April 22, 2024

Shopify vs. WooCommerce: Which is Best for Your E-Commerce Brand in 2024?


If you're running or starting an e-commerce business, two of the biggest e-commerce platforms to choose from are Shopify and WooCommerce. But which one is the best fit for your specific brand and online store in 2024?

In this comprehensive comparison guide, we’ll dive into all the key factors like cost, features, ease of use, scalability, security, and more to help you decide if Shopify or WooCommerce is the better e-commerce platform for your business needs.

Overview of Shopify and WooCommerce

First, let’s quickly overview the basics of each platform:

Hosted, SaaS e-commerce platformWordPress e-commerce plugin
Offered on a subscription modelOpen-source and self-hosted
Comes with hosting, themes, payment processing, and other built-in featuresNeeds web hosting and integration of your own features
Used by over 1,000,000 businesses worldwideUsed on over 5 million websites
Powers over 1% of global e-commerce salesOwns 13% share of all online stores

Both Shopify and WooCommerce are excellent platforms for starting or running an online store of any size. However, depending on your technical skills, budget, business model, and specific e-commerce needs, one solution may be a better fit than the other.

Cost Comparison

Shopify PricingWooCommerce Pricing
$29 - $299 per month subscription plansFree plugin but needs WordPress hosting
2.9% + 30¢ transaction fees (with Shopify Payments)Hosting is $5 - $100 per month from various providers
No transaction fees on the starter $29/month planTransaction fees vary by payment processor (2-3% + 30¢ avg.)
Premium themes cost extra ($140 - $180 one-time fee)Premium themes and plugins cost extra
Scales from starter to enterprise plansUnlimited products and order volume

With Shopify, you pay a monthly subscription fee for an all-in-one hosted platform. The Shopify Lite entry plan starts at $29/month. This plan lets you sell unlimited products with no transaction fees.

WooCommerce is free to install, but you’ll need to cover the costs of web hosting, security, payment processing, and other operational expenses separately.

Shopify’s monthly costs for a simple online store may be higher than those of a self-hosted WooCommerce. However, as your sales volume increases, Shopify’s flat transaction fees become more competitive than many payment processor rates.

If you're starting on a very tight budget, WooCommerce has a lower upfront cost. However, Shopify's all-inclusive pricing model can save you money over the long run as your e-commerce business grows.

Feature and Functionality Comparison

The features and functionality included with each platform are another key difference between Shopify and WooCommerce that needs to be considered.

Some of Shopify’s most notable built-in features include:

  • Shopping cart and optimized checkout
  • Product, inventory, and order management
  • Shipping calculators and shipping label creation
  • PCI-compliant payments with Shopify Payments
  • Fraud analysis and protection tools
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Powerful reporting and analytics
  • CDN for fast page loads
  • 24/7 live chat, phone, and email support

WooCommerce also offers robust core e-commerce functionality like:

  • Shopping cart, checkout, and order processing
  • Product catalogs, inventory, and tax management
  • Shipping integrations and calculated rates
  • PayPal Standard is included, and additional payment processors are supported
  • Basic reporting on sales, orders, and customers
  • Hundreds of free and paid plugin extensions
  • Customizable homepage design and layout

Shopify includes more built-in features that are out-of-the-box, while WooCommerce offers greater flexibility in adding and customizing features through WordPress plugins.

Consider which specific e-commerce features are essential to your store right from launch. Shopify provides more turnkey functionality, while WooCommerce allows you to craft a more tailored feature set.

If you need advanced features like custom discounts or subscription products, Shopify has more native support, while WooCommerce would require additional plugins. However, with WooCommerce, you have the freedom to pick and choose which features to activate.

Look critically at each platform’s included tools to determine which set of out-of-the-box features better suits your e-commerce needs.

Ease of Use

Another significant consideration when choosing an e-commerce platform is how easy it will be to set up your online store and manage operations.

Shopify Store SetupWooCommerce Store Setup
Intuitive drag-and-drop store builderInstall and activate the plugin
Simple template selection and customizationSet up web hosting and WordPress site
Easy import of products and inventoryTheme selection and web design
Add descriptions, images, variants, etc.Manual product upload and configuration
No technical skills requiredModerate technical proficiency required
Extensive onboarding resourcesSelf-guided learning resources

Shopify provides a beginner-friendly, low-code solution to launching a store in days. WooCommerce is much more hands-on, requiring comfort with WordPress and basic web technologies.

Shopify and WooCommerce examples
L7 Creative has extensive experience building high-converting Shopify and WooCommerce stores.

Ongoing Management

Shopify ManagementWooCommerce Management
Dashboard centralizes all tasksMore hands-on management required
Manage products, orders, shipping in adminRely on plugins for added features
Apps add advanced functionalitySome development work is likely needed
Mobile management appThird-party apps available for automation

Shopify streamlines store management through an intuitive central dashboard. WooCommerce offers less built-in management functionality and requires plugins and technical expertise.

