Woocommerce vs Shopify: Which Should You Go For in 2022?

Web design on a computer

For our money, Shopify is the best ecommere solution out of the two, as its website and sales features scored better than Woocommerce’s in our research. In our tests, Shopify scored an amazing 4.7/5 against Woocommerce’s 3.8/5 total score.

We’ll admit that the playing field is not entirely level here. Woocommerce is a standalone ecommerce software, unlike Shopify, which is a full ecommerce/builder platform. To put it simply: Woocommerce will render your online shop operational, whereas, with Shopify, you’ll be able to build your webstore from the ground up.

While looking into ecommerce solutions may be daunting, we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. With 10+ years of experience, we tested both platforms. Here are the results.

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Score
3.8
Score
4.7
Best For

Those looking to work on their own

Best For

Sales-specific features

Price Range

Platform itself is free, but associated charges could average $35/month (incl GST)

Price Range

$8-$3,000+/month (incl GST)

Key Features
  • Plugin coupled with WordPress CMS
  • Allows for extensive tinkering
  • 24/7 text-based support
  • No set prices – you only pay for what you need
Key Features
  • Self-hosts its sites
  • Wide multichannel integration
  • Stock-monitoring
  • Advanced specialist customer support
Website builder?
Website builder?
Hosting included?
Hosting included?
App store?
App store?
Free Plan
Free Plan

Woocommerce vs Shopify: Head-to-head

Woocommerce allows for deeper customisation and offers more hands-on support than Shopify. These qualities make it great for small businesses, self-starters and design-centred shops.

For medium and large businesses, Shopify’s scale and advanced reporting makes it a better option than Woocommerce. Shopify’s sales features trump what Woocommerce offers, despite Woocommerce’s support being more comprehensive than Shopify’s. Overall, we think Shopify’s the best between the two.

WoocommerceShopify
Website Features

(Winner: Shopify)

Functions provided by WordPress. No website builder, hosting or domain purchase.Build your website, host, and buy a domain.
Sales Features

(Winner: Shopify)

Five major payment platforms.Three major payment platforms, plus social media and in-person sales.
Design Functionalities

(Winner: Shopify)

52 native themes but requires tech-savviness.92 themes that look pristine.
Value for Money

(Winner: Woocommerce)

Customised billing.Fixed-price tiers – on the higher end.
Help and Support

(Winner: Woocommerce)

24/7 support plus knowledge centre.No support on Starter plan). Knowledge centre lacks detail.
Customer Score

(Winner: Shopify)

Users found it too intricate.Highly likely to recommend it.
Ease of Use

Tie

May require external help unless you're tech savvy.Useful automation during set-up.

The difference between the tools can bring strategic advantages. For instance, Woocommerce is based on the popular content management system WordPress. If you already have a site there and want to develop it into a store, we’d be hard-pressed to give you an easier way to do so.

That said, for someone starting fresh without a site, Shopify offers an all-in-one platform allowing you to create and host a website with sales features.

Woocommerce overview

Woocommerce is a free ecommerce software which enables you to turn a WordPress site into an online shop. For the cost-conscious, it's a cheap way of getting into ecommerce.

Woocommerce logo
Woocommerce
3.8
Pricing Free, but associated charges could average $35 per month (incl GST)
Quick overview

Woocommerce is an ecommerce software that allows customers to turn a WordPress site into a webstore. It was designed as a plugin to expand the possibilities of WordPress, whose team developed it before it branched out. It scored 3.8/5 in our research, with its help and support scoring a perfect 5/5. For this reason, we recommend it for small business owners who may be inexperienced with ecommerce tools.

Woocommerce's greatest asset is its low price tag - the tool itself is free - plus strong customisation options, both in design and functionality. Unlike most of its competitors, its features are priced separately, not as parts of set tiers, which means you only pay for what you need. Extensions allow for deep customisation, but require a tech-savvy person to set them up.

Its Achilles' heel, however, is the steep learning curve the platform poses to new users, as the wide possibilities it offers require some degree of technical knowledge - something even happy customers pointed out.

Shopify overview

Shopify is a full ecommerce web builder platform with which you can build and host your online shop. Shopify is not as customisable as Woocommerce but its set-up is more intuitive.

Shopify logo
Shopify
4.7
Pricing $8-$3,000+ per month (incl GST)
Quick overview

Shopify is an integrated web builder and ecommerce platform that offers customers the chance to set up an online shop with very little hassle. It scored 4.7/5 in our research, thanks to its intuitive layout and spot-on backend automation. Its website and sales features also scored highly.

Shopify's strongest suit is integration, in the sense that you can manage a considerable part of your business in one place and expand its potential through plugins. For business owners who haven’t got a site yet, it’s a neat solution despite the relatively high price tag. It suits medium to large businesses owners, who will appreciate the detailed stock and reporting capabilities.

Shopify's provided in five priced tiers. For all the features it offer, it requires a considerable initial investment - hence its lower score low in our value for money assessment. Its help and support is not available to Starter plan customers.

