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

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:

Integration:

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 single-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.

WORDPRESS RATING
★★★★★ 5.0/5.0
  • WordPress pre-installed
  • FREE SSL certificate and unlimited bandwidth
  • FREE domain, site transfers, and data backups
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
WordPress Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/wordpress
Our Expert's InMotion Review
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... read more +

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 to help justify that cost difference.

Build on an all-SSD infrastructure, their speeds are very good. We would have loved to see options like integrated staging and caching included in order to help take full advantage of the nice, modern hardware. The choice of datacenters (East or West) is nice however, as it allows you to target your local audience with better load times.

InMotion offers three different levels to their WordPress hosting offerings, which allows you to tailor the hosting to your needs or budget. For those needing eCommerce support, their middle or top offerings have you covered. Their top offering also allows unlimited installs for WordPress, which is great to see.

Each hosting package they offer comes with a free domain, unlimited disk space, unlimited emails, and free data backups for data security. If you need it, each plan also has support for PHP, Ruby, Perl, and Python, and includes SSH access.

InMotion Hosting has made a name for itself on support and reliability. While not the cheapest of the budget WordPress hosts out there, the packages offered are solid in performance and feature sets.

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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 one-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.

BEST OVERALL RATING
★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
  • Sell via social media or fully hosted commerce platform
  • FREE website builder and hundreds of elegant themes
  • Showcase unlimited products
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $0.00
Money Back Guarantee 14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (MyShopify.com)
Best Overall Hosting Plans www.shopify.com
Our Expert's Shopify Review
Shopify is easily one of the more well-known eCommerce web builder platforms in the hosting industry. Plans are fully hosted, include a free site builder tool, and allow you to boast an unlimited number of... read more +

Shopify is easily one of the more well-known eCommerce web builder platforms in the hosting industry. 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. Compared to other web hosts, Shopify's not going to offer you the same level of robustness in their technological offerings, but their eCommerce features are on point. Online store building is their bread-and-butter of services, and they're darn good at it.

First of all, the Shopify Theme Store features hundreds of free and premium theme options that are relatively easy for end-users to manipulate; plus, dev-savvy folks can customize their eStores and themes via the Shopify API. You can actually start building your online marketplace today — for free for 14 days — and select your plan later. The Shopify experts are on call and ready to help 24/7.

Once you've built your online store with Shopify, build your business by processing product transactions through a myriad of payment methods. Shopify users can sell via social media, by integrating a BUY NOW button, or using the Shopify POS system. Serious eCommerce folks may opt to purchase the Retail Package add-on as well, which includes a cash register, receipt printer, and barcode scanner.

All in all, Shopify offers everything you need to run an efficient and lucrative online business. The commerce-oriented features are many, and they only advance with each upgrade in service package — from the "Basic" to the "Unlimited" plans. Also, you can buy or transfer your domain name, or park your online store at a free MyShopify.com subdomain. If you're eCommerce-focused, trust Shopify for your online store building.

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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. Enjoy a bevy of included features at a hard-to-beat price with the top entry-level eCommerce host below.

ECOMMERCE RATING
★★★★★ 5.0/5.0
  • 1-click installs for eCommerce tools like WooCommerce
  • FREE eCommerce plugin for WordPress
  • Daily backups, a CDN, and FREE Weebly site builder
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $3.95
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 10 GB - 30 GB
Domain Name New or Transfer
eCommerce Hosting Plans www.siteground.com/ecommerce
Our Expert's SiteGround Review
SiteGround’s shared hosting plans tout eCommerce necessities: 1-click installations of Magento, PrestaShop, WooComerce, or WordPress with the WP eCommerce plugin. If you opt for WP eCommerce, your server will be custom configured to fit your site’s... read more + SiteGround’s shared hosting plans tout eCommerce necessities: 1-click installations of Magento, PrestaShop, WooComerce, or WordPress with the WP eCommerce plugin. If you opt for WP eCommerce, your server will be custom configured to fit your site’s needs, and if you have an existing site, the SiteGround team will help you migrate to their services… collapse info -

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.

BEST OVERALL RATING
★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
  • Sell via social media or fully hosted commerce platform
  • FREE website builder and hundreds of elegant themes
  • Showcase unlimited products
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $0.00
Money Back Guarantee 14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (MyShopify.com)
Best Overall Hosting Plans www.shopify.com
Our Expert's Shopify Review
Shopify is easily one of the more well-known eCommerce web builder platforms in the hosting industry. Plans are fully hosted, include a free site builder tool, and allow you to boast an unlimited number of... read more +

Shopify is easily one of the more well-known eCommerce web builder platforms in the hosting industry. 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. Compared to other web hosts, Shopify's not going to offer you the same level of robustness in their technological offerings, but their eCommerce features are on point. Online store building is their bread-and-butter of services, and they're darn good at it.

