Shopify vs. WordPress
The two most popular platforms for selling physical products online are Shopify and WordPress. I have used both over the years and currently own and build websites using both. So which should you choose?
Here are three reasons you might want to go with Shopify.
Infrastructure Done For You
When you build a website using WordPress, a good part of the infrastructure comes with the theme that you choose. You can choose a free theme like the ones that come with WordPress or a premium theme like Avada. Your choice will determine how well the site performs your ecommerce goals and works with your desired ecommerce software. The theme, however is limited and you will need additional software for selling your products. One of the most popular plugins for WordPress ecommerce is WooCommerce.
Shopify on the other hand comes with everything you would need to start selling your products. You still will need a theme (some of which are free) for the look and feel. There are many apps (plugins) that extend the capabilities but not absolutely necessary.
Why Do You Need a Shopping Cart?
Shopify comes packaged with a robust shopping cart that allows you to take credit cards without the regulatory and security burdens of handling the transactions directly. You don’t have to worry about being “PCI Compliant” as they take care of most of that and ensures that your business qualifies. With Shopify, the customer’s credit card number is not seen by the merchant (you) so customers feel more comfortable entering their credit card on your store.
Yes — you can get a PayPal or Stripe account but be sure to review the cost of using those services including the fees they charge which are not refundable even if you refund your customer.
Shopify also gives you the ability to integrate other services like PayPal, Amazon Pay, Shop Pay, Google Pay and even to accept checks.
Will Your Store Be Hacked?
The main concern of running a store online is maintaining the highest security so you won’t be ripped off (or your customers!). Security for WordPress sites requires that all your software is updated on a timely basis — and that burden is on you or someone you hire to do it. You need to have regular backups and scan your site for malware.
With Shopify, that is taken care of for you. Your password needs to be strong but the updates and the scanning is taken care of by Shopify.
Bottom line comes down to whether you have the time and skills to keep a WordPress website maintained. If you can do some or all of that work, then the difference between the two platforms is more narrow. Even so, after using both, I recommend Shopify for selling physical products and spend your time sourcing products and taking care of your customers instead of taking care of your website.