Shopify vs WordPress: Which Is Better? - GemPages Academy

Shopify vs WordPress: Which Is Better?

shopify vs wordpress

eCommerce beginners, what is stopping you from building your store?
The budget, the design, or simply choosing a platform to build? If so, keep reading!

Most online stores are built by the best website builders, like Shopify and WordPress. Both offer advanced website features at competitive pricing, but beginners often wonder which one to pick. Shopify vs WordPress?

But no worries—this article will help you find a suitable platform to grow your digital store exponentially. Let’s get started!

Learn More: The Best eCommerce Platforms for Small Businesses in 2024

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is a leading eCommerce platform that helps people establish online stores and sell products. It provides tools for building websites, managing inventory, processing payments, and shipping products, making it an all-in-one solution for businesses.

Shopify Homepage

And why do most eCommerce owners choose Shopify to start their digital store? Simply because it requires NO coding or technical skills. 

You can easily customize your store to match your brand with a bunch of themes and plugins, just by dragging and dropping. Plus, with Shopify, your site is mobile-ready, SEO-friendly, and secure right out of the box.

Sounds like a whole package, right? It is.

In the U.S., out of 9.2 million eCommerce websites, around 28.51% (or 2.6 million) use Shopify. This platform has 26.2% of the total eCommerce platform market share, positioning 4th among the top eCommerce platforms worldwide. 

Of course, being a top global eCommerce platform, Shopify boasts some big success stories, including Allbirds, Gymshark, and Kylie Cosmetics. 

These stores have few telltale signs of being powered by Shopify, one of which is a secure and uniform checkout process, ensuring a reliable customer shopping experience. 

Another point is that they are hosted on Shopify’s servers. Therefore, they all benefit from Shopify’s hosting capabilities, security measures, and platform updates. You can spot it during the checkout; the URL switches to, even if a custom domain is used for the main store.

Shopify allows businesses to generate their name and claim it as their web domain. Source: Shopify

Here is a quick pros and cons analysis of Shopify:


  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • Wide range of customizable themes and apps
  • Reliable hosting and high-security standards


  • Price can be high, especially with premium features.
  • Limited design customization options (can be enhanced by integrating a landing page builder like GemPages)
  • Additional transaction fees if not using Shopify Payments.

What Is WordPress?

One clear difference between Shopify vs WordPress is their focus. While Shopify exclusively designs for eCommerce, WordPress is more widely used as it allows diverse website types, like blogs, online stores, portfolios, or CMS. 
WordPress Homepage

Yet, the features are quite similar: designing websites, creating content, managing SEO, and integrating with various plugins – great for both businesses and solopreneurs!

Needless to say, WordPress is a prominent platform that powers a significant part of the internet’s websites. By 2024, it’s running 42.7% of websites across the globe, and it’s dominating the CMS game with a 63.0% market share.

It is not hard to find a website built on WordPress – think TechCrunch, The New Yorker, and BBC America. They’re just a few of the 810 million websites using WordPress.

WordPress is the leading website builder and CMS. Source: Kinsta

But like everything else, WordPress has its ups and downs. Here are the details: 


  • Highly customizable with thousands of themes and plugins.
  • SEO-friendly, providing tools and plugins for optimization.
  • Large and active community for support and resources.


  • Needs frequent updates for themes, plugins, and the main system.
  • Might lag without good optimization or hosting.
  • Vulnerable to security risks without regular updates and careful setup.

Comparison of Shopify vs WordPress

WordPress vs Shopify are competitive options for building your eCommerce stores. They offer a mix of unique and overlapping features for your digital store. 

Here is a quick overlook:



FREE, but additional costs are involved during the process (starts from $2.95/month for hostings)


  • Over 20,000 themes
  • Technical skills required

Hosting: Self-hosted

eCommerce Functions:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Customized product pages
  • eCommerce plugins
  • SEO optimization
  • High-level security
  • Payment gateways

SEO Implementation:

Able to integrate plugins for advanced on-page and technical SEO

Multi-Channel Commerce

Connect with diverse sales channels but manually manage

Mobile Optimization

All themes are optimized for mobile

Load Time

Faster thanks to simple design



From $25 – $399


  • Over 100 themes
  • No CODING required

Hosting: Platform-hosted

eCommerce Functions:

  • Designed for eCommerce
  • Visual editor
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Subdomain included
  • Email included
  • 24/7 support
  • GDPR compliant

SEO Implementation:

Covers basic on-page SEO factors

Multi-Channel Commerce

Connect with diverse sales channels under one management system

Mobile Optimization

Some themes can’t fit mobile sizes

Load them

Depends on the theme and plugins used

Now, let’s dive into an in-depth comparison between WordPress eCommerce vs Shopify:


For those on a budget, Shopify could be your best bet. Here’s the deal:

Shopify offers a 3-day FREE trial. After that, users must subscribe to a monthly plan ranging from $25 to $399, providing an all-inclusive package. 

