Hey. Hey. Hey, y’all Welcome to another WordPress Wednesday. My name is Kori Ashton
[WebTegrity in San Antonio, Texas] And today we’re going to talk about WooCommerce vs. Shopify. A lot of you all have asked me in the past -Can you do a series on e-commerce websites. We really want to build a WooCommerce platform and sell our products online. -Using WordPress, the top of the line, as in my opinion, as of [July] 2015, is going to be the WooCommerce plugin for an ecommerce system inside of WordPress. Free open source. But…I have had a lot of issues with it, personally struggling with building e-commerce websites using WordPress. And so some of you have even heard me say don’t use WordPress for e-commerce. Eeeeeee! I know. But today I actually want to walk you through a comparison because I have now built an e-commerce site on Shopify as well as on WooCommerce. Now I feel like I can actually speak to this. We are going to get into it. I’m not gonna … These are our really cool sponsors and partners. They’re amazing. [WPEngine, WPElevation, and WP101] But I want to talk about WooCommerce vs. Shopify today. Hopefully I don’t make any enemies with all of this. We’re just going to get into it. Hopefully I can get through this in 10 minutes. There’s going to be a lot to deal with, so stick around with me. Hopefully I won’t go too far past it. Let’s get to talking about WooCommerce vs. Shopify. We’re going to talk about the good first. The good with WooCommerce. Free to use. We all know that. It’s open source ecommerce, but is it really free to use? You still have to have hosting for your website. And we’ll talk about other options as we go into here. Free? Eh. Maybe to get it set up but you still have to pay for hosting. There are also lots of great themes our there. There are free themes for ecommerce as well as paid versions. And there are even WooThemes which are specific themes created by the same creators or WooCommerce that already have everything plugged in for you. You have lots of different design options to choose and pick from. You can also have lots and lots of plugins. Because we’re on the WordPress platform, there are going to be a lot of free options for us but there are also going to be paid options there for plugins. And sometimes the features that you might want are going to require to be paid. One thing that you really have is really good SEO inside of WooCommerce because we can use the Yoast plugin. That’s a series that we’ve done here as well on WordPress Wednesday on our YouTube channel. If you don’t know what that is, be sure to check that out on our channel. Really great SEO which is search engine optimization for those of you that might not know what that term is. That’s really easily done inside of WordPress. You also have more control over the code over in our WooCommerce platform. If you know a little bit of nerd code, or if you’re comfortable with editing some CSS, you could certainly make a lot of manipulations. A lot of themes also come with an extensive amount of what I consider option overload. You really have the ability to get in there and change a lot of the colors, a lot of the font sizes, and how things are set up in your store. A lot of flexibility there. You also have some really good social media plugins. Let’s say your Facebook feeds, or maybe you wanted your boards from Pinterest to dynamically display on your website, you have the means to plug those in quickly and easily. Just a couple of clicks and you’re there. Plus, of course, out of the box, WooCommerce allows for a blog because it’s on WordPress. Shopify has a blog as well, you just don’t have as many options as you do with WooCommerce. There you go. Let’s talk about the good about Shopify. And why I’m even comparing the two of them. Shopify, to me, completely simple to set up. I mean, literally, in a couple of minutes … I didn’t even realize [dut dut dut] Done! And I had a store. I mean, I could have been selling within minutes. It was incredibly simple. They do have some nice themes that are free, however, you’ll see some of the negative here in a minute, you quickly have to get into paying if you want something a little more advanced. You do have a free trial if you want to start using them just totally for free. I think you have about 30 days to get over there and sample it out. Then the lowest amount that you’re running on is a $14/per month fee that you’re going to be paying, as well as, of course, the transaction fees on any purchases that are made in your store. They do have quite a few free plugins that were helping me with shipping and a couple … they had a customer review plugin that was totally free for me to drop in so that people couple give my products reviews. That was kind of cool. Totally for free. They also have really great tech support. I never even really had to use it though because, literally, I was just able to set everything up. It was a very intuitive system. Done. But I have heard and seen research done that they have really great, great technical support if you do need it. And you also have instant payments. In other words, with WooCommerce, I had to go in and set up a gateway and plug it into my PayPal account. And I really didn’t have anything out of the box that just would have worked. Of course, with Shopify, it already had that in place. What? It’s true. Let’s talk about the bad for both. Oh, I’m half way through it. WooCommerce. Bad. If there’s one thing I’ve told you all about WordPress in general is that it always requires updates. And you can imagine how many plugins you have to use with WooCommerce. Those, of course, require updates. When we talk about updates they’re kind of a domino effect, right? As soon as core (WordPress) requires an update, very typically WooCommerce comes out and says you’re going to need to update. And now all those plugins need updating. And if you’re not consistently doing that, you’re going to run into the next