WordPress or Shopify - Ecommerce Development Company Charleston - South Carolina
At Palmetto Digital Marketing Group we offer digital marketing, web design and eCommerce management services to companies who want to be found on the web. Think of us as the digital marketing extension of your company. In this feature we are going to outline why we see many ecommerce websites on wordpress moving to turnkey ecommerce platforms like Shopify or Bigcommerce.
What is Wordpress
WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.
What is Shopify
Shopify is a complete ecommerce solution that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods. It lets you organize your products, customize your storefront, accept credit card payments, track and respond to orders — all with a few clicks of the mouse.
Wordpess for Ecommerce
Can you use Wordpress for Ecommerce? Yes, absolutely. Do I recommend it? No. While the security of WordPress (and some of the plugins that enable e-commerce functionality) is good enough, there are more things to consider than just the security. With WordPress (and subsequently WooCommerce or any other e-commerce plugin), you handle everything — including every technical detail — that happens with your website. If you build your your e-commerce site with WordPress, it’ll be yours to take care of. The plugins and themes you use will be secure, but there’s a large part of maintenance that you need to take care of (or you need to appoint someone to do so).
Plugins Need Updating
WP plugins need updating. If you don't keep plugins updated, the store can be susceptible to virus or have breakage points.
Web Speed/content dowloading
I have found that web download speeds on hosting networks can be slow, especially if you have large images, numerous images or 1000's of web images.
SSL certificates, or HTTPS, ensures that the data transferred is secure and encrypted. This is not enabled by default on any website, the website administrator has to obtain this certificate so that the data users enter on the e-commerce site is encrypted and secure. This ensures safety of the user’s data as well as earns customer’s trust because they know their online shopping is safe and secure.
Most established e-commerce websites, both WordPress-based and dedicated solutions, use third-party payment gateways such as PayPal. This ensures that the credit card information or other sensitive credentials pass through high security to the payment gateway. With Wordpress this is an additional effort, cost and development feature.
Why Shopify Ecommerce Platform
Great UX/UI... out of the Box
Shopify is very clear who its customer is and if you are the type of business that fits its customer profile you are going to love Shopify much more than any other self-hosted ecommerce platform for the better user experience.
More economical when starting an ecommeRce business
1 year subscription at the lowest tier is about $348 USD including cloud hosting and customer support. Technically, if you use open-source ecommerce alternatives, you only pay for hosting which can be as low as USD$80 per annum since the software is free, but to get up to par with Shopify stores, you probably need some professional help setting it up. This can go up to thousands of dollars.
Awesome app integrations with SaaS services with numerous 3rd Parties
SaaS ecommerce service companies love Shopify because they have a customer base that is familiar with paying for services monthly. That's why you'll most probably always find whatever innovative new service you need on Shopify first before anywhere else, and some of them offer very good free plans. Conversely, SaaS companies don't really like platforms like woocommerce or opencart because... the people who use them don't really pay monthly subscription. So a lot of really convenient services are not integrated on these platforms.
End to end service integration
Great templates - oh yes! Blog marketing? check. Shopping cart - check. Payment gateway - check. Inventory management - check. Printing address label - check. Shipping & Courier integration - check. The workflow for Shopify is so convenient it just works with a bit of tweaking out of the box. In comparison, none of its open source peers (ie wordpress) could provide this kind of convenience without some rather extensive customization.
Security & Reliability - Love it!
Shopify is a global hosted service, meaning they have people monitoring their network 24/7 for any attacks and they can help you deal with any problems that arise. In addition, their add-ons generally have a certain standard and will not pose the risk of giving you trojans or viruses or other monkey business. Plus, you can opt for SSL or even PCI compliance to accept credit cards and store sensitive information without having to know the technical details of how it works.
Open source alternatives CAN get this level of security & reliability, but not without paying a premium for managed hosting from Go Daddy.
Better loading speed
Shopify has the advantage of being a globally hosted solution with strong infrastructure. This means they can load the website much faster for you because they optimized their hardware and software. In comparison, third party open-source solutions like Wordpress need quite a bit of work to catch up to this kind of speed. The speed difference can be anywhere from milliseconds to seconds, so could be potentially quite noticeable and hurt website conversion rates.
Net net, wordpress is great for creating beautiful website, that relay content. The platform is amazing and super flexible, good for ecommerce, not so much.
Net net shopify is an extremely powerful and popular ecommerce platform. The themes are easy to use and the platforms capabilities are endless for shopify. Customization is very difficult unless you are the theme developer or highley skilled designer.