Shopify Versus Woocommerce – Which One Will Make You More Money?

money tree!Ready to start selling your wares online?  No doubt you have already heard of the big four:

  • Shopify
  • Bigcommerce
  • Magento
  • Woocommerce

Here’s my real-life case study on whether Shopify or Woocommerce is Better.

Granted, there are a lot of smaller players in this market.  But I wanted something robust.  Magento is probably the best option.  Open source.  Well-coded.  And it can handle virtually any variation.  However, Magento really takes an expert coder to make any changes.  So if you want to tweak something, well, you will likely be spending either a lot of money or a lot of time to make changes.  Something I’ve watch Andrew and EcommerceFuel demonstrate.

That left the other 3, and I decided to go with either Shopify or Bigcommerce since as a newbie, those seem to be the most “plug and play” systems.

Why I Chose Shopify over Bigcommerce

Basically, I liked the list of free and paid designs better.  Shopify has incredible selection of free themes.  And then if you want to pay for a theme it only gets more professional.  This was even back when Shopify charged transaction fees.  And I still went with them.

Over the next several months my business grew until I made nearly $500 in profit on ecommerce in May.

Why I moved to WooCommerce

Then, I noticed just how much the transaction fees were costing me.  With Shopify you not only pay for the hosted shopping platform and give them a percentage of your profits, you also pay for added “apps”…. software that lets you do stuff like add coupons and customize your meta-tags.

Plus, there was some complicated shipping calculations that I wanted to be able to perform, since I mostly sell heavy garages and canopies.  And there was no way to do them on Shopify unless I programmed my own “app”.

So I left and created a Woocommerce site.  It required buying the Catalyst Theme so I could customize its appearance, and a few plugins for handling payments through Paypal and to customize my shipping, plus a more robust hosting. Altogether, I think I paid just under $300 and spend 2 weeks to do the move.


Why I am going back to Shopify

At the start of 2014, I partnered with a family member to start a new Ecommerce store.  I thought we should give Shopify another chance.  I forgot how easy it was to use.  Even better, they have eliminated their transaction fees*. So you can sell the heck out of your store and not have to pay them extra.

But what really blew me away was how well Google treated their platform in the search results.  My brand-new domain was indexed — along with its products — within 24 hours.  You never see that unless you are trying to rank a youtube video in the search results.

This got me to thinking, and I pulled up my search traffic for my main Ecommerce site.  Check it out below:

shopify vs woocommerce

Now this is only search traffic.  But you can see that in the first month on Shopify, the exact same Ecommerce store performed much better than in the entire time on a self-hosted WooCommerce platforms.

Why Did My WooCommerce Get Less Traffic Than Shopify?

I don’t know.  But I do know that WordPress is a blogging platform.  And then WooCommerce attempts to convert that blogging platform into an Ecommerce platform.  And while they do a good job of it, there is still a lot of “hacking” that occurs to make it happen.

As a result, it seems that there is a much less “natural” linking structure.  Maybe Google finds that harder to follow. But I am only conjecturing.

Why spend a lot of time racking my brain over it when I know that all I have to do is move back to the old platform and start making money again?

Why I Am Moving Back To Shopify:

  • Opportunity For More Search Traffic
  • Easier Integration With Google Shopping For More Traffic
  • No Longer Has Transaction Fees
  • Now Has Required App For My Shipping Needs
  • Can Manage Site From My Smartphone

Click Here To Create a Demo Site On Shopify With Their 14-day Free Trial:

shopify logo

I Hope My Review Has Helped!

This was an unintended case study, but I’m glad it happened.  It means we can spend less time fighting to get our sites in the search results, and start making money from them sooner.

I do get a commission for referring people to Shopify, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra to purchase through my link.  Just Click on the link above to check out Shopify for yourself.  It has a 14-day free trial so you can get a taste of what it is like.

 *My Understanding of Shopify’s New Transaction Fee Policy:

  •  For US and Canadian Merchants only
  • Must use Shopify as Payment Processor (convenient AND priced similarly to other payment systems)
  • Payment Processing Fees apply but no additional Transaction fees.

19 Responses to “Shopify Versus Woocommerce – Which One Will Make You More Money?”

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  1. Yiannis Yuan says:

    Looks everything going great. i am just beginning my niche site.

  2. Winston says:

    That’s actually quite interesting, making your own e-commerce store.

    Wanted to run something by you with regards to expired domains and their cost implications.

    1. On average, from your experience how many expired domains to get a money site into let’s say #3 to #6 position. I know the question takes in a lot of factors (KW competition, strength of exp. domains,etc) and each is specific, but it would be nice to have a ball park figure. Like would 5 do or do you expect something closer to 20.

    2. The question is based on the ongoing fees to expect (after purchasing the site). Since the cheaper hosts are still like $3/mo. (right?) so with 5 domains you pay $180/yr. ($3*12 months*5 domains), which is okay but adds up really quick. Wanted to see what your thoughts are here and how to limit the costs (if there’s such a thing).


    • lostcyclist says:

      Good question. Assuming that the KW’s have a Long Tail Pro score < 30, I would assume you would need at least 4 for the site. You can find them on with a DA of 40 for about $12, which after Godaddy fees and a year of hosting should be right about $50-60 each.

      I typically look for hosting in the 1.50-2.00 / month range. Also, if I am linking to a different site, I might set up another PBN on some existing hosting.

