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Shopify vs. WordPress

Consider if you sell on multiple platforms before choosing between these two e-commerce website builders.

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Shopify and WordPress both let you quickly set up an online store. They also both cater to businesses with no technical experience and have thousands of plugins, so there’s a solution for just about everything. But each provider has distinct advantages — from Shopify’s exclusive shipping rates to WordPress’s built-in blogging features.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

WordPress has two options for website building: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com hosts your site and handles updates, maintenance and security in-house. And set up is speedy — create an account, choose a URL and get started.

On the other hand, WordPress.org is open-source software that lets you customize your website if you know how to use its developer tools and documentation. But it’s self-hosted, so you’ll need to purchase a domain name, find your own hosting provider and handle the technical side yourself. Unless you’re comfortable building your site on your own, you might need to hire a developer.

The .com version is better suited to e-commerce businesses and has more in common with Shopify. In this review, we’re comparing WordPress.com. If you want more information on how the .org site stacks up, read our full review of WordPress.

How do Shopify and WordPress compare?

ShopifyWordPress
Shopify logo

Read our review

Wordpress logo

Read our review

Which should I choose?Choose Shopify if you sell on multiple channels, including online, in-person and social media.Choose WordPress if you want an e-commerce website with robust blogging tools.
OverviewA solid option for merchants with no technical background that need a hosted website with e-commerce features.A strong option for businesses with no coding background that can afford its e-commerce plan.
Products
  • Payment processing
  • Website builder
  • Inventory tracking
  • Shopping cart software
  • Shipping software
  • Website builder
Monthly fees start at$29/moFree
HostingHostedSelf-hosted
Pros
  • 24/7 support. Get customer support any time of day by phone, live chat, Twitter and email.
  • Multiple sales channels. Connect numerous sales channels, including social media and online marketplaces, to Shopify’s centralized platform.
  • Shipping discounts. Get discounted shipping rates from USPS, UPS and DHL shipping rates.
  • App Store. Access thousands of free and premium plugins from the Shopify App Store or use Shopify API to build your own.
  • 24/7 live chat support. WordPress’s e-commerce plan unlocks around-the-clock live chat support.
  • Blogging solutions. WordPress has the edge over its competitors with its professional blogging features, including categories, tags and short, simple URLs.
  • Abundant plugins. WordPress plugins are the stars of the show. From email campaigns to live shipping quotes, you can expand your site’s functionality with thousands of integrations as your business grows.
Cons
  • Monthly subscription. Shopify plans that include an e-commerce website and blog range from $29 to $299 monthly.
  • Limited users. Most Shopify plans only allow a handful of staff members to access Shopify admin and its point-of-sale system.
  • Transaction fees. You’ll get hit with a transaction fee for each order that you use a third-party gateway instead of Shopify Payments.
  • Account closures. Shopify can close your account if your business is high-risk, such as travel companies and health supplement providers.
  • Monthly subscription. To open an online store, you’ll need its e-commerce plan, which costs $45 monthly. Premium plugins cost extra.
  • Terms of service. WordPress can take down your site and initiate refunds to your customers without notice if you violate its terms of service.
  • Limited in-house themes. WordPress has just shy of 300 themes that allow you to tweak the layout and color scheme. But if you want more design control, you’ll have to purchase a third-party theme.
Tools
  • Point-of-sale. Sell in-person at a physical store or on-the-go with the Shopify POS app.
  • Fraud analysis. Shopify Payments has built-in fraud analysis that flags orders that may be fraudulent to help avoid chargebacks and losses.
  • Free stock photos. Peruse Shopify’s high-resolution, royalty-free photo library to use images for your online store.
  • Abandoned cart recovery. Automatically send emails to remind customers who left their cart before checking out.
  • Built-in autosave. The WordPress editor saves your work every few seconds so you can write without disturbing your train of thought.
  • Media uploader. Make your website stand out by uploading or embedding images, audio, and videos.
  • Easy edits. WordPress’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor lets you edit your page until it looks right.
BBB letter ratingA+D-
Trustpilot rating

★★★★★

1.5/5

★★★★★

3.6/5

Reputation and customer reviews
  • Reviews are mostly negative.
  • Customers praise how easy it is to set up an online store.
  • Customers complain about transaction holds and account closures because Shopify considers them high-risk.
  • Reviews are mixed.
  • Customers praise its customer service and blogging features.
  • Customers complain about the costs of plugins.
Support
  • Phone. Merchants in North America can call 855-816-3857 to speak with a Shopify rep.
  • Email. Fill out a secure online form on Shopify’s website for a response within one business day.
  • Live chat. From Shopify’s website, open up a live chat window to connect with a Shopify rep.
  • Twitter. Tweet at Shopify for a direct response from the support team.
  • Email. Fill out and submit the email form on WordPress’s website
  • Live chat. Log in to WordPress, click Contact us, type your question, and click Chat with us.
  • Phone. 877-273-3049

Bottom line

Shopify and WordPress both deliver a hosted e-commerce site with similar payment processing rates. Shopify is better geared toward businesses that sell on multiple platforms, such as Amazon and Facebook. WordPress is a more attractive option for online stores that also run a blog. But you’ll need to take advantage of its plugin goldmine to really utilize its e-commerce features.

High-risk businesses and those that may violate WordPress’s terms of service, such as gambling websites, should consider other providers to avoid account closures.

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