Shopify vs WordPress: Which Platform is Better for Small Business?

Many businesses, especially startups, are finding it difficult to determine which platform to use for their e-commerce site. There is a lot to learn about each platform; however, we are here to make things easier for you and highlight each platform’s key features and why you may favor one over the other specific to your business. With that being said, hopefully by the time you reach the end of this, you will have a better understanding on which one to choose to better serve the needs of your business.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a platform that allows users to build and launch their very own online store, providing you with the sales features to start, run, and grow your business. The platform provides a variety of templates that can be customized, making it easy to match your businesses’ branding. Whether your business sells physical or digital products, Shopify is a platform that allows you to do both.

The great thing about Shopify is that you don’t need to have any coding, technical or design skills to create your own website. However, if you do have the experience, then Shopify also allows you to edit the HTML and CSS of your webpages. Therefore, those with experience can customize their stores to their own specifications.

Another perk about Shopify is that it runs on its own servers and is considered a ‘hosted’ solution. This means that Shopify users do not need to purchase web hosting or software, as everything you need to create and run your own store is available all through the platform. Instead, users pay a monthly fee to use.

Shopify is a web application–this means that it runs in the cloud. The great thing about that is as long as you have access to the internet and a browser, you can access and manage your store from anywhere at any time.

What is WordPress?

It is important to know that there are two different types of WordPress available:

Hosted WordPress ( is much like Shopify in that it is a software that has everything you need to create and run your own store, providing a wide range of features. With hosted WordPress, you also pay a monthly fee. However, unlike Shopify, hosted WordPress requires you to use a third party site to add e-commerce features to your website.

On the other hand, self-hosted WordPress is software that must be installed from Because it is self-hosted, this means that it is open-sourced and the code behind it can be easily edited. This allows the website to be completely customized by a skilled website developer or through other plugins. This means that the website can be adaptable to just about any website design.

The self-hosted WordPress can be installed for free; however, there are hosting and domain costs, as well as potential plugins or development work that may be needed.

Is Shopify or WordPress better for SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to the performance of any website. If you want to achieve traffic and sales, then it is essential to have good visibility on search engines. In terms of SEO, WordPress can be a better choice as opposed to Shopify. For instance, WordPress allows you to install Yoast, which is a SEO feature that helps with your website optimization and is one of the most useful tools in terms of SEO. 

Additionally, you have the ability to create site-maps which are SEO friendly and set URLs that avoid duplicate content (which is very important for Google rankings). Another good thing about WordPress is that it allows you to create short, concise URLS, which Google also likes.

Plus, WordPress can be hosted on any server so you don’t have to worry as much about the site speed (compared to Shopify), which is another important factor that Google appreciates. There are many other advantages to why WordPress is preferred for SEO purposes, but ultimately, it’s important to have a reputable web development company on your side, such as Branding Los Angeles (unless you’re experienced yourself).

Can You Use WordPress With Shopify?

If your website is powered by WordPress and you’d like to implement e-commerce features, then you can certainly use WordPress with Shopify. Shopify has a wide range of e-commerce sales features that you can use, which makes it easy to integrate the two.

Is Shopify better than WordPress?

Now for the main question–”Is Shopify better than WordPress?” Ultimately, the answer depends on your needs, experience with technology and websites, as well as expectations. 

While Shopify is a lot easier to set up, use, and manage in comparison to WordPress, it is not as flexible and has fewer options. If you are looking to build and use a website that is a simple website but also elegant, then Shopify may be more suitable for you. However, if you prefer a more advanced website, then WordPress is the best choice.

1. WordPress unleashes your creativity

WordPress allows you to be creative and think outside the box, whereas Shopify does not. With Shopify you are limited in the type of content you can share and the format in which it can be presented on your website. WordPress offers a wide variety of templates and designs, software integrations and plug-ins, and content options for all skill levels. Using WordPress gives you creative control to sell, educate, or simply use your website to showcase yourself and your business in whichever way you choose.

2. You are in control when using WordPress

When developing and running your website through WordPress, you are the host owner, which is not the case when using Shopify. Being the host owner provides you full control and flexibility over your website and its content. This also gives your site the advantage in becoming more visible within Google searches. When you are able to control your custom, clean URL’s, you become an ideal website according to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Google. When you have a visible presence online, your website views, audience, and sales will increase- the ultimate end goal.

3. WordPress is cost-affordable

When using WordPress, you pay for what you want at a more affordable price compared to when using Shopify. There are four initial website features that you need to pay for right off the bat to get your WordPress site up and running: hosting, a template, e-commerce integration, and plugins. Some additional costs may include a WordPress maintenance service, additional charges per plugin, and a premium theme. The more advanced and content-rich you want your site to be, the more additional charges that will be added to your annual fees.

If you would like to learn more about creating the best website for your business, our team at Branding Los Angeles can help. Contact us today!

Multi-Page Infographic

Check out our helpful infographic to help understand the the differences between these two widely-used platforms. Use this visual to help you decide which website is a better fit for your online business.

Shopify vs WordPress

Shopify vs WordPress: Which Platform to Use in 2021
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