Most businesses trying to sell websites offer an eCommerce functionality to try to sell more subscriptions, but some of these offerings don’t adequately support a growing business. For a site with important eCommerce functionality, the limitations on offerings from Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and other similar website builders quickly become prohibitive as your operations mature.
The only real options worth considering (for 97% of our clients) are WordPress and Shopify. They power 26% and 21% of online stores, respectively, with some huge brands using each platform. The primary differences between them come down to flexibility.
WooCommerce, an open-source plugin that is the de-facto eCommerce solution for WordPress is just as flexible as the rest of the platform. Many paid extensions are available to add new features to the shop, from things like recurring payments and customizable products to online courses and ticket sales. If needed, we can create our own extensions for unique functionality.
Shopify has built a robust eCommerce platform that users enjoy, but it’s still quite limiting on how much you can modify the shopping experience, and even more so the rest of the site in general. Shopify works best for sites that are almost completely focused on the store, with just minimal other content.
It’s also worth noting that Shopify has essentially two tiers. The $30-300/month one we’ve been talking about is their consumer-level product, but they also offer Shopify Plus, which is free from the limitations on the consumer-level product. Shopify Plus also starts at $2,000/month.
Shopify does have a really impressive client list, but I’d imagine all the recognizable names are on Shopify Plus, and many of them as well actually use a different platform for the rest of their website.
WordPress vs. Shopify
Shopify has a great eCommerce system; the problem is that they have the same flexibility limitations as the other website builders. The one case that Shopify may be worth looking into is for sites that are 90%+ shop-centric.
If all you want to do is get people to buy your products, and have minimal basic other content, Shopify may be a good fit, but for all other cases, WordPress is the way to go.
WooCommerce is an equally robust eCommerce platform, and far more extendable. You don’t have to sacrifice the rest of your site for a nice shop; we can make every corner of your site look exactly as we intend.