Shopify vs WordPress: Deciding on Your eCommerce Strategy

Mobile eCommerce app showing the pros and cons of Shopify Vs. WordPress.

As an eCommerce business owner, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is selecting the right hosting platform. While there are many exciting options to choose from, Shopify and WordPress remain the premiere choices for most retailers. So, when it comes down to Shopify and WordPress, which do you choose?

Shopify and WordPress are both household names. Of course, recognizability is not synonymous with quality, nor does it mean that either of these options will be the perfect fit for your particular eCommerce venture. There are many other Shopify alternatives to consider as well.

While both platforms are worth recommending for different reasons, distinguishing which will ultimately be the better fit for you is still worth distinguishing. Below, we’ll compare and contrast Shopify and WordPress functionalities to help you decide which eCommerce hosting platform best suits you.

Shopify vs WordPress: An Introduction

What is Shopify, exactly? In straightforward terms, Shopify is a fully hosted platform that provides users with a functional suite of tools, all designed specifically for eCommerce purposes. These include inventory management, integrated payment processing, a customizable online storefront, and access to an app store with thousands of plug-ins.

WordPress, on the other hand, began as a blogging platform before transforming into a content management system. Upon integrating with the WooCommerce plug-in, the platform fully adopted eCommerce capabilities. This combination offers expansive customization via plug-ins, SEO capabilities, and the ability to scale seamlessly from small to large businesses.

Which of these two is the best eCommerce website platform for your business? Let’s read on to find out.

Shopify Vs WordPress Overview

Shopify and WordPress are both titans in the eCommerce sphere. Anyone who wants to understand how to start an eCommerce business will need to familiarize themselves with these names sooner or later. Heightened brand visibility is a huge part of why both platforms have remained so popular. As of January 2024, Shopify boasts 4.8 million live stores[1]Demand Sage. “Shopify Statistics”. Accessed on June 17th, 2024.. 20.4% of these online stores use WooCommerce, WordPress’ eCommerce alternative.

Theoretically, Shopify and WordPress serve ever-so-slightly different functions. Shopify is primarily associated with eCommerce, whereas WordPress traffic focuses on general site functionalities. That said, Shopify and WordPress are very much comparable in terms of their relationship to digital retail solutions. Let’s examine the pros and cons of each platform.



  • Flexibility and Customization: WordPress offers many configuration possibilities, making it a natural fit for any online business owner. Its customer community base is robust and far-reaching, not to mention its plethora of free themes and plug-ins.
  • SEO Benefits: WordPress is regarded for its SEO capabilities, which help online stores rank higher in search engine results. WordPress users can also utilize plug-ins to bolster their SEO functionality.
  • Content Management: WordPress is a leading content management system, rendering integration seamless for blogs, sites, and modestly scaled eCommerce ventures.


  • Technical Knowledge Required: Navigating WordPress without the requisite acumen will undoubtedly pose challenges. Customizing an online store requires at least a rudimentary grasp of technical knowledge, the lack of which may put experienced merchants at a distance.
  • Ongoing Maintenance: While WordPress unquestionably offers its users reliable options for online support, these same users are responsible for their own updates, backups, security, and hosting. Managing these factors takes a great deal of time and effort.
  • Scalability Concerns: While scalable, high levels of sales traffic can necessitate significant backend optimizations and upgrades to hosting solutions.
  • No Direct Support: Since WordPress is open-source, direct support is generally limited to forums.



  • Easy to Use: Shopify’s accessible interface makes setting up an online store easier than ever.
  • All-Inclusive Platform: With Shopify, all your features can coexist under the same umbrella. Shopify supplies merchants with updates, hosting, and security options, thus creating a streamlined, hassle-free shopping experience.
  • 24/7 Support: In this particular regard, Shopify may have the advantage over WordPress. Shopify users can access round-the-clock customer support via phone, email, and live chat.
  • Integrated Payment Processing: Shopify Payments is a built-in function that makes accepting payments simple.
  • Scalability: Shopify is a dynamic platform capable of handling business expansion without requiring substantial changes to the backend.
  • App Store: If you’re looking to integrate functionality into your online business, the offerings in the Shopify app store can help.


