WooCommerce vs Shopify: Understanding the Differences

ecommerce website

Venturing into the world of E-commerce means selecting the right E-commerce platform since it affects efficiency and the customer experience you offer. At present, the two most popular ones you can choose from are WooCommerce and Shopify. While both of them have their merits, they still have different approaches that can affect how you create and manage your online store. To determine which one is best for you, keep reading.

What Is the Difference Between WooCommerce and Shopify?

WooCommerce is self-hosted, which means that your files are stored on your own server. These servers are easily modifiable according to your needs and preferences. It gives you more flexibility, but using it tends to be more complicated without the right experience.

On the other hand, Shopify offers hosted servers which manage the software for you. For this reason, you can make only limited changes but with greater tech support. While it offers less flexibility, it is very beginner-friendly.

Here are other differences between these major platforms should take note of:

1. Store Launching Process

User-friendliness is one of the most important factors to consider, especially when you are just starting out. If you prefer a fully functioning store that makes accepting orders and processing payments a breeze, go for Shopify. You just need to create an account, select and purchase a domain, and pick a theme. The process is straightforward.

If you are a more experienced business owner, launching a WooCommerce store may be better for you. Before you can start accepting orders, find a hosting provider, install WordPress and WooCommerce, and choose a theme. While most of these processes involved are relatively easy to follow, there is definitely a learning curve.

2. Control Over Website’s Functionality

A self-hosted platform gives you more control over your website’s functionality, making WooCommerce a better option than Shopify when it comes to flexibility. Besides letting you customise your theme, it allows you to use over 50 thousand plugins and extensions. Additionally, it gives you the freedom to use any amount of product categories.

With Shopify, you are limited to using only one hundred variants per product and three total options. However, you can customise your online store with apps and themes. While you can add custom HTML, this only applies to your homepage.

3. Payment Methods

Both E-commerce platforms provide a wide range of payment options. WooCommerce supports Stripe, PayPal, Square, Authorize.Net. Other regional payment getaways you can access using this platform are Postgiro and Przelewy24. Meanwhile, Shopify has its own payment gateway. It also supports PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.Net, and other local payment getaways.

4. Cost

A WooCommerce store has hosting, domain, and your payment method’s processing fees as the fixed costs. However, you should also prepare to end up paying for a premium theme and premium plugins. For Shopify, while it is transparent with its pricing, expect to pay for premium themes and apps to get the most out of customizability. Keep in mind that you will also be charged more if you use an external payment gateway.

Both WooCommerce and Shopify are ideal platforms because of their many benefits and features. For this reason, there’s not really one right answer as to which platform is technically better. It just depends on your needs and preferences. For instance, if you prioritise flexibility, go for WooCommerce. Opt for Shopify if you value simplicity.


Choosing the right platform is the first of many steps in starting your business. With the many options available, you’ll need to weigh the strategic advantage one can offer over the other. Once you’re finally decided on which use, you can now move on to web design.

Build a well-designed and user-friendly E-commerce website by hiring our E-commerce web design agency. At Fruitbowl Studio, we create Shopify and WooCommerce stores that will attract customers, boost conversion rates, and increase sales. Contact us to start your project!

Let us help you get your project started.


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