I’ve been involved with WooCommerce since April 2014. I love the community and always happy to contribute. WooCommerce has been a part of my life for a long time and still a huge advocate of the platform.
I switched my store Matero to Shopify in August 2020. I wanted to give it some time before I wrote about my experience here. So why did I switch my own store to Shopify?
I was tired of managing the technical side of the website.
Despite the many advancements to make things easier for store owners and developers to manage WooCommerce and the extensions, I believe it’s in its nature to be complex. There’s no avoiding it. I can manage the technical side easily and I do so in my career and business but I don’t want to for this shop. I just want it to work without thinking about it.
While I’m able to host the site for free due to job perks, there were still many things I had to pay. The costs for extensions were adding up. Most require yearly subscriptions, even if the features used on the site were temporary.
What I like about Shopify’s model is that it has allowed me to test applications before paying. I’ve jumped through various apps to see how they worked or temporarily paid for a few months then just as easily removed them. The whole process of adding and removing apps and getting charged for them in a simple bill has made things easy to manage.
I’ve learned it’s easy to overspend on Shopify too.
There are of course more free options available on WordPress through https://wordpress.org but quality eCommerce related plugins are going to be premium.
Integrations and App Store
Unfortunately, some of the best Sass apps available for eCommerce are only made for Shopify.
There are plenty of high-quality apps on the Shopify store. They make it easy to install and integrate without breaking the site. I don’t fear a White Screen of Death.
Despite there being high-quality apps available from Shopify, the options are limited within their own marketplace and unfortunately their marketplace is the only option.
Flexibility with WooCommerce
I’m still getting used to the fact that Shopify does not allow me to do the same customizations as WooCommerce. I understand why, and it’s to ensure that everything is running smoothly so I dont need to worry about technical things. But I sometimes wish some things were possible.
A good example is that many apps seem to love embedding their scripts site-wide. This is annoying from a performance standpoint. Shopify developers are utilizing ScriptTag which is making the ability to remove certain scripts from loading on specific pages very difficult. If it was available in the themes code then it’s an easy IF statement via Liquid, but we can’t because it doesn’t exist in the templates.
This is a tough one. WordPress has amazing performance plugins like WP Rocket, Perfmatters, and Autoptimize. Meanwhile, Shopify doesn’t have any that’s good enough to use or worth implementing. It’s difficult to fully optimize a Shopify site with as much flexibility as WordPress allows. I can get my shop to run very well on WordPress & WooCommerce but not so much on Shopify. Google PageSpeed Insights will complain about usage of scripts that I have no control over.
That being said, the costs to scale on Shopify are far cheaper than WordPress. The site does not receive enough traffic where scaling on WooCommerce is noticeable issue that would require a powerful server so this is not a priority at the moment.
Shopify Blog is The Worst
Creating posts and pages on Shopify is the worst. It’s a reminder why I love Gutenberg so much. But even the Classic Editor on WordPress is a million times better than Shopify’s blog creation tool. It’s really bad.
It’s a super small box that doesn’t offer much.
Notice in the screenshot above how images overflow to the right. Accessibility folks are probably screaming at this. It make it so hard to navigate and write a blog post.
Unfortunately, apps cannot solve this. You’d essentially would need to use an app that overrides the entire blog and you’d be writing your posts elsewhere.