Shopify monthly payment plans range from $25 to $399.

Though WordPress is a free-to-use platform, additional costs paid for hosting, domains, plugins, and themes can take up to a few hundred dollars. 

WordPress requires an upgrade (extra cost) on premium themes.


When it comes to UI/UX, Shopify takes the lead over WordPress. 

As mentioned, WordPress is an open-source website builder and it can be used for blogging, CMS, and many more. Thus, it is quite obvious that WordPress offers more advanced features like endless customization with HTML and a larger selection of themes. But, this also means you’ll need some basic tech skills, unlike with Shopify.

WordPress requires its users basic technical skills to customize the website

Meanwhile, Shopify is more user-friendly for beginners with no technical knowledge required. It also offers a lot of compelling templates for users to customize. Plus, you can integrate a page builder like GemPages into your Shopify store to easily create a professional store with a few drags and drops.

Shopify applications like GemPages help simplify the landing page building process. Source: GemPages
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So if you are a beginner without technical experience, Shopify should be your go-to. If you already have some code knowledge, you can choose WordPress to target more experienced users or those with specific website needs.


Another factor that differentiates WordPress vs Shopify is hosting. 

Shopify is a hosted platform, meaning that it takes care of all your hosting needs. Users don’t need to worry about server maintenance, security updates, or performance optimizations. 

That’s why it is not exaggerating to say Shopify is a whole package that simplifies the process exclusively for non-tech-savvy or those who want to focus on managing their store.

In contrast, WordPress requires self-hosting. Simply explained, users are responsible for finding a hosting provider, setting up their website, handling backups, and dealing with potential security threats. 

While this can be costly, many businesses have found that self-hosting allows greater flexibility and control over the website’s performance and security.


eCommerce Solutions

As mentioned, each platform offers unique solutions for your digital store. But if you are looking for a platform with superior eCommerce features out-of-the-box, Shopify will be your go-to.

Shopify offers exclusive solutions specifically designed for eCommerce stores.

Shopify is designed specifically for eCommerce, offering advanced solutions for beginners to easily build, customize, and manage their online stores. Some of the highlighted eCommerce functions are:

  • Hosting included
  • Designed for eCommerce
  • Visual editor
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Subdomain included
  • Email included
  • 24/7 support
  • GDPR compliant
  • Free trial
  • First-party POS system
  • Automatic site maintenance
  • Buyer-facing app

However, we should not underestimate the potential of WordPress in building an eCommerce store. The right way to say this is, this platform is a flexible CMS that can be transformed into an eCommerce platform, needing an integration of plugins like WooCommerce. 

WordPress offers general, yet, advanced solutions designed for all website types.

WordPress, meanwhile, offers more room for customization and works with different types of websites, but it does demand a bit more hands-on management and some technical skills.

SEO Implementation

Both WordPress and Shopify offer great features to optimize SEO for your websites. However, when comparing the two, WordPress tends to have the upper hand due to Shopify’s certain limitations.

All Shopify packages include basic built-in SEO factors like editing meta descriptions, titles, and URLs. However, these ready-to-use functions are too simple and limited, requiring Shopify owners to invest in outsourcing SEO for better results. 

With the integration of a well-known SEO plugin like Yoast SEO, WordPress allows users to fully optimize their webpage with basic to advanced SEO customization options. The downside is the high cost.

Yoast SEO is a powerful SEO plugin on WordPress that analyzes SEO performance for blogs, webpages, etc.

Be aware that the website platform won’t affect your search engine ranking. In other words, search engines do not care whether you are a Shopify or WordPress user; what determines your ranking is how you optimize your page for SEO.

