Choosing Between Shopify and WordPress for Your E-commerce Business

Starting an eCommerce business has become so easy in the present-day world. You only need to have an e-commerce website and a few customers for your products. But those people who are planning to start their new e-commerce business might get confused about which platform to choose for creating their e-commerce website. Before moving on to discussing the right platform needed to develop your e-commerce website, let’s look into some statistics about the e-commerce market.

Growth Rate


According to Statista, retail e-commerce sale is expected to reach 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022, with online shopping being one of the most popular online activities worldwide. As consumers are relying more on online shopping, it is believed that around 95% of the purchase will be made through e-commerce. The graph shown below will help you in understanding the e-commerce sales growth rate in the years to come.

Since you have gone through a few statistics that shed light on the e-commerce industry and its market, it’s time to know in detail about the e-commerce platforms that can help you in creating your e-commerce website. Shopify and WordPress are the two names that come to our mind when we hear the term e-commerce platform. These two platforms are the most used by startups and SMBs. Both these platforms have their advantages and disadvantages as well, and it’s time we should start looking into it in detail.

What is e-commerce?

E-commerce is the selling and buying of products through an online medium with the transfer of data and funds between two parties. The idea of e-commerce started almost two decades ago, and it became possible in the year 1991 when the Internet was opened to commercial use. Since e-commerce has a significant advantage over conventional brick-and-mortar stores, the popularity of e-commerce grew considerably over the years.

What is an e-commerce website?

An E-commerce website is a medium or portal through which people buy and sell products and transfer funds over the Internet. 1992 was the year when the first online bookstore by name Book Stacks Unlimited was made available to the public. Books Stacks Unlimited began as a dial-up bulletin board.

Amazon, in 1994, launched the first online e-commerce website, which then grew to become one of the world’s top e-commerce websites. From the first online e-commerce website to some of the new e-commerce websites such as Anotah, e-commerce websites have evolved a lot over the years.

At present, there are different types of an e-commerce website, and they are as follows

  1. Business-to-Business: Transaction between two companies takes place through such a site(Example: Alibaba).
  2. Business-to-consumer: Transaction of products between a company and a consumer(Example: Wal-Mart, Anotah, etc.)
  3. Consumer-to-consumer(C2C): Transaction of goods and services between consumers( Example: OLX, eBay )
  4. Consumer to business: Individuals offer products to companies(Example: Amazon)
  5. Business-to-Government(B2G) – Transaction of products and services between companies and government organization
  6. Consumer-to-Government(C2G)- Transaction of products and services between consumer and government organizations.

E-commerce platforms

If you are about to start your e-commerce business, the first thing you need to do is get your e-commerce website up and running. Before starting to code for an e-commerce website, you need to have an idea about which e-commerce platform to go ahead with for your website.  

There are tons of e-commerce platforms available, but among all those platforms, Shopify and WordPress are the most commonly used ones. Among both these platforms, which is the best? Most startups and SMBs are looking to have an answer to this particular question.

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What is Shopify?

Shopify is a SaaS e-commerce platform that allows merchants or store owners to create and launch their e-commerce website. With Shopify, you can build your store both online and offline. From beginners to e-commerce experts, Shopify has answers to everyone’s e-commerce needs. With Shopify’s range of templates, you can customize your website to meet your business requirements.

What makes Shopify one step ahead of its competitors is the fact that people without any technical and design skills can have their e-commerce website up and running. With Shopify, you can also edit the HTML and CSS files of your website, which allows people with coding skills to further customize their website.

In short, Shopify is an all-in-one package where you can build and publish your website.

Shopify is a hosted solution which means the user has only to log in to make use of the services available. Everything runs on Shopify’s servers, and the user shouldn’t have to be bothered about hosting the website or other software installations.

You can start using Shopify services at just $9 per month with a basic lite plan. There are other plans as well, such as Shopify Basic, Shopify Plus, and so on. The type of plan you should select depends on the kind of business you are doing.

All Shopify websites come with a built-in SSL certificate. The security of your website is taken care of by Shopify itself, and you don’t have to be concerned about the same. Other than security features, Shopify’s customer service team is available 24/7. 

On the backend of your online store, you can find the whole list of reports and analytics relating to your online store. Similar to Google Analytics, you can find the number of real-time uses, the most visited page of your website, and so on.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is more of like a stand-alone software. Shopify is built explicitly for e-commerce, but WordPress is not. WordPress is a content management system, and you can download the self-hosted version of WordPress and can make changes to the code accordingly. WordPress alone cannot provide an e-commerce solution to its customers. You need to have a plugin such as WooCommerce to be able to sell products and services online on a WordPress Site.

