Written by Lucas Pistilli Reviewed by Natasha Willett Updated on 14 July 2023 On this page WooCommerce vs Shopify: Head-to-head Woocommerce overview Shopify overview WooCommerce pricing vs Shopify pricing Best for website features Best for sales features Best for design functionaties Best for value for money Best for help and support Best in customer score Best for ease of use Woocommerce vs Shopify: How do they compare to the competition? And the winner is... Woocommerce vs Shopify FAQs Expand Our site is reader-supported – by clicking our links, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral. WooCommerce and Shopify are two ecommerce tools which allow you to open an online shop – but which is a best fit for your business? For our money, Shopify is definitely the one you should go for, as its website and sales features scored better than WooCommerce’s in our research. Shopify was also rated higher than WooCommerce by customers we surveyed.We’ll admit that the playing field is not entirely level here. WooCommerce is an 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.WooCommerce’s plentiful plugins will appeal to the cyber-savvy and customisation aficionados, but Shopify’s design features and ease of use are out to please even the most code-averse business owners. In our research – which included both in-house testing and customer-sourced feedback – Shopify scored an amazing 4.7/5 against WooCommerce’s 3.8/5.While looking into which ecommerce solution is best for you may be daunting, we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. With 10+ years of experience, we tested both platforms and you can find the takeaways of our research below. Just read on. Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward WooCommerce Shopify Score 3.8 Score 4.7 Best For Those looking to work on their own Best For Advanced sales features Price Range Paying for one year upfront Platform itself is free, but associated charges could average £31/month Price Range Paying for one year upfront £19-£1,500+/monthFirst three months for £1 each Key Features Plugin coupled with WordPress CMSAllows for extensive tinkering24/7 text-based supportNo set prices – you only pay for what you need Key Features Website design toolsSell products or servicesOrder trackingInventory managementSelf-hosts its sitesShipping discounts Free Plan Free Plan Free Trial Free Trial Competitors Try Shopify WooCommerce vs Shopify: Head-to-headWooCommerce allows room 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.WooCommerceShopifyWebsite Features(Winner: Shopify)Doesn’t provide them on its own. Rather, they’re provided by partner company, WordPress.Provides the websites, hosts them, and allows you to buy your own domain – all within its quarters.Sales Features(Winner: Shopify)Integrates with five major payment platforms.Integrates with three major payment platforms, plus allows sales via social media and in-person.Design Functionalities(Winner: Shopify)52 native themes, plus plenty of customisation, but requires tech-savviness.92 native and quite customisable themes that look pristine.Value for Money(Winner: WooCommerce)Customisation of spending allows you to work out a personal way to get more for your investment.Fixed-price tiers are easier to budget for, but costs are on the higher end.Help and Support(Winner: WooCommerce)24/7 support available to all versions along with very hands-on with a thorough knowledge centre.24/7 support (though not accessible to all plans). Knowledge centre could be more detailed.Customer Score(Winner: Shopify)Platform’s intricate nature was a thorn in the platform’s side when it came to customer feedback.Shopify’s customers were impressed with the user experience and highly likely to recommend it.Ease of UseTieSteep learning curve can demand a lot of time and effort (and potentially external help).Hassle-free and filled with useful automation during the set-up process.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, and without a site, Shopify offers an overall service which allows you not only to create one but also host it and integrate it with ecommerce. WooCommerce overviewWooCommerce is an ecommerce software which enables you to turn a WordPress site into an online shop. It’s free – so if you already have a WordPress site, that’s a cheap way of getting into ecommerce. Extensions allow for deep customisation, but require a tech-savvy person to set them up. It’s best for small businesses owners, who can rely on its excellent customer support. Unlike Shopify, it doesn’t offer website building or hosting of its own but it provides better value for money. WooCommerce 3.8 Pricing Free, but associated charges could average £31 per month 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 - and therefore is of great benefit to the userbase of this popular content management system. It scored 3.8/5 in our research, with its help and support in particular scoring a perfect 5/5.Woocommerce's greatest asset is its low price tag - the tool itself is free - and high customisation, both in design and functionality. Unlike most of its competitors, its features are priced separately, not as parts of set tiers, which means customers can pay only for what's useful for them therefore reducing the investment.