Evaluate your current e-commerce skills and resources. If you want a turnkey experience, choose easy-to-use Shopify. If you are proficient in WordPress, go with flexible but technical WooCommerce.

Scalability and Growth

It’s also crucial to consider how easily each platform allows you to scale your e-commerce business over time.

Shopify ScalabilityWooCommerce Scalability
Seamless upgrade to higher subscription plansHosting, CDN, and caching plugins to manage traffic
Built to handle enterprise-level order volumesLoad testing and optimization required
Shopify Plus for massive brands and retailersThird-party fulfillment integration
Integrates with fulfillment and shipping servicesAvoid downtime through monitoring

Shopify’s cloud infrastructure and optimized checkout make it highly scalable out of the box. WooCommerce can also be scaled through careful technical management.

Shopify reduces the work required to scale your operations accordingly if you anticipate rapid growth. WooCommerce gives you the ability to customize your stack and the responsibility to optimize performance.

Consider your growth projections to decide if Shopify’s turnkey scaling or WooCommerce’s DIY scalability better suits your e-commerce business vision.

Need a partner to build and scale your ecommerce business?


Security is a critical consideration for any e-commerce platform. You’ll want iron-clad protection for your customers' data and transactions.

Shopify SecurityWooCommerce Security
SSL and HTTPS encryptionSSL support
In-house DDoS protectionConstant plugin updates
Fraud analysis toolsMust implement security measures yourself
PCI compliance handled for youAdditional plugins like iThemes Security are available
Regular audits and testingManual malware monitoring required

Shopify provides end-to-end security straight out of the box, while WooCommerce requires more hands-on effort to fully lock down your store.

Consider your ability to manage the technical aspects of security before choosing WooCommerce. Shopify removes that burden, letting you focus on your business.

Support and Resources

Having access to reliable customer support and resources is invaluable when first launching your online store.

Shopify SupportWooCommerce Support
24/7 phone, live chat, and emailDocumentation and knowledge base
Detailed help center and documentationCommunity forums and Slack channel
Active discussion forumsPaid support plans are available
Regular webinars and e-commerce contentDeveloper/agency referrals
Shopify Experts for 1-on-1 assistance

Shopify provides more direct support channels, such as live chat and phone calls. However, both platforms benefit from knowledgeable communities and educational content.

Consider how comfortable you are troubleshooting technical issues independently before choosing a self-hosted platform like WooCommerce. Shopify’s built-in support can prevent headaches.

Additional Factors and Considerations

Here are some other considerations that may influence your Shopify vs WooCommerce decision:

  • Payment processing - Shopify offers integrated processing, while WooCommerce requires a 3rd party provider like Stripe or PayPal.
  • Selling in-person - Shopify POS allows unified online/offline sales, while WooCommerce would need a separate POS system.
  • International sales - Shopify simplifies international transactions and languages. WooCommerce has plugins available.
  • Templates and design - WooCommerce offers more control over site design. Shopify limits customization ability.
  • Add-ons and apps - Shopify has a robust app store. WooCommerce can integrate any WordPress plugin.
  • Site ownership - WooCommerce gives you full site ownership. Shopify retains control over hosted stores.

Think holistically about your business needs and how each platform aligns with your goals now and in the future.

Choosing the Best E-Commerce Platform for You

When it comes down to deciding between Shopify and WooCommerce, we generally recommend:

  • Shopify for e-commerce beginners: The simpler interface, extensive resources, and built-in functionality make Shopify the best "out-of-the-box" option for first-time store owners.
  • WooCommerce for advanced WordPress users: If you have existing WordPress experience and technical expertise, WooCommerce can provide greater design control and flexibility.
  • Either for established brands: Both platforms can successfully power thriving online stores—the "right" choice depends on specific business needs and goals.

There is no universally "better" platform—Shopify or WooCommerce can both enable you to create a high-converting, scalable online store. Identify your priorities, weigh the options above, and choose the e-commerce platform that best fits your needs and abilities right now.

The most important thing is picking a solution that enables you to get your store up and running quickly so you can start selling and growing your business online. With the right platform choice, you’re setting your e-commerce venture up for long-term success.

Marketing for E-Commerce Brands

We're the first choice for companies that rely on online revenue for profits. Our partnership approach will boost your bottom line - in fact, many of our clients have achieved a 100%+ increase in their online sales. Using our advanced AI and data-driven shopping process with a laser focus on your Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), L7 Creative is the perfect partner to power your online sales growth.

We know what it takes to craft marketing campaigns that resonate with your audience and deliver results. To learn more about how L7 Creative can help grow your e-commerce business, contact us today to discuss your goals. Our team is ready to partner with you to build your brand and secure market share.