Shopify Full Review: is it Better Than WooCommerce?


Once upon a time, starting a business was a deeply involved and complicated process. You had to worry about everything from finding a place to store your wares to getting the word out through advertising. Nowadays it’s never been an easier to get a business started, thanks to the internet. Companies like Shopify promise to make the process even more painless, providing a one-stop shop for all things e-commerce – from shipping to handling payments all from one easy to understand dashboard. But is starting your career as an online entrepreneur as simple as they claim? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Shopify?

Shopify describes itself as an ‘all-in-one commerce platform‘, providing wannabe entrepreneurs with the tools needed to create an online store completely from scratch. This includes the site itself, plus integration with social media sites, shipping, payments and order processing, as well as advertising and marketing.

Main Features

Site Builder

At the heart of Shopify is its site builder, which gives you all the standard tools to build a smart-looking online shop for your business. These include a set of over 70 fully customizable templates, as well as the option to create your own theme from scratch.


Just like WordPress you’ll have to use a theme to build your site from. If you’re savvy with code, you can build your own theme from scratch or modify existing themes with custom code.

Free Themes

Free Themes

The pickins’ are a bit slim when it comes to free themes, as you’re limited to only 9 themes. Furthermore, the free themes have a fair amount of poor reviews with customers complaining about functionality issues and customization options.

Nevertheless, many people make use of free themes and run successful shops, so don’t be afraid to use a free theme. Getting your shop started is more important and you can refine the theme or small details after you have some data to see how users interact with your shop.

Venture Theme – Shopify

Overall, the free themes look great. They’re professional looking and easily let your customers know what your store is about.

Digital Free Theme

A Look Inside the Site Builder

The theme customizer/ website builder is somewhat similar to WordPress. There is a left side bar which allows you customize specific sections of the web page. Our overall impression the site builder is that it’s extremely intuitive, user friendly, and easy to use. For aspiring online entrepreneurs who want to set up an online store, there really isn’t an easier and more empowering way than Shopify.

Using the Customizer

When you click on a specific menu a new set of options opens up which allows you to customize text, content, images, alignment and much more. There are also global settings to make sure your fonts and colors are uniform across your entire website.

Paid Themes

If you’re not happy with the free themes, you’ll have to shell out about $160-$180 for a paid theme. Overall the paid themes are held in higher esteem boasting better performance, easier customization, functionality, and work better without issue(s). And if you do run into any issues you can write the developer and they should help you sort out any problems you may have.

Easily Manage your products, Marketing, and Analytics from the Dashboard

One great thing about Shopify is the easy management of your business from the “all-in-one style” dashboard. It’s super simple to create sales, promotions, edit your products, customer accounts, look at your analytics, and manage your marketing all within the Shopify backend.


The analytics tools are really easy to understand, nothing like Google analytics which can be a complicated mess. Most of the data is converted into easy to read graphs which makes interpreting the data easy and straight forward.

Examine data such as:

  • Daily sales
  • Returning customer rate
  • Online store sessions
  • Conversion rate
    • Conversion funnel:
      • added to cart
      • reached checkout
      • session converted
  • Average order value
  • Total orders
  • Sales traffic by source
  • Sales attributed to marketing
  • Top products
  • Much more…

Marketing Tools

Shopify contains some really powerful marketing tools. From built in dropped cart autoresponders, awesome analytics tools, and powerful integrations(Facebook, Google, Pinetrest), Shopify really puts you in charge of your marketing campaign.

The whole system is based on one click installs and feels like a breeze to install and use. Make use of FaceBook marketing tools, e-mail marketing tools, SnapChat adds. Or get your merchandise listed directly on Google, Facebook marketplace, or Pintrest with channel/marketplace integrations.

Market Place App Integrations- Shopify

Pretty much all the tools you’d want are at your finger tips.

