You’ve been looking for a way to sell your products online, but you don’t know where to start.
You’ve heard of WordPress, but you don’t know if it’s for you or what the benefits are. Shopify is another option you’ve considered, but it seems a little more difficult to use and quite costly than WordPress. What should you do?
In this post, we’ll compare both of these options for you, starting with the benefits of each and then continuing to break down how both work, their pros and cons, and whether or not they are the right choice for you.
If you ask any WordPress development agency, they will advise you to go with WordPress. For good reason, of course. WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that can be used as a blog, website, e-commerce store, and more. It’s completely free to install, and you can create a user account from WordPress.org in minutes.
WordPress offers many customization options that make it easier for you to add or remove features depending on your business needs or preferences. You can also add plugins that extend the functionality of your website beyond its standard features. There are over 48,000 plugins available for free on their website that you can download to your WordPress site with just a few clicks.
WordPress is also fully compatible with eCommerce websites, so if you want to sell products online, you have the necessary tools at your disposal. These are called WooCommerce extensions, and there are thousands of them available for free. As long as you have a domain and hosting, which we’ll talk about later in this post, you can add an eCommerce website within minutes.
WordPress is completely free to use, and they make it very easy for you to add features to your site. In addition, there are 48,000 plugins available for free on their website, from which you can choose.
WordPress doesn’t have a lot of built-in features, and many templates and plugins are outdated, making them impractical to use. In addition, hosting isn’t free, which will cost you money.
Shopify is an online store platform that works very similar to WordPress, but it has more features straight out of the box. For example, you don’t need to use any plugins or customize your website for it to work. It’s also pretty much plug and plays; install the software, connect your domain name, and you’re all set to go.
The costs of Shopify are $29/mo for standard plans and $79/mo for the Advanced plan. You can register a domain through them or elsewhere, depending on which hosting option you choose. There is no contract, so you can cancel whenever you want, and they allow you to create 30 products for free without having to pay.
Shopify is straightforward to set up and start using, has plenty of great themes & templates, and offers 24/7 support. It’s also much easier than WordPress if you’re not tech-savvy.
You have to pay to use Shopify, and the $29/mo plan is pretty expensive for someone who has little to no experience with creating websites.
Who Is This For?
WordPress is the better option two for beginners and experts alike. You can use it very successfully as an eCommerce website without paying $29/mo.
Deciding between these two options depends on how much money you can spare, whether you’re willing to learn WordPress and how comfortable you are with coding. For example, if you had $29/mo to spend, Shopify could be used instead of WordPress because it’s much easier to set up and has excellent support available 24/7.
WordPress is free to use, and their support forums are incredible if you need any help (and you will). Although they don’t offer phone calls or live chat, you can post your questions on the forum and receive detailed answers within hours. They also have very comprehensive documentation available for all of their features, making it easier for you to learn how they work.
If you have no coding or website-building experience, Shopify is the easiest option available to build your eCommerce store. All of their products are plug-and-play, so you don’t need to customize it at all if you don’t want to. The only feature that Shopify doesn’t have is the ability to create your own plugins. However, if you know how to code or are willing to learn, WordPress is much more powerful and allows you to add features that Shopify doesn’t offer.
What Are The Costs?
So now let’s look at what it costs. As we mentioned earlier, starting an online business with eCommerce requires both a domain name and hosting.
Domain Name: A good one will set you back around $10/year. Shopify includes a free .com address with their Standard plan ($29/mo), but if you want to own your domain, it doesn’t cost anything to register one yourself or through GoDaddy, for example.
Hosting: Hostinger is a great tool. According to their website, the cheapest hosting option is $3.92/mo, and it allows up to 10,000 monthly visitors, which is incredible value for the volume of traffic.
WordPress Hosting: If you’re using WordPress, Bluehost offers a great-value hosting plan at $4.95/mo, giving you up to 50,000 monthly visitors and a free domain name (if you register through them).
Shopify Hosting: All Shopify plans come with unlimited bandwidth and storage and allow for unlimited products (which can mean huge numbers). You can choose your plan based on what you think will be best for your business.
The Final Verdict
WordPress is free, flexible, and relatively easy to use once you learn the basics. The themes are beautiful, and there’s a huge community online that’s willing to help if you get stuck or confused at any point. WordPress also gives you the option to customize your site as much as you want and even create custom plugins.
Shopify is easier for beginners and offers a more user-friendly experience, but it can get pricey if you pick their most expensive plan. However, if you’re not an expert at building websites or don’t know how to code, Shopify is by far the simplest option and will save you a lot of time and effort.
WordPress is more powerful, but it takes longer to set up and intimidate people new to coding or online eCommerce. However, if you’re willing to invest the time learning WordPress, we recommend that you choose this over Shopify because of its flexibility and power.
Ultimately, both options will allow you to create a beautiful and successful online business, so choose whichever makes the most sense for your budget and skill level.