Selling products online is easier than ever before, but the technical challenges to selling products on your own website online can seem daunting. There’s merchant processing set up, fees, inventory (if a tangible product), shipping and other factors to consider. Sure, selling on eBay, Etsy, or Amazon is great, but relying upon a third party channel and not being able to make as many profits are a negative.
Read on for our comparison of WooCommerce vs. Shopify, two of the top ecommerce platforms, what they include, and factors to consider when selecting a platform.
Why We Like WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a popular and (mostly) free WordPress plugin that lets you turn your WordPress site into a robust online store. It provides an easy way to handle product inventory, payments, shipping, and more. WooCommerce can be easily and seamlessly integrated into your site. provides reports on customers and products.
We recommend building ecommerce sites in WooCommerce if you want a WordPress based site and seek to minimize costs, but still want great functionality. Its features include:
– Unlimited products
– Payment methods include Paypal, Stripe and many others.
– Shipping methods
– Inventory management
WooCommerce is not a stand alone platform – it’s a WordPress plugin only. While WooCommerce offers a free version, paid options enhance and unlock many more features. We would recommend having a security certificate (SSL) on a website selling with WooCommerce. Hosting would also be needed for a website.
Shopify has many of these same features as WooCommerce but can function as a powerful stand alone website content manage system. It also has the benefit of including a security certificate and hosting as part of its use. Shopify can also integrate with WordPress as a plugin. Shopify is a great choice for sites where the primary purpose is selling products.
Shopify is a larger commitment than WooCommerce in that pricing starts at about $30 per month and goes up from there depending on your business’ needs. If you are on a very tight budget, Shopify offers a limited Lite plan that allows you to add products to any website or blog, accept credit card payments, sell on Facebook, and chat with customers on Messenger for currently $9 a month.
There are many other available ecommerce platforms including Magento, OpenCart and BigCommerce. Ecwid is another shopping cart option available on on WordPress, but we have found it is not friendly to customization. So if using Ecwid with the WordPress plugin, there may be less choices on styling and configuration.