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Shopify vs WooCommerce

In this article, we will be taking a look at the main differences between Shopify and WooCommerce and why one is the better platform.

When you compare Shopify vs WooCommerce, the freedom that you get from WooCommerce comes at a price. In other words, you need to know how to handle the technical side of your site and keep it safe.

How easy is it to launch a store on each platform?

In terms of how easy it is to go from nothing to a fully-functioning store that’s ready to process payments and accept orders, Shopify is the definite winner.
Shopify has its own personal hosting. It has all the tools you need to manage your hosting account, saving you the hassle of looking for independent hosting services.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, you’ll need to be familiar with WordPress before you can even start learning how to use WooCommerce.
You have to purchase hosting from an independent hosting provider for your WordPress account before you get started with WooCommerce.

What’s required for each platform?

Create a Shopify account
Select and Purchase a domain or sync an existing domain name
Choose a theme

Assuming you’re using Shopify’s own payment gateway, it’s easy to start accepting credit card payments right from day one.


Finding hosting
Select and Purchase a domain or sync an existing domain name
Install WordPress
Install & configure WooCommerce
Choose a theme
Set up Payment gateways
Set up an SSL Certificate
eCommerce market share

Top 1 million sites: according to BuiltWith, as of 26th July 2021, of the top 1 million sites, 27% of the web uses WooCommerce to power their stores. That’s followed in second by Shopify at 20%

Top 10k sites: Of the top 10l sites, 8% of the web uses Woocommerce to poser theirt stories, whilst Shopify takes the market lead with 19%.

Also, according to W3Techs, since 2019, Shopify has more than doubled in its historical trend in the usage of content management systems.

eCommerce market share – Google Trends

Looking at Google Trends for the past 5 years, we can see that both have had pretty steady growth, although Shopify seems to have slowly surpassed WooCommerce.

Who controls your data on each platform?


While Shopify does give you access to all of your data, the live copy still sits on Shopify’s servers. That means you never really fully control your data.


There’s not much we need to write here – with WooCommerce you own everything. That means, if needed, you can even dig into your database and access the raw data.

How does each platform handle ongoing maintenance and what are the costs?

Shopify handles maintaining and securing your store, so there’s very little required maintenance for you to worry about. With that being said, you will need to stay on top of any apps that you use on your store to make sure they continue to function properly.

Shopify’s pricing is transparent & easy to plan for.

Things that may increase the cost of your store:

Premium themes – usually a one-off cost.
Apps, though you can also find free apps.

Additionally, Shopify will charge you more if you use an external payment gateway.

WooCommerce gives you ultimate control and ownership of your store. The tradeoff of all that flexibility is that you’re the one who’s responsible for maintaining and securing your store. Technically, the only fixed costs are:

Your domain
Whatever you pay your payment gateway

But you’ll also likely end up paying for:

A premium theme
Plenty of premium plugins

For higher volume sellers, Shopify will typically be cheaper because processing rates get lower as you upgrade plans.

Shopify is easier to start with – WooCommerce is a bit trickier.

Are you interested in switching to Shopify? Get in touch without Shopify Experts today.

Headshot of article authour

Autumn Blakeman

Senior eCommerce Account Executive

I have worked with Digital Cake on numerous projects for my website. They are an amazing company, so helpful and I can always call on them if I need ANYTHING! They are attentive and get the job done on time. I would highly recommend them.

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Chris Thomas


Chris Thomas

CEO & Founder

Chris has been at the forefront of eCommerce and a pioneer of online retailing since the early 00s. A 5-time Drapers Award winner, Chris has extensive experience in developing fashion brands online.

Chris founded Cake in 2016. Based in Birmingham, with offices nationwide, Cake specialises in helping fashion brands understand their market online and then helps to develop appropriate strategical direction to achieve their plan, all backed by his 20 years of operating in the retail market.