Marketing Dashboard

Wrap up

We’re really impressed with the Shopify Site Builder and overall ecosystem. It’s so easy to use and enables anyone to build a beautiful web-store without any coding knowledge. Some people find WordPress a bit intimidating, but Shopify is simply straightforward. The time and headaches saved with the easy to use site builder might be worth the price of the subscription for many.

Unlike my experience with WordPress, which can sometimes be a time wasting nightmare when it comes to understanding how to do something, using Shopify to build my store was a breeze. I never really got frustrated wondering how something works or spent loads of time searching around for solutions on how to modify or customize the web page.

Furthermore, the powerful analytics tools, easy to use dashboard, and mostly free apps and other integration make using Shopify a powerful ally on your journey to set up an online store.

Other Features

  • Wide Option of Sales Channels

Of course, your store is not just limited to a single website. Shopify also provides a number of different channels through which you can sell your wares, including via Facebook, Amazon or Instagram. There are also a wide variety of third-party sales channels available through the Shopify App Store.

  • POS (Point of Sale) Hardware

Shopify’s also got you covered if you operate a traditional brick-and-mortar business. Their extensive hardware store includes everything from tap-and-chip card readers to retail stands for your tablet, all fully integrated into Shopify’s highly-intuitive Point of Sale app.

  • A Huge Number of Payment Gateways

Shopify provides you with over 70 different payment gateways, in over 50 different languages. These include standard options like PayPal or AmazonPay, as well as alternative payments methods such as cryptocurrency.

The payment gateways are a huge plus as some of the payment gateway options with other online webstores like Woocommerce(WordPress) are a bit confusing, difficult to set up, and overall not as good as whats on offer with Shopify. Shop owners want ways for customers to easily check out and buy products. Shopify delivers that, with no need to fuss about figuring out if your payment gateway works, or whether or not customer from around the world will be able to buy your products.

Plans and Pricing

There are three pricing plans available for a standard Shopify account. These are Basic Shopify, the rather unoriginally-titled Shopify and Advanced Shopify. Paying upfront for a year nets you a 10% discount, 20% for two years. The plans break down as follows:

– Basic Shopify

  • $29 per month
  • Online Store
  • Unlimited Products
  • 24/7 Support
  • Sales Channels
  • 2 Staff Accounts
  • Up to 4 Locations
  • Up to 64% Discount on Shipping
  • 2.9% + 30¢ USD Online Credit Card Rates
  • 2.7% In-Person Credit Card Rates
  • 2$ Additional Fees for Third-Party Payment Providers

– Shopify

  • $79 per month
  • Online Store
  • Unlimited Products
  • 24/7 Support
  • Sales Channels
  • 5 Staff Accounts
  • Up to 5 Locations
  • Up to 72% Discount on Shipping
  • 2.6% + 30¢ USD Online Credit Card Rates
  • 2.5% In-Person Credit Card Rates
  • 1% Additional Fees for Third-Party Payment Providers

– Shopify Advanced

  • $299 per month
  • Online Store
  • Unlimited Products
  • 24/7 Support
  • Sales Channels
  • 15 Staff Accounts
  • Up to 8 Locations
  • Up to 74% Discount on Shipping
  • 2.4% + 30¢ USD Online Credit Card Rates
  • 2.4% In-Person Credit Card Rates
  • 0.5% Additional Fees for Third-Party Payment Providers

In addition to the three main plans, there are two additional plans – Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus:

Shopify Lite provides a cheap ($9 per month), stripped-down version best suited for small-business owners. Rather than providing you with a website, it integrates Shopify into your pre-existing site, providing you with chat options, the ability to accept credit cards and create invoices. It’s perhaps best suited for those operating a small sideline business rather than a budding entrepreneur.

Shopify Plus, on the other hand, is a much-expanded version of the standard Shopify, aimed at big business. Features include guaranteed server uptime, API support, a dedicated IP address and a wide variety of currency options. Clocking in at a negotiable price (but expect to pay at least $2000 per month), it’s only really suitable for people running sizable business empires (think $1 million+ in revenue per year).

