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WordPress vs Shopify — Which is Better for SEO & Ecommerce

Shopify vs WordPress — which is better in 2023? Choosing the right CMS platform for your business needs defines success.

«When building e-commerce, it’s easy to get confused between the two most in-demand e-commerce platforms, WordPress and Shopify».

The CMS system should cover all the needs of e-commerce and at the same time combine accessibility, ease of setup and integrations. In this article, we would like to focus on a detailed comparison of Shopify and WordPress in terms of functionality, pricing, and eCommerce scalability.

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Shopify vs WordPress: What Are The Main Differences?

Nowadays there are a lot of available tools to develop online commerce, but most developers and business owners prefer Shopify and WordPress. Both obtain wide functionality with an effective customer support system. Let’s consider each of these tools in detail.

Shopify Features

Shopify platform provides excellent opportunities to host small online stores. CMS allows to manage inventory and accept customer payments with the help of one tool and a control panel. The good thing about Shopify is that you don’t need to worry about self-hosting or buying a domain name from a third party. This way it can be called an ideal turnkey solution for small start-up stores. Once you sign in, you’ll get access to the entire list of tools.

«In fact, the Shopify platform operates on a rental basis. Your e-commerce store will always be under the total control of Shopify. Entrepreneurs usually choose this type of online store rental as a cheaper alternative. On Shopify, you can start selling online in a quick and independent way with no programming knowledge».

The feature of the platform also lies in the analysis availability of sales-oriented analytical data. You can get information about overall breakdown of sales, total sales by channel, order numbers and useful customer information:

  • total quantity of orders;
  • visits;
  • order status, etc.

Integration with Google Analytics is available. Product items are easily imported into the catalog on Shopify, and all their possible advantages are displayed: special fields for product names, prices, descriptions, and images. The whole process is intuitively clear.

Main advantages of Shopify:
A possibility to create multiple sales channels Supporting over 100 payment systems Excellent website speed An opportunity to sell both digital and physical products Extensive self-help documentation available Lots of useful add-ons to expand your store Optimizations for mobile devices Optimizations for mobile devices

When creating an online store on Shopify, you should take into account that most of the templates available for e-commerce are paid. There are almost no free templates. In addition, they require improvements in adaptability.

«Of course, if you want, your developers will be able to customize the free template, making the design of the site more individual and setting up additional functions. But still, there’s a high probability that you’ll need to purchase additional plugins».

The themes are somehow similar to each other, but still not copies. The ergonomics of the interfaces are also visible. Each of the templates has a detailed description of features, a preview mode with demo content.

WordPress Features

WordPress is s a powerful CMS system with many add-ons and tools. The platform is the perfect solution for businesses, bloggers, and journalists because of its abundance of content-related features.

The most notable e-commerce tool is the free WooCommerce plugin. It’s characterized by a wide range of tools: inventory management, order administration, marketing, customer accounts, shopping carts, checkout, and more. 


WordPress has a more impressive set of tools than Shopify. In addition, many of them are free. You can always find the best solution for your needs. For example, here’s a product designer we managed to develop for a jewelry online store on WordPress:

Read more about the case on

Online store of personalized jewelry

If the site is developed from scratch and based on a unique design layout with no purchased templates and constructors like Elementor, the markup will be neat. There also will be a high page loading speed even on the mobile version. Many WooCommerce projects work quickly and efficiently due to the absence of extra scripts, foreign links and other unnecessary elements in the code. In addition, design projects are more recognizable and have a different personality:

Main advantages of WordPress:
You can deploy a commercial website in a short period of time Allows you to develop and implement any business tool - product designer, wholesale and retails price, multilingualism, multiregionality, etc It’s not necessary to involve a designer to design the site. You can do it without a large staff of programmers. By the way, add-ons are expensive as well Online stores can place an unlimited number of products, including variable products The official database of plugins and themes developed for WordPress has more than 1000 tools The platform is designed for serious SEO and marketing promotion You can add any functionality to your WP site with the help of open source code There's support from any hosting It’s easy for small projects to grow their business in the future due to the flexibility of the CMS

Shopify or WordPress: Which E-Commerce Platform is Best?

