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