Shopify vs. WordPress (eCommerce, Plugin Integration, Blog, & Themes)

Shopify vs. WordPress for eCommerce, Blogging, Plugins, & Theme Reviews

You know you want to sell your products online — but how? Many new eCommerce entrepreneurs or small business owners are clearly passionate about what they sell but often don’t have the technical chops to set up their online shop.

Shopify and WordPress are some of the most frequently used tools on the Internet and power millions of successful stores. While they’re both great, your specific needs might make one platform more beneficial to you than the other. Read on for our various reviews of Shopify and WordPress, along with tips to implement the programs most effectively.

Comparison: Overall | eCommerce | Blogging | Hosting Cost
Integration: Shopify Plugin for WP | Shopify Themes for WP

Shopify vs. WordPress: Overall Reviews

With tools like Shopify and WordPress, building an online store isn’t as hard as you might think. Both programs include everything you’ll need to start selling in just a few minutes and clicks.

WordPress

Originally viewed as just a blogging platform, WordPress has morphed into one of the most powerful and flexible platforms to get your brand online. More than 25% of all websites use WordPress, which is completely free and built entirely by volunteers. Use WordPress if you’re looking for:

  • Free (or basically free): With hosting, your store can be online for a few dollars a month.
  • Customization: Themes and plugins ensure you have the look and features you want.
  • Community: Millions provide support and ideas for making WordPress better for all.

Since the WordPress content management system is free, all you need is a hosting plan. Most companies offer 1-click installations of WordPress, and some even offer hosting packages tailored to maximize the speed and security of WordPress. InMotion Hosting goes a step further with their one-of-a-kind, WordPress-specific site builder, BoldGrid.

InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $5.99

  • WordPress pre-installed
  • Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
  • FREE domain, site transfers, and data backups
  • Host unlimited WordPress sites on one account
  • Choice of datacenter locations
  • Get started on InMotion now.
WORDPRESS
RATING
5.0
★★★★★
InMotion: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 7 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): InMotion, long known for their shared hosting options, entered the WordPress space with a solid option built upon their reputation for great support and reliability. Costing a small premium over other budget-minded options, they do include some nice features... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name WordPress Hosting Plans
90 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.inmotionhosting.com/wordpress

Shopify

The team behind Shopify originally started an online store to sell snowboard equipment. Instead of posting their goods in any number of marketplaces, they opted to build their own tool that let them build relationships with customers and showcase their brand. Now, more than 300,000 active Shopify stores have made more than $20 billion of sales. Consider Shopify if you want:

  • Easy: Your store, hosting, inventory management, and analytics are all in one place.
  • Out-of-the-box security: Every shop comes with an SSL certificate and PCI compliance.
  • Centralized support: Reach 24/7 support through phone, email, or chat.

Shopify is a 1-stop shop for eCommerce that includes secure hosting, unlimited bandwidth, and all the tools you need to open your store for business. Although the price tag is a bit steeper than most shared hosting plans, it’s worthwhile knowing that Shopify’s 24/7 support experts can take care of all aspects of your business.

Shopify.com

Shopify review

Monthly Starting Price $9.00

  • Fully-hosted plans and FREE site builder for simple online store building
  • Showcase an unlimited number of products with unlimited storage
  • Sell via Facebook, Pinterest, BUY NOW Button, or Shopify POS
  • Accept payments via PayPal, credit cards, and with Shopify Stripe
  • 100s of themes from Shopify experts
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
BEST OVERALL
RATING
4.6
★★★★★
Shopify: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 5 minutes
Toby Sembower (HostingAdvice.com): Shopify is easily one of the more well-known eCommerce web builder platforms in the hosting industry. Their plans are fully-hosted, include a free site builder tool, and allow you to boast an unlimited number of products with unlimited file storage as well.... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Best Overall Hosting Plans
14-Day FREE Trial Unlimited FREE (MyShopify.com) www.shopify.com

The Winner: Depends on You

We know, that answer sounds like a cop-out. The truth is, however, these two programs are incredibly different; there’s just not a one-size-fits-all answer just yet. Keep reading as we break down the various options that determine why you should use one over the other.

Shopify vs. WordPress: eCommerce Comparison

You can go one of two ways here. Do you want to take a longer road but have ultimate flexibility and room to grow? Or do you just want to get up and running as fast as possible, even if the price is higher and you won’t have as many options to scale?

