WooCommerce vs Shopify: The Ultimate Comparison for 2024

WooCommerce vs Shopify: The Ultimate Comparison for 2024

Shopify and WooCommerce power more than 7 million websites worldwide, making them the most popular platforms for launching an online store.

In 2023, global eCommerce sales reached an estimated $5.8 trillion; projections indicate 39% growth over the coming years. [Source: Statista]

We would say now is the perfect time to launch your own online store.

WooCommerce and Shopify may be the biggest names in eCommerce, but they aren’t the only ones.

We’re going to throw a curveball into this WooCommerce vs Shopify showdown by introducing another worthy contender, SureCart.

In this article, we’ll compare WooCommerce and Shopify in detail and compare them both to SureCart.

By the end, you’ll know exactly which eCommerce platform to use!

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Overview

There are fundamental differences in how WooCommerce and Shopify approach eCommerce.

WooCommerce is a WordPress eCommerce plugin you install on your website, Shopify is a standalone hosted platform.

SureCart is a headless eCommerce plugin designed to simplify setting up and managing your online store.

Let’s look at each of them.

WooCommerce Overview

WooCommerce is a free, open-source plugin that can transform any WordPress website into a fully functional eCommerce store.


It’s designed to sell products and services easily, leveraging the power of WordPress, the world’s most efficient content management system (CMS).

Here are some key features:

  • Customizable themes
  • Extensive plugin library
  • Flexible product management
  • Compatible payment gateways
  • SEO-friendly structure

To set up WooCommerce, you’ll need a WordPress website.

Even though WooCommerce is free to use, some high-traffic stores may need premium web hosting, a security plugin, caching, and more.

How Does WooCommerce Approach eCommerce?

Adding WooCommerce to your WordPress website turns it into a complete online store where you can sell physical and digital products.

Since WooCommerce runs on a WordPress website, you’ll need to manage hosting, domain registration, speed, and efficiency.

It’s all very straightforward though.

Shopify Overview

Shopify is a hosted eCommerce platform that allows you to easily create, manage, and grow your online business.


It’s a hosted solution where everything is handled by Shopify servers.

You don’t have to worry about any technical aspects, such as hosting, speed optimization or payment support.

Shopify’s most popular features include:

  • Drag and drop store builder
  • A wide array of themes
  • Integrated payment processing
  • Extensive app store
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Built-in marketing tools

Launching a Shopify store doesn’t require coding skills as the drag and drop interface makes it quite beginner-friendly.

Monthly plans start at $29.99/mo, plus processing fees for every sale.

How Does Shopify Approach eCommerce?

Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake created Shopify in 2006 after they struggled to build an online store for snowboarding equipment.

Their main aim was to simplify setting up stores, selling products, and accepting payments.

Unlike WooCommerce, Shopify is a hosted eCommerce platform where everything is handled in the cloud.

You don’t have to worry about web hosting, domains, or integrating payment methods. It’s all handled by Shopify.

It’s a fabulous option for beginners who want to set up a store and start selling quickly.

SureCart Overview

SureCart is a modern eCommerce platform, great for businesses and individuals looking to sell products and services online.


SureCart is a headless eCommerce platform. The storefront is hosted on your WordPress website while the heavy lifting is handled by SureCart servers.

SureCart’s most popular features:

  • Beginner-friendly interface
  • Flexible product configuration and management
  • Secure payment methods such as Stripe and PayPal.
  • Works with CRMs like FluentCRM and WP Fusion.
  • Get real-time analytics with Fathom Analytics, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, and others.
  • Seamless integration with popular automation plugins like SureTriggers, Zapier and Pabbly.

SureCart allows you to launch your eCommerce store with everything essential, all for free!

We’ll delve into the premium plans in a bit.

How Does SureCart Approach eCommerce?

Adam Preiser launched SureCart with a team of WordPress experts in 2019.

He recognized the inefficiency of existing eCommerce platforms and also wanted something easier to use.

SureCart addresses many common challenges faced by store owners.