Shopify has a wide range of built-in store features. You can quickly set up an online store on Shopify and its showcase will have a professional look.

Anyway, WordPress is certainly preferable for a growing multifunctional business because of its several thousand plugins. There are no restrictions in WordPress development and what functions you can use to grow its capabilities.

«WordPress serves to work with any type of business. It doesn’t even matter if it’s selling goods or services, wholesale or retail. The WooCommerce tool is an extremely powerful eCommerce solution that rivals Shopify in features and functionality. However you can’t unleash the full potential of WordPress without a specialist».

So, there are a few important things to consider when choosing a CMS for an e-commerce web resource.

  • How easy is the CMS administrating.
  • How the goods management system is built.
  • How the shopping cart system will function.
  • Assessing security and vulnerabilities in the CMS code.
  • Flexibility for SEO.

How Easy Are They in Use?

WordPress and Simple Admin

The administrative part of the site is designed to manage its content: editing products and categories, changing themes, placing widgets, managing media files, editing the site code, including CSS appearance.

No other platform will provide so many opportunities to customize the appearance of an Internet resource and to administrate a commercial project. WordPress allows you to implement almost any idea. This can be done using special plugins and extensions. The admin panel can be changed beyond recognition being made a more pleasant-looking and flexible multifunctional mechanism.

«Better not to abuse the installation of plugins – many tasks can be implemented without using them. A skilled developer can help with it. A WP site will be fast and pass the PageSpeed ​​test if there’s a sound development approach».

Main advantages of the WP admin panel

  • Availability. All user groups, except for subscribers, can be included in the administrative panel of the site. Each user group has its own content editing permissions to perform control functions.
  • Quick access to console tools. The panel contains all the necessary tools that allow you to add, design and edit content, and customize the site in accordance with user preferences.
  • Ease of controls. It is possible to manage without knowledge of programming languages. It will take no more than 10-15 minutes to create a web project on WP.
  • Security plugins. Almost all plugins of this type have an anti-tampering module. Protection can be different: the number of incorrect login attempts is limited, the login address to the admin panel is changed and / or encrypted, etc.
  • Appearance customization. Finding the settings is easy — they are at the top of the page on the moving screen. It is called «Screen Settings» and is present on each tab of the admin panel, with its own settings elements.

Features of the Shopify Admin Panel

  • Possibility of quick creation of a site. An administrative panel opens with important and useful tips after filling in the questionnaire. You can understand the features of the service yourself or look at the training materials.

«The site is suitable if you do not plan to grow your business in the near future. It’s an ideal variant for a simple commercial project with limited features. CMS provides opportunities for a quick start, without the help of a developer».

  • Convenient choice of tariff plan. As the trial period is activated, a panel will constantly appear at the bottom of the interface with a reminder to select one of the tariff plans.

This way Shopify invests in the minds of customers that using the modules for free on an ongoing basis will not work. Although now the test period has been increased to 3 months. You can confidently decide whether the platform is suitable for your work or not during this period.

  • The admin panel is made with a standard template. The menu is located on the left side.

and additional navigation is at the top. The main menu is divided into 9 tabs, each hides additional modules. The main advantage of the admin panel is updating the data without reloading the page. When you switch to the selected menu item, a progress bar appears and only the central block with content is updated. This feature saves a lot of time at the stage of basic site setup. There’s no need to wait every time for the browser tab to refresh and the blocks to appear.

WordPress and product upload

Products are exported using plugins in Woocommerce. One of the most popular is WP All Import. A CSV file is generated in any convenient program: Excel, Google Sheets or Numbers. This makes it easy to interact with suppliers’ prices and price lists using an Excel file.


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«WP All Import recognizes fields that were created in WordPress or WP plugins, so you can fill in any data, including keywords, title, description, photos and their titles, prices, stock quantities, product status, categories and subcategories, description and characteristics of goods».

Right on WP, you can easily edit products from the admin area using Bulk Editor, filter and perform mass bulk edit.