WordPress: eCommerce Themes, WooCommerce, and PayPal Integration

We’re not going to lie, there will be more setup with WordPress. You need a host, a theme, an SSL certificate, and an eCommerce plugin. That last part is where WooCommerce comes in: With nearly 17 million downloads, WooCommerce powers almost 40% of online stores. WooCommerce will also help you integrate your business PayPal account. With all the preparation needed for WordPress, the host you choose is an incredibly important decision. We recommend eHost as a great entry-level host — enjoy a bevy of included features with a hard-to-beat price.

eHost.com

eHost review

Monthly Starting Price $2.75

  • FREE domain name for life, plus $200 in ad credits
  • Create your own online store for FREE with cPanel
  • 1,000s of FREE templates with FREE website builder
  • Register and host unlimited domains
  • FREE site analytics, marketing, and SEO tools
  • Get started on eHost now.
ECOMMERCE
RATING
5.0
★★★★★
eHost: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 4 minutes
Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): If you’re a mom-and-pop shop owner looking to build a web presence, look no further than eHost. They offer tons of freebies, including eCommerce and marketing features, to help get you started…Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name eCommerce Hosting Plans
45 days Unlimited FREE for life! www.ehost.com/ecommerce

Shopify: Unlimited Products and Many Means of Payment Acceptance

You don’t need any coding or design skills to open up your Shopify store. You can choose from more than 100 pre-built templates and adjust the layouts, colors, and content. Your store and shopping cart are automatically optimized for mobile devices and SEO, and you can track performance with analytics on both your products and web traffic. If you run into any problems along the way, Shopify’s dedicated support team is available 24/7 in addition to their help center, discussion forums, and eCommerce University.

Shopify.com

Shopify review

Monthly Starting Price $9.00

  • Fully-hosted plans and FREE site builder for simple online store building
  • Showcase an unlimited number of products with unlimited storage
  • Sell via Facebook, Pinterest, BUY NOW Button, or Shopify POS
  • Accept payments via PayPal, credit cards, and with Shopify Stripe
  • 100s of themes from Shopify experts
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
BEST OVERALL
RATING
4.6
★★★★★
Shopify: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 5 minutes
Toby Sembower (HostingAdvice.com): Shopify is easily one of the more well-known eCommerce web builder platforms in the hosting industry. Their plans are fully-hosted, include a free site builder tool, and allow you to boast an unlimited number of products with unlimited file storage as well.... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Best Overall Hosting Plans
14-Day FREE Trial Unlimited FREE (MyShopify.com) www.shopify.com

The Winner: WordPress — With Shopify Plugin!

Luckily, you can get the best of both worlds. Capture the WordPress hosting performance, scalability, and support while still capitalizing on Shopify’s eCommerce infrastructure. Go with a strong WordPress host, such as InMotion, and add Shopify’s eCommerce shopping cart plugin to link your accounts and sell directly on your WordPress site.

InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $5.99

  • WordPress pre-installed
  • Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
  • FREE domain, site transfers, and data backups
  • Host unlimited WordPress sites on one account
  • Choice of datacenter locations
  • Get started on InMotion now.
WORDPRESS
RATING
5.0
★★★★★
InMotion: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 7 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): InMotion, long known for their shared hosting options, entered the WordPress space with a solid option built upon their reputation for great support and reliability. Costing a small premium over other budget-minded options, they do include some nice features... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name WordPress Hosting Plans
90 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.inmotionhosting.com/wordpress

Shopify vs. WordPress: Blog Comparison

This one is pretty easy. Do you want to use the most popular blogging platform in the galaxy, or a secondary feature created by an eCommerce company?

WordPress: #1 Blogging Platform with 1,000s of Themes

Tell your story in any way you can imagine. You can choose from any number of free or paid themes and add plugins for social sharing, increased SEO, analytics, and interactivity. Use categories, tags, and permalinks to organize your blog and make it more user-friendly.

Shopify: None

Shopify does technically have a blogging tool, but it just doesn’t compare with the functionality and power of WordPress. The platform will meet the needs of beginners, but the lack of plugins and flexibility means successful stores will quickly outgrow Shopify.

The Winner: WordPress

We could hedge our bets and tell you to have a Shopify store and WordPress blog in a subdomain (i.e., blog.yourstore.com), but it’s not worth the hassle. More than 60 million users can’t be wrong — use WordPress with our favorite blog host, InMotion.

InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $5.99

  • FREE domain and transfer, with WordPress pre-installed
  • Host unlimited WordPress sites on a single account
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth, plus FREE data backups
  • User-friendly, 3-step Wizard for Google apps integration
  • SPAM Safe™ email with IMAP support
  • Get started with InMotion now.
BLOG
RATING
5.0
★★★★★
InMotion: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 7 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): What could be a more perfect fit for blog hosting than a host that offers pre-installed WordPress? InMotion allows users to host unlimited WordPress sites on a single account, along with unlimited storage, transfers, and bandwidth…Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Blog Hosting Plans
90 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.inmotionhosting.com/blog-hosting

Shopify vs. WordPress: Hosting Cost

Here’s where WordPress starts to pull away. The open-source platform is free to download and use, as are many plugins and themes. Shopify, on the other hand, starts their plans in the range of $10 per month. The cheapest plan, however, only generates product listings that you can embed in an existing website or social media — it’s not a standalone storefront. Those plans range from $30 to $300 per month, depending on the features you need.

Stick with a basic, affordable web hosting company. Most of them offer 1-click installations of WordPress and will get you started for only $2 to $5 per month.

eHost.com

eHost review

Monthly Starting Price $2.75

  • FREE domain name registration for life
  • Drag-and-drop site builder with 1,000s of FREE templates
  • $200 in advertising credits from Google, Bing, and Yahoo!
  • 24/7 customer support and step-by-step tutorials
  • Get 50% off today (was $5.50/month, now $2.75)
  • Get started on eHost now.

CHEAP
RATING

5.0
★★★★★

eHost: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 4 minutes
Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): If you're looking for a low-cost, entry-level jump into the shared hosting space, eHost is the right host for you. They offer tons of freebies to make building your web presence from scratch as stress-free on you, and your wallet, as possible.Like many shared... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Cheap Hosting Plans
45 days Unlimited FREE for life! www.ehost.com/shared

Shopify WordPress Plugin Integration

As we said earlier, combining the strengths of WordPress and Shopify is a surefire way to get the online store of your dreams. Follow these steps to get started:

1. Sign Up for Hosting
Set up an account with a hosting company, such as BlueHost ($2.95/mo), InMotion ($5.99/mo), or eHost ($3.99/mo), that allows for 1-click WordPress installations.

2. Implement Your Design
Get your website set up with whatever themes, images, and content you want. It’ll be easier to integrate Shopify into your existing branding.

3. Sign Up for Shopify
Next, sign up for your Shopify account. You can start with a 14-day free trial and then upgrade to the Shopify Lite package.

4. Install Shopify Plugin
Once you’re all signed up for everything and ready to start selling, head over to WordPress to install and activate the Shopify plugin. Open the plugin (via the Shopify link in the admin menu on the left) and enter your Shopify login information to link your store and website.

5. Set Up Shop!
The plugin will walk you through adding products, setting up payment options, and configuring shipping. You’ll be able to add individual products or collections to any WordPress post, page, or sidebar with a click of a button.

If you get stuck, WPBeginner has a great resource with plenty of screenshots that will lead you through the process.

Shopify WordPress Themes

Finding just the right WordPress theme can be like quicksand for novice and seasoned designers alike. With so many vibrant options, how do you know your search is over?

Screenshots of four eCommerce WordPress themes

Clockwise from top left: The Hype, Simple, FreeStore, and Ella themes combine the best of WordPress and Shopify.

Hopefully, we can save you some time by compiling a list of some of the top-selling WordPress themes built with Shopify in mind.

  • Hype: Shopify teamed up with Themezilla to focus on powerful product images.
  • Simple: Just like the name implies, this design is all about an easy purchasing experience.
  • FreeStore: Included layouts and page templates make design easy for beginners.
  • Ella: Geared for fashion, tailor your website with layered navigation and mega menus.

If you want to see more options, our WordPress Reviews Guide covers the best themes. More than 100 themes are also available through WordPress’s theme directory, as well.

Start Selling or Blogging in Under 10 Minutes

Tools such as WordPress and Shopify enable you to spend more time with your products, business, and ideas instead of fussing with a complicated online store. We think most entrepreneurs will enjoy the advanced features and unlimited flexibility of WordPress, but certainly understand and appreciate how Shopify takes care of beginners by offering an easy 1-stop shop that meets all their needs.

If you think WordPress is right for you (with or without the Shopify plugin integration), check out our list of the best hosting companies for WordPress.

Laura Stamey

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Ask a question and Laura will respond to you. We strive to provide the best advice on the net and we are here to help you in any way we can.