The user-friendly interface is a perfect fit for beginners. It lets you customize your store the way you want and keeps your website lightweight due to its headless functionality.

WooCommerce vs Shopify vs SureCart: Comparison

Here’s a quick overview of WooCommerce vs. Shopify vs. SureCart.

We’ll discuss each of these points in detail in the next sections.

PriceFree with additional costs for hosting, domain, premium themes, and plugins.Ranges from $29/mo to $299/mo when billed annually.Free with additional costs for hosting and domain.

Premium plans range from $19/mo to $49/mo.
Store SetupUses WordPress.

Works with popular page builders like Elementor, Divi and Beaver Build for drag and drop page design.
SaaS platform.

Pre-built themes with a drag and drop editor. AI assistance is available.
Uses WordPress with SureCart servers.

Full integration with everything WordPress.
UsabilityGreat if you’re already familiar with WordPress.Extremely beginner-friendly.Intuitive design for simplicity and ease of use.
Payment SystemThird-party payment plugins required.Built-in payment solutions.Compatible with multiple payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal.
ScalabilityDepends on web hosting.Handles high website traffic and large inventories without compromising speed.Allows you to scale easily.
Addons and IntegrationVast plugin library.Built-in features and additional tools within the Shopify App Store.Can integrate with a large number of services.
Updates and SupportExtensive documentation and community support.24/7 customer support through live chat, email, and phone.24/7 email support, extensive documentation, blogs, FAQs, video tutorials, and an online community.

We hope this WooCommerce vs. Shopify vs. SureCart comparison table has clarified what these popular platforms offer.

Let’s now dive deeper into the comparison.

We’ll declare a winner for each section to help you get a clearer idea about which eCommerce platform to use.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Pricing

Let’s compare the upfront and the running costs of each eCommerce platform.

WooCommerce Is Free but Can Come With High Costs

WooCommerce store is a free, open-source WordPress plugin. It does come with running costs though.


You’ll need to set up a WordPress website to use it, which means web hosting, domain name, SSL certificate, and a compatible theme.

Average costs of running a WooCommerce store:

  • Web hosting: $10 – $20 monthly (higher if you use premium hosting)
  • Domain name: $10 – $20 per year (higher depending on the domain type)
  • SSL certificate: Free – up to $60 annually (depending on protection for multiple domains, warranty, certificate authority, and validation)
  • WooCommerce theme: Free – $60 annually (depends on the theme)
  • WooCommerce extensions: Free – $199 annually

Some hosts provide free SSL certificates and domain names for the first year.

Some WooCommerce themes and extensions are free while there are premium options.

You may or may not need extensions depending on the type of site you’re building.

For example, if you offer subscriptions, you may need a subscription plugin like SureMembers or MemberPress.

You might also need sales funnel plugins like CartFlows to customize the default WooCommerce checkout page or add upsells or cross-sells.


WooCommerce does not charge transaction fees for each purchase like Shopify does.

However, payment processors like Stripe will charge for each transaction.

For example, it costs 2.9% + 30¢. per successful transaction for domestic cards, which is almost similar to Shopify.

Shopify Costs More Because of Platform and Transaction Fees

Shopify’s basic plan starts at $29/mo (annual plan). It lets you add unlimited products, create discount coupons, and access 24/7 chat support.


You can upgrade to higher-tier plans, which range from $79/mo to $299/mo if billed monthly whenever you need to.

All plans include a domain name, site builder, blogging capability, SSL certificate, and everything you need.

Shopify charges 2.9% + 30¢ for every transaction via credit card.

If you integrate with other payment channels or your own merchant account, Shopify charges a flat 2% fee.

By going for the higher $399 plan, you can reduce this to 0.6%.

In addition, you may need addons to make your store work according to your needs. They are optional, but you should consider them in your running costs.

SureCart Has the Most Flexible Pricing Plans

SureCart is a freemium WordPress plugin with the most flexible pricing plans.

Like WooCommerce, you’ll need to set up web hosting, a domain, an SSL certificate, and a theme.

