WordPress + WooCommerce vs WordPress + Shopify

Let me start by saying that EVERY platform has its pros and its cons. I’m just sharing my personal experience. I’ve built ecommerce sites using Prestashop, ZenCart, WooCommerce and Shopify.

My wife’s eCommerce website was originally built using Prestashop by a (non-expert) friend back in 2011, a few years before we met. In 2014, I updated it to the latest version of Prestashop and revamped it. Towards the end of Jan. 2018, we started to transition it to a WordPress+Shopify setup.

Now, I do NOT like dealing with eCommerce websites. They require a LOT more maintenance than non-eCommerce sites. There is generally more financial dependence attached to them than to non-eCommerce websites. An eCommerce website malfunctioning or going down for just an hour or more usually means a greater amount of lost revenue than a non-eCommerce website.

Back in 2015, we used WooCommerce for our first couple eCommerce clients. This was my first time using WooCommerce and there was a steep learning curve. My biggest headache was updating WooCommerce and the other shop-related plugins on a regular basis. Plus, my clients (older, non-tech-savvy individuals) did NOT find it easy to learn how to manage their WooCommerce store.

This was my biggest gripe which led me to look at add-ons to managing WooCommerce. That led me to:

– Store manager for WooCommerce: https://woocommerce-manager.com/

– eMagicOne: https://emagicone.com/products/solutions-for-woocommerce/

However, while these are great management add-ons, they did not relieve me of the headaches with keeping WooCommerce updated.

So, I started to look at alternative shopping carts that could be linked with WordPress. This led me to:

– Ecwid: https://wordpress.org/plugins/ecwid-shopping-cart/

– OrderStorm: https://wordpress.org/plugins/orderstorm-e-commerce/

– Shopify: https://www.shopify.co.nz/buy-button/wordpress

All of these platforms are kept up-to-date by their makers.

I was actually going to go with OrderStorm and had been communicating with the owner of that platform for a few months. It was great in the beginning but then it became harder and harder to get in touch with him for technical support.

That’s when I decided to take another look at integrating Shopify with WordPress. Since then I’ve done this WP+Shopify integration on our last 6 eCommerce-related projects. Please bear in mind that we do NOT go looking for eCommerce clients. We primarily work with service providers. From time to time, we have a client who wants to sell online as well.

For my purposes thus far, just embedding the Shopify Buy Button code in the WordPress page has been sufficient.

You can embed an entire collection like I’ve done here: https://www.juliasherbalhealth.co.nz/online-health-shop/

OR you can embed product by product like I’ve done here: https://colinfrancis.co.nz/landscape-gallery/

If you want to have much more control over the integration, I suggest you check out the WPShopify plugin: https://wpshop.io/

In using Shopify, I’ve found it MUCH easier to show clients how to use their Shopify account – check/update orders, update product inventory, add new products, etc. than it was with explaining the back office of WooCommerce.

Now, if you’re using or thinking or using Shopify for ecommerce projects, then it’s a good idea to join their Partner Program: https://www.shopify.co.nz/partners

Benefits Include:

– you get a developer account where you have all your shopify clients in one place

– the accounts created in your developer account have an unlimited trial period, client only starts paying the monthly fee once you’ve handed the store over to them

– you can get monthly commission

Hopefully this info will help others.

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