In this article we are going to compare Shopify to Woocommerce. Both companies are market leaders the rapidly expanding ecommerce world. Both have pros and cons, and ultimately the final choice for the user will depend on many factors.
Differences between Woocomerce and Shopify
Shopify is an all-in-one commercial system. The user pays a monthly fee to use the company’s web design, ecommerce and product management tools. It’s all packaged into one product, so you can simply choose a template, upload your products and start selling online. The whole package is hosted online on the company’s servers.
WooCommerce is a bit different in that it’s a plugin that must be installed on a WordPress website. The website must also be Woocommerce compatible.
Shopify provide an online platform, where the user can create a account. After the user can just login, setup a store and upload products.
Woocommerce requires a bit more time. The user first has to install a Woocomerce compatible WordPress theme on a local / online server. WordPress has made the process of installing themes on servers pretty straightforward, but the process still requires a bit more effort then Shopify setup. After installing a WordPress theme, the Woocommerce plugin can then be downloaded and installed in the WordPress theme.
Shopify customisation has a steeper learning curve. Developers/designers have to learn the .liquid programming language in order to customize themes.
WordPress is open source and is built using PHP. It is easier to customize and support is readily available due to the availability of large numbers of PHP developers.
Apps and Extensions
Both Shopify and Woocommerce have App Stores, which provide further extensions to the themes.
Shopify apps are created via the Shopify API, using RubyonRails, PHP or Python.
Woocommerce extensions are created via the Woocomerce API, using RubyonRails, PHP or Python
Shopify is self hosted. No setup is required of the user
Woocommerce requires the user to setup hosting on the user pc or a server before development can commence.
The Shopify Store has many professionally designed free and premium themes.
Since Woocommerce requires WordPress, there are far more themes available. WordPress has been in the game longer, and thus there are a greater variety of free and premium themes available.