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Using this plugin, you can conveniently and quickly put down discounts for a certain category, set their validity period and at the same time not overload the server. But its biggest advantage is the ability to work in the editor for several users simultaneously. In general, an intuitive admin panel eliminates any problems with improper use of the functionality — a minimum content management experience will be enough for this.

What’s the Developing Time Like with Shopify and WP?

The site of an online store implies constant work on content: adding new products, working on site usability, writing articles/news, working with reviews and finalizing the functionality taking into account the development of modern technologies.

As a rule, an e-commerce site on a purchased template can be launched within a month, and when developing a unique design, coding and automation, it takes over 4 months.

If you are taking your first steps in the field of e-commerce or want to get a small and profitable online store, then the Shopify e-commerce platform is a good solution. It is considered to be a good-looking and extremely simple CMS. It’s easy to start a small online business with it.

The whole process of setting up a commercial site on Shopify takes an average of 30 to 60 minutes, depending on how much the user understands the business that is being created. But the entire planning process can take days or even weeks. If the main goal is not only sales on Shopify, but also the development of a site in this field of activity, you will need the help of developers or painstaking self-training.

The time it takes to develop a site on WP depends on the complexity of the task. Creating a simple site will take about 2 weeks, and developing a large online store can take more than a month.

Our company very often fulfills orders for the development of sites on WordPress, so our experience allows us to create high-quality working resources in the shortest time possible. The stages of work are the following:

  1. Discussing the idea with the customer — clarifying their his needs and preparing technical specifications;
  2. UX/UI Design — we use a ready-made platform template in our work or create our own layout based on the corporate identity;
  3. Web Development — working on the functionality of the site and setting up modules;
  4. Filling content — we place texts, photos, videos;
  5. Seo preparation — reconciliation with the promotion plan;
  6. Site testing — checking the correct display of the resource on all devices and its functionality.

Is WordPress more expensive than Shopify?

Shopify has good functionality and is good for organizing an online store. Anyway, you can test the functionality for free for 14 days, but then you need to switch to one of the tariffs to continue working with the platform.

Shopify Lite
Designed for those who’d like to sell products on their own existing website. It does not include hosting, a domain name or a store builder.
$9 per month
Shopify Basic
Includes everything you need to start a new store, i.e. full hosting and a beginner-friendly store builder
$29 per month
the fee ranges from 1.75% + 30¢ to 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction
Includes everything from the Basic Shopify plan, but a professional report builder and support for up to five employee accounts is included as well
$79 per month
the transaction fee ranges from 1.6% + 30¢ to 2.8% + 30¢ per each transaction
Advanced Shopify
Includes everything from the previous plans, and the ability to create up to 15 employee accounts, access to an advanced report builder, and third-party estimated shipping rates
$299 per month
the fee ranges from 1.4% + 30¢ to 2.7% + 30¢ from Shopify Payments
Shopify Plus
Aimed at enterprise-level clients with high transaction volumes. It includes a wide range of tools and features to optimize your e-commerce experience. It is also supported by an infrastructure capable of handling a huge number of orders per day
from $2,000 per month

WordPress is completely free to use. There are a lot of free useful plugins for scaling a commercial site. WordPress is the more economical option for starting a business. In the future, you will have to invest money in order to develop the online project.

WordPress Website Hosting
monthly budget $5 - $100
access with self-hosting $5 - $20, fully managed hosting $30 - $100
Themes WordPress
basic templates $35 - $50
premium templates $80 - $200; template changes $300 - $1000; custom design $5000 – $10000
Plugins WordPress
monthly budget $5 - $150
payment software: $100 - $500; membership gateway software $100 - $300; email marketing software $5 - $99 (cost per month)
Payment for Developer Services
$15 — $28 per hour

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Shopify vs WordPress: Pros and Cons for E-Commerce

Shopify E-commerce Pros and Cons

You don't need to know coding or to obtain technical knowledge to use Shopify
It is specially made for e-commerce sites, so all the necessary sales tools are already set up
There is no need to pay for hosting or to have additional security concerns
There is an additional transaction fee (0.5% - 2% per transaction) paid unless not using Shopify's own payment gateway - Shopify Payments

WordPress E-commerce Pros and Cons

There’s a more powerful and flexible engine that allows more extensive customization of a commercial website
The updated editor makes the platform much easier to use
Almost any idea can be immediately implemented and tested, without spending a lot of time or money
There are many ready-made convenient plugins for customization already installed
You can use import for quick filling of the site
You need a professional developer to develop a commercial website. The cost of services varies within $15 - $28 per hour

Is WordPress or Shopify Better for SEO?