However, SureCart offers a lot of features built into the platform to reduce dependency on extra plugins to keep costs low.

Some of the built-in features you get with SureCart, but would need a plugin for WooCommerce, are:

  • Built-in payment processors – Stripe, PayPal, Mollie, and Paystack.
  • Native cart abandonment recovery system.
  • Create discounts and order bumps without an additional plugin.
  • Create custom checkout forms.
  • Run a subscription-based business with built-in tools.

There are many more benefits of choosing SureCart over WooCommerce.


SureCart’s free plan allows you to sell digital and physical products quickly and easily.

You can even sell subscriptions with flexible payment options like installments or Buy Now Pay Later.

If you want to take advantage of advanced features, there are 2 premium plans.

  • Grow: Costs $19/mo if billed annually. You get access to advanced subscriptions, advanced checkout forms, automatic payment recovery, Zapier integration, and more.
  • Scale: This plan includes everything in the Grow plan and offers 10 GB storage, an affiliate program, unlimited cart recovery, multi-currency support, and more. It costs $49/mo if billed annually.

You may have to factor in transaction fees depending on which payment gateway you use, the same as WooCommerce and Shopify.

The Winner 👑
WooCommerce is the winner because it is free to use. You can install free WooCommerce plugins and start selling online for a very low cost.

Shopify does offer amazing customization options and growth opportunities, but the monthly fees and transaction costs can quickly seem like a burden.

SureCart is second as it’s also free to use and offers the ease of Shopify at a much lower cost. It also provides robust WooCommerce-like customizations within the WordPress dashboard.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Ease of Setup

Let’s now consider how easy it is to set up a store using these eCommerce platforms.

WooCommerce Requires Knowledge to Set Up

WooCommerce is an open-source plugin and requires you to set up a WordPress website first.

Once the website is set up and you’ve chosen a theme, install the WooCommerce plugin.

The smart setup wizard will walk you through creating a store.


Adding products and connecting payments may seem overwhelming at first, but it isn’t once you get used to it.

There’s lots of guidance and plenty of YouTube videos to help you get started.


WooCommerce allows you to install WordPress plugins to perform specific tasks and extend functionality.

For example, you can install CartFlows to create a Shopify-like checkout page.


Shopify Guides You Throughout the Setup Process

Shopify is designed to be easy. You just need to sign up, choose a plan, and add products.

It guides you throughout the entire process of building your store.

Once you’ve set up your domain name and other details, choose a theme, and you’re done!


SureCart Has a Beginner-Friendly Setup

Setting up an eCommerce store with SureCart is a two-step process.

Simply create a store on SureCart server which you can begin by pressing Get Started button on its pricing page.


Once you add the login details, you will be redirected to the SureCart dashboard.

Click on + New Store and link your newly created online store.

Add your store details and other information to set everything up.


Then connect the store to your website by installing the free SureCart plugin.

You can create a new store from here, too. Since we have already created one we’ll just click on Connect Existing Store and link the website to SureCart.


If you still need any help, watch this step-by-step SureCart tutorial.

The Winner 👑
Shopify is the winner when it comes to ease of setup. Choose a template, add products and organize everything. That’s all there is to it.

SureCart comes a close second for its easy set up process and seamless native integrations.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Usability

Let’s now consider the user-friendliness of these three eCommerce solutions.

WooCommerce Can Get a Little Tricky

Managing a WooCommerce store can be tricky but it shouldn’t be an issue if you know how to use WordPress.

There are a lot of guides, online communities, forums, groups, and YouTube videos to help.

WooCommerce offers a wide variety of plugins and extensions to modify your store as you want it.


There are many WooCommerce-compatible themes (free and premium), including the Astra theme or other third-party options.


WooCommerce is a flexible, open-source plugin. With the right skills, you can accomplish a lot with your store.

Shopify Requires No Experience

Setting up and managing Shopify is a breeze. The drag and drop website builder offers multiple pre-built blocks and sections to help you build.

