they haven't worked with WordPress, might find a steeper learning curve.

For a swift and hassle-free launch, Shopify is the go-to. However, for those on a tighter budget and familiar with the WordPress environment, WooCommerce can be an enticing option.

Design Potential: Crafting Your Store's Aesthetic

When building an online store, the appearance and layout play a pivotal role in shaping the customer's first impression. A well-designed store not only aids in establishing trust but also ensures users can navigate seamlessly, leading to better conversions. Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer a variety of design options, but their approach varies.

WooCommerce taps into the vast WordPress ecosystem, offering a plethora of design choices. To get the desired results, getting a premium WooCommerce theme is a good solution. However, I would recommend getting Elementor Pro, a nice site builder platform that gives solid design freedom and comes with handy WooCommerce widgets. 

Shopify has less themes to choose from but they are strictly curated and guarantee a professional sleek look. Within the Shopify theme editor you stay a bit limited. So I would recommend going for a site-building apps like PageFly. This cheaper and more effective than getting a premium template. The design freedom is equivalent of Elementor Pro, however its more intuitive and easier to use. If you realy want to push your designs to the limit you can integrating Shopify into a Webflow site using Shopiflow to unlock unparalleled possibilities. But for this you migt require a Webflow developer as it can get quite complex.

Conclusion: Shopify provides a more streamlined design journey with the possibility to unlock unlimited design potential with Shopiflow. WooCommerce, is more labor-intensive but able to achieve results on a lower cost.

Let your design ambitions, technical comfort, and budget guide your choice. 

Value for Money

When considering the value for money between Shopify and WooCommerce, it's essential to evaluate both the upfront and recurring costs and the potential return on investment. Both platforms have their merits, but the investment in the quality of your store can often lead to higher conversions and more significant profits. 

Shopify Cost Structure:

Basic ($29/month): Essential features tailored for new businesses.
Credit Card Rate:
1.9% + €0.25 online

Normal ($79/month): Built for growing businesses offering added features.
Credit Card Rate: 1.8% + €0.25 online

Advanced ($299/month): Designed for large-scale businesses.
Credit Card Rate: 1.6% + €0.25 online

In addition to these costs, there are premium apps that range from being free to costing several hundred dollars. For the essentials for a good optimized store, you probably spend $50-100 a month. However, Shopify delivers a robust, optimized system right from the start, so you’ll be able to run a profitable store without it.

Woocommerce Cost Structure:

Hosting: usually $5 to $99/month.

Theme: $0 to $100/year, with upscale options costing more. (I recommend using Elementor Pro for $50 a year)

Security: $0 to $365/year, based on the solution chosen.

Domain: Approximately $10 to $20/year.

Extensions/Plugins: You can get a way with free plugins but for more complex/premium solutions it can get pricy.

Transaction fees: Around 2.9% + $0.30 per payment, contingent on the payment gateway.

While WooCommerce can appear more cost-effective upfront, achieving an optimized store often requires more hands-on management. The platform offers pricing flexibility but can necessitate more time and additional expenditures to reach the performance levels of a tuned Shopify store.

Payment Options and Transaction Fees

WooCommerce stands out for not imposing any additional transaction fees when utilizing third-party payment gateways. Its primary payment options encompass Stripe, PayPal, Credit/Debit cards, Apple Pay, and Square. Moreover, WooCommerce offers the flexibility to choose your payment provider, a feature that could lead to significant savings for sellers with high transaction volumes.

On the other hand, Shopify does impose a 2% fee for third-party gateways, although this can be reduced with their more advanced plans. However, this fee is avoidable if you opt for Shopify Payments. Much like WooCommerce, Shopify's primary payment solutions include Stripe, PayPal, Credit/Debit cards, Apple Pay, and Square. Additionally, Shopify differentiates itself by offering Point of Sale (POS) systems, paving the way for seamless integration between online and physical in-person sales

WooCommerce offers more flexibility in payment providers without extra fees. Shopify provides an integrated approach, especially beneficial for businesses seeking both online and offline sales avenues.

Value Conclusion

When choosing between Shopify and WooCommerce, it's not just about initial costs. Consider the potential returns, the time investment, and the long-term scalability. For those prioritizing an efficient, potentially high-converting store, Shopify might be the appropriate initial investment. In contrast, WooCommerce provides more cost control but demands more optimization for similar returns.

Sales Functionality: Optimizing Conversions and Enhancing User Experience

Both WooCommerce and Shopify are designed to give entrepreneurs the tools they need to build and scale a successful online store. However, the journey to optimizing conversions and enhancing user experience differs between the two platforms based on their intrinsic features and the ease of implementation.

WooCommerce: WooCommerce provides a basic sales toolkit. For advanced features like upselling, cross-selling, abandoned cart recovery, and a streamlined checkout, you'll need to explore the WooCommerce Extensions Store (which comes at a cost). Achieving a robust sales ecosystem requires more setup and fine-tuning.

Shopify: Shopify is ready from the start. Sellers benefit from built-in features such as abandoned cart recovery, effective navigation, and diverse payment gateways. Its integrated approach ensures a seamless shopping experience across devices and even allows for selling across social media channels. While its app store, with 8000 apps, broadens functionality, some of the apps come at a premium.

Conclusion: Both platforms can deliver a top-tier sales performance, but they cater to different entrepreneurial needs. Shopify stands out with its ready-to-deploy, comprehensive suite of sales features, making it ideal for those seeking a straightforward, integrated solution. WooCommerce, on the other hand, provides a more hands-on, customizable experience. While it requires considerably more effort to set up, its flexibility can lead to potential cost savings for those willing to invest the time.


Both platforms have robust SEO capabilities. Shopify offers an easier, more out-of-the-box solution, ideal for those without the technical expertise. WooCommerce, on the other hand, provides more control and flexibility for those willing to delve deeper into SEO.

Shipping and Dropshipping

Sell physical products? Then the logistics of delivering them is crucial. Both Shopify and WooCommerce provide facilities for international shipping. Notably, Shopify takes a slight lead due to integrated partnerships with shipping giants like Canada Post, FedEx, UPS, DHL, and USPS.

Moreover, if you're venturing into dropshipping, a retail model where you don't maintain inventory but source products from third-party vendors for direct shipment to customers, both platforms are viable. Based on my experience its a bit of a tie as the both offer specialized apps or plugins tailored for dropshipping. 


As someone who has worked with both platforms I aim to give a clear insight into both the e-commerve platforms. This time around, Shopify takes the crown with its lazer focus on making the life easier for e-commerce store owners. The wordpess environment  feels a bit dated to me as more specialized tools enter the market. With Shopifies focus and consistent improvements I only see them increasing the gap in the future. Especially as you see technologies like Shopiflow enter the market, I would say Shopify is a more futureproof decision. 

However, my top pick doesn't automatically translate to being the optimal choice for everyone. It's always prudent to test the waters through a free trial. Experience firsthand which platform aligns with your specific needs and preferences.

Looking for someone to help you on your e-comerce journey? Look no further and book a call with me trough the link below:

Profile picture Rimbout Bobeldijk.
Founder Rimbo Designs

Let’s talk about your project

Book a call
Back to top

Stay up to Date

Be among the first to know about new articles, exclusive offers, and exciting updates.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.