SEO is an essential part of any online store marketing. To reach your target audience and rank for your target keywords, you need a platform that allows you to seriously optimize SEO and integrate other tools in line with your marketing strategy.

SEO and Marketing Features of Shopify

Shopify has clean code and a natural link structure that provides a great user experience. This leads to increased visibility in search engine rankings and results in faster page loading.

«The set of SEO tools is too limited, and it will be impossible to implement your own “tricks” and special SEO tools to increase visibility. Therefore, the site is not too sharpened for serious search engine optimization and business scaling in search engines».

The platform has functionality for SEO and marketing. There are standard built-in optimization tools. It is possible to carry out On-Page optimization. However, there is no implementation of any SEO tools.

Consider the main indicators of SEO optimization in detail:

  1. Editing meta titles and descriptions. Shopify makes it easy to edit meta titles and descriptions for pages, products, and collections. A meta title is the title of the page that users will see on search engine results pages. Having compelling meta titles is a good way to convince users to click on the page rather than competitor search results. Meta descriptions are summaries of pages that appear in the SERPs right below the meta title. Pages with a meta description get 5.8% more clicks than pages without it.
  2. A high page loading speed means that the site is available to visitors and will get priority in ranking. Only one second load delay reduces customer satisfaction by 16%, and Google considers user experience as an important ranking factor. The platform has a status page where you can monitor the performance of your site.
  3. Optimization for mobile devices. Mobile traffic now accounts for more than half of all global online traffic, and that’s why it’s so important to make sure your site is good-looking on mobile device screens. Every Shopify theme is «mobile-optimized» or designed to work well both on mobile and on desktop — even the checkout pages will work perfectly.

In addition to the SEO indicators given above, Shopify has developed a discount coupon generator to help companies promote their products on various social networks. Quite a simple email collection form is also available on the platform. While it gets the job done by interacting with all the major email providers, many business owners prefer to look for more suitable add-ons.

Shopify SEO: Pros and Cons

Fast loading time
Built-in optimization for mobile devices
Includes SSL certificates
Optimized CSS and HTML5 coding
SEO apps available
Lack of technical settings
Limited URL structure customization
No possibility for blogging
It’s quite an expensive platform
No support for extended snippets

WordPress E-Commerce for SEO

When working with the WordPress platform, it is possible to develop all types of sites, from a simple storefront to complex e-commerce. Everything depends on the technical requirements and skills of the developers.

«Despite the prevailing stereotypes, online stores on WP are easily being promoted in search engines. Skillful people introduce the latest SEO features needed for modern technical and On-Page optimization».

A CMS like WordPress is perfect for running a high-quality business and covers all needs with its functionality. You can read about excellent examples of how the projects’ growth on WP could be performed in seo-cases.

SEO Case Study: Digital Agency Website Promotion

SEO promotion of the digital agency website in search engines is a complex multistage process. The Webnauts team has implemented all available methods:

Complex SEO for a site for buying office equipment

There are cases when clients come to us with a non-standard type of goods and services. Complex SEO for a website for buying office equipment + promotion by regions on WordPress is real:

Local SEO promotion of an online store of air conditioners

The approach to SEO should be complex. Local on-page optimization can also bring good results and it is more than just real on WP:

Increasing traffic of the drug store

When we started to work, organic traffic on the site ranged from 0 to 80 people per month. You can increase traffic by almost 30 times in 1 year. And that’s all on the WordPress CMS:

