Shopify vs WordPress

The world of online commerce is a world of many dimensions. Almost all retailers have a website that enables users to order products and have them shipped out to the address supplied, and some companies are based entirely on Internet retailing. So it is not surprising at all that there is special software available for building commerce websites. One of the most common E-commerce programs on the market is Shopify, used by thousands of online merchants. However, some online sellers want to build a website that is attractive to web surfers, but don’t want to use, or can’t afford, high-end commerce software, so they will use an easily customizable platform for website-building and blogging, such as WordPress. The paragraphs below will discuss Shopify and WordPress, and why some people would want to use a high-end commerce program instead of a blogging site. Every software product has its purposes, though they may appear unclear at times. However, putting two software products side by side can give you a clearer image of what you may want or need in the world of online commerce and retailing.

Shopify is a commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, founded in 2004. The company’s founders originally had a snowboard store that gave customers the ability to shop on their website. Due to its accessible interface, they developed software that was based on their snowboard store program when they made Shopify. In order for merchants to use the Shopify software and webhosting service, a monthly fee is required. Over 150,000 people use Shopify to power online retail sites and point-of-sale systems. Shopify has a gross merchandise volume that exceeds seven billion dollars. It is rather popular, having been nominated for the CNET Webware 100 Award in 2007. By 2008, Shopify was taking in profit without any outside funding. People loved the ability to build a retail website without knowledge of HTML, JavaScript or any other web coding or programming. The Ottawa Business Journal listed Shopify as Ottawa’s fastest-growing business. Employment also grew significantly; in 2010, Shopify had forty employees; by 2014, they had over five hundred people working for them.

Shopify has a number of key features that make it noteworthy. Their software can give online retailers the ability to manage inventory, products, customers, discounts, orders, and other aspects of typical online store management. Merchants can accept a variety of payment forms. They have their own payment system, called Shopify Payments, as well as more general-purpose gateways such as Paypal or even Bitcoin. Merchants have templates they can use for their retail websites for no additional cost, and even more templates for additional fees. Those with knowledge of web coding such as HTML and CSS can edit code and create their own layout. Shopify even has its own app store and theme store.

WordPress is both a blogging program and a content management system used on many websites. The WordPress company was founded in 2003, and millions of WordPress-powered websites have launched since then. WordPress is free to use, which is likely one of the reasons so many people use it. WordPress has its own template system, and allows website owners to install and switch between various themes (known amongst some web developers as skins), which determines the general look and layout of the site. People with knowledge of web coding such as HTML, CSS and PHP can even edit themes to make them their own. WordPress also has plug-ins which can be installed separately from WordPress itself, and can do a wide variety of tasks; displaying certain information only to registered users, widgets, navigation bars, toolbars, and even search engine optimization. It also allows tagging, categorizing, timestamping, and other features expected of a blogging tool. It even has the ability to track site links.

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Shopify and WordPress have several things in common; they are both known for their webhosting features, they both power many different kinds of websites, they both allow users to customize their websites, and they are both getting a significantly large number of users. However, there are many big differences. Shopify was specifically designed as an E-commerce program, while WordPress is a general blogging and website-building program. Shopify was set up specifically for website developers to build retailing websites that allow users to order products online. Shopify has a variety of plans, depending on how much you pay per month. Most of WordPress is free; the only thing a user may have to pay for is a special theme (in other words, a fancy layout) that he or she may want to use for a website. But just in the free layouts category, there are myriads to choose from. Online retailers can use WordPress if they want to. It may require a significant amount of setup, such as setting up buttons that allow customers to use Paypal to pay for their products. Shopify, though it costs more, comes prepared for use in the world of online retailing.

If you want your website to look like a top-level, Amazon-quality retail site, you would probably want to go with Shopify; the fee, which can be anywhere between $15 and $100, depending on how many features you need, will be worth it, since the Shopify system has very good search engine optimization, a perfectly-designed retail interface, the ability for people to use a number of payment systems, and much more. However, with a little bit of work, you can set up a decent retail site on WordPress, and pay from very little to nothing! WordPress will require manual setup, such as making those Paypal links so people can order products. Shopify, on the other hand, will automatically set a lot of that up. WordPress may even have retail-based themes, but those themes might not know where your payments go, so you will still have to do some work. If you want a top-grade, professional retail site, use Shopify. If you’re running a local business, use use WordPress. Both have their own unique features, and it all depends on what you need.

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