WordPress vs. Shopify (2017)

Alexandra Leslie Alexandra Leslie Hosting Expert
“We tested WordPress & Shopify — The winner is WordPress!”

When looking for stable, secure, and simple platforms to start or grow an online business, Shopify and WordPress are two of the best. WordPress, the world’s most popular open-source content management system, needs to be paired with a separate hosting plan and an eCommerce plugin. Luckily for store owners, the WordPress parent company also owns the internet’s most popular eCommerce platform. WooCommerce powers more than a quarter of online businesses, while Shopify excels at user-friendly flexibility that enables entrepreneurs to focus on their passions and products instead of configuring a website. The two platforms square off below in a battle for shopping supremacy.

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Overall Rating
5.0/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit WordPress »
Overall Rating
4.6/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Shopify »

Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 5.0/5.0

WordPress, the #1 blogging platform and software that powers more than 26% of websites currently online, needs no introduction. The underlying software of WordPress.com, a browser-based website builder for... read more +

WordPress, the #1 blogging platform and software that powers more than 26% of websites currently online, needs no introduction. The underlying software of WordPress.com, a browser-based website builder for newbie site owners to stretch their website design wings, can be downloaded and installed for free via WordPress.org.

Many of the top hosting providers make the software even easier to access, however, by offering single-click installations for WordPress. WordPress hosting front-runner, InMotion Hosting will preinstall the platform for you at checkout.

Once the platform is successfully set up, site owners can begin browsing the theme marketplace, previewing site content before publishing to the web. Find the perfect theme, incorporate any plugins you'd like to extend your site's functionality, and begin drafting your first post! Whether you're building a blog or an online store — hosting on a shared server or your very own VPS — you can have a new WordPress site online in less than an hour. It only has to take a few minutes, but we're no stranger to perfectionism.

You'll have the support of the open-source community in your corner, as the WordPress core code is actively maintained by a team of all-star contributing developers. And just about any question you could imagine having has probably been asked and answered somewhere on the web. It's a long-standing, fast-growing family of fans, and we at HostingAdvice welcome you to team WordPress!

Whether you're looking for shared, cloud-based, or dedicated server WordPress hosting, we recommend InMotion. Throughout our review of the WordPress platform, we'll use InMotion's pricing, storage allowances, uptime rates, and support standards to illustrate the ease and excellence of building a website with WordPress and a WP-friendly host.

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Money Back Guarantee
90 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

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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  • Sell via social media or fully hosted commerce platform
  • FREE website builder and hundreds of elegant themes
  • Showcase unlimited products
  • Integrate PayPal or Shopify POS
  • Advanced reporting and real-time shipping available
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (MyShopify.com)

Cheap Hosting Comparison

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

WordPress hosting is incredibly cost-competitive. The software itself is free, and most shared hosts offer WordPress packages in the $2- to $5-per-month ballpark. It's easy to get started, as hosts will... read more +

WordPress hosting is incredibly cost-competitive. The software itself is free, and most shared hosts offer WordPress packages in the $2- to $5-per-month ballpark. It's easy to get started, as hosts will often offer single-click installations for WordPress, and then you can begin browsing the thousands of themes available in the Appearance section of the WordPress dashboard. Customize to your heart's desire, click "Publish," and voila! You've got yourself a self-hosted WordPress website.

Whether you're looking to build an online presence for your brick-and-mortar or a blog for your interior design musings, WordPress is the ideal space in which to spread your website-building wings. The additional free resources you'll have at your fingertips include plugins (add-on software that extends the functionality of the WordPress platform), eCommerce tools, and features to optimize your website for online search.

By partnering with a cheap shared hosting provider, you'll get more than shared space on a server. To remain cost-competitive, most hosts include additional freebies such as a complimentary domain name registration, unlimited storage and email, and a few hundred dollars' worth of paid search marketing credits.

InMotion Hosting does all of the above, which is one of the many reasons we recommend the host as a true value offering in WordPress hosting. Get started today and enjoy free SSD storage, one-click installations for other WordPress-compatible tools, and business-class hardware at an ultra-affordable monthly rate.