A Great Way to Make Money?

A lot of people are trying to make money online these days and are vying to get some ‘skin in the game’ without much prior experience or know how. Is Shopify the silver bullet for new entrepreneurs looking to make some money online?

Well, one appeal of Shopify is it’s easy to create your own brand. The free integrations with suppliers makes it easy to flex your creativity. Draw up some designs for t-shirts or other items, then send it off to the manufacturer and you’re all set.

Many people have been successful pursuing this avenue; creating their own brand, image, and line of products. The brilliancy of this is that all you need is an idea, and a design. No need to put up enormous amounts of capital to pre-purchase inventory.

Don’t have a product? No Problem

Drop shipping has been the rage for some time now, but it’s heyday has somewhat come and gone. Nevertheless, it’s still a popular avenue for online ventures.

Shopify is solidly positioned to be an excellent platform for drop shipping. In essence, you build the store, select the products, and promote them. Once you get a sale you’ll send the order to the supplier/manufactuer and they’ll ship it out for you.

This is made possible with the many partners, apps, and suppliers that partner with Shopify. Most drop ship suppliers allow you to pay as you go, but each supplier will differ in terms of their pricing structure and whether or not you’re required to pre-purchase products.

A Great Tool, But…

If you’re looking to break into become an online entrepreneur Shopify can be a useful tool. As we’ve mentioned it’s packed full of useful features, and does it’s job exceptionally well.

But don’t think that by using it you’ll become a millionaire overnight. Think of Shopify like any other tool; the gym doesn’t make you fit- the effort you put in at the gym does, a race car doesn’t win the race without a skilled driver. Shopify is no different. Unless you have some business acumen and are ready and willing to put in the effort to succeed selling online you might as well be donating your money to charity instead.


Easy to Use

Shopify is simple to use, even for absolute beginners. It boasts a clear, intuitive interface, and setting up sales channels through Shopify’s Content Management System (CMS) is painless.

Available (Almost) World Wide

With up to 70 different payment gateways and over 50 different languages available, Shopify provides excellent coverage for users in practically every country in the world. And with Shopify Payments as your credit card gateway, card payments from just about anywhere can be accepted.

Amazing Payment Gateway Options

As stated above, Shopify offers an enormous number of payment gateways, including its own pretty comprehensive Shopify Payments. Whether you’d rather accept credit cards or cryptocurrency, you’re bound to find something to suit your business.

Awesome Marketing Tools

Although Shopify lacks some of the snazzier marketing tools out there (although they are available through the app store), the tools it does have are all solid. They boast an extensive selection of SEO tools and nice, clean, crawlable code, as well as other nifty features such as built-in email shout-outs.

Powerful Analytics Tools

Shopify provides you with plenty of analytics tools so you can monitor your business’s progress. With just a few clicks you can find out everything from the number of sales you’ve made to how frequently you get returning customers. Plus there’s also the option of linking up with Google Analytics for more in-depth stats.


Customization Can Be Difficult

Although Shopify’s standard templates are more than adequate for most users, those who are used to tailoring every aspect of their site may find Shopify a little frustrating to use. All of Shopify’s themes are coded in Shopify Liquid, their own in-house PHP language. Although its defenders insist that Liquid is easy enough to learn, adapting to a new language may still make customization a little tricky for those who are used to other, easier-to-use PHP languages.

No Direct Email Hosting

Shopify lacks its own email hosting service, which can make setting up email with your Shopify account a little clunky. You need to set up email formatting, so that emails sent to your shop are automatically forwarded to your personal email address.


Simple to use and jam-packed with features and integrations, Shopify provides an invaluable service for wannabe online entrepreneurs. From building a home-page to processing payments and marketing, Shopify has you covered at every step – and it’s simple enough for absolute beginners to hit the ground running. Although some of its features such as its in-house PHP language might be a bit off-putting to seasoned techies, there’s enough here to satisfy nearly everyone looking to run an eCommerce store.