First of all, the Shopify Theme Store features hundreds of free and premium theme options that are relatively easy for end-users to manipulate; plus, dev-savvy folks can customize their eStores and themes via the Shopify API. You can actually start building your online marketplace today — for free for 14 days — and select your plan later. The Shopify experts are on call and ready to help 24/7.

Once you've built your online store with Shopify, build your business by processing product transactions through a myriad of payment methods. Shopify users can sell via social media, by integrating a BUY NOW button, or using the Shopify POS system. Serious eCommerce folks may opt to purchase the Retail Package add-on as well, which includes a cash register, receipt printer, and barcode scanner.

All in all, Shopify offers everything you need to run an efficient and lucrative online business. The commerce-oriented features are many, and they only advance with each upgrade in service package — from the "Basic" to the "Unlimited" plans. Also, you can buy or transfer your domain name, or park your online store at a free MyShopify.com subdomain. If you're eCommerce-focused, trust Shopify for your online store building.

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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.

WORDPRESS RATING
★★★★★ 5.0/5.0
  • WordPress pre-installed
  • FREE SSL certificate and unlimited bandwidth
  • FREE domain, site transfers, and data backups
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
WordPress Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/wordpress
Our Expert's InMotion Review
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... read more +

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 to help justify that cost difference.

Build on an all-SSD infrastructure, their speeds are very good. We would have loved to see options like integrated staging and caching included in order to help take full advantage of the nice, modern hardware. The choice of datacenters (East or West) is nice however, as it allows you to target your local audience with better load times.

InMotion offers three different levels to their WordPress hosting offerings, which allows you to tailor the hosting to your needs or budget. For those needing eCommerce support, their middle or top offerings have you covered. Their top offering also allows unlimited installs for WordPress, which is great to see.

Each hosting package they offer comes with a free domain, unlimited disk space, unlimited emails, and free data backups for data security. If you need it, each plan also has support for PHP, Ruby, Perl, and Python, and includes SSH access.

InMotion Hosting has made a name for itself on support and reliability. While not the cheapest of the budget WordPress hosts out there, the packages offered are solid in performance and feature sets.

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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.

BLOG RATING
★★★★★ 5.0/5.0
  • FREE domain and transfer, with WordPress pre-installed
  • Host unlimited WordPress sites on a single account
  • Unlimited bandwidth, plus FREE data backups and SSL security
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Blog Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/blog
Our Expert's InMotion Review
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… read more + 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… collapse info -

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 one-click installations of WordPress and will get you started for only $2 to $5 per month.

CHEAP RATING
★★★★★ 5.0/5.0
  • Featuring easy setup and superb reliability since 1998
  • FREE domain and FREE Google marketing included
  • Unlimited disk, bandwidth, and emails
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $1.99
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Cheap Hosting Plans www.ipage.com/shared

Our Expert's iPage Review

Whether you're a first-time website owner or a web veteran, iPage’s excellent hosting services and fantastic list of extras make them one of the best values in web hosting. Unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and emails... read more +

Whether you're a first-time website owner or a web veteran, iPage’s excellent hosting services and fantastic list of extras make them one of the best values in web hosting.

Unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and emails are just a part of what makes iPage’s shared hosting plans a great deal. They offer very good "suites" of extras focusing on web hosting necessities like security, marketing, and support.

If you don’t yet have a site, they include a free domain and website builder to get you rolling quickly. We especially love their inclusion of eCommerce templates and online shopping carts for the same low price.

Support is one factor that’s very important to us, as it should be to you. For customer support, iPage has US-based phone, email, and chat available 24/7. For the DIY crowd, they also have an extensive list of tutorials and helpful documents.

One of the very best budget web hosts out there, iPage offers great hosting features and server performance for a low price. If you are searching for a cheap, reliable web host, iPage should definitely be near the top of your list.

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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) or InMotion ($5.99/mo), that allows for single-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?

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 Less Than 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 one-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.


Continue comparing with similar articles on popular site-building options:


Don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the article, or share your experience with either Shopify or WordPress, by dropping us a line below!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Stamey

Laura Stamey is a multi-talented communicator with a master's degree in web design and online communication and extensive experience creating web, print, and multimedia products. As a Contributing Editor for HostingAdvice.com, she combines her communication skills with web design experience, a passionate love for WordPress, and a strong desire to continue learning. When she's not addressing user questions via helpful how-to guides, you'll find her connecting with the folks behind companies that are powering the Web — covering their innovative technologies and the teams that engineer them.