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  • #1 site-building software is FREE
  • Install in 1 click with top hosts
  • FREE themes to customize your WordPress site
  • Works for eCommerce, blogging, galleries, and personal sites
  • Trusted by millions of website owners
  • Get started on WordPress with InMotion Hosting.
Money Back Guarantee
90 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

The great thing about Shopify is that the feature set centers around eCommerce, a focus of many shared hosting shoppers. Shopify plans are fully hosted, but even their most basic plan is more costly than a... read more +

The great thing about Shopify is that the feature set centers around eCommerce, a focus of many shared hosting shoppers. Shopify plans are fully hosted, but even their most basic plan is more costly than a majority of the shared hosts we've come across; however, if you're serious about building an online store, Shopify offers a broad range of plan options and feature additions to make that happen within a reasonable budget. Plus, you can host your business at a complimentary MyShopify.com subdomain, or at a new or existing domain of your own.

All plans allow you to showcase an unlimited number of products, and you can sell them via Facebook, a BUY NOW button, or the Shopify POS system. Accept payments via Shopify Stripe and ask for help when you need it, because the Shopify experts are available around the clock to help with anything from Shopify theme development to transaction issues. As you're building your online marketplace, you have hundreds of customizable themes to choose from, and the more technically inclined user can manipulate said themes via the Shopify API.

Shopify is great for online store building. It's a one-stop shop for building and hosting an online marketplace and should be considered as such. If you're looking for a super cheap shared hosting option, there are other providers to consider, but if you want a leading eCommerce platform, Shopify may be your winner.

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  • Includes a site builder with 100s of FREE and premium Shopify themes
  • Fully hosted plans with unlimited bandwidth, storage, and products
  • Easy-to-use Shopify Stripe Payments for processing transactions
  • Tons of eCommerce features, including discount codes
  • New or existing domain or FREE MyShopify.com subdomain
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (MyShopify.com)

Dedicated Hosting Comparison

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

If you're a mid-sized to large-scale online business, or if security and compliance are of utmost concern, you may be considering a dedicated server for your hosting needs. Dedicated resources come at a... read more +

If you're a mid-sized to large-scale online business, or if security and compliance are of utmost concern, you may be considering a dedicated server for your hosting needs. Dedicated resources come at a premium, but leading WordPress host InMotion makes it worth your while.

Should you opt for one of InMotion's dedicated hosting plans for WordPress, the team will download and install the software for you. Begin writing your site from scratch or get a jumpstart on design with a professional-looking theme. Either way, the end result will be blazing-fast page load speeds backed by an always-on uptime guarantee (99.999%).

InMotion Hosting dedicated servers feature SSD storage, rebootless kernel updates, full root access, and around-the-clock server monitoring. Plans include plenty of RAM, IP addresses, storage, and processing power, so your WordPress site is equipped to scale alongside your business.

WordPress is a robust, comprehensive platform for designing, deploying, and maintaining an exquisite and performant online presence, and it has a loyal community of contributing developers and avid users to show for it. Follow the forums, confide in the WordPress Codex, and spend some time getting to know the nuances of this incredible interface. You won't be disappointed.

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  • Robust blogging platform meets resource-capable dedicated servers
  • Ideal for fast-growing sites and enterprise
  • InMotion guarantees 99.99% uptime for your WordPress site
  • 1-click software installation for WordPress
  • FREE SSD storage
  • Get started on WordPress with InMotion Hosting.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
500 GB - 1.2 TB SSD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Dedicated Rating

N/A

Shopify does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

VPS Hosting Comparison

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Virtual private servers yield the utmost flexibility at a cost-effective price point. Some of the most performant and popular websites in the world are powered by VPS hosting, and the same can be said of... read more +

Virtual private servers yield the utmost flexibility at a cost-effective price point. Some of the most performant and popular websites in the world are powered by VPS hosting, and the same can be said of the WordPress platform. From the New York Post and Fortune.com to Spotify and Beyonce.com, millions of websites run on WordPress. HostingAdvice is backed by a virtual server and managed via the WordPress platform. It's a match made in hosting heaven.