Woocommerce pricing vs Shopify pricing

Woocommerce offers the best value, plus you don't have to pay if you already own a WordPress site. In our research, Woocommerce scored 4.3/5 against Shopify’s 3/5 on value for money – a result influenced by Shopify’s lack of free plan and high price on its Advanced plan.

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Starter

Basic

Shopify

Advanced

Plus

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

$8/month

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

$48/month

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

$131/month

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

$496/month

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

From $3,000/month

Best For

Adding a buy button to your existing website or social media

Best For

Starting a small online store

Best For

Growing your business

Best For

Larger online stores

Best For

High volume merchants, large businesses

Key Features
  • Get “shoppable links” (URLs) to sell your products on social media and more
  • Product pages
  • Basic order management
Key Features
  • Create an online shop
  • Unlimited products
  • 24/7 support
  • Online credit card rate: 1.75% + 30¢
  • Sell in 33 currencies
Key Features
  • Abandoned cart recovery emails
  • Five staff accounts
  • Online credit card rate: 1.6% + 30¢
  • Shipping discounts
Key Features
  • Third-party calculated shipping rates
  • 15 staff accounts
  • Online credit card rate: 1.4% + 30¢
  • Custom international pricing
Key Features
  • 99.99% uptime
  • Built-in AR, video, 3D media on product pages
  • Automation for complex processes
  • Faster checkout

As we've already mentioned, Woocommerce has no price plans because it's free to download and use. However, there may be some costs that arise if you're using Woocommerce that you wouldn't face with Shopify.

Extra costs associated with Woocommerce:

  • Hosting, average $21 per month.
  • Extensions, average $79 per year.
  • Theme, average $38 per year.
  • Domain (eg .com), $21.99 per year.

Woocommerce vs Shopify: Which one has the best free plan?

Woocommerce is free by its nature – while Shopify doesn’t have a free plan at all. That said, despite its nominal $0 cost, Woocommerce usually entails payments for extensions, as well as hosting and perhaps a template to render your online shop operational. While lacking a free plan, Shopify does offer a 14-day free trial.

Best for website features: Shopify

Shopify has better web features because, unlike Woocommerce, you can build and host a website there. Being a plugin, Woocommerce websites are actually WordPress ones and their hosting is handled by third-party companies. For its ability to set up shop with less faff, Shopify’s a clear winner.

WoocommerceShopify
Score3.94.2
Key FeatureHosting is provided by WordPressHosts website and allows for domain purchase
Shopify website builder
Shopify offers a website builder as well as a hosting service

Best for sales features: Shopify

While Woocommerce does have more payment options (it offers or integrates with five major payment platforms: Amazon, Stripe, Square, PayPal and Apple Pay), Shopify’s ability to set up shop pretty much anywhere more than compensates for the three payment platforms it currently works with (Stripe, Square and PayPal). With Shopify, you can also sell directly through social media, so it wins this one too.

WoocommerceShopify
Score44.7
Key FeatureIntegrates with POS systemsIntegrates with POS systems and social media platforms
Shopify TikTok integration
Shopify integrates with social media platforms such as TikTok

Best for design functionaties: Shopify

Design-wise, Shopify’s greatest asset is the fact that it allows you to have a slick website even if you’re the most code-averse of business owners. The templates look pristine and highly customisable. Woocommerce’s customisation, while extensive, will require more time and effort. As far as we can tell, it’s third time lucky for Shopify.

WoocommerceShopify
Score2.53.9
Key FeatureDesign is bound by tech knowledge of the userPlentiful responsive themes with no need for coding input
Shopify logo maker
One of Shopify's design features, Hatchful, allows you to create your own logo

Best for value for money: Woocommerce

Compared to Shopify’s set price tiers, Woocommerce allows you to build a set-up which works for you while allowing for the spending to be very compartmentalised – and therefore more manageable. Also, it’s worth noting that Shopify charges payment fees of its own while Woocommerce doesn’t, which ended up hurting the former’s cost-benefit assessment. Therefore, Woocommerce wins in this category.

WoocommerceShopify
Score4.33
Key FeatureFeatures are priced separately so pricing can attend specific needs for lessPricing is set into tiers that gravitate towards the dear end
Woocommerce plugin store
Woocommerce's features are pay-as-you-use and you can go only for those useful to you

Best for help and support: Woocommerce

Woocommerce’s 24/7 live chat is a key pro of the platform, plus the knowledge centre is very thorough and provides a lot of answers – this comes in handy if you don’t feel like speaking to someone. Shopify also offers 24/7 support but not for all plans – Starter users don’t have access to it – and its knowledge centre doesn’t cover as much ground, so Woocommerce comes out triumphant here.

WoocommerceShopify
Score54.4
Key Feature24/7 text-based support available to all users24/7 text- and phone-based support available to most users
Woocommerce support page
Woocommerce's help and support is stellar despite lacking a phone contact

Best in customer score: Shopify

Beyond our own testing, we also reach out to fellow users of the platforms with a survey so we can compare our findings to that of an outside audience. Our research into this topic shows that users side with Shopify. Users highlighted that  Woocommerce was an intricate platform, with many customers saying they either required help from a dedicated professional to run it, or needed to set time aside to learn it for themselves. In the end, Shopify’s intuitive layout won over the clientele.

