Shopify vs WordPress - Which is Best for Ecommerce in 2024?

By 2026, it’s expected that 24 per cent of retail transactions will take place online, so the time to create your online store has never been better than it is right now.

Shopify and WordPress are two of the best ecommerce website builders online at present, but which one works better for business owners looking for the easiest way to build their website?


Quick Links

1. The Fast Answer

2. Shopify vs Wordpress for Ecommerce- What Are the Key Differences?

3. Shopify

3.1 Shopify Benefits

3.1.1 Built-in ecommerce tool

3.1.2 Hosting included

3.1.3 Fast launch times

3.1.4 Free trial options

3.1.5 Easy to customise

3.1.6 Built-in fraud protection

3.1.7 Shopify Email

3.1.8 24/7 assistance

3.1.9 App plugins

3.1.10 Variety of payment options

3.1.11 Omnichannel capabilities

3.1.12 Shipping

3.2 Shopify Limitations

3.2.1 Less customisation

3.2.2 Pricing varies

3.2.3 Categorisation

4. Wordpress

4.1 Wordpress Benefits

4.1.1 Fully customisable

4.1.2 SEO tools

4.1.3 Marketing tools

4.1.4 Newsletter

4.1.5 Plug-ins available

4.1.6 Unmetered Bandwidth

4.1.7 Great Content Delivery Network (CDN)

4.2 Wordpress Limitations

4.2.1 Harder to use

4.2.2 Extra WordPress plugins needed

4.2.3 Less security

4.2.4 Pricing can be unpredictable

5. Which Platform is Easier to Use?

5.1 Setting things up: Shopify vs WordPress

5.2 Content management: Shopify vs WordPress

6. How Do Templates and Themes Differ Between Platforms?

6.1 Shopify themes

6.2 Wordpress themes

7. Which Platform Can Go Live Quicker?

8. Is Shopify Cheaper Than Wordpress For Ecommerce?

8.1 Shopify pricing

8.2 WordPress/WooCommerce pricing

9. Do You Need to Be Able to Code to Use Shopify or WordPress?

10. Which Platform Has Better Security?

11. Which Platform Loads Faster?

12. Alternative Platforms to Consider for Your Online Store

12.1 Wix

12.2 BigCommerce

12.3 Magento

13. Which Platform Is Better Suited to Dropshipping?

13. FAQs

Almost a quarter of all retail transactions will take place online in 2026, so now is the time to build your ecommerce store.

The fast answer

The first thing to remember when comparing which platform will be better to host your online store is whether or not it is going to be suitable for you and your business needs. Ask yourself what your capabilities are when it comes to web development, or if you want content strategy to be a big part of your online presence. These are the kinds of questions that will help you decide on the platform to go with.

We are going to focus on ecommerce, so in that case, Shopify is the better option of the two. Shopify was specifically developed as an ecommerce website builder. It gives you every tool you need to succeed with its ease of product integration and the ability to plan out your business expenses. WordPress is an open-source platform that hosts anything from blog sites to online stores, so it requires a bit more effort to figure out what plugins you need, like WooCommerce, for your ecommerce store. Because of this, WordPress is better suited to someone with at least a base level of web development knowledge. Both are great options and lead the game when it comes to the first step of building your online business, so it’s important to consider each factor when making your decision about who you will start your journey with.

Choosing between Shopify or WordPress to build your online comes down to what features your business requires.

Because Shopify automatically integrates the tools you need to get your business up and running, you get access to a variety of payment gateways, mobile commerce capabilities, built-in SEO features to optimise your store for search engines, and enhanced product and order management systems. WordPress is more beneficial as a blogging platform and a variety of plugins will be needed to achieve the same level of ecommerce expertise as Shopify, making Shopify the preferred ecommerce platform.

Shopify vs WordPress for ecommerce - What are the key differences?

The main difference between Shopify and WordPress is that Shopify has been specifically developed as an ecommerce platform with business owners in mind, whereas WordPress was designed to cater to online bloggers. To achieve some of the same ecommerce capabilities that Shopify can offer, the WooCommerce plugin is needed.