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 to be unleashed - something even its happy customers pointed out. Read more + Read less - Shopify overviewShopify is a full ecommerce/builder platform with which you can build and host your website as well as equip it for ecommerce. It’s offered in five priced tiers, with no free option. For business owners who haven’t got a site yet, it’s a neat solution to get started despite the need of initial investment. It suits medium to large businesses owners, which will appreciate the detailed stock and reporting capabilities of the platform. It’s not as customisable as WooCommerce but its set-up is more intuitive. Shopify 4.7 Pricing £5-£1,500+ per month 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, being praised by customers for its intuitive layout and spot-on backend automation. Its website and sales features also scored high among the criteria we surveyed.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 various plugins and additional software. Of note, one of these allows for customers to sell straight from their social media accounts - a handy tool for self-starting small businesses that doesn't require a lot of spending. Despite being a big name on ecommerce, it also integrates with its own POS system platform, designed with in-person sales in mind.Shopify's provided in five priced tiers. For all the features it offer, it requires a considerable initial investment - something that made it score lowly in our value for money assessment. Its help and support, while extensive, is not available to all users. That said, it's offered 24/7 in both text- and phone-based options. Read more + Read less - WooCommerce pricing vs Shopify pricingPacking various features for a small initial investment – or none if you already own a WordPress site – WooCommerce offers the best value. 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 a free version and high price on its Advanced plan. As WooCommmerce’s pricing varies, it’s difficult to compare it to the competitors’. Shopify’s pricing, however, puts it on par with BigCommerce but is more expensive than Wix and Squarespace.WooCommerce pricingPotential WooCommerce users are wooed by its price tag: the platform is free. But, unlike Shopify, WooCommerce doesn’t host the websites using it, so you’d have to pay for hosting, which averages £21 per month if you’re aiming for an ecommerce-tailored one, and likely for extensions, which average £79 per year. There’s also a high chance of you needing a paid theme for your shop, which averages at £38 per year.With all of the above taken into account, WooCommerce would only be free if you’re already paying to host a WordPress website, and you don’t require any paid extensions or themes.This structure means that, on one hand, since WooCommerce doesn’t work with set prices, it can be difficult to budget for your requirements. On the other hand, because every feature is provided separately, you can buy only what works for your business and get more for your investment. That ability helped WooCommerce to score 4.3/5 on value for money on our research against Shopify’s 3/5.Shopify pricingShopify’s pricing is more clear cut than that of WooCommerce, since it's divided into set price packages (which all include web hosting). The packages are:Shopify Starter for £5 per monthShopify Basic for £19 per month (paying for one year upfront)Shopify Advanced for £259 per month (paying for one year upfront)Shopify Plus for $2,000+ per month (it's charged in US dollars, don't ask us why)There are options to pay monthly for each plan, but they're considerably more expensive. Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Starter Basic Shopify Advanced Shopify Shopify Plus Price (billed annually) £5/month Price (billed annually) £19/monthFirst three months for £1 each Price (billed annually) £259/monthFirst three months for £1 each Price (billed annually) £1,640+/month Best For Selling on social media Best For Starting a small online store Best For International sellers Best For High volume retailers Key Features Get shoppable links (URLs)Product pagesBasic order management5% + 25p online credit card rates Key Features Sell an unlimited number of productsUp to two usersSell in 33 currencies (2% conversion fee) Key Features 15 staff accountsThird-party calculated shipping ratesCollect import taxesAdvanced reporting Key Features Faster checkoutAutomate workflowsSecurity and compliancePriority support Transaction Fees 5% Transaction Fees 2% Transaction Fees 0.5% Transaction Fees 0.15–0.30% Let's get you started on creating