  • Monthly Fees: While Shopify is an exceptionally reliable system, it is also expensive. Costs can add up quickly, particularly with the abundance of additional apps and plug-ins.
  • Customization Limits: The customizable changes you can make at the code level are limited, at least compared to open-source platforms.
  • Transaction Fees: These fees always apply unless the merchant in question is directly using Shopify Payments to link to their merchant account.

Shopify Vs WordPress: A Detailed Breakdown

As with any financial investment, you’ll need to consider a few factors when deciding between Shopify vs. WordPress. Consider the following variables for a nuanced analysis of the two platforms.

Dollar bill.


Shopify boasts several pricing plans, each designed for businesses at different stages of growth. All plans include access to Shopify’s secure eCommerce platform, web hosting, SSL certificates, and an array of eCommerce and marketing features.

A desktop.

eCommerce Software Bundle Pricing

Shopify offers a range of pricing plans that cater to businesses of different sizes. The first option we’ll discuss is the Basic Plan, which starts at $29/month for solo entrepreneurs. From there, the Shopify plan goes up to $79/month, with Advanced at $299/month. Shopify Plus, the platform’s enterprise-level offering, starts at $2,300/month. The exact pricing for Shopify Plus will depend on the volume of your business.

Alternatively, the WordPress and WooCommerce combo may provide a potentially less expensive entry point. It is worth mentioning, though, that while WordPress may be less costly at the outset, additional services, add-ons, and features will inevitably add to your price tag.

Merchant on their cell phone deliberating Shopify Vs. WordPress

On its own, WordPress offers an intriguing assortment of plans. They range from a basic Starter plan to a more advanced Enterprise option. The Starter subscription is $4/month and includes features such as ad-free browsing, premium themes, email-based support, and a custom domain. The Creator subscription starts at $25/month, then the Entrepreneur subscription at $45/month. This option is optimized for WooCommerce with unlimited products and powerful store design tools. Cloud hosting with Bluehost starts at $65/month; finally, the Enterprise solution starts at $25,000/year and accommodates mostly large-scale operations.

As mentioned earlier, WordPress cannot provide eCommerce solutions on its own. This is where WooCommerce comes into play. To successfully get your online store up and running, you must integrate your existing WordPress platform with the WooCommerce plug-in.

Web browser.

Web Hosting

Shopify offers a reliable hosting solution with fast loading speeds, excellent server uptime, and scalability designed to handle traffic spikes. This is called optimized hosting, an option engineered specifically to meet the needs of those who have chosen eCommerce as their platform of choice.

In terms of choosing a provider, WordPress offers some wiggle room. However, this flexibility can vary in scalability, loading speeds, and server reliability. Ideally, businesses should be able to customize their hosting environment to the needs of their customer base. Doing this often requires a substantial degree of active management.

In short, Shopify is a terrific option if you’re looking to launch quickly and learn as you go. Conversely, WordPress is a good fit for those requiring malleability at the core of their business structure.

Man on desktop.

Ease of Use

Shopify is beloved by many, partially because it is easy to use. With its harmonious interface and intuitive navigation, Shopify is a platform that makes managing the details of an eCommerce business feel within reach, especially for beginners. Alternatively, WordPress offers impressive customization options. While this is undeniably a plus, it can also make managing your site complicated.

If it is essential that your eCommerce interface be manageable and easily accessible, Shopify may serve you better in the long run. However, if you already possess some tech skills and can tackle the nuances of a complex operation, WordPress could be the better fit for you.

Design template.

Design and UX

Shopify comes outfitted with an outstanding variety of professionally designed, fully customizable templates. These templates prioritize user experience (UX) as well as conversion optimization. On the other hand, WordPress, at least when paired with its WooCommerce plug-in, provides unparalleled flexibility in design, allowing for made-to-order solutions that cater to singular brand identities.

Overall, WordPress emphasizes configuration and flexibility, while Shopify offers merchants a more scaled-down, arguably user-friendly setup.

Statistics chart.

eCommerce Tools

Shopify remains one of the leading eCommerce platforms, with a proven track record of offering users sophisticated and responsive built-in functionalities. The platform’s all-in-one approach simplifies operations for business owners by providing essential features upfront without configuring functions.