problem which is security risks and breaks and breeches. And people stealing your customer list. You really have to be on top of things and be sure that you have high security set in place, as well as always consistently doing your backups. WooCommerce also does cost eventually. If you want any sort of bells and whistles or extra features or comparison plugins or auto shipping calculators or anything like that, you’re going to end up having to pay. This could be costly. It could run anywhere from $60 to $80. I’ve seen some $125 per year if want support on them and updates. You do want those things. Shake your head with me. You do want those things because ultimately those could be security risks if you’re not updating them. An SSL expense (a secure server license) is typically required on any ecommerce website, no matter what platform you’re using. If you’re over on Shopify, you’re able to use their system and it’s not required. It’s pretty darn phenomenal. Too many plugins conflict. Now, what we typically have happen with WooCommerce is, “Well, I want this option, so I’m going to throw in this plugin. And now I want this option, so I’m going to throw in this plugin.” And, all of a sudden, let’s say, you have two dozen plugins running, and they can very easily conflict with each other, causing breaks, causing damage to your website. You also don’t really have tech support when it comes down to WooCommerce. Because it’s free and opensource, you can plug it in yourself, figure out how to use it yourself, unless you purchase a WooTheme or maybe you purchased a theme from a specific author, maybe over on ThemeForest, and those individual authors could allow you to submit a support ticket. But it’s a little bit more cumbersome of a process to get that type of help. Whereas, with Shopify, you can typically either get on the phone with them or shoot them an email really quickly and get a very fast response. And it is more time consuming. That’s just the bad of WordPress is that option overload where you literally just spend so much time plugging in all your products, trying to get everything set up correctly because it has so many wonderful options. Let’s look at the bad for Shopify. One of the reasons why people tend to lean toward WooCommerce is because it’s free, right? And they don’t want to pay the monthly fee that Shopify charges. Out of the gate, their lowest dollar amount I believe is $14 or $14.95 or something like that, per month, for you to be paying. But very, very quickly, if you need unlimited products, you’re going to be headed, like, literally, if you have over 25 products, you’re going to be headed into the $30 range per month, plus the transaction fee, so it can be costly. You also have limited free design, so, if you want your theme to look a little bit nicer, their themes run around $80 to $150. It’s a one-time charge, but that has to be in your budget. It also doesn’t really have the best blogging capabilities. You really don’t have a whole lot of options for running tags and creating dynamic displays of your posts. You also are a little limited with your SEO capabilities, and editing your title tags on your page, as well as manipulating … They do have a plugin for you that I found to be comparable, in a sense, to Yoast, but it’s not just as robust. So that’s the good and the bad. You can see that there really quickly. The good and the bad. What I do want to talk about though, overall, the biggest issues with any ecommerce website no matter what is that typically you have bad pictures so you want to have really great photos. Your photos are what’s going to sell your product. Then you also have to figure out shipping. That has actually killed some of our customers. They don’t calculate the right amounts for shipping, so they’re not charging the right amount, so they have to eat the shipping cost, and ultimately that dives into your profit margin and that could ultimately really, really hurt your business. And then, of course, figuring out what payment gateway to use and how to be sure that it works with your server, your hosting company, as well as your transaction fees and how quickly you can get your money back from the payment gateway and get it into your account. All those different things are little things you need to consider whenever you’re setting up an ecommerce website. So, overall, I’m going to say to you that I think Shopify wins as a proof of concept. Let’s call it that. A proof of concept website. So, if you’re just getting started with an ecommerce website and you’re thinking I don’t know which one to use, I think it’s pretty phenomenal to go ahead and use Shopify. It’s literally set up in a few minutes and you’re off and running with a very simple, very basic website. Fantastic for that. But if you need something a little more advanced, and you really want to get technical and put in some really cool widgets and plugins and extra bells and whistles, you want to look at WooCommerce. I can’t believe I’m saying this because most of the time I tell people don’t do it. But WooCommerce is such a beast to tackle. But if you’ve already got your proof of concept, you know you’re able to sell, and you’re able to maybe hire a tech team or a developer team to help you set up WooCommerce, I highly recommend it. All right? I know that was a lot in 11 minutes. I’m one minute over. But I appreciate you taking time with me. I’m going to put the subscribe button right here because every single Wednesday I’m releasing great videos on WordPress. If you have questions about these two (which I’m not an affiliate of either one, by the way. I’m not getting money from this video from either one of these companies. I was just giving you my opinion. Completely my opinion on my user experience in both environments) you can put your comments in the description box below. And be kind, all right. You all have a great one. I’ll see you next WordPress Wednesday. Bye bye.