your online shop Go to Shopify These costs are based on the monthly costs of an annual plan – if you decide to pay monthly, the bill could go up 50% depending on the plan you choose, which is worth bearing in mind.Considering its all-encompassing nature (which helped it become one of the best overall ecommerce platforms in the UK), Shopify packs a punch, especially for medium to large businesses, which can benefit from the features available on its top tiers, despite their sizable price tags.WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which one has the best free plan?WooCommerce is a free plugin, whereas Shopify doesn't offer any of its features for free. While lacking a free plan, Shopify offers a 3-day free trial and your first three months of premium for just £1 per month. Best for website features: ShopifyShopify takes this one mainly 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 (BlueHost is their recommended choice), which is a technicality worth mentioning. For its ability to set up shop wholesale with less faff, Shopify’s a clear winner.WooCommerceShopify 🏆Score3.94.2Key FeatureHosting is provided by WordPressHosts website and allows for domain purchase Best for sales features: ShopifyWhile 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 🏆Score44.7Key FeatureIntegrates with POS systemsIntegrates with POS systems and social media platforms Best for design functionaties: ShopifyDesign-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 🏆Score2.53.9Key FeatureDesign is bound by tech knowledge of the userPlentiful responsive themes with no need for coding input Best for value for money: WooCommerceCompared 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 🏆Score4.33Key FeatureFeatures are priced separately so pricing can attend specific needs for lessPricing is set into tiers that gravitate towards the dear end Best for help and support: WooCommerceWooCommerce’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.WooCommerce 🏆ShopifyScore54.4Key Feature24/7 text-based support available to all users24/7 text- and phone-based support available to most users Best in customer score: ShopifyBeyond 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 🏆Score3.84.8Key FeatureUsers highlighted the intricacy of the platformCustomer praised its intuitive layout Best for ease of use: TieBoth 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.WooCommerceShopifyScore3.53.5Key FeatureLearning curve can be steepStart is relatively hassle-free WooCommerce vs Shopify: How do they compare to the competition? Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Shopify Wix BigCommerce Squarespace WooCommerce Score 4.7 Score 4.9 Score 4.4 Score 4.3 Score 3.8 Best For Advanced sales features Best For Creating a good-looking website with excellent sales features Best For Offers you all the functionality you need to scale and succeed Best For Selling digital products or portfolios Best For Those looking to work on their own Price Range Paying for one year upfront £19-£1,500+/monthFirst three months for £1 each Price Range Paying for one year upfront £7.50-£119/month£6.75-£107.10 with code: GET10! Price Range Paying for one year upfront £19-£2,000+/month Price Range Paying for one year upfront £12-£35/month (billed annually)£10.08-£31.50/month with code: EM10 Price Range Paying for one year upfront Platform itself is free, but associated charges could average £31/month Key Features Website design toolsSell products or servicesOrder trackingInventory managementSelf-hosts its sitesShipping discounts Key Features Around 900 design templatesLoads of website functionsSell on Facebook, eBay, Amazon, and moreTools to boost search engine visibility Key Features Focused at larger businessesIntegrates with marketplaces like Amazon and eBayProvides SEO guidancesMore in-built tools than most competitors Key Features World class templatesUnlimited storageFree domain (one year) on annual plansMembers areaSubscriptionsVisitor analytics Key Features Plugin coupled with WordPress CMSAllows for extensive tinkering24/7 text-based supportNo 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 Try Shopify Try Wix Try BigCommerce Try Squarespace Competitors According to our research, Shopify is the best overall among the platforms we looked into. 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. Written by: Lucas Pistilli Business Services Expert Lucas is a Brazilian-born journalist and Expert Market’s go-to writer for all things EPOS systems, merchant accounts, and franking machines. 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. Reviewed by: Natasha Willett Head of Research For over 9 years Natasha has worked as a mixed method researcher working across a range of sectors from insurance and policy development, to business services and software. As a member of the Market Research Society, Natasha is an advocate for high ethical, commercial and methodological best practices.