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Hi again everyone, it’s Matt here from Style Factory. Today I’m going to be looking at Shopify vs WordPress. Stay tuned to find out which of these two website building platforms is the best fit for you.
But before I begin, I just wanted to say that if you have any questions about either platform, do make sure you leave them in the comments — we’ll do our very best to answer them.
I’d also encourage you to like this video, subscribe to our channel, and click the notifications bell. This helps us raise the visibility of our work, and means you get all our latest web design and ecommerce tips too.
Right, let’s dive in.
So the first thing that you need to know about the Shopify vs WordPress debate is that there are actually two versions of WordPress to consider — hosted WordPress and self-hosted WordPress.
Hosted WordPress, available at wordpress.com, is quite similar to Shopify, in that it’s a pay-as-you-go solution that gives you all the key tools to build an online store out of the box.
This includes hosting, a content management system, ecommerce tools and more. And you don’t really need any technical skills to use it.
Self-hosted WordPress, which you can download from WordPress.org, is a free content management system that you install on your own server space.
This means that to use it, you’ll need to buy some hosting and configure it to work with WordPress.
In this comparison, I’m going to pit Shopify against the self-hosted version of WordPress. This is because most professional online merchants using WordPress opt for the self-hosted version.
With that out of the way, I’m going to spell out the five key advantages of using Shopify over WordPress — and the five key reasons to use WordPress instead. Let’s start with the arguments for using Shopify.
One — Shopify lets you build an online store more quickly.
Whereas with WordPress, you’ll need to source hosting, install the CMS and add an ecommerce plugin to sell online, with Shopify everything you need is provided as part of your subscription.
It’s an all-in-one solution that gives you all the key tools to start selling. This means you can get your store live more quickly.
Two — there’s less of a learning curve with Shopify.
To get the most out of WordPress, you ideally need some technical skills.
But Shopify has been designed with web design novices firmly in mind. Its all-in-one nature means that there is less to code or configure and consequently, the learning curve for the platform is less steep.
Three — there’s no maintenance to worry about with Shopify.
With WordPress, you have to regularly update its software to ensure that your site continues to display and function correctly.
By contrast, Shopify takes care of this on your behalf, which saves you time and reduces the risk of disruption to your website or workflow.
Four — it’s easier to keep a Shopify store secure.
With self-hosted WordPress, the responsibility for the security of your website chiefly rests with you. Unless you stay 100% on top of software, theme and plugin updates, your site can become quite vulnerable to being hacked.
You also have to make sure that your chosen ecommerce plugin for WordPress handles credit card transactions securely and is fully PCI compliant.
But with Shopify, you don’t have to worry about any of this. The platform is fully PCI compliant, and all the Shopify security updates happen in the background.
Five – you get support with Shopify.
When you subscribe to a Shopify plan, you get 24/7 customer support bundled with it — you can contact the company via phone, email or live chat.
If you build your own WordPress website however, there’s no obvious or official source of support. You may find yourself having to source help from a variety of locations: for example, WordPress forums, a hosting company or a plugin provider.
Ok, so that’s the five main reasons you might want to use Shopify over WordPress. Now let’s take a look at the five ways in which WordPress can be the better choice.
One — you can build any sort of site with WordPress.
Although Shopify is a reasonably flexible tool, it does take more of a ‘walled garden’ approach to website design than WordPress and this can limit its suitability for certain web design projects.
By contrast, so long as you or your developer have the technical skills to do so, you can build absolutely anything with WordPress.
So, if you need a very bespoke piece of functionality for your store, you may find that WordPress is a better option for you.
Two – there are a lot more themes available for WordPress.
Although Shopify’s themes are professional in appearance, there are only a few free ones available, and the range of paid-for templates is relatively small.
By contrast, there are thousands of themes available for WordPress, both free and paid-for, giving you a lot more choice over the aesthetics of your online store.
Three — A vast range of plugins is available for WordPress.
A huge number of plugins are available for WordPress, and many of them are free. This means that when selling products, you can choose from a large number of ecommerce tools, and you can also use a wide variety of plugins to add bespoke functionality to your site.
Although Shopify also lets you enhance its platform’s functionality via apps and integrations, the range available is not as large as the WordPress equivalent, and many of the add-ons are quite expensive.
Four — The WordPress content management system is more sophisticated.
WordPress comes with a sophisticated content management system that unlike Shopify’s features revision history and a considerably better blogging tool.
So if you intend to make content marketing a key part of your efforts to generate sales, WordPress is the more flexible and professional option.
Five — you can attain a better technical SEO setup with WordPress.
So long as you configure everything correctly, you can end up with a better technical SEO setup on WordPress.
If you use super-fast hosting, build a lightweight custom theme and code your site correctly, you can end up with a WordPress site that Google’s algorithms will simply love from a technical SEO point of view.
Although the SEO setup in Shopify is pretty good, you don’t have the same degree of flexibility over proceedings as you do in WordPress.
So that’s it — the key reasons why you might choose Shopify over WordPress, and vice versa. If you’re interested in trying either platform out, you’ll find links to the Shopify free trial and the WordPress free download in the description for this video.
There are lots more pros and cons of Shopify and WordPress to discover however, so you might also like to check out our detailed blog post comparing the two platforms.
You’ll find this link in the video description too.
And finally, for more great tips on web design, ecommerce and SEO, a reminder to subscribe to our channel and click the notifications bell.
See you in the next video.
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