The creation of online e-commerce platforms is arguably one of the best things to happen to businesses all over the world. For the first time, an entrepreneur without a massive budget could offer their products and services directly to international markets, without having to worry about showcasing their offer, securely capturing sales requests or safely processing payments. While many e-commerce platforms have sprung up to offer this service, the two most popular ones are Shopify and WordPress. If you’re looking to start selling online, which one should you choose?
What Is Shopify?
Shopify offers an all in one online selling solution to those without the coding and development skills to build an online store from scratch. They provide everything you need in terms of hosting, so no need to worry about installing complex software, plugins or extensions or securing your website. Everything is stored in the cloud so you can manage your store from anywhere you have internet access. You can also integrate PayPal as your Point Of Sale should you not wish to use the one that comes with Shopify. It’s easy to get started with Shopify, and you can try it free for two weeks with a money back guarantee. Should you wish to proceed, there are three core monthly payment plans to choose from: Here’s what the pricing currently stands at in American dollars.
- Basic Plan: $29.00/month
- Shopify Plan: $79.00/month
- Advanced Plan: $299.00/month
WordPress is familiar to most people as a website building platform, but when considering it in comparison to Shopify, you need to remember it offers both hosted and self-hosted options. Here you pay a monthly fee to build your core website, and as WordPress doesn’t have built-in e-commerce functionality, you’ll need to pay for and install a plugin. If you opt for self-hosting, you’ll need to register your domain name after downloading the required software (which is free) and find a suitable host. The sky is the limit when it comes to customising your WordPress site, and it can easily support a website and blog in addition to an online store, in a centrally manageable location. Like Shopify, there are three hosted monthly payment plans to choose from: Here’s what their pricing currently stands at in American dollars.
- Launch Plan: $3.49/month
- Power Plan: $4.49/month
- Pro Plan: $7.49/month
Time To Decide
With even a cursory glance at both e-commerce platforms, their differences are immediately apparent. Shopify is much more expensive but provides everything you need for a set monthly fee. WordPress is much more affordable but will require extensive customisation via plugins and extensions and may require specialist development expertise. It will also allow you to integrate your online store into your website as a whole.
If you’re urgently looking to start selling your offerings online and don’t have time or money or work with a developer, Shopify is your natural option. You’ll be able to get going quickly, with fewer steps to take to ensure your website is secure and GDPR compliant. However, you should consider the possibility that you’ll eventually need a website you can optimise for conversion and SEO for long term business growth. For this, WordPress will be your best option.
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