WordPress vs Shopify: Which Should I Use?

Chattanooga Web Design now offers another website option! We hear this question all the time: What is better for an e-commerce site, WordPress or Shopify?

The real answer is that it depends on a lot of factors and what you want, but there are ways to figure it out. Here we are going to go into some advantages and disadvantages of both. These are the two most popular platforms for e-commerce sites right now, so let’s break down the pros and cons of each to find what will work best for your business.

These are some of the questions you need to ask if you’re trying to decide between Shopify and WordPress: Which will work best for my specific needs? What features does each have? Which one is more beautiful? Which one is more flexible?

The main difference between these two site builders is that WordPress is a stand-alone software, and Shopify is an online tool and service. If you were building the site yourself, there would be a lot more considerations, like which is easier to use? Do I need any special skills? Do I need to know how to code? And more! Luckily, we’re here to take care of that end of it for you.

As a note, WordPress uses a popular plugin called WooCommerce to add e-commerce to their sites.

Here are some things to consider.



Shopify has over 100 design templates, all of which are sleek, with a clean aesthetic, which works well for modern, forward-thinking websites. They also are all mobile responsive and are all created by outsourced pro website designers. The slight negative is that some people who have used some of these attractive designs have complained that their sites look too similar to other sites who have chosen the same or similar themes. This is why customization is highly encouraged, and why CWD offers customized designs for Shopify!

WordPress is the type of tool that you can endlessly customize. As long as you have the time, your site can look however you want. While you can have an e-commerce and purchasing set up in almost any WordPress theme, there are also some themes created specifically with WooCommerce in mind, made to make the products and descriptions look great. No matter how many themes are offered, CWD is able to give you completely custom designs for your site, using WordPress’s tools.

In terms of designs, WordPress has significantly more options, but both have really nice themes and plenty of customization options, and 100% custom designs are best!



Shopify has apps you can add as you go for additional features, but here’s a few of the most useful ones to start:

  • Unlimited number of products
  • Automatic fraud analysis
  • Manual order creation
  • Discount codes
  • Blog module
  • Mobile commerce optimization
  • Credit card payments
  • Multiple languages
  • Adjustable shipping rates and taxes
  • Customer profiles
  • Drop shipping capabilities
  • SEO-ready site structure
  • Individual product reviews
  • Facebook selling module
  • Social media integration
  • Physical and digital products in the store
  • Unlimited traffic to your store
  • Daily backups
  • Site stats and product reports
  • Fully featured mobile app
  • Different product variations
  • Print orders
  • Gift cards (some plans)
  • Abandoned cart recovery (some plans)

Aside from the these listed options, you can install hundreds of other features and options, and the apps have been lauded as good quality.

Here’s what you’ll find inside WordPress:

  • You can sell physical products, digital products (including software and apps), and it’s good for affiliate marketing
  • Payments via PayPal and Stripe built-in (plus a range of other gateways available)
  • Adjustable shipping rates and taxes
  • Unlimited number of products and product categories
  • Stock levels control
  • Mobile-friendly structure
  • You have complete control over your data
  • Works with your current WordPress theme
  • Literally hundreds of plugins (extensions) available

WordPress is open source, and well-known for allowing third party developers to create tons of new extensions and plugins. WooCommerce taps into that further, offering lots of optional and interesting additions.



Shopify has integrated SEO features such as image optimization, defining title, alt, and meta tags, as well as product descriptions. And an SSL certification comes with all the stores in every plan. Shopify wins slightly in SEO capabilities, mainly due to it’s faster page loading times.

WordPress is primarily a content creation platform and it is well-known for its SEO capabilities, which are available immediately, and of course there are additional SEO plugins. You can easily edit body content and add meta information, which can improve your search engine rankings. Also, WordPress handles blogging in a logical and organized way, which you’ll still likely want with your store.

SEO is important, and something that CWD takes seriously when building your site!



It really depends on your needs! Both platforms can be done with completely custom designs.


  • Great choice if you want to launch a quality eCommerce store quickly, and you want to do it on your own.
  • Great if you also have a brick-and-mortar store. Shopify gives you tools to process all your sales there through Shopify’s own platform.
  • Strong customer support.

WordPress + WooCommerce:

  • Great if you want to launch a “website + eCommerce store.” In other words, if you want to also do something else with your website, apart from just having an online store.
  • Great if you want to be able to tweak things on your own. Both WordPress and WooCommerce are open source. This means that you are allowed to modify the way that those platforms work.
  • Great if you want to use a custom design.


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