WordPress vs. Shopify: Which One Offers Better eCommerce Features?

Written by: Milan Savov
Nov / 03 / 2022

Ecommerce websites come with a lot of things we need to be careful of, no matter if it comes to the site’s design or implementing SEO practices. By comparing the most popular platforms, we hope to help potential users make the right choice for them.

So, let’s see how Shopify vs WordPress comparison will go and what features are important for your eCommerce SEO aspirations.

This blog post aims to help you get a clear idea of which platform fits your business better. You can determine the right reasons why you would favor one over another when building your eCommerce website.

But first, we need to answer two questions:

  1. What is Shopify, and
  2. What is WordPress

So, let’s get there.

Shopify

Shopify is a well-known online store builder. It offers so many templates and gives you the freedom of customizing the ship. You can use it to sell goods and services through a specially designed website without even knowing how to code.

It’s also a host for your shop, and you don’t need to worry about buying web hosting.

WordPress

With WordPress, you get two main options: hosted and self-hosted WP sites. You can access a simple site with the first option, including smaller eCommerce services. You can even select the eCommerce price plan so that you can get most of the available tools and features.

The self-hosted option requires downloading software and installing it on your web server. If you choose this option, you are free to customize the templates or even build a site from scratch.

We consider that a hosted version is better for those who need to launch their first eCommerce site. Later, you can migrate it to a self-hosted version.

So, let’s analyze the Shopify vs WordPress ecommerce duel and see who would win in this so-called fight.

Flexibility, Support, and Accessibility

Shopify is a standalone eCommerce platform dedicated to online stores and businesses. It gives you all the tools you need to design the shop, add call-to-action features, enable customer reviews, and can be a good value for money.

WordPress can only work as an eCommerce platform if you install an appropriate plugin. WordPress is not an exclusive eCommerce platform, so it sometimes lacks help options and customer support.

Essential eCommerce Tools and Features

Knowing that Shopify relies on its own tools, we expect it to be the winner in this “fight.” When you use a Shopify site, you get unlimited product placements, analytics, discount code generation, integration with social media, abandoned cart reminders, special offers, shipping details, etc.

But, as you suppose, you can’t really add more features than it offers.

So, let’s see who will win in this Shopify vs WordPress tools and features duel.

That would be WordPress. But why?

As we said, it relies on third-party plugins. Not every WP website can be an eCommerce one. You need to find the most reliable plugin and install it within your site. This means you have more eCommerce features to choose from the plugins. So, in this WordPress ecommerce vs Shopify duel, WordPress is the winner.

The Pricing Plan

Before you commit to any platform, you must carefully check its pricing plans and limits. In general, Shopify is cheaper, from $29 to $299 per month, with every eCommerce tool and feature included.

On the other hand, WordPress is free to use, but not that free when you start adding features and optimizing for eCommerce use. For example, templates vary from free to more expensive than $10,000, while the hosting costs can be up to $100 for hosting or about $20 for a shared self-hosting option. Some plugins are free, but when it comes to eCommerce ones, you may need to pay some money to get them to work properly.

Sometimes, when you put all the things together, WordPress may come cheaper, but that happens pretty rarely.

So, if you need to think about Shopify vs WordPress pricing plans, Shopify can easily win this round. It comes with fully-packed eCommerce features, while WordPress takes a lot of time to set up and test, even when we use less expensive plugins and tools.

We covered the Shopify vs WordPress pricing, so it’s time to move to SEO features.

SEO Strategy Implementation

SEO for eCommerce is something we must pay attention to. It’s different from the general SEO practices because ranking is not the only goal. Instead, online shop owners tend to rank better so they can sell more products to the target audience. So, let’s see who will win this time.

By using Shopify, you can add all the SEO elements you need, like metadata (titles and descriptions), and even customize your URL, to help search engines crawl and understand it. Additionally, you can adjust the headings and paragraphs, easily add internal and external links, use the alt text image feature, speed up the site, and automatically get a mobile-friendly version.

All these things are essential SEO factors that result in accessible optimization, redirects, and SSL security. Also, you can integrate your website with Google Analytics to track down store performance.

You can do the same with WordPress websites, but there is one condition you need to fulfill in order to work. As you guess, it’s all about adding more plugins. Some eCommerce WordPress plugins come with built-in SEO tools and features, but sometimes, you must install more (and be careful if they cause conflict or not).

So, we don’t even need to mention that in this Shopify vs WordPress match, Shopify wins.

Overall Security

When you run a Shopify eCommerce website, you are sure you can hold onto security features. WordPress is also a secure option, but still, you need to keep an eye on all those plugins you install to make it work.

So, when it comes to WordPress vs Shopify security settings, we favor Shopify. WordPress is an exceptional website builder, but the need for third-party extensions and plugins can affect the overall security. It can affect the website’s performance, so always check on the security features when you run a WordPress website for eCommerce purposes.

The winner, obviously, is Shopify, just because you only control one website and content management system. It’s not the case with WordPress because no matter how hard you try to choose the best plugins and extensions, something will eventually affect the site’s security.

The Final Verdict

It’s time to decide who would win in the Shopify vs WordPress eCommerce match. Even though you expect one winner, we can say both platforms can make a great online store. They come with pre-included eCommerce features, or you may need to install some additionally.

In general, Shopify serves great for online businesses that need advanced eCommerce sites with SEO features.

WordPress can be better for users who need custom options and advanced sales features.

Shopify can shorten the setting up and provide immediate solutions for the most common issues. WordPress requires more effort and dedication and advanced diagnostics when something goes wrong.

So, what do we get from this Shopify vs WordPress for ecommerce comparison?

Shopify is better for those who prefer a full package of tools and features, and WordPress is for those who need advanced customization to their eCommerce website.

FAQs

Why is Shopify a Great eCommerce platform?

Shopify is one of the best eCommerce platforms because it offers a complete pack of eCommerce features, including SEO and digital marketing tools to promote your online store. It’s pretty affordable, even for new and small businesses to start.

Is WordPress better than Shopify for eCommerce?

If we try to compare WordPress vs Shopify for eCommerce, we will face a lot of challenges. While Shopify is dedicated to eCommerce, WordPress still needs plugins and extensions to turn a website into an online store. We can’t say it’s better, but WordPress offers more customization compared to Shopify.

Can we get WordPress eCommerce plugins for free?

While we can find excellent eCommerce WordPress plugins for free, most of the features won’t work without paying a few dollars. No great eCommerce plan comes for free, so we must get ready to spend some money to set up a fantastic online store.