WordPress or Shopify - Which should I choose?

WordPress or Shopify – Which should I choose?

If you’re planning on setting up an eCommerce website, you’ve probably considered using WordPress or Shopify which are two of the most popular website CMS platforms. Both are popular choices for online stores, but they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Shopify is made solely for eCommerce while with WordPress you can create eCommerce websites using it. So, which one should you choose? Let’s take a closer look at WordPress and Shopify to see which one is the best fit for your needs.

Table of contents

Ease of use

Shopify website design

When building your website or when having one built, you’ll want to make sure the platform is relatively easy to use and maintain. Shopify to an extent is an easier platform to use when building an eCommerce website. It’s designed for people who don’t have any experience with website building, so it’s very user-friendly. WordPress on the other hand is a bit more complicated, but it’s still relatively easy to use. With WordPress, you’ll have to download the Woocommerce plugin which will allow your WordPress setup to sell products.

If you’re not comfortable with code, then Shopify is the better choice as WordPress tends to require a little more knowledge of code and tinkering with settings to get your website exactly how you’d like. However, if you’re willing to put in the time to learn how to use WordPress, then you’ll be rewarded with a more powerful platform.

Design Flexibility

Wordpress WP Bakery Plugin

WordPress wins this one as it has more design flexibility than Shopify. With WordPress, you can find a theme that perfectly fits your needs and then customize it to make it your own. Shopify also has a wide selection of themes, but you can’t customize them as much as you can with WordPress. Customization of Shopify themes will often more than not require professional coding knowledge and experience with Shopify’s Liquid framework. If design flexibility is important to you, then WordPress is the better option.


WordPress is a free open-source platform, while Shopify is a paid platform with limited access to source code. Shopify plans start at $29 per month not including fees for any apps you may need to use on your website. Most premium Shopify apps are charged as subscription fees so this will be an extra cost on top of your Shopify monthly fee. If cost is a major consideration for you, then WordPress is the obvious choice. However, it’s important to keep in mind that with WordPress you’ll need to pay for your own hosting (which starts at around $5 per month) and possibly some premium plugins (which can range from $49-$249 per year). While WordPress may be cheaper up-front, it could end up being more expensive in the long run depending on your setup.

WordPress Positives

– WordPress is free to use.
– WordPress is fairly easy to set up & use, even if you’re not a tech expert.
– There’s a large community of WordPress users, so finding support is usually not a problem.
– There are a wide variety of plugins and themes available to customize your site.
– You have full control over your website.
– WordPress websites are SEO friendly.
– You can easily scale your website as your business grows.
– WordPress websites are secure.

Shopify Positives

– Shopify is a hosted platform, so you don’t have to worry about hosting fees or maintaining your server.
– It’s easy to set up and use.
– Shopify has built-in eCommerce features.
– There are a wide variety of plugins and themes available.
– Shopify websites are secure.
– Shopify offers excellent customer support.
– Shopify has built-in SEO features that help your products rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

WordPress Negatives

– You have to pay for hosting and a domain name.
– You need to maintain your own server (or pay someone else to do it for you).
– You need to keep your WordPress installation up to date.
– While there are many free themes and plugins available for WordPress, the premium ones can be quite expensive.

Shopify Negatives

– Shopify has monthly fees starting at $29/month.
– You have to pay for Premium features & apps
– You don’t have as much control over your website as you would with WordPress.
– You’ll need to know the code for major customizations


There’s no clear winner when it comes to WordPress or Shopify. It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use right out the box eCommerce platform with great customer support, then Shopify would be the better option. If it’s something more customizable you’re looking for and willing to learn how to use a more powerful platform, then WordPress is the way to go. In relation to costs, Shopify is a subscription based platform while WordPress is open source and free. Both platforms have a bit of learning curve to overcome if your not much of a technical person but are extremely effective at getting the job done. Regardless of your choice, we wish you the best of luck!

Looking to build a Shopify or WordPress website, contact us for a free consultation.

Article by:
    Adrian Redmond
  • Front End Web Developer
Web Hosting Canada