Welcome to Round 2 of pb+j’s first annual Website Platform March Madness!
We're comparing two platform behemoths, WordPress and Shopify, with sports fact-checking from our sports-brained Jammer, Matt. Will the scrappy Canadian ecommerce startup take this round? Or will the open-source blogging Content Management System (CMS) wonder walk away with the cup?
Let’s find out! If you missed it, check out Round 1 (Wix vs Squarespace) here!
wordpress vs Shopify
WordPress: Free themes from WordPress and paid themes from WordPress developers. Free WordPress ‘themes’ are tested for standard compliant code, quality HTML and CSS, security, privacy, and more. Paid ones are made by developers who can bypass WordPress’ review process, meaning they might end up incompatible with some plug-ins.
Shopify: Hundreds of online shop designs to choose from with different features to create your perfect store. Most are free, but there are paid premium options, too!
ECOMMERCE SITE ABILITY
WordPress: It can be good, but that’s completely dependent upon your designer/ developer’s ability. It will also require the integration and use of a third party e-commerce engine, which is even more for you to deal with.
Shopify: Exceptional. Shopify is the Big Kahuna of ecommerce for a reason. It’s an all-in-one e-commerce solution/tool that lets you sell anything from anywhere safely and securely. They make it easy to make money.
(by a long shot!)
BUSINESS SITE ABILITY
WordPress: Relies on finding good plugins and adapting them to your needs. After launch, you must stay in touch with the developer.
Shopify: Includes top-notch tools like analytics and being able to target shopping cart
abandoners and provide live shipping estimates.
COST TO BUILD ON
WordPress: Platform is free + Developer $ + Web design $ + Extensions $ + Hosting = $150-300/year
Shopify: Platform is incl. in monthly fee + Hosting + Choice of basic, Shopify, and advanced packages = between $348 - $3588/y (+ web design $$)
WordPress is cheaper upfront, but more expensive when you factor in ongoing developer payments. So, Shopify!
WordPress: Plugin and good. WordPress is very flexible when it comes to SEO features, but using them properly requires both a plugin and some technical know-how.
Shopify: Built in and basic. Shopify makes it easy to apply on-page SEO, but built-in options are limited when it comes to SEO-friendly practises like content marketing. You could always purchase an app from the (extensive) app marketplace to make that happen, though!
WordPress: Requires ongoing maintenance + monthly updates you need to implement.
Shopify: Auto-updates happen in the background.
END USER LEARNING CURVEWordpress: Steep. You’ll need basic knowledge of:
-Some level of server administration
-Basic coding and CSS
Shopify: Bit of a learning curve to figure out where everything is located in the back end and to adapt to Shopify's language, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy. Plus, customer support and education from Shopify is legendary!
ROUND 2 CHAMP
If ecommerce is what you need, Shopify walks away with this round, just like a batter hitting a field goal. Right through the ol’ gridirons!
Shopify really changed the ecommerce game, making it easy to do complicated financial transactions in one fell swoop. It opened the door for small business owners who would never have been able to securely sell online without installing 85 different things, and it makes it all look good and work like a dream. Plus, the interface is simple to use once you get a handle on it, and their customer support is beyond. That’s what they call a Grand Slam Dunk!