In terms of setting up, Shopify is much quicker and easier with a lot of what you need automatically integrated into the ecommerce platform. Whilst WordPress has more customisation, it takes more time to set up your shopfront. It is more technical and requires various plugins to have the same level of ecommerce functionality as Shopify.

Another key difference between the two ecommerce platforms is that Shopify is a hosted platform and WordPress is not. This means that everything on Shopify runs within the platform, from marketing and analytic tools to inventory and shipping. It also means that there are regular and automatic updates and website maintenance done for you. WordPress is self-hosted, meaning that you are in charge of site maintenance and must find a third-party provider for hosting purposes.


Shopify markets itself as ‘the all-in-one commerce platform to start, run, and grow a business’, so you need little to no extra plugins to make your ecommerce an extremely functional site. A variety of ecommerce tools are automatically applied to your website and the platform is extremely user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Shopify Benefits

Built-in ecommerce tool

Because Shopify is made for business owners, there are already multiple ecommerce features built in, so you don’t have to worry about tracking down the different ecommerce plugin tools to add to your website. There are also built-in SEO features to allow you to create regular content for the modern consumer, helping you to rank highly on search engines and allowing you to include things like meta descriptions within your website. 

Hosting included

Reliable hosting makes setting up your online store easier, and Shopify takes care of things like website maintenance and software updates to ensure you stay protected. This also means faster load times and the ability to handle large volumes of customers on your website and reduces the likelihood of glitches and hackers.

Fast launch times

Shopify helps you set up quicker and easier so you can get the website building out of the way and focus on selling. Because the majority of their themes are intended for ecommerce stores, you don’t have to spend hours finding a theme that will display your products in an eye-catching way.

Free trial options

You can trial Shopify for three days before you commit to a subscription plan so you can be sure that it will work for you.

Easy to customise  

Shopify doesn’t require you to know how to code to update the layout, fonts and colour of your website. You can do all this and more within the platform’s editing tool.

Built-in fraud protection

Shopify takes your security seriously, so you know you’re protected online. You get regular updates on whether the fraudulent activity is a low, medium or high risk, as well as what caused it to help you avoid it in the future. The best part is, you don’t need to install a third-party application, as this feature is automatic and comes with your membership.

Shopify Email

Email marketing is an extremely important part of any business and has a great return on investment. This feature allows you to send up to 2,500 emails for free to your customers, with pre-made email templates and tracking to help you get started. 

24/7 assistance

With access to online courses and help, Shopify wants you to succeed. They offer 24/7 customer service to help answer any questions you might have at any time of the day.

App plugins

Shopify users have access to Shop, an in-house built app that allows your customers to find your products and check out more conveniently. There are countless others available through Shopify’s app store, like Linkpop, which easily helps you create shoppable links in your social media bios to help gain more customers. 

Shopify's easy plug ins and apps can make your customers' journey simpler.

Variety of payment options

Shopify offers over 100 payment methods to cater to every business owner and customer. The Shopify Payments solution automatically sets you up to accept all popular payment methods once you have set up your Shopify store, and you aren’t charged third-party transaction fees. 

Omnichannel capabilities

Shopify allows you to sell across multiple platforms, like your own online store, social media, and multiple marketplaces. This is a key part of the ecommerce game in 2024, so the easier it is to create omnichannel capabilities, the better.


Shopify allows you to do things like print shipping labels to help you fulfill your orders at a faster rate, and with shipping built into your account, you can send out orders, track your packages and manage shipping costs in one place so you don’t have to spend your entire day fulfilling orders.

Shopify Limitations

Consider some of Shopify's limitations such as premium feature pricing and access to themes and customisation.

Less customisation

Currently, Shopify only offers a total of 12 free themes compared to WordPress’s advertised 10,744 themes. You can choose one of Shopify’s many paid themes, but in comparison to WordPress, you may find it lacking. This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re looking for a theme that requires no technical knowledge, as most of the themes on Shopify have extensive design packages.