Multi-Channel Commerce

Shopify vs WordPress eCommerce share similar features that allow you to sell products beyond your digital store. Here’s how:

Shopify stands out for its ease of managing multi-channel commerce. The platform has diverse integrations with sales channels, including social media platforms and online marketplace. This allows you to effectively manage your inventory across multiple platforms from one central location.

WordPress, on the other hand, offers more flexibility due to the availability of plugins. For example, integrating WooCommerce allows you to connect your store with various sales channels, just like Shopify. 

However, while Shopify offers an all-in-one system, managing WordPress integrations requires more manual work.

Additionally, while both platforms can handle multilingual stores, WordPress is reported to support a broader range of languages and currencies compared to Shopify.

Mobile Optimization

In recent years, website builders have prioritized mobile optimization as it is among the important ranking factors. And yes, Shopify vs WordPress is not an exception. If you wonder which is better, there are many decisive factors. But in terms of loading speed and performance, Shopify has a slight edge. 

Shopify offers over 130 mobile-responsive themes, ensuring your store looks great on any device without any technical skills. Just a few drags and drops and then, your site is device-ready – a great start for beginners!

Shopify offers faster mobile optimization due to simple design. Source: Shopify

WordPress has mobile-responsive themes, too, but they might require a bit more effort to manage. Unlike Shopify, not every WordPress theme is guaranteed to be mobile-friendly. So, when picking a theme, check its mobile optimization.

WordPress prioritizes mobile optimization too but not all the themes are mobile optimized: WordPress

But why might Shopify be a better option? 

Some eCommerce owners suggest that Shopify websites load faster on mobile devices than WordPress, thanks to their simpler design. And when it comes to search engine ranking, faster loading times can significantly improve the user experience and boost your SEO.

Load Time

Shopify tends to outperform WordPress in terms of meeting Google’s recommended load time of 3 seconds for modern business websites. Why?

As noted, Shopify has everything built-in which saves a lot of time otherwise spent on setup and maintenance. Thus, excelling in page load speeds enhances visitor experience and outranks on search engines.

When it comes to loading speed, WordPress shows some limitations. It depends on your theme, the plugins you install, and how much you optimize your site. Sure, WordPress takes a bit more effort to get right and keep running smoothly, but the upside is that you get much more control over your site’s performance.


Choosing between Shopify vs WordPress to begin with is not an easy process. It does take time for deep research on the store owner’s budget, objectives, and requirements. 

Each platform offers great features for eCommerce stores. While Shopify is a better budget move with an exclusive focus on eCommerce functions, WordPress showcases a more advanced choice with diverse customization options to professionalize your website. 

Overall, this article compares and contrasts the basic features of both platforms, which we believe will help you decide which is your go-to.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Shopify better than WordPress?

It depends on your needs. For example, if you want to build an eCommerce store without coding skills, it is probably the best option. It is known for its platform-hosted eCommerce tools for beginners, which provide all the ‘bells and whistles’ for making sales. 

Overall, it’s a budget-friendly choice, offering an easy-to-use interface and a range of integrations from SEO to sales channels, mobile optimization, and quick loading times. Plus, all plans come with crucial sales features included.

Is Shopify better than WordPress for affiliate marketing?

It’s hard to say, but a Quora discussion leans more toward WordPress for its stronger content creation and management capabilities. 

Yet, remember, affiliate marketing has its own goals and needs, different from what Shopify or WordPress might primarily be used for. So, it’s worth exploring platforms built explicitly for affiliate marketing, such as Awin, Pepperjam, and Wikisheets.

Can I Use WordPress and Shopify Together?

Yes, you can integrate WordPress and Shopify. 

You can link them up by adding a Shopify Buy Button to your WordPress site. You can also use Shopify as a backend layer for your WordPress site. This allows you to combine Shopify’s eCommerce features with the powerful WordPress website platform.

Integrate Shopify to WordPress by adding a Shopify “Buy Button.” Source: Shopify

Is WordPress suitable for eCommerce?

Yes, WordPress works great for eCommerce. Thanks to its adaptability, the ability to extend its features with plugins like WooCommerce, and a vast selection of customizable themes, it’s a top choice for online stores.

About GemPages Academy

GemPages Academy is a knowledge hub for storefront optimization and achieving overall eCommerce success. In collaboration with industry experts and leveraging cutting-edge Shopify applications, GemPages Academy offers a diverse array of content in various formats, including insightful blogs, intuitive tutorials, comprehensive webinars, and educational courses.

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