Shopify vs. WordPress: Where to Set Up Your First eCommerce Store

If you’re thinking of setting up your first eCommerce store, then you might be wondering which one is best: Shopify or WordPress?

This is one of the most common questions for startups and today I want to help you make your choice.

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is a web app that was designed specifically with merchants in mind so they are able to build and launch an online store. The platform provides many different templates that are highly customizable so you can tailor your site to your brand.

It’s specifically aimed at people without web development skills, which means this platform is extremely practical and it offers everything you need to set up your eCommerce store quickly and easily, no matter your skill set.

What Is WordPress?

WordPress is available in two different versions: Hosted WordPress and Self-hosted WordPress.

The first one is practical and easy to set up, providing a wide range of features so you can build your eCommerce store as you see fit. The main difference between Shopify and Hosted WordPress is that you need to use third party tools to add eCommerce features.

The second one is an open-source application you can download, install on your own server, and tweak however you see fit. The installation is free, but you will need to invest in hosting, domain registration, and development.

Which One Is Best?

Choosing between Shopify or WordPress will depend on many different factors. One of them is your skills. For example, Shopify is most attractive to users that don’t have web development skills.

In other words, anyone can use the platform to set up their store quickly and without too much fuzz. On the other hand, WordPress users are often web design novices and developers.

On WordPress it’s possible to create and maintain your site even if you’re not tech-savvy, but the learning curve is a bit steeper than on Shopify.

Another factor is their popularity. Shopify and WordPress are both extremely popular and have large user bases, which speaks to their legitimacy and longevity. In other words, you should feel confident your eCommerce site will be able to build an online presence in either platform.

The fees are an essential factor as well. Shopify is divided into 5 tiers: Lite, which is $9 a month. Basic, which is $29 a month. Shopify, which is $79 a month. Advanced, which is $299 a month. And Plus, which is negotiable and it starts at $2000 a month. The features vary greatly, so you’ll need to do your research.

On WordPress, the fees are harder to calculate because there are many variables involved. You can use the software for free up until a certain point, but then you’ll need to invest on hosting, plugins, themes, etc., to get your website up and running. Hosting is a set expense though and it can cost you between $4 and $30 a month.

Both of these options are great, but the one you choose will depend entirely on your skill set, your budget and your goals!