Pricing varies

Depending on what you want to achieve, the prices of Shopify can add up to be quite expensive. For some premium features, you’ll have to pay extra, but just know that you get what you pay for, and if you choose the right features, they will help you generate more profits in the end.


Shopify is slightly behind when it comes to filtering products and categorisation on websites, so it stops customers from really narrowing down their searches. Structuring your URL to include keywords can be difficult, and including things like meta descriptions and meta tags can be hard to customise.


When you head to’s website, you are met with the tagline: ‘Welcome to the world’s most popular website builder’, and they state that 42 per cent of the web is built with them.

Welcome to the world's most popular website builder.

WordPress is especially popular with bloggers, as that is what it was initially designed to do. With the rise of ecommerce, WordPress introduced WooCommerce, a WordPress plugin specifically designed for online businesses to create a website and sell to their customers.

WordPress comes with an extensive range of plugins that can take your online store to the next level. There are SEO plugins like Yoast SEO and All in One SEO to help analyse your content and check for keywords to ensure your website and products are ranking highly on search engines. The Mailchimp plugin helps integrate email capabilities into your website and grow your mailing list, and there are countless other ways to completely customise your website and capabilities.

WordPress Benefits

Fully customisable

With hundreds of appealing themes to catch the eye of your customer, the customisation capabilities on WordPress are endless. You can easily edit with intuitive tools to organise your WordPress site and upload photos, audio and video easily with user-friendly capabilities.

SEO tools

WordPress offers built-in SEO tools to make your website more discoverable on search engines. The platform gives you six different options for how to structure your URL, including common settings like day and name, month and name, numeric, plain, post name and custom structure to ensure your website pages are accessible. With the business or commerce plans on WordPress, you can optimise everything on your website for search engines and get access to things like meta descriptions, page title structures and tags and see what your pages will look like on search engines and social media before they are published.

Search engine optimisation tools may be an important factor in your online store's success.

Marketing tools

You can incorporate email marketing and instantly grow your customer network, and get access to tools to link your social media to your WordPress site. The ecommerce WordPress plan allows you to generate free ads and listings for Google to increase traffic. You can also get access to Google Analytics to give you valuable insights into where you can improve your marketing efforts.

AutomateWoo is included in the ecommerce plan, and this lets you set up automated emails to thank customers for purchasing, as well as send out abandoned cart reminders to help keep lost sales to a minimum. Newsletter

This is a free WordPress plugin to create a regular newsletter to be sent out to your customers through email, with access to statistics and tracking as well as customisable design options.

Email marketing is extremely beneficial to increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty, and WordPress makes it easy to write and publish regular newsletters that are appealing to customers.

Plug-ins available

WordPress gives you access to over 50,000 plugins to increase your website functionality, so there are countless options to ensure you have all the tools needed to succeed. You can increase your SEO and marketing capabilities or add different language capabilities and easily add or remove any of them from your website to figure out what works for your business.

Unmetered Bandwidth

This means that your WordPress site won’t crash, no matter how many site visitors and traffic you have, so you can trust that things like product launches will run smoothly with minimal issues.

Great Content Delivery Network (CDN)

This ensures your site has the fastest load times for your customers, improving the likelihood that they will stay on your site for longer. Slow load times mean there’s a high likelihood that customers won’t stick around to shop from you, so WordPress helps speed up content delivery to every visitor on your website and ensure a great user experience.

WordPress Limitations

WordPress may need some extra knowledge to set up and get started with your ecommerce store.

Harder to use

Although WordPress is extremely customisable, you do need more of a technological background to do the website building yourself. You’ll need to have an understanding of web development and know what plugins you need to install to get the same level of ecommerce capabilities that Shopify offers, and this can take time to make your website fully operational.

Extra WordPress plugins needed

When it comes to hosting online stores and selling online through a WordPress site, it is possible. However, unlike Shopify’s multitude of ecommerce tools that automatically come when signing up, WordPress requires you to download additional plugins to achieve the same things as Shopify. Having too many plugins on your website can lead to slower load times, so this is something you will have to regularly test and watch out for.

