Picking an ecommerce platform: WooCommerce or Shopify?

Picking an ecommerce platform: WooCommerce or Shopify?

Nowadays, building an online store is easier than ever. Picking the right tool to power your new store isn’t. There are many tools out there, but for most people, the choice will be between the two market leaders: Shopify and WooCommerce. Although both ecommerce platforms have a comparable feature set, they have a different philosophy. Let’s take a look at both.

TLDR: There’s no perfect solution

Let’s start with the conclusion. The answer to the question of which ecommerce platform you should pick is those two words that every SEO expert likes to utter regularly: it depends! It’s almost a philosophical battle between two different worlds: open and flexible, and closed and “rigid”. In general, you can achieve the same things on both platforms. Both WooCommerce and Shopify are great platforms that help site owners build awesome online stores. The main difference is how they do it and the philosophy behind it.

WooCommerce gives you great flexibility and total ownership over your shop and data. This is a great option if you want to control everything — and if you embrace the open-source mentality. Plus, if you already have a WordPress site then it makes much more sense to add a WooCommerce store to it than to start a new store on Shopify. And, if you want a hosted version of WooCommerce, there are plenty of great hosting providers that can provide you that option.

With Shopify, you get a closed system — also known as a SaaS, or Software as a Service. Everything is arranged for you and everything is set up in such a way that you can literally build and launch an online store in minutes. A closed framework like Shopify has many benefits as you get a system that is perfectly tuned to its task: getting you to sell as much as possible. It does mean that Shopify owns your data and that you lose flexibility. Everything you can do is inside the platform and its apps.

Simply put, it’s not that one is better than the other. You simply need to pick the platform that fits your goals and preferences.

What is Shopify?

Launched in 2006, Shopify is an ecommerce platform that powers around 1.7 million online stores worldwide. Shopify is a hosted web application, which means that it’s Software as a Service (SaaS), carefully fine-tuned to make it very easy to build and run online stores. It offers a ton of tools that shop owners can use to start and run their online store.

Over the years, Shopify built many in-house solutions to common ecommerce problems, like payment systems (Shopify Payments) and fulfillment networks. Today, Shopify is a full-service ecommerce platform that makes a lot of sense and gives enough options for a lot of people.

Shopify helps you set up an online store in an instant

What is WooCommerce?

Launched in 2011, WooCommerce firmly has its roots in the open-source WordPress community. WooCommerce

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This article was written by Edwin Toonen and originally published on SEO blog • Yoast.

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