Conversely, WordPress’ setup affords users greater configurability through payment gateways, product management, and inventory control. Since WordPress’ eCommerce functionality is mainly contingent on plug-ins, managing these plug-ins should be a priority for any business owner.

A lightbulb.

Marketing and SEO Tools

Shopify offers built-in SEO and marketing tools, including social media integration, email marketing campaigns, and basic search engine optimization. In addition, users can access analytics and promotional tools that help them track performance, rendering the platform user-friendly for SMBs (small and midsized businesses).

Meanwhile, there’s a lot to like about WordPress in terms of marketing customization. This is also true for SEO via plug-ins like Yoast. Yoast enables unparalleled control over SEO strategies, which makes it a vital tool in an eCommerce merchant’s business arsenal. However, being dependent on plug-ins means that proprietors should select and manage their tools of choice carefully to avoid unnecessary complications.

A blue globe.

Apps and Integration

Shopify and WordPress offer rich ecosystems of apps and integrations. Both cater to their respective audiences based on their user bases and core platform functionalities.

Shopify’s app store provides a curated selection of thousands of integrations and third-party apps designed explicitly for eCommerce. These apps run the gamut from SEO tools and email marketing platforms to advanced inventory management systems.

WordPress, being an open-source platform, offers slightly more diverse options. This variety extends not only to eCommerce (through the WooCommerce plug-in) but also to every conceivable aspect of website functionality, from security to SEO to content management.

Computer and green checkmark.

Security Features

Shopify offers some enviable security features in this department: SSL certificates for data encryption, PCI DSS compliance for processing, and updates that protect against vulnerabilities. The platform’s rigorously organized infrastructure means that businesses inevitably benefit from high-level security measures without the need for manual intervention. This helps with fraud prevention and keeps customers’ financial information secure.

While WordPress is an inherently secure platform, it does rely on the site owner to regulate the appropriate security measures. This includes ensuring PCI-compliant payment gateways, installing Secure Socket Layer certificates, and regularly updating the WordPress themes and plug-ins to reduce potential security risks.

Hand holding beaker with dollar sign inside.

Payment Processors

Shopify serves as its own payment processor, Shopify Payments. Shopify Payments supports over 100 external payment gateways, which bears mentioning since Shopify has a reputation for hitting users with transaction fees when they rely on alternatives to its in-house processing.

WordPress paired with WooCommerce provides a more open approach. This solution supports an extensive assemblage of payment gateways without any internal preference. WordPress’ lack of extraneous fees is a significant plus if you value flexibility in payment processing.

Orange checkmark.


Shopify comes pre-optimized for performance across all its websites. As such, it offers quicker loading times and more responsive servers. Since Shopify controls the hosting environment, the site infrastructure is optimized for eCommerce activities. This optimization level can lead to impressive overall performance and scalability during traffic spikes that do not require user intervention.

However, it is worth mentioning that WordPress’ overall performance can vary depending on the hosting provider and the themes and plug-ins used. To achieve peak performance, users must select maintenance, optimization, and hosting service options with the utmost scrutiny. This will ensure faster loading times and quicker response times overall.

Customer support rep.

Customer Support

Shopify stands out for the consummate nature of its customer support. They offer 24/7 assistance via email, phone, and live chat. Shopify agents are armed with an encyclopedic knowledge base, and the platform’s direct support system is designed to assist with any technical issues that may arise. This entails everything from ensuring swift response times to guaranteeing effective operations-based resolutions.

Alternatively, developers provide direct assistance for WordPress (again, through the WooCommerce plug-in). That said, WordPress users may find themselves searching for a professional specialist regarding specific issues.

Regarding direct customer support, it’s hard to argue with what Shopify offers. Nevertheless, if you can access the right resources and leverage technical expertise to your benefit, WordPress is also a viable option.

Pie chart.

POS Terminals & Hardware

Shopify supports a variety of payment processors through Shopify Payments. Shopify also offers proprietary hardware like POS terminals for use in brick-and-mortar stores (said hardware includes card readers, terminals, and options for online integration and offline sales).