For your VPS and cloud hosting needs, we recommend InMotion Hosting for WordPress. The company touts enterprise-grade hardware, and solid-state drives come standard, accelerating performance with up to 20x faster page loads. With your choice of datacenter locations, East or West Coast, InMotion delivers all the flexibility, performance, and security the VPS niche can offer.

Once your virtual server is provisioned and WordPress is installed, you can choose to write your HTML from scratch or take a head start with one of thousands of themes. Extend your site's functionality with plugins for eCommerce, page caching, comment moderation, and other essentials for a modern web presence.

Backed by an active, open-source developer community, the WordPress interface is easy to befriend, and just about any question you have about bugs or updates has probably been answered in the Codex or community forums.

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  • Instantly provision your VPS and install WordPress with 1 click
  • SSD speed gives your WordPress site a performance boost
  • WordPress is trusted as the #1 site builder platform
  • InMotion is trusted as the #1 WordPress VPS host
  • Tons of support available via your host and online forums
  • Get started on WordPress with InMotion Hosting.
Money Back Guarantee
90 days
Disk Space
75 GB - 260 GB SSD
Domain Name
New or Transfer

VPS Rating

N/A

Shopify does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 5.0/5.0

Good news, website owners: The software that powers upward of 25% of websites is free and open for public enjoyment and customization! WordPress is ready for download at WordPress.org, and the team is... read more +

Good news, website owners: The software that powers upward of 25% of websites is free and open for public enjoyment and customization! WordPress is ready for download at WordPress.org, and the team is actively maintaining its core code. So long as you stay current with your WP software versions and install plugins with caution, the site-building possibilities and benefits of WordPress are seemingly endless.

It should come as no surprise that many of the web's most trusted hosts have zeroed in on the popularity of WordPress, offering single-click installations for the software and WordPress-specific optimizations for performance, security, and support.

Once you get up and running with a WordPress host, you can choose from thousands of free and paid themes — premade website templates that expedite your site design process, allowing you to skip to the content and customization. For a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) experience, we recommend installing BoldGrid, a site builder tool that layers on top of the WordPress platform to create a drag-and-drop site builder environment. InMotion will install BoldGrid for you at checkout as well, making WordPress setup a non-issue.

Incorporating additional plugins, apps, and scripts extends the robust functionality of the WordPress interface. From calendar widgets to page caching for performance, there's essentially a plugin for every WordPress need. Integrating payment processing tools, such as Shopify and PayPal, converts your traditional site into a transaction-ready virtual marketplace. Cultivate a following with commenting apps, like Disqus, and link your social media accounts. What's more, WordPress hosts often throw in free paid search advertising credits to help you kickstart your marketing efforts.

WordPress remains the most popular platform for building a beautiful online presence from scratch. It's relied on by hosting novices and seasoned developers alike, and we're confident the software, matched with InMotion Hosting hardware, will deliver everything you need to establish and grow your next website.

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Money Back Guarantee
90 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE

WordPress Rating

★★★★ 3.8/5.0

While Shopify isn't your traditional web host, WordPress fans can take advantage of Shopify's eCommerce capabilities. For just nine bucks a month, you can integrate a Shopify BUY NOW button into your... read more +

While Shopify isn't your traditional web host, WordPress fans can take advantage of Shopify's eCommerce capabilities. For just nine bucks a month, you can integrate a Shopify BUY NOW button into your existing WordPress blog. The Shopify experts will generate a few lines of code for you and — voila — a stand-alone storefront is made for your site. Plus, you can customize via the Shopify API.

All you have to do is add your unlimited number of products and your Shopify/WordPress online store is officially in business. You benefit from all the easy payment processing solutions, including the Shopify Stripe Payment system, which accepts debit and credit cards. If you decide to upgrade your Shopify plan, the USPS shipping discounts and eCommerce features advance with you; you can even get a free SSL certificate.

While Shopify isn't your traditional WordPress host, it's a fine option for implementing top-notch eCommerce functionality into your existing WordPress website. It's not necessarily the most cost-conscious option, but for those who are serious about online store building, Shopify is certainly worth considering.