Cheap Plugins for SEO & Great Functionality

On the WordPress CMS, you can find a ready-made solution for absolutely any e-commerce idea. Plugins are quite affordable compared to other top CMS sites. A lot of goodies have been prepared here for SEO — just take and implement useful functionality on the site for a nominal fee, i.e.
  • SEO filter WP. Being able to generate filter pages as ready-made ones with meta tags for an online store. As a result, you can get a branched site structure, optimized for medium and low frequency queries with less effort.
  • Permalink manager. Being able to set a short character code for links, and that helps to form them without mentioning subdirectories. As a result, when changing the structure of the site and under condition of moving a subcategory to another category, the URLs will not generate a 404 error and will not require setting up a 301 redirect. This is especially important if you plan to grow your business in the future, and when because of this the catalog structure and nesting of goods will change.
  • Yoast SEO. The best free plugin for SEO optimization of a commercial site. The tool replaces the work of a SEO specialist in setting up On-Page SEO by 80%. It includes site analysis for keyword optimization, editing snippets for search engines and social networks, optimizing pagination pages, working with «noindex» and «nofollow» rules for pages, canonical setting and more. It allows you to work with site content indexing, Robots.txt and Sitemap.xml files on the admin panel, without involving a programmer.

Strong Blogging Support

WordPress started out as a blogging platform and has become more and more powerful over time.

Now the online store has a great opportunity to add additional tools for promotion. And since WordPress is designed for a blog, you can combine it with e-commerce with links to category pages and products.

Customizable, SEO-optimized Code

The WooCommerce WP tool was designed from the ground up with SEO optimization in mind. Many SEO features can be implemented on a WP site, such as up-to-date micro-markup, multilingualism, multiregionality, etc.

If an e-commerce site is developed from scratch, on its own design, without using various Elementor-type constructors, the site’s speed is at its best even in the mobile version. Competent development allows you to take into account many important factors for Google and Mobile Speed:

  • Avoid сumulative layout shift (CLS)
  • Improve largest contentful paint & first contentful paint (LCP & FCP)
  • Improve DOM structure
  • Reduce the amount of JS on pages
  • Configure server-side caching etc

Today, this allows Google to achieve high performance, for which the speed of the mobile version is now a priority for ranking.

WordPress Mobile-Friendly

WP allows you to implement the necessary functionality in the mobile version of the site. The programmer will be able to set the functionality necessary to close business tasks, integrate additional services and customize all these on the mobile version of the site.

Thanks to the well-coordinated work of the designer and programmer, there is no need to launch a separate mobile site along with the traditional desktop one, since the adaptive layout closes the sales funnel regardless of the screen size.

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WordPress SEO: Pros and Cons


The platform uses customizable SEO-optimized code
A wide variety of free SEO plugins are available
A huge selection of functionality for convenient site settings
Convenient URLs for search engines
Reliable blogging support
Support for rich snippets
Good page loading speed with proper resource creation
Available tech service and a wide range of specialists
Optimization for mobile devices
More manual SEO tweaks needed
If the settings are incorrect, the average speed of the site decreases
Not automatically optimized for CSS and mobile devices

WordPress (WooCommerce) Wins

The site should not just exist. It must bring conversions and income. In order for a business to work, it is not necessary to follow the principle and choose the complex tools, CMS systems. It’s enough to find an experienced team that masterfully operates with its own set of tools that can qualitatively implement the tasks. WordPress allows you not only to create online stores, but also to fantasize. Today it is the winner among CMS systems.

Shopify has already become a well-known platform for creating websites like e-commerce. The platform is popular for e-commerce for one reason: it is one of the simplest tools; it is very easy to navigate; there are many visually appealing themes to choose from; and many useful third-party integrations can be included that will bring profit to the business and improve the customer experience. However, there are a few main disadvantages that may affect the choice not in favor of Shopify: you are permanently renting a place for your business, and if you want to grow, you will have to transfer the site to a more flexible and convenient CMS.


WordPress is still the most popular content management system in 2023. The engine is completely free, flexible and easy to use.

The platform is constantly being improved and is currently considered one of the best for commercial projects. Thousands of plug-ins, tools and integrations have been developed for it, expanding the functionality and allowing you to develop various types of sites.

Web resources on WordPress are easy to manage even for beginners without CMS experience. It is possible to edit texts, replace photos, and edit product characteristics. This is the best choice for any business that plans to grow in future.