WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which Should You Go For?

Website cost planning

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 add-on for WordPress, unlike Shopify, which is a full online store builder. To put it simply: WooCommerce requires you to have a WordPress website, whereas, with Shopify you’ll build your webstore from the ground up.

WooCommerce’s plentiful plugins will appeal to the cyber-savvy and customization 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

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

Average of $40/month

Price Range
Paying for one year upfront
Transaction fees

None

Transaction fees

0.5%-2%

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
  • Website design tools
  • Sell products or services
  • Order tracking
  • Inventory management
  • Self-hosts its sites
  • Shipping discounts
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Trial
Free Trial
Competitors Try Now

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Head-to-Head

WooCommerce allows room for deeper customization and offers more hands-on support than Shopify. These qualities make it a great choice for self-starters and design-centered shops.

For medium and large businesses, Shopify’s scale and advanced reporting makes it a better option than WooCommerce. Shopify’s sales features top what WooCommerce offers. In fact, Shopify is our top recommendation for the best ecommerce platform for small businesses.

WooCommerceShopify
Website 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 63 payment platforms (via plugins)Integrates with 66 payment platforms, plus allows sales via social media and in-person.
Design Functionalities

(Winner: Shopify)

52 native themes, plus plenty of customization, but requires tech-savviness.92 native and quite customizable themes that look pristine.
Value for Money

(Winner: WooCommerce)

Custom spending allows you to choose your investment.Fixed-price tiers are predictable, but costs are on the higher end.
Help and Support

(Winner: WooCommerce)

24/7 support available to all along with a thorough knowledge center.24/7 support (though not accessible on all plans). Knowledge center lacks detail.
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 Use

Tie

Steep 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 without a site, Shopify offers the full package from one place.

WooCommerce Overview

WooCommerce is an ecommerce software which enables you to turn a WordPress website into an online shop. It’s free – so if you've already set up a WordPress site, that’s a cheap way of getting into ecommerce.

Extensions allow for deep customization, 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.

Shopify Overview

Shopify is a full website builder platform with which you can build a hosted website that's ready to sell products or services. 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 ambitious small business owners, who will appreciate the detailed stock and reporting capabilities of the platform. It’s not as customizable as WooCommerce but its set-up is more intuitive.

You can read about its features in more depth in our full review of Shopify.

WooCommerce Pricing vs Shopify Pricing

Packing 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 Pricing

Potential 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 $27 per month, and likely for extensions, which average $100 per year. There’s also a high chance of you needing a paid theme for your shop, which averages at $48 per year.

With all of the above taken into account, WooCommerce would only be free if 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 helped WooCommerce score 4.3/5 on value for money in our research against Shopify’s 3/5.

Shopify Pricing

Shopify’s pricing is more streamlined than that of WooCommerce – and it includes web hosting. Shopify offers five price packages:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

Starter

Basic Shopify

Shopify

Advanced Shopify

Shopify Plus

Price (billed annually)

$5/month

Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)
Price (billed annually)

$2,000+/month

Best For

Selling on social media

Best For

Starting a small online store

Best For

Small and medium sized businesses

Best For

International sellers

Best For

High volume retailers

Key Features
  • Get shoppable links (URLs)
  • Product pages
  • Basic order management
  • Customer support
Key Features
  • Sell an unlimited number of products
  • Up to two users
  • Sell in 33 currencies (1.5% conversion fee)
  • Basic performance reports
Key Features
  • 5 user accounts
  • Improved reports
  • Better shipping discounts
  • Shipping insurance (with Shopify Payments)
Key Features
  • 15 staff accounts
  • Advanced reporting
  • Third-party calculated shipping rates
  • Collect duties and import taxes at checkout
Key Features
  • Faster checkout
  • Automate workflows
  • Security and compliance
  • Priority support
Transaction Fees

5%

Transaction Fees

2%

Transaction Fees

1%

Transaction Fees

0.5%

Transaction Fees

0.15–0.30%

Payment processing fees

Online: 5% + $0.30¢

Payment processing fees

Online: 2.9% + 30¢
Online international or Amex: 3.9% + 30¢
In person: 2.7% + 0¢

Payment processing fees

Online: 2.6% + 30¢
In person: 2.5% + 0¢

Payment processing fees

Online: 2.4% + 30¢
Online international or Amex: 3.4% + 30¢
In person: 2.4% + 0¢

Payment processing fees

Variable

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, 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 Has the Best Free Plan?