Less security

WordPress doesn’t offer built-in secure servers as Shopify does. This means you only have access to a hosting provider to host your website for you once you have paid for one of the ecommerce packages or added a relevant plugin, otherwise, your website will remain vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Pricing can be unpredictable

Although WooCommerce clearly states the rate of their ongoing subscription fees, there can be hidden costs when it comes to using WordPress. You may have to pay for things such as web hosting, design templates or a design expert and ecommerce plugins. A rough estimate to give you an idea of what you could be paying if you use WordPress is at least $1,840 annually with these extras in mind if you want your WordPress site to look professional.

Which platform is easier to use?

Setting things up: Shopify vs WordPress

In terms of getting started with your website, Shopify is easier to set up, and therefore quicker than WordPress. You can have your store up and running in a short amount of time with easy-to-use and automated functions to add your products, set up payment methods, pick a theme and get a custom domain name quickly. You don’t have to worry about buying web hosting services either, and you don’t have to spend time and money managing your web server.

WordPress requires more time to get things started because to get your WordPress store set up, you’ll need to purchase a domain name yourself and add relevant ecommerce plugins. You also need to install things like a WordPress hosting plugin to ensure you have a working website.

Content management: Shopify vs WordPress

Content management involves any content on your page that doesn’t include your product pages and the goods and services you are selling, and instead includes things like blog posts, video guides or FAQ pages. Both platforms allow you to edit this content relatively easily with things like drag-and-drop editing that you can do in the back end of your website.

In the case of content management, WordPress is the preferred platform as it is slightly more advanced and easier to use because it has great systems in place. WordPress also gives you detailed SEO analysis and category tags can be used to make your site more visible to the public.

How do templates and themes differ between platforms?

When it comes to customisation and expressing yourself through your website’s style, WordPress wins out compared to Shopify. Advertising over 10,000 free themes for you to choose from versus Shopify’s 12, the sky is the limit when building and updating your website design and layout features.

Shopify themes

Shopify themes are specifically designed for ecommerce stores and include an option to find out more information when browsing them. For example, the Spotlight theme markets itself as great for quick setup times and includes things like quick buy cart options, cross-selling and FAQ pages and image zoom and product videos.

Shopify gives more in-depth information about what kind of ecommerce tools each theme offers compared to WordPress, which focuses more on how things will look and how many downloads the theme has.

WordPress themes

The abundance of themes on WordPress places the platform a cut above the rest with so many free and premium themes and templates to choose from. The majority of the themes on WordPress work extremely well with fast response times, and they also work across multiple devices so you can be sure you’re catering to the millions of mobile users in Australia.

With WordPress themes, you can browse through the entire catalogue and click the ‘more info’ button to get a preview of what your website might look like, as well as other handy information like customer reviews, how many downloads the theme gets per day and when the theme received its last software update.

Which platform can go live quicker?

Based on the ease of setting up and integrating products, Shopify stores can be online at a much quicker rate than WordPress websites. Shopify is specifically designed for non-technical users and offers the fastest setup times for ecommerce stores. If you’ve got a business name, products, and product images ready to go, you can be up and running in less than a day. Shopify instantly gives you everything you need when you sign up to create a website, whereas WordPress requires you to add plugins like WooCommerce to be a fully functional ecommerce store. Figuring out what plugins work and what ones slow down your website can be tedious, adding to the time it will take to get your website in working order.

WordPress also takes more time to get your online store functioning as an ecommerce store, so while adding products and customising your website might take a similar amount of time as Shopify, your store still won’t be quite ready for ongoing website traffic. Once the WooCommerce plugin is added, there are a variety of other plugins you’ll need to install to give you the same features as Shopify. This means extra time must be taken when setting up, and extensive research will be needed to decide the kinds of things your website will need like security and shipping services.

Shopify has been designed for ecommerce businesses in mind and can be set up fairly quickly.

