- Oct 19, 2021
- by Paris Backston
Looking to start an eCommerce website or have one but not satisfied where you’re at? Two great options are WordPress and Shopify. But how to choose? While both platforms are great options, it’s important to first understand some key facts and use cases that are particular to each.
What Are They?
WordPress is an open-source platform dedicated to helping people get online. A2’s Managed WordPress plans are a cheaper way to get access to a high-quality WordPress site with amazing server management without the price tag. The best part about starting a site on WordPress is that it’s extremely customizable and can be used for many different functions through the implementation of different plugins, themes, and code changes. Users can install plugins like WooCommerce to create an eCommerce store similar to what can be created on Shopify. WordPress caters to a large range of potential users including:
- Web Design Novices
- Users with some web development skills
- Users with the budget for their own web developer
Shopify is a SaaS company specializing in eCommerce and specifically built to help entrepreneurs establish online stores. Entrepreneurs that work with Shopify don’t own their own software but they do pay a monthly fee to access all that this company has to offer. Their product packages come with a variety of different drag and drop templates. All sites associated with Shopify are hosted on Shopify’s own servers (equivalent to a shared web hosting plan).
There’s a pretty big jump in the pricing when comparing A2’s Managed WordPress Plans to Shopify’s offerings.
A2’s Managed WordPress comes with a significantly lower price tag and with the added bonus of server management and support around the clock. A2 also includes multiple sites on the higher-level plans and added security. All plans come with a free SSL for added security and 24/7/365 assistance through phone, chat, and email!
Shopify’s pricing is a bit steeper than A2 Hosting’s Managed WordPress offerings. The most basic Shopify plans start at $29.99 a month. Their lower plans would work for someone just starting out but don’t include many necessary business options for professionals who are trying to grow quickly. For example, the lowest Shopify plan doesn’t include professional reports so users interested in any deeper statistical tracking would need to upgrade. This means that in order to truly take advantage of what Shopify has to offer users would need to buy one of the more expensive plans paying more than double the price of A2 Hosting’s most extensive managed WordPress plan!
Look and Feel: Templates and Themes
Templates and themes are lifesavers when you’re creating the look and feel of your website. Though both WordPress and Shopify offer these options, the variety and prices differ depending on which platform you choose:
WordPress has thousands of paid and free themes. Many of them are very easy to edit and are mobile-friendly and responsive. They can be found at sites like Theme Isle or Theme Forest. When looking at the different themes out there, make sure you pick a safe theme for your site. Here’s a guide on how to pick the right WooCommerce theme for your online store.
Shopify has 9 free themes and 70 paid themes. You can also get a specialized theme designed through their Shopify designers for an added cost. While their themes are professional they are much more limited than what you can get through WordPress.
When looking at the CMS capabilities for each of these platforms there really is no comparison.
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems online. It has content versioning which allows you to save all versions of your pages and posts in one system and revert back to old versions of your site if need be. WordPress also comes with a block-based editing system giving you more flexibility on page layout.
When comparing content management, Shopify only competes with WordPress in its capabilities for managing products and collections. Since Shopify is a dedicated eCommerce company they’ve made it easy to add products and sort them together. For WordPress users looking for this same capability, it’s as easy as installing the WooCommerce plugin which will allow you these same features and turn your site into an organized eCommerce site!
Seeing as WordPress is so large in the market and is widely used across the web, this CMS is one of the most flexible out there. You have the option to use thousands of plugins, templates, and integrations that will make your WordPress function however works best for you. Since it is an open-source platform and you have control of your own host (we recommend A2 Hosting’s Managed WordPress plans) you can tailor your site in almost any way you can imagine to fit your needs! Pick from thousands of amazing themes and plugins to make your site completely your own and have the option to add almost any capabilities you can think of right at your fingertips.
Shopify is a great site builder for beginners but it isn’t as flexible long-term if your company is looking to scale and grow quickly. Their drag and drop builder is easy to use and customize but it’s limited in its capacity to scale up dramatically without ratcheting up the price tag quite drastically. Though Shopify does have third-party apps that make it easier to add functionality to your online store, the support on these tools can become more complicated as you partner up with separate businesses’ support systems for each tool rather than just working with one party.
SEO and Content
SEO and relevant content are an important part of the success of your website. One of the greatest parts about improving SEO when working in WordPress is their plugin YoastSEO. It’s one of the most popular SEO tools in the market! It analyzes content in real-time and guides users on different ways to improve their SEO ranking. Some of its best features include:
- SEO enhanced sitemaps
- Canonical URL’s that make sure there’s no duplicate content
- Analyzation of paragraph structure and keyword density
- Guiding for meta descriptions
- Link support and more!
Another perk of working on WordPress in relation to SEO is your chance to choose your internet host. Your hosting company and the plan you choose have a big impact on your website’s potential uptime, how it handles traffic, and its overall ranking on google. Managed WordPress Hosting with A2 Hosting is a great choice if you’re looking for someone to take care of your server management so you can focus on your business!
Managing SEO for websites set up on Shopify is a little more limited. Their site comes with the option to use an SSL and automatically creates an XML Site Map. You can configure 301 page directs if you decide to change your website’s name, which can be very helpful if you ever want to make big business changes or rebrand down the line. One of the downsides to SEO for websites built on Shopify is that it’s hard to create clean URLs. While Shopify has different SEO plugins available to help you nothing compares to WordPress’ YoastSEO.
At the end of the day, people don’t prioritize customer support until a crisis arises, and then it’s everything. It’s always good to know you have support there when you need them.
Managed WordPress with A2 Hosting is known for its support. With 24/7/365 customer service for all customers over the phone, chat, and email, there is always an expert there to assist. Please we have an extensive knowledge base of articles there to help you if you’re the do-it-yourself type of person. Our plans also come with easy backups, a free Jetpack Personal license, and WP-CLI pre-installed. Contact our sales team today with any questions!
Shopify Lite customers receive chat and email support but to get phone support you must be on a higher plan. They also have a help center and a forum, but there’s nothing like talking to a real person to help you get your problems solved quickly and accurately.
Both Shopify and A2’s Managed WordPress plans have their benefits. If you’re just getting started and looking for a super simple experience without the bells and whistles, Shopify may work for you. If you’re looking to grow your website internationally with many different options and capabilities we suggest our Managed WordPress plans. It’s as easy as picking a theme and downloading WooCommerce so you can get your business up and running today! If you want 24/7 support, flexibility, a cheaper price tag, and incredible uptime, check out our new Managed WordPress line today!