WoocommerceShopify
Score3.84.8
Key FeatureUsers highlighted the intricacy of the platformCustomer praised its intuitive layout

Best for ease of use: Tie

Both platforms score 3.5/5 in this category. Shopify allows for a relatively hassle-free start and you can make it work without coding knowledge. However, the design bit can be a bit clunky and overwhelming at times, which isn’t ideal.

Woocommerce’s set-up is not easy, requiring considerable time and effort. While usage gets progressively smoother, even fans of the platform note these growing pains.

WoocommerceShopify
Score3.53.5
Key FeatureLearning curve can be steepStart is relatively hassle-free

Woocommerce vs Shopify: How do they compare to the competition?

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Shopify

Wix

BigCommerce

Squarespace

Woocommerce

Score
4.7
Score
4.6
Score
4.4
Score
4.3
Score
3.8
Best For

Sales-specific features

Best For

Creating a good-looking website with excellent sales features

Best For

Multichannel selling

Best For

Selling digital products or portfolios

Best For

Those looking to work on their own

Price Range

$8-$3,000+/month (incl GST)

Price Range

A$32-$58 per month (incl GST)

Price Range

$43–$435/month

Price Range

A$27.50–$57.20/month (incl GST)

10% off with code EM10

Price Range

Platform itself is free, but associated charges could average $35/month (incl GST)

Key Features
  • Self-hosts its sites
  • Wide multichannel integration
  • Stock-monitoring
  • Advanced specialist customer support
Key Features
  • Plentiful design tools
  • Lots of features for your money
  • Strong social media integration
  • Limited automated sales tax
  • No transaction fees
Key Features
  • Focused at larger businesses
  • Integrates with marketplaces like Amazon and eBay
  • Provides SEO guidances
  • More in-built tools than most competitors
Key Features
  • Highly detailed templates
  • Unlimited storage space
  • Plentiful marketing tools
  • Improved ease of use
  • Allows for members area and subscriptions
Key Features
  • Plugin coupled with WordPress CMS
  • Allows for extensive tinkering
  • 24/7 text-based support
  • No set prices – you only pay for what you need
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free trial
Free trial
Free trial
Free trial
Free trial

According to our research, Shopify is top among the best ecommerce platforms. Big Commerce, due to its focus on large scale orders and ultra detailed inventory features, is still the best choice for large businesses but, apart from these, Shopify covers you.

Wix and Squarespace are other massively popular alternatives that get high praise for their design and, like Woocommerce, it also appeals to self-starters. It’s Shopify’s inventory features that trump them all. It’s also worth mentioning Squarespace’s cheaper price tag beats Shopify and puts it close to Woocommerce in value for money.

And the winner is... Shopify

For the numerous solutions it offers, alongside a sleek design and advanced sales features, Shopify trumps Woocommerce here. Woocommerce does lend itself better to self-starters who are keen on customising a digital storefront to perfection, but Shopify is an all-around platform that ticks more boxes without sacrificing user-friendliness.

However, Woocommerce’s customer service is top-notch and its compartmentalised pricing means that you  can personalise your shop with precise investment – the savings can be even bigger if you have a WordPress site. This is not a common feature among the ecommerce tools we surveyed so, if it sounds interesting to you, check Woocommerce’s website to know more.

Due to its scalability and insightful reports, Shopify is a platform which can benefit medium and large businesses that are looking to expand and consolidate. Its priced tiers include various native and integrated functions, which is key to achieve these goals. If your business is at this stage, head on over to Shopify’s website to know more.

Woocommerce vs Shopify FAQs

Is Woocommerce better than Shopify?
It isn’t. Shopify scores higher than Woocommerce in most of the categories we researched and it’s the best between the two.
Which is most Popular: Woocommerce or Shopify?
With over 6 million live websites using it, Woocommerce is more popular than Shopify, which ranks up short of 4 million live websites at the time of writing. That said, Woocommerce’s popularity could be more related to the fact that it’s coupled with a popular content management platform (WordPress) than its ecommerce features.
Which is Shopify's biggest competitor?
Currently, both in popularity and research-backed approval, Wix is a runner-up on the market in which Shopify thrives
Can you switch from Woocommerce to Shopify?
You can. Shopify accepts migration from most platforms, provided that the extracted files from them are compatible with it. It has also published a guide on how to do this.
Can you switch from Shopify to Woocommerce?
You can but, unlike Shopify, Woocommerce doesn’t have a native tool for you to carry this out. You’d have to resort to third-party software, such as Cart2Cart or LitExtension, to do it.

Lucas is a Brazilian-born journalist and Expert Market’s go-to writer for all things EPOS and merchant accounts. Having covered business, politics and technology for many years, he’s driven by his passion for the written word and his goal to help people make well-informed decisions.