The pandemic prompted millions of businesses around the world to look for solutions to offer their products and services online as consumers were forced to stay at home to stop the spread of the virus.
Multiple platforms have emerged as the go-to place for developers when building e-commerce stores but two are perhaps considered the most prominent. One is Shopify, a platform designed for online stores specifically that features a user-friendly interface through which sales-oriented websites can be built.
The other is WordPress, a content management system (CMS) that has been turned into a web development platform due to its relatively easy-to-use interface and ample customization alternatives.
Since store owners may be at some point confronted with the decision of which of these two alternatives to pick, the following article describes their most relevant advantages and disadvantages for developing e-commerce websites.
Shopify – A Canadian E-commerce Engine
Shopify is a subscription-based platform that was designed specifically for the development of online stores.
The positive aspects of Shopify include its user-friendly interface, which facilitates the process of building a website for store owners with zero expertise in web development.
Moreover, the e-commerce module can be easily integrated and set up by following some simple instructions and the company offers multiple payment methods through its Shop Pay solution including debit and credit cards, PayPal, and other e-wallets.
Finally, multiple apps and add-ons can be incorporated into the store to improve its back-end functions and front-end capabilities including marketing-related tools, promotions, discount codes, and heat maps.
Another positive aspect of Shopify is that you can find online forums on which experienced store owners will share their journeys to flatten the learning curve for beginners. One example of this is the KeepShoppers community, which was developed specifically to take advantage of collective wisdom to help entrepreneurs in building a successful Shopify store.
Additionally, Shopify’s customer support department is available 24/7 to help new and existing store owners in solving any riddles they may encounter during their journey.
However, since Shopify is designed for the sale of goods primarily, it may be difficult for firms whose services are not tangible to design websites that are tailored to their unique sales processes.
Moreover, Shopify is not as flexible as WordPress when it comes to incorporating advanced features that may only be programmed by a trained professional – a.k.a. a web developer.
WordPress – The Blogging Tool Turned to Website-Building Platform
WordPress was launched in 2003 primarily as a tool for bloggers who were back then scrambling to find a platform on which they could easily share their content.
However, WordPress has evolved to become the world’s most powerful platform to develop websites due to its open-source nature. This means that developers can tweak and twist WordPress’s original code to turn it into whatever they want.
As a result, WordPress has attracted world-class developers who have created plugins and themes for non-coders who can now get a website up and running in a matter of hours by using these tools.
For e-commerce specifically, WordPress’s parent company Automattic has developed a platform called WooCommerce that can be easily integrated with WordPress-based websites.
Even though this platform is not as user-friendly as Shopify when it comes to building an e-commerce store, it does gives the user plenty of flexibility as to how the sales funnel is designed and how the customer’s experience within the website flows.
This flexibility is one of the positive aspects of using WordPress instead of Shopify while this platform is free and, therefore, cheaper than the latter.
However, even though a non-coder can use WordPress to build a website after watching a few tutorials on YouTube, there are still some functions that will require some degree of tech-savviness and that is what makes Shopify stand out from its competitor for online store owners who may lack even the most basic programming skills.
Both of the platforms mentioned in this article are quite good and they have their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to building an online store.
Overall, Shopify emerges as the winner for non-coders while WordPress is perhaps leaner for those who need more tailored designs and features that are specific to how their businesses function.
Which one do you think is best?