Overall, Shopify has a quicker setup time because of its ease of use. The Shopify dashboard makes it simple to integrate products, descriptions and images automatically so you can have hundreds of products online in seconds. Things like security and hosting capabilities are included in your account, so you’ll get your website built and your products online quicker.

Is Shopify cheaper than WordPress for ecommerce?

Although WordPress is technically free, to use the platform for ecommerce purposes, you need a lot of extra plugins like WooCommerce to get the same experience as using the Shopify platform. In the end, with all the added extras, a Shopify subscription will end up being the cheaper option in terms of ongoing costs and time spent building and managing your website.

Consider what your business needs and access what level of package you require to get the most out of your store.

Shopify pricing

Shopify gives you a choice of five different payment plans based on what you want out of the ecommerce platform, the following prices are in AUD:

  •  Basic Shopify - $59 per month

This plan gives you access to build an online store with access to discount codes, gift cards, 24/7 support, shipping labels, fraud analysis, SSL certificates and two staff accounts. The transaction fees are 1.75 per cent + 30 cents per transaction for Australian credit cards and 2.9 per cent + 30 cents for other credit cards.

  •  Shopify - $159 per month

This gives you regular professional reports about your online store, and you have more international capabilities like the ability to sell in two languages. You also get a discount on transaction fees, as this plan is 1.6 per cent + 30 cents per Australian credit card transaction and 2.8 per cent + 30 cents for international and other credit cards.

  • Advanced Shopify - $603 per month

The advanced Shopify plan gives you access to 15 staff accounts, more advanced reports, the ability to sell in up to five languages and discounted fees of 1.4 per cent + 30 cents per transaction for Australian credit cards and 2.7 per cent + 30 cents for international and other credit cards.

The prices of each of these plans can vary based on the length of your Shopify plan, so if you sign up for one or two years and pay upfront, you can save 10-20 per cent. You can also try each of these plans for free for three days to figure out which plan works best for your business.

WordPress/WooCommerce pricing

WordPress pricing varies depending on if you pay monthly or annually, however when using the WooCommerce plugin that allows you to sell products and process payments through your online store, it is $59 per month with an annual subscription and $92 per month with a paid-per-month subscription. When you sign up for a year with the WooCommerce plan on WordPress, you also get a free domain for one year.

When using WooCommerce Payments, each transaction incurs a fee of 2.9 per cent + 45 cents. This transaction fee will vary depending on the payment gateway you use. You will also pay a monthly fee of up to $45 per month and shipping costs of up to $163 per year on average.

With WordPress, you need a variety of other plugins to make your website functional, and they can range anywhere from $45 to $120 a month for things like payment software, email marketing and security plugins. With these add-ons, you could be looking at an extra $360 a month with only three extra plugins, and based on what Shopify offers automatically, you will require more than just three.

Do you need to be able to code to use Shopify or WordPress?

Both Shopify and WordPress require no need for code or knowledge of how to code. Shopify has been developed for ease-of-use in mind, meaning anyone can build an ecommerce site. If you do know how to code or have employed a web developer you can use this to further customise your website and set you apart from the crowd, but coding knowledge isn’t essential to Shopify.

WordPress can be a little more complicated, as the customisation process isn’t as straightforward as Shopify’s and there are thousands of themes to choose from. Coding can be more beneficial when it comes to WordPress because you’ll have a good understanding of what is needed to set up your website, but, like Shopify, coding experience is not a necessity when it comes to WordPress.

Which platform has better security?

On average, there is a cyber attack online every 39 seconds, so it is incredibly important to ensure your ecommerce site is well protected. When looking at each platform at face value, Shopify offers better security than WordPress. Shopify has built-in fraud protection to flag any untrustworthy customer information that may be cause for concern. These fraud reports are automatically categorised for you based on the level of threat they pose. There are also automated updates for your website to help ensure you have the latest software and prevent website hacks.

Every 39 seconds, there is a cyber attack online. Consider how you want to protect yourself from fraud.