WordPress provides a self-hosted as well as a hosted solution. Self-hosted WordPress allows you to customize your website up to the maximum extent possible. But, you need to consider the hosting costs, development cost, and even plugins such as WooCommerce management cost and so on. 

Unlike Shopify, the ultimate security of the website is the owner’s responsibility. You have to buy an SSL certificate for your website and also make sure that all the plugins are up to date. You have to maintain your site all by yourself. It’s all your responsibility. 

WordPress powers almost one-third of all the websites in the world, but all of those websites won’t have an e-commerce solution.

Unlike Shopify, WordPress doesn’t come with a pre-fixed package. You can get the CMS software for free, but you need to pay for templates, plugins, hosting, and so on.

WordPress isn’t easy to get started with like Shopify; hence you might also need to take the help of skilled developers to get your website up and running.

What are the differences between Shopify and WordPress?

  1. WordPress serves around 30% of the online stores globally, while Shopify only serves for roughly 4% of all online stores(1,000,000 stores approximately)
  2. Shopify is comparatively easy to set up as compared to WordPress. To use Shopify, you don’t need to have any technical or design skills. While on the other hand WordPress as a whole is focused much more on skilled persons such as developers and not on store owners.
  3. You don’t have to pay for security and hosting with Shopify, while with WordPress, you need to pay for hosting, and security of your website is your responsibility.
  4. Even though you need a decent level of technical knowledge to use WordPress or WooCommerce, it is more powerful and flexible than Shopify. It allows total customization of your website.
  5. Since there are several websites powered by WordPress support from user forums and professional developers will be very high. You will find a considerable amount of helpful resources online related to WordPress.
  6. An important difference between Shopify and WordPress is that Shopify is on a cloud-network. People who have used a server might be knowing the difficulty in managing it. When on a server, the probability of your website going down is very high, especially during big events. But on a cloud, the chances of getting your site down is very rare. 
  7. With Shopify, you will get a bunch of SEO tools, sales tools, and so on needed for your e-commerce website since it’s built for e-commerce.
  8. Templates are the things that bring a website to life. In Shopify, there are around 70 templates you can use, in which 10 of them are free to use. When it comes to WordPress, there are around 1000+ themes to choose from for your e-commerce website. Even though Shopify’s themes are very limited in number, they are very much responsive, and site themes will adapt automatically to fit all screen sizes.
  9. Another factor that helps Shopify stay ahead is the number of features provided by the platform. Features such as abandoned cart recovery which allows your site to send emails to those who have left the website without buying products from the cart. Multi-channel integration is another feature of Shopify that helps you to sell across various social media platforms such as Facebook. On the other hand, WordPress doesn’t come with any of these features, and you have to make use of third-party plugins to get these features available for your WordPress website.

Which platform should you pick for your e-commerce business?

The platform you should pick for your e-commerce business depends on your business needs. Make sure that you consider the following points before making a decision.

  1. Budget – With Shopify, you only have to spend a fixed amount each month. Since Shopify is built for e-commerce, you will receive all other features required for your website. With WordPress, you need to manage to host cost, development cost, and even plugin cost. In case you are taking the help of a developer, you need to manage their cost as well.
  2. Simple to use – If you are a person who doesn’t have much knowledge regarding coding and designing, it is advised to go ahead with Shopify. Instead, if you want a fully customized website, use WordPress.
  3. Future Growth – Always make sure to choose a platform that can support your website, in case if in future the traffic to your website or the number of products increase.
  4. Security – Security should be the primary concern while selecting e-commerce platforms. Confidential pieces of information, such as credit card information should be secure. Hence, it is advised to always go ahead with a platform that provides excellent security.
  5.  User-friendliness – Platform that will allow you to add products and services easily should be your first pick. A good user-interface at the backend will help in saving the time taken for adding new products.

More related links

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Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization – 11 Must-Follow Tips

Wrapping Up

Both Shopify and WordPress are suitable to be used as an e-commerce platform for your website. The choice of which platform to choose depends on the need of your business. If you are interested in getting lots of apps or features for your e-commerce website, it is advisable to go ahead with Shopify. While if you are interested in making your site look appealing to the customers by customizing it to the maximum extent, it is advisable to go with WordPress. How to make a wise choice entirely depends on you.

Always do remember, whatever platform you go ahead with, having an e-commerce website alone cannot guarantee you success. As the demand for e-commerce increases, more and more people will start their own eCommerce business. You need to effectively market your website so that it reaches the right customers and you will start earning from your website.

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