Shopify vs. WordPress: Which Site Builder Do You Need for Your Site?

Looking for the perfect home for your new website? Your search might lead you to compare popular website builders, leaving you as confused as ever about which features you need most.

Since you’re here, you’ve likely heard of Shopify and WordPress, both of which offer a lot of helpful tools, options, and integrations for website owners. If you’re not sure which platform to go with for your site, continue reading this guide that compares top features to look for in a website builder and how Shopify and WordPress stack up.

Shopify vs. WordPress: What Is the Main Difference?

Shopify vs. WordPress: What Is the Main Difference?
Screenshot via WordPress

Shopify and WordPress are both website builders, but their purposes are vastly different. What is the main factor that separates them?

Shopify was designed for e-commerce sites, while WordPress is more of a general website builder used for creating a variety of types of websites. WordPress has existed on the web since 2003, becoming a popular platform for people to create everything from blogs to business websites. Shopify was only slightly behind, getting released in 2004, but its main focus has always been on the needs of e-commerce websites.

In considering which platform is the right one for your site, your website’s purpose could be one of the most prominent deciding factors. However, don’t count out either one just yet; they both offer excellent features, content management systems, and useful integrations for almost any website.

Comparing Shopify vs. WordPress

Below are the key features to consider when choosing between Shopify and WordPress before you start building your website.

Themes and Customizations

Shopify vs. WordPress: WordPress Themes
Screenshot via WordPress

Both WordPress and Shopify offer free and paid themes to customize the design of your website. Shopify’s themes include a few free ones, while the paid options start at $140 and go up from there. There are many free WordPress themes available between its shop and third-party designers, but there are also virtually endless paid options for much less than $140.

In terms of customization, you’re going to find that Shopify themes are generally easier to tweak the way you want if you don’t have design experience. WordPress themes can present a challenge – even to skilled designers – depending on the theme’s coding, but if you know CSS, you can adjust just about anything you want on your WordPress site.

Winner: WordPress. Its design capabilities might target a more skilled crowd, but its range of themes and options makes it better for those who want full control over the look and feel of their site.

Content Management, Blogging, and SEO

For websites focused on content, it’s tough to beat WordPress. From archives to categories to post tagging to post and page updates, WordPress offers a full suite of features that support blogging and content creation.

That’s not to say that Shopify doesn’t handle content management, because it does. However, its content management system (CMS) is focused on organizing products and creating landing pages rather than blogging.

SEO is strong on both platforms. Shopify has loads of features for e-commerce SEO, like optimized metadata, URL customization, and sitemaps. WordPress SEO targets the SEO of content, like landing pages and blogs. You’ll get features like categories and tags, the ability to create super clean URLs, and simple code that search engines love.

Winner: WordPress edges out Shopify here, even if you have an e-commerce site. If you plan to create landing pages and a blog on your website, you’ll love what WordPress and its plugins (like Yoast) offer for organization and SEO.

Integrations and Plugins

Shopify vs. WordPress: Shopify App Store
Screenshot via Shopify

You’ll find integrations and plugins for your website on Shopify’s App Store and WordPress’ Plugins section. Each offers free and paid plugins and integrations to make your site fully functional for your needs.

Shopify’s App Store has apps for digital downloads, email marketing, shipping emissions calculations, tracking and delivery customization, selling site integrations, product reviews, and more. For WordPress, you’ll find everything from forum builders to social media follow buttons and beyond. Third-party developers can create plugins for each platform, too, like ShareThis’ Share Buttons for Shopify.

Winner: WordPress. With its range of plugins and integrations, there’s probably nothing you can’t accomplish with your site. Interestingly, there’s even a Shopify plugin for WordPress that allows you to sync your shop’s data and products to a WordPress site.

E-Commerce Tools, Features, and Payments

Shopify vs. WordPress: Shopify Website
Screenshot via Shopify

Shopify is designed for e-commerce, so it’s not surprising that the platform has tons of built-in tools to keep you selling. From its ability to let your visitors purchase without leaving Facebook to sending emails reminding customers to come back to their abandoned carts, Shopify helps website visitors navigate the shopping process.

To get these features on WordPress, you’ll need to invest in an off-WordPress e-commerce platform, like WooCommerce, for an additional cost.

Winner: Shopify. For out-of-the-box functionality for an online store, the platform is tough to beat.

Pricing

Shopify and WordPress have very different pricing structures. WordPress is free, technically. That’s because you’ll still need to pay for hosting, a domain name, and a theme if you want more design options than what’s available for free, which is likely. You may also need to pay for plugins and an e-commerce integration if you plan to sell.

What Shopify does is roll most of what you’ll need into a monthly subscription with prices starting at $29. That includes your online store, SSL certificate, unlimited products, discount code creation, and more. You’ll need to pay for a domain name separately, but many are as little as $11 per year.

Winner: Shopify. Its simplified pricing structure makes it easy for you to choose the plan you need and understand all upfront costs.

Shopify vs. WordPress: Which One Is Right for You?

To sum up: WordPress is an excellent choice if functionality and a well-rounded website are what you’re after, while Shopify could be the best option for those looking to set up an e-commerce store quickly and fuss-free. Fortunately, we have helpful plugins for both platforms! Check out the selection of ShareThis website tools that can turn your site – e-commerce or not – into an engaging, shareable platform. Our easy-to-use social media follow buttons, for instance, take just minutes to install on your favorite website platform and make it easy for your visitors to follow you on their favorite social networks with a single click.