WordPress requires plugins to add more security to your site, so you will need to research a variety of plugins to emulate the same kind of protection you would get through Shopify.

Which platform loads faster?

79 per cent of customers are unlikely to shop with a business again if they run into performance issues on a website and face slow load times. It’s extremely important that you choose an ecommerce platform that offers consistently fast load times no matter the number of products or information you have on your website.

When it comes to ecommerce platforms, both Shopify and WordPress offer great page speed because they are both extremely popular and well-developed. Shopify is a hosted platform, meaning it automatically oversees website updates and site security to help ensure fast load times. However, adding plugins to WordPress can slow down your website functions significantly, so you need to make sure you choose trusted and well-supported extras to maintain exceptional page speed.

Alternative platforms to consider for your online store

Shopify and WordPress are not the only website builders. Wix, BigCommerce and Magento are also popular options when trying to create the ecommerce store of your dreams.

Some other alternative ecommerce platforms that are popular among business owners include:


Wix is another hosted platform that is specifically dedicated to building ecommerce websites. It allows retailers to track online orders and accept various payments, and you can sell on multiple different platforms with their paid ecommerce plan packages. It also requires little to no technical knowledge and is very similar to Shopify, however, Shopify offers a lot more features that are essential to your online store.


BigCommerce allows businesses to convert their stores to dropshipping stores with a variety of plugins so you can easily update product catalogues with a few clicks. BigCommerce is another hosted platform that is great for both small and large businesses, however, it doesn’t have the same customisation options as something like Shopify or WordPress.


Magento, or Adobe Commerce, is another great ecommerce platform that can be an alternative to Shopify or WordPress. This option isn’t as beginner friendly as some of the others, as it can seem like a complicated system if you have no background in web development. With that being said, if you do have relevant web design knowledge then this would be a great option for you. Magento also has great SEO performance and integrates easily with things like Google Analytics.

Which platform is better suited to dropshipping?

To dropship products on Shopify or WordPress, you will need to add a plugin in order to do so. It’s also a good idea to find a plugin with an automated fulfilment system so that once a customer purchases an item from you, an order then gets placed with your supplier automatically to ensure fast and easy shipping times.

With over 500 dropshipping plugins, Shopify allows business owners to dropship once they have added the relevant capabilities to their website, and WooCommerce Dropshipping is compatible with WordPress. Both options offer essentially the same ecommerce functions, and both platforms require a plugin to be able to dropship, so Shopify and WordPress are on par with each other when it comes to this fulfilment method. However, Shopify and WordPress do not have their own suppliers, so you will have to find dropshipping suppliersyourself.

To make it easier for you once you have set up a Shopify store, you can integrate Dropshipzone’s wide range of high-quality products onto your website. There’s Sofortig, an ecommerce plugin developed exclusively for Dropshipzone, which will allow you to connect your accounts and start selling. Best of all, you’ll be able to see all your suppliers in one place and won’t have to search the internet for reliable suppliers. Dropshipzone gives you access to thousands of products in one place, and with just a few clicks you can add them instantly to your website.

Sofortig by Dropshipzone is a Shopify app that gives you access to thousands of products to kick start your ecommerce journey.


Which platform is better for ecommerce: Shopify or WordPress?

Shopify is a much better platform for ecommerce compared to WordPress. It was specifically developed with business owners in mind and includes a variety of built-in features for ecommerce. WordPress is better for online bloggers, as that is what the platform was originally developed for. To make WordPress work for ecommerce, you need to add a lot of plugins to your website like WooCommerce and Mailchimp to get the same functions that Shopify offers.

Can you add Shopify to your WordPress website?

With WordPress’s multiple plugins available, this is possible. The plugin is called WP Shopify, however, this is only suggested for people who already have a WordPress website and are looking to transition to becoming an ecommerce store.

Which platform is better for beginners: Shopify or WordPress?

Shopify is generally noted to be better for beginners, as it is extremely easy to set up and manage and requires little to no background in web development.


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