WordPress supports several gateways through the WooCommerce plug-in. However, it is worth noting that WordPress itself does not provide proprietary hardware for physical stores. Instead, they tend to rely on third-party integrations for in-person payment solutions.

WordPress or Shopify: Which Is Better for Your Business?

Let’s break down what we’ve learned and see which solution suits the different business sizes.

Small business exterior.

Small Businesses

Shopify offers integrated, easy-to-use payment solutions that are organized into scalable, basic, and advanced plans. These solutions allow you, the online merchant, to prioritize simplicity and growth as the bedrock of your business. Ultimately, WordPress is a better fit for businesses seeking low initial costs, site-specific functionalities, and a greater degree of hands-on management.

All in all, Shopify offers a more intuitive, out-of-the-box solution for small businesses.

Green diamond in blue circle.

Middle Markets

Shopify has a reputation for providing high-quality, scalable options to middle-market businesses. The platform is tailored to meet the needs of high-volume merchants, thus providing advanced features and integrations. With its vast plug-in ecosystem and flexibility via WooCommerce, WordPress focuses more on businesses needing customized solutions. Both Shopify and WordPress can scale, though WordPress may require more technical expertise regarding custom integrations.

Both platforms are ultimately fully compatible with middle-market companies. If you’re looking for a customer-friendly, out-of-the-box method, go with Shopify. If you desire greater configuration, you can’t go wrong with WordPress.

Graphic flow chart.


Shopify Plus offers premium security, enterprise-level scalability, and personalized solutions, making it ideal for high-volume transactions.

With its themes, plug-ins, and customization options, WordPress is more than capable of meeting corporate needs. However, using the platform may require additional resources to guarantee scalability and security. At the end of the day, WordPress tends to cater to the custom requirements of enterprise-level operations. At this scale, you’ll likely have the resources to navigate WordPress’s many complexities.

Shopify vs WordPress: Grow Your eCommerce Business With the Right Payment Processor

Whether you opt to host your site on Shopify or WordPress, your choice will inevitably come down to specific business needs. Shopify and WordPress are both great eCommerce options. They’re also quite different, as this article has outlined. If you are a proprietor who prioritizes accessibility, Shopify may align more closely with your needs. Alternatively, you may find that you require more configurable solutions to meet the demands of your business. If so, WordPress may just be what you’ve been looking for.

Regardless of which site builder you choose, it is imperative to integrate equally dependable and secure solutions for critical functions like eCommerce-focused merchant services providers. At some point, all business owners will face the prospect of finding the high-risk merchant account that’s right for them, likely with either Shopify or WordPress. That’s why PaymentCloud offers gateway solutions that integrate directly with your eCommerce website. With customized plans, efficient processing, and an easy-to-follow setup process, we’re here to boost your business’ success from the first transaction.

Connect your eCommerce platform seamlessly without developers.

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Cloud and credit cards for debating Shopify Vs. WordPress.

Shopify vs WordPress FAQs

Can You Sell on WordPress With Shopify?

You can do this by integrating Shopify’s eCommerce capabilities into your existing WordPress site. Users typically perform this integration through Shopify’s “Buy Button.” Alternatively, they can embed Shopify products and collections within their WordPress content.

Is WordPress Suitable for eCommerce?

WordPress is highly suitable for eCommerce when integrated with the WooCommerce plug-in. This plug-in transforms any WordPress site into a fully functional online store. This lets the merchant trade and sell digital and physical goods, manage inventory, and accept secure payments in a number of formats.

What Can I Sell On WordPress Compared to Shopify?

While WordPress and Shopify allow users to sell any number of products and services, there are still limitations regarding the types of items you can sell. Merchants obviously cannot trade or sell illegal goods, though we hope this goes without saying.

At a Glance, Is It Better to Use Shopify or WordPress?

Basically, it depends on what the merchant wants from a website builder. If said merchant values to-the-point functionality and an intuitive interface, we suggest opting for Shopify. However, WordPress could be the better long-term fit if another merchant desires flexibility in dealing with configurations and other site-intensive demands.

Article Sources

  1. Demand Sage. “Shopify Statistics”. Accessed on June 17th, 2024.

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