  3. Poonam says:

    That’s great!! But have ever use the Magento for ecommerce store & have you see its extensions? Shopify & Woocommerce is good but Magento is best.

    • lostcyclist says:

      Magento is the best… if you know how to code. And you have a robust hosting platform. You’ve got to be good at XML, HTML and PHP. I have a programming friend who runs a multi-million dollar business helping ecommerce site owners with their Magento sites. So I’ve tried them, but I don’t have the patience to learn how to code when all I want to do is make money :p

      • Poonam says:

        So, here is different case you want to make money frequently that why you are not using Magento. But, for better & best services you should wait for a time. And, learn about Magento.:)

        • lostcyclist says:

          In some ways you are correct. If you want to build the next Amazon, Wayfair or Hayneedle, Magento is a pretty amazing system.

          But you will need to hire additional firms ans services (such as yours) to run it.

          Most of my readers are interested in thinking of an idea and having a store launched by the weekend and making money in the first month. Considering that Shopify has round-the-clock customer service and is so intuitive, it is an excellent choice for them.

          I would never knock Magento. But it is not as intuitive or plug and play as Shopify (as your company demonstrates).

  4. Lazlo says:

    I tried all from oscommerce to open-commerce magento all i used woocommerce was really nice, then i tried the trial for shopify and even with programing and html knowledge and strong seo experience…i have to say Shopify offers everything i mean everything for eCommerce they really know what people will need to start a online store as well they prices are actually very good because your website is hosted on Amazons EC2 Clouds and it loads so fast compared to your avrage shared hosting woocomerce with WordPress. I really fell in love with shopify they themes are nice however i love to see more shopify themes from themeforest but no doubt the management of pages and products and variations just are so easy to track and use compared to cluttered Magento that runs so slow on a shared hosting…so with all the hosting already given by shopify in my world they cheaper then any other shopping cart script out there. Thanks for your write up i really liked to read your experience with shopify! One question where can i buy those DA40 domains on moonsey for 12$??? i visit that site all the time to check other sites authority but where they sell domains or is it just on godaddy auction?

    • lostcyclist says:

      Glad to hear your thoughts on E-commerce platforms!

      The DA40 are getting harder to find, but I use and select “buy now” domains.

      Check it daily. You get lucky.

  5. Rubi says:

    Your just doing publicity for Shopify, and in a blatant manner.

    Shopify DOES have a transaction fee.

    IF and only IF you use the most expensive package, yeah, the fee is zero.
    But thats no the point!

    To have a simple store for your business, go with WooCommerce and thats that.

    Nearly $2000 dlls a year for hosting, thats minus a domain BTW, with Shopify?
    Yeah right!

    • lostcyclist says:

      Hey, Rubi!

      I wrote this post, simply because it was a fascinating experiment, and I’d thought I’d share my data.

      If you don’t wanna use Shopify and get extra Google traffic, then by all means, please don’t. I wouldn’t ever want to be accused of helping my readers get more traffic and make more money :p

      Now, I’m gonna hop back in the blog post and clarify the no transaction fee thing. You see, if you use their credit card processing system they will charge you CREDIT CARD PROCESSING fees, but no additional TRANSACTION fees. (And if you plan on taking credit cards, you WILL have to pay a credit card processing fee to somebody!)

      Previously, I had been paying Paypal 2.9% +.30cents for each transaction AND I was Also paying Shopify 1-2%, too.

      I had a $3,000 order with almost $150 in fees! That hurts the margin.

      Now, this offer of no Transaction Fees is only available to US and Canadian merchants — something I didn’t learn until just a moment ago.

      But, I’m only paying Shopify $29 a month right now, which means I only need to sell one or two items to pay my hosting for the entire year! You shouldn’t need the professional plan unless you are in the “big leagues”.

      Thanks for reading, and if Shopify is not a good fit for you, I understand. I wish you all the best on your business endeavors!

  6. Hi – I am so glad I read this post today. I signed up for a Shopify store in late January at their least expensive plan. I agree that setting up shop and selling is good there. For some reason I got to thinking about using WooCommerce this morning. My current blog is on WordPress, and my store on Shopify. The blogging setup on Shopify leaves a lot to be desired, so I link to my WordPress blog there.

    I got to thinking I might do better if everything is on the same website, and I could do it for free on WooCommerce on my WordPress site. Your post here has caused me pause to rethink this whole thing. I am definitely covering my $29.00 per month and more on Shopify, so I will stay there for now. I just need to develop more traffic.

    Anyhow, thanks for grounding me in reality. LOL!

  7. Eric Lituchy says:

    Thanks for the post. Can I ask what kind of store you have? It may be simply that there are more searches for your products during the summer months than in October. Plus, it really not a fair test as search algorithms could easily change during the “lost months” of August and Sept.

    • lostcyclist says:

      True that.

      So even if I reveal my niche and suppliers the algos might have changed and wouldn’t tell you anything.

      It’s a crap world we live in, no?

      I could update this post with more data since the site has been on woo commerce for over a year. I guess I’m getting lazy.

  8. Bob says:

    Did you use shared hosting with Woocommerce? Since load time is part of the ranking equation, your load time might have severely dropped if you used cheap shared hosting.

    My gut is telling me that at least some people who try woocommerce are skimping on the hosting.

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