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  • Add a BUY NOW button to your WordPress site for $9/month
  • Easily copy and paste Shopify expert-generated code to add products
  • Display up to unlimited products
  • Custom design to match your brand
  • Process transactions easily with Shopify Stripe Payments
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (MyShopify.com)

Site Builder Hosting Comparison

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

While WordPress is technically blogging software, it's been called a website builder, a content management system, and even an eCommerce platform — basically, a website-building multitool. Because it's... read more +

While WordPress is technically blogging software, it's been called a website builder, a content management system, and even an eCommerce platform — basically, a website-building multitool. Because it's open-sourced, the core code can be adapted to meet virtually any website need, and the wealth of plugins and WP-friendly apps built by third-party developers makes this platform a go-to for website owners around the world.

For added site-building functionality, we recommend downloading and installing BoldGrid, which functions on top of the WP interface to act as a drag-and-drop content management system. This is especially useful for first-time site owners or nervous hosting newbies. Basically, BoldGrid takes away the one dig against WordPress, its semi-steep learning curve, by transforming the backend environment into a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) website editor. Best of all, both WordPress and BoldGrid are 100% free, and the InMotion Hosting team will set up the platforms for you at checkout.

Once WordPress is installed and configured, you can begin designing one of two ways: Upload your own HTML files and style sheets and continue customizing in the backend, or choose from a library of thousands of premade website themes. Paired with the abundance of plugins for extensibility, the WordPress interface brings utmost flexibility from a site construction and customization point of view.

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  • Intuitive, drag-and-drop site builder BoldGrid sits atop WordPress
  • Developed and supported by the InMotion Hosting team
  • Responsive themes so your WP site looks good on any device
  • FREE to download WordPress software
  • SEO-friendly end result
  • Get started on BoldGrid for WordPress now.
Money Back Guarantee
90 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

Shopify is a fully hosted web building platform that specifically serves the eCommerce niche. All plans include a free site builder tool and you can browse the Shopify Theme Store for a design that most... read more +

Shopify is a fully hosted web building platform that specifically serves the eCommerce niche. All plans include a free site builder tool and you can browse the Shopify Theme Store for a design that most closely matches your brand. Themes are fully customizable, i.e., drag and drop elements or manipulate via the Shopify API. Best of all, you can start building your eStore at no cost with Shopify's 14-day free trial.

Host your online store at a new or existing domain name, or take advantage of the free MyShopify.com domain that the company provides. The Shopify experts have made it simple to display and sell an unlimited number of items online, and processing them is a snap. The Shopify Stripe Payments system allows merchants to accept and process credit and debit transactions after customers make a purchase via Facebook, by clicking on a BUY NOW button, or on other social media platforms. Depending on which plan you sign up for, you can get advanced reporting, shipping, and shopping cart features as well. All plans include the option to entice customers with discount codes too!

If you're shopping for a web builder to build an online store, look no further than Shopify. Build your business, build your brand, and boast an unlimited number of products with ease. Online store building is Shopify's specialty, and the team is available to help you any time of day.

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  • Plans include a website builder with tons of Shopify themes — FREE!
  • Sell unlimited items via social media, a BUY NOW button, or Shopify POS
  • Developers can easily build on the platform via the Shopify API
  • Shopify experts available 24/7 to assist you in building your online store
  • Tons of eCommerce features
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (MyShopify.com)

WordPress vs. Shopify - Our Conclusion

Alexandra Leslie Alexandra Leslie Hosting Expert
“We tested WordPress & Shopify — The winner is WordPress!”

Despite the head-to-head contest above, WordPress and Shopify actually get along rather well. If you’re sold on WordPress but unsure of WooCommerce, Shopify offers a feature that enables users to embed products and a mobile-friendly shopping cart that works on multiple content management systems. At the end of the day, however, we’re going to side with open-source platforms powered by a responsible, reputable host, such as InMotion Hosting, that provides high-powered hardware and personalized around-the-clock support.

Overall Rating
5.0/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit WordPress »
Overall Rating
4.6/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Shopify »