WooCommerce has a free plan while Shopify doesn’t. That said, despite its nominal $0 cost, WooCommerce’s regular usage likely entails payments for extensions, as well as hosting, domain fees, and templates to render your online shop operational.

While lacking a free plan, Shopify does offer a three-day free trial.

Best for Website Features: Shopify

Shopify takes this one mainly because, unlike WooCommerce, you can build and host a website there. Being a plugin, WooCommerce websites are actually on WordPress, so you'll need to sort your own hosting. For its ability to set up shop wholesale with less faff, Shopify’s a clear winner.

WooCommerceShopify 🏆
Score3.94.2
Key FeatureSort out your own WordPress hostingHosts website and allows for domain purchase
Shopify website builder

Best for Sales Features: Shopify

Shopify has more payment options and offers its own point of sale hardware. With Shopify, you can also sell directly through social media, so it wins this one too. Check out our full review of Shopify for more info on its various sales channels.

WooCommerceShopify 🏆
Score44.7
Key FeatureIntegrates with POS systemsSells POS systems and integrates with social media selling

You should be aware, however, that Shopify is reducing its logistics provisions. Shopify sold its logistics arm after reporting an adjusted operating loss of 2% of revenue at the end of Q1 2023. So you'll need to look to external specialist fulfilment providers to take care of inventory management and dispatch (unless you're doing it in house).

Shopify TikTok integration

Best for Design Functionalities: 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 customizable. WooCommerce’s customization, while extensive, will require more time and effort. It’s third time lucky for Shopify.

WooCommerceShopify 🏆
Score2.53.9
Key FeatureDesign is bound by tech knowledge of the userMobile responsive themes with no need for design tech skills
Shopify logo maker

Best 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 compartmentalized – 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 FeatureNo transaction fees or subscription fees, and additional costs are lowHigh fees
Woocommerce plugin store

Best Help and Support: WooCommerce

WooCommerce’s 24/7 live chat is a key pro of the platform, plus the knowledge center 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 center doesn’t cover as much ground, so WooCommerce comes out triumphant here.

WooCommerce 🏆Shopify
Score54.4
Key Feature24/7 text-based support available to all users24/7 text- and phone-based support available to most users

Best 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 vs the Competition

We regularly review the best website builders to help small business leaders find the best options. Without an easy way to compare similar products, how can you possibly make the right choice?

Here's a quick overview of these sales platforms' nearest rivals:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

Wix

Squarespace

Square Online

Shopify

BigCommerce

GoDaddy

Score
4.7
Score
4.7
Score
4.5
Score
4.3
Score
4.0
Score
4.5
Best For

SEO support

Best For

Image-heavy websites

Best For

Payment integrations

Best For

Advanced sales features

Best For

Multichannel selling

Best For

Getting online quickly

Price Range
Paying for one year upfront

$16 – bespoke per month

10% off with code: GET10

Price Range
Paying for one year upfront

$16-$49/month (paying annually)

$14.40-$44.10/month with code: EM10

Price Range
Paying for one year upfront

$16-$79/month

Price Range
Paying for one year upfront
Price Range
Paying for one year upfront

$29-$299/month

Price Range
Paying for one year upfront

$14.99-$29.99/month (paying annually)

Try Wix Try Squarespace Try Now Try Now Try Now Try Now

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 beats WooCommerce. WooCommerce does lend itself better to self-starters who are keen on customizing 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 compartmentalized pricing means that you can personalize your shop with precise investment. This is not a common feature among the ecommerce tools we surveyed so, giving much-needed flexibility to smalltime entrepreneurs and startups in particular.

Due to its scalability and insightful reports, Shopify is a platform which can benefit ambitious SMEs and large businesses looking to ramp up sales. Its price tiers include various native and integrated functions, which are key to achieving these goals. If your business is at this stage, why not start your Shopify free trial?

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 author headshot photo
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:
A head shot of Natasha Willett - a blonde woman in a work shirt with a blue background
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.