As a leading web design agency, we often get asked the question: “Should I use WordPress or Shopify for my website?” To answer this, we’ve compiled a comprehensive comparison of the two platforms. While both have their strengths, our preference and recommendation is WordPress, and here’s why:
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) that powers over 40% of all websites on the internet. It was initially created in 2003 as a blogging platform but has since evolved into a versatile CMS that allows users to create and manage all types of websites, from lead generation websites to complex e-commerce stores.
One of the key strengths of WordPress is its flexibility. It can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. You can use it to build a basic blog, a full-featured business website, an online store, a portfolio, a social network, a forum – the possibilities are endless.
While WordPress offers a wide variety of pre-made themes, it also provides an extremely flexible framework for bespoke website development. This is one of the reasons why WordPress is favoured by many web design agencies, including us. We don’t rely on pre-existing themes; instead, we create custom-built websites tailored to each client’s specific needs and brand identity. This means your website will have a unique design and functionality that sets it apart from the rest. It also ensures that your website is optimised for performance and usability, providing an excellent user experience for your visitors. Instead of fitting your content into a predetermined template, we build a structure that fits your content perfectly. This is the power and versatility of WordPress.
WordPress also has a multitude of plugins available that extend the functionality of your website. There are over 55,000 plugins available in the WordPress repository, meaning features like contact forms, photo galleries, SEO tools, social media integration, and much more can be implemented on your website.
Another major advantage of WordPress is its active and supportive community. With WordPress being an open-source platform, developers around the world contribute to its development and improvement to ensure it remains at the forefront of the industry.
In summary, WordPress is a powerful, flexible, and user-friendly platform that allows you to create a website that fits your specific needs and goals.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a subscription-based platform designed specifically for e-commerce. Launched in 2006, it’s an established platform used by a wide range of businesses globally.
Shopify is valued for its user-friendly interface and wide variety of pre-designed templates along with a host of e-commerce tools such as inventory management, analytics, marketing tools, and customer relationship management (CRM).
One of the key benefits of Shopify is that it handles the technical aspects of running an online store, like hosting, security, and updates, freeing up business owners to focus on product creation and marketing. It’s also scalable, with various plans to suit businesses of different sizes and stages.
However, while Shopify is a robust platform for e-commerce, it does not offer the same level of flexibility and customisation as WordPress. WordPress allows for more bespoke website creation, tailored to the specific needs of each client. This means that while Shopify can be a good solution for some businesses, those who want a truly unique website that can grow and evolve with their business often find that WordPress is a better fit.
In summary, Shopify is a comprehensive, user-friendly e-commerce platform suitable for businesses looking to quickly set up an online store with standard functionality. However, for those seeking a more personalised, flexible, and adaptable platform, WordPress typically offers a more suitable solution.
WordPress Vs Shopify: The differences
When it comes to choosing a platform for your online business, both WordPress and Shopify have their strengths. Here’s a detailed comparison to help you understand the key differences:
Customisation and Flexibility
WordPress offers limitless customisation options and flexibility. Being an open-source platform, it allows developers to modify and customise everything from the site’s appearance to its functionality. This is particularly beneficial for businesses that require unique features or specific designs that are not typically found in standard templates.
On the other hand, Shopify, while offering a range of pre-designed templates and user-friendly tools, does not provide the same level of customisation options and capabilities. Modifications are more limited, which may not be suitable for businesses seeking a highly bespoke website.
Shopify is a dedicated e-commerce platform, specifically engineered to facilitate online selling. It comes pre-equipped with numerous e-commerce features such as inventory management, payment gateway integration, and robust security measures. This means you can start selling almost immediately after setting up your Shopify store. It’s a great choice for those who prefer a straightforward and hassle-free setup process.
On the other hand, WordPress is a highly versatile and customisable content management system that can be transformed into an e-commerce powerhouse with the use of plugins like WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that adds e-commerce functionality to your WordPress website. With WooCommerce, you can sell both physical and digital goods in all shapes and sizes, offer product variations, complex configurations, and instant downloads to shoppers. You can also sell affiliate goods from online marketplaces.
While using WordPress and WooCommerce might involve a slightly more complex setup process compared to Shopify, it provides a higher degree of customisation. It allows you to build your online store exactly the way you want, offering control over every aspect of your store, from design to functionality.
Technical Knowledge and Management
Shopify is a fully hosted platform, meaning it takes care of hosting, security, and updates, making it easier for non-technical users to manage their store.
WordPress requires more hands-on management. Your web design agency will be able to take care of hosting, updates, and security maintenance for you or you will be able to host and manage these yourself.
Both platforms offer solid SEO capabilities, but WordPress has a slight edge due to its extensive range of SEO plugins and greater flexibility in terms of content creation and optimisation. Tools like Yoast SEO for WordPress are great for managing SEO content via the content management system, allowing you the flexibility to optimise your content to achieve high performing pages.
When it comes to pricing, WordPress emerges as a highly attractive option. While Shopify does offer clear-cut pricing tiers, the costs can quickly escalate. This is because you may need to invest in additional paid apps and plugins to get the functionality you require.
Conversely, WordPress itself is free to use. Yes, there are costs associated with themes, bespoke designs, plugins, and hosting services, but the beauty of WordPress lies in its flexibility. You have the freedom to choose from a wide range of options. This means you can tailor your expenses to fit your budget and needs.
In summary, Shopify is a great all-in-one solution for businesses looking to set up an online store quickly and easily, without much bespoke functionality or customisation. However, for businesses seeking a more customisable, flexible website that can grow and evolve alongside their business, WordPress, with its powerful plugins like WooCommerce, often proves to be the better choice.
Why we build on WordPress
At Bubble, we believe in delivering bespoke websites that match our clients’ unique needs and visions. WordPress’s unparalleled flexibility and customisation make it our platform of choice. Plus, its robust SEO and e-commerce capabilities ensure that the websites we deliver are not just visually stunning, but also optimised for success.
We understand that every business is unique and so are their requirements. Therefore, it’s crucial to you choose a platform based on your specific needs and goals. We hope this has given you a good insight into the key differences between WordPress and Shopify and explained the benefits of USPs for each platform.