Which to choose? Let’s jump right in.
So what is Shopify?
Shopify is a web application (cloud based) that allows businesses and individual organizations to create an online store presence. Both physical and downloadable’s can be sold.
One of the major benefits to Shopify is that for the most part (depending on your skill-set) you can create a store with minimal coding. Everything is installed and ready to go, so the setup is pretty painless.
Like WordPress, Shopify allows you to use HTML and CSS to make modifications. It also uses a simple web language called Fluid so that template modifications can be done if needed.
One thing to keep in mind, Shopify is software as a service (SaaS), so all your files and images and site are hosted on Shopify’s servers. The upside is there is minimal site management so you can focus on your content, orders and other marketing.
With Shopify you can pay pay a month to month or yearly. Like WordPress there is an App Store where you can a attach various add-ons to your site if needed. Many of these are paid add-ons though.
Shopify can also integrate with WordPress if needed. Depending on how many products you sell will depend on whether you want to mix the two products together as each will require a certain level of backend maintenance.
It’s safe to say that people who use Shopify are generally looking for a hands-free type platform. But even for those who want customize and tweak the look and feel, it will allow for this sort of thing as well.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is open-sourced, and the code is regularly maintained by a community of volunteers. It is a the most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) available today.
You can download the software at no charge at wordpress.org and install it on your hosted server. Like Shopify, those who would prefer not code can definitely do so with WordPress. You can optionally choose to host your site directly with WordPress.
WordPress has been around for some time and there are lots of themes out there on the web as well as help sites for solving and learning.
Plugins are more plentiful in WordPress as compared to Shopify. For any given problem you’ll find a plugin for that.
Many of the plugins you find at Shopify come with a price whereas with WordPress most are free.
On the contrast, if your not careful, WordPress can easily become bogged down with too many plugins. To get around this problem, there are quite a few caching plugins to help if this becomes an issue.
Generally speaking I tend to favor Shopify’s speed on the backend – seems really responsive and refreshing.
But what you can do with WordPress is pretty limitless. In fact you can also do eCommerce with it using plugins like WooCommerce and WP eCommerce for example. So choosing one over the other will really depend on your preferences and requirements. We hope this has been enlightening and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!