You have been running your business in Los Angeles for a while now, and you are thinking about expanding to an online store. You know that Shopify and WordPress both offer ecommerce platforms, so the question is: Which one should I use? In this article, we will discuss which platform is best suited to your needs based on pricing, templates, behavior/performance on mobile, interface and ease of use, as well as content management.
What is an ecommerce platform?
An ecommerce platform allows you to create a website to sell products or services online. There are many options available, from hosting sites like Shopify or WordPress, or self-hosting software, like Magento. The best way to determine which type of platform is right for you is to understand the different options and pick one that best suits your needs.
A comparison between Shopify and WordPress
- Shopify pricing: In price, Shopify is a clear winner. They have three original plans, but the most popular costs $29/month and comes with unlimited capacity, products and orders, as well as a free domain name for your ecommerce store when you sign up.
- WordPress pricing: With WordPress, several factors affect the price. These factors include installation fees, updates and hosting costs, as well as themes or plugins that can add additional features to your website at extra cost.
- Shopify Templates: Shopify offers a wide range of ecommerce templates that you can use on their online store platform free, although some have additional features that require a separate fee. You will need to sign up for a plan first before being able to access the template library.
- WordPress Templates: In WordPress, there are also many options available for finding a theme/template, with most costing several hundred dollars. Costs depend on how extensive they are. There is no official directory where you can search through all available themes, but there are some excellent third-party marketplaces such as Themeforest and Elegant Themes, where you can find many more themes.
Behavior/performance on mobile
- Shopify behavior: Shopify is a mobile-first ecommerce platform so the performance and behavior on any device will be comparable.
- WordPress behavior: WordPress has support for responsive design, so you don’t have to do anything additional. However, it doesn’t take full advantage of the latest technology available for displaying content. Suppose they do not build your theme with responsiveness in mind. In that case, you may run into issues where images/videos may not have the effects you desire. There might be some scaling problems where the text becomes too small or other elements become misaligned from different view ports.
Interface and ease of use
- Shopify Interface: Shopify uses a drag-and-drop interface that makes for easy Shopify app development and theme development. It has some limitations because you don’t get the same level of fine-grain control as WordPress, but it is much easier to use and navigate around your shop’s design, manage products, and create new content.
- WordPress Interface: With WordPress, you have more flexibility in that you can edit all aspects from within the site itself instead of accessing another area or service where changes need to be made. This means less time spent on non-core tasks so your team can focus on making improvements rather than constantly managing updates.
- Shopify Content Management: There are several ways you can edit text, images and videos on Shopify. You can use the built-in editor, a content block or even create your custom theme (through a Shopify development company) to manage all of this yourself.
- WordPress Content Management: With WordPress, you have more control over how things display on your site compared to Shopify. Shopify has prebuilt themes for specific uses, such as blogs. This can be constraining if you want complete control without learning HTML etc. however, many plugins can help with this problem instead of creating your theme from scratch.
- Shopify Flexibility: One of Shopify’s major benefits is its flexibility when a Shopify expert is building your site. You can easily customize your themes without having to touch any code; you have complete control over design and layout; however, it’s still somewhat limited compared to WordPress, where there are thousands of free or paid plugins available for almost anything under the sun.
- WordPress Flexibility: With WordPress let’s say you want a custom theme made specifically for an ecommerce store; this is possible but requires coding knowledge, which may not be suitable for everyone, especially if they don’t plan on doing much more than simply changing color schemes, etc. You get what you pay for, though, as there are many out—the prebuilt box solutions that are just as good if not better than most custom-built themes.
Site maintenance and security
- Shopify Maintenance: You can build a Shopify site with the hosting company in mind, so they don’t allow for much customization when using third-party help, such as a Shopify development service.
- WordPress Maintenance: WordPress is a lot more complex and essentially gives you complete control of your website, which can be good or bad depending on what you need from it. If security becomes an issue, this might not be the best choice as hackers will have quickly found their way in unless adequately protected by external services, e.g. Wordfence Security. If done correctly, though, there should never really be any problems. Still, since most users do not know what they’re doing, things like proper server optimization often leave them vulnerable.
So WordPress and Shopify both have their pros and cons and in deciding which platform is best for your Los Angeles business, it boils down to what your needs are. You should choose the platform that offers you the most flexibility and doesn’t tie your hands to customizing aspects of your site. Ease of use is also important, so if there are any technical issues, you should not have trouble figuring things out as both offer great support options for help all the time, which will allow you to get whatever problem resolved quickly without having to worry about being stuck or losing money due to neglecting your business.