Since launching in 2011, WooCommerce has become the most reliable and successful commerce platform to build a website and online stores.
People can easily build their own online store, even without any programming/coding knowledge it’s easy to customize and build to their needs and preferences. WooCommerce is an open-source plugin that can be installed on any website that is built with a WordPress CMS (Content Management System). In other words, you only can use WooCommerce on WordPress websites.
You must have your own domain name and account on a web hosting provider before you can start using WordPress. Later on, you can install the WooCommerce plugin and you are ready to start developing for your online store.
In August 2013, the Shopify payments platform was released and quickly become popular within a year. Because Shopify is a hosted platform, you won't need to buy a domain name separately from another web hosting provider as it is an all in one online store packaging.
With the above high-level outline on WooCommerce and Shopify, which should you choose as the best ECommerce platform?
Let's compare based on price, installation, customization, and support.
Shopify cost: Shopify offers a monthly payment with three plans to choose from. Starting from (USD) Basic($29/mo), Shopify($79/mo), Advanced($299/mo). Those plans make it easier for the user to manage their costs. Shopify also gives 14 days free trial to help new users explore Shopify features and functions before deciding to purchase.
WooCommerce cost: It is free, BUT, the user must pay for web hosting with their preferred web hosting provider. Also later on the user will need to buy WooCommerce plugins in order to make the site run properly with elements such as a payment gateway.
Shopify: It took about 5minutes to start the Shopify platform with the free trial, inputting email and password details, choosing a store name and then Shopify is ready for you to start building your store.
WooCommerce: After deciding on the hosting provider, the user simply carries out the buying process and selects the plan and finally completes the authentication process.
The time needed for this will vary, but on average it will take around 15-30 minutes for the WordPress installation plus another 5 minutes for the WooCommerce plugin.
With the above done it is not fully complete. To start building the user still needs to search and install the WooCommerce extension and other supporting plugins to run an online store. On average a user will need around 1 day from hosting provision until they are ready to start building an online store.
Shopify: Shopify open-source programming/template language uses .liquid, written in Ruby on Rails, it is the backbone of Shopify themes and is used to load dynamic content on storefronts. To do specific customization users must understand that .liquid language and that makes it harder for the inexperienced user to do.
WooCommerce: There are tons of page builder plugins out there, provided by WordPress, such as Elementor, Brizy, Divi, Beaver and more. All of these page builders are very user friendly and that makes it easy for the novice or the inexperienced user to carry out customizations on WooCommerce.
Shopify: Shopify provide 24/7 support assistance for any standard issue and if user needs more technical assistance they can access this with a Shopify Expert Support option with an additional cost.
WooCommerce: WooCommerce only supports their products, if any issue occurred to a WooCommerce user then they must research potential solutions on WordPress or WooCommerce forums by themselves.
Which should you choose for your e-commerce website? Choose wisely :)
Depends on what you need and your budget, if you need a quick install and have a budget then you can choose Shopify, but if you'd like to do a lot of customization with the minimum budget you can work with WooCommerce.