There are fewer themes and the quality isn’t always amazing, but using them is easy.


The Shopify dashboard offers a minimalist user interface and a sidebar that organizes the most important aspects.

The beginner-friendly user dashboard makes adding products, creating discount coupons, and managing inventory and sales simple.


Shopify has an App Store with 8000+ apps to customize your store even further.


Some apps are free, while some are paid.

DSers, Spocket, Zendrop and other apps are specifically built to simplify your dropshipping journey with Shopify.

One of the things that Shopify really simplifies is managing users and permissions.

You don’t need to share store details with staff or helpers. You can just add the user and have limited access to the store.


SureCart Steals the Show

With its headless eCommerce design, SureCart resolves issues like lack of control over your data and website performance caused by too many plugins.

Your store is hosted on your WordPress website, but your data is stored on SureCart servers.

This separation reduces the load on your website and ensures it won’t get bogged down at busy times. Your data is also kept secure.


Your storefront is hosted on your WordPress website. This allows you to add and manage it from the WordPress dashboard using controls you’re probably familiar with.


In addition, SureCart has a number of high quality store templates you can use and customize.



Cosmetics Store


Cycle Shop


Skin Cleanser Store


Simply Natural


SureCart offers a more advanced way of adding your products to your store.

You can add a product, set custom pricing methods, create order bumps or one-click upsells and so much more.


You can integrate your SureCart store with automation plugins like SureTrigger, Zapier or Pabbly to automate tasks.

You can also integrate your store with LMS plugins like LearnDash to sell courses.

Using SureCart is easy from day one. There’s even a dedicated YouTube channel with videos, tutorials, and news to help you get the most out of it.

The Winner 👑
Shopify wins usability. It offers a simple way to add products, a wide variety of plugins, built-in Shopify Payments, easy user and permissions management, and pre-built themes.

SureCart comes a close second as it also offers built-in payment integration, easy user management, and an advanced way to add products.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Payment Methods and Types

Next up we evaluate different payment methods and types – a crucial part of starting an online store.

WooCommerce Relies on Payment Plugins

By default, WooCommerce offers COD and bank transfers only.

There’s also support for payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.Net, Square, Alipay and Sofort.


Although you can get these addons for free, you need to factor in transaction fees.

Processors charge around 2% for each transaction.

Shopify has Native Payment Options

Shopify provides its own payment options, called Shopify Payments so you don’t have to rely on additional merchants like Stripe or Square.

However, you’ll also have to consider transaction fees.


You can accept multiple payment methods with Shopify:

  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Amazon Pay
  • PayPal
  • Cryptocurrency

Consider payment options in the countries you sell because not all payment gateways cover all regions.

SureCart Has Payment Processing Built-in

SureCart supports multiple payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, Mollie, and others.

Stripe is compatible with 15+ payment methods, including:

  • Credit and debit cards
  • Express payments like Google Pay and Apple Pay
  • Bank redirects like SEPA, P24 and iDEAL

From the WordPress dashboard, you can enable or disable payment processors. You can also make Test Payments when setting up.


You can configure your payment processors from the SureCart dashboard.


You just need to choose your preferred payment method, link it to SureCart, and you’re done!

Like with the other platforms, you’ll need to factor in transaction fees.

The Winner 👑
Shopify is the winner for its native payment integration. It supports a wide variety of payment methods, including express payment options like Amazon Pay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.

SureCart also offers built-in payment processing that supports Stripe and PayPal for global payments.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Scalability

Scalability can be assessed based on various factors like hosting downtime, handling heavy traffic and managing routine tasks.

WooCommerce is Heavily Dependent on the Hosting Environment

The performance and scalability of WooCommerce are dependent on the quality of your host.

WooCommerce can scale well with the right infrastructure, optimization, and resources. The busier your store gets, the faster and more capable the hosting needs to be.

Once your business grows, you may need to upgrade your hosting plan, use advanced caching solutions, and optimize your database.

Aside from hosting, it’s very easy to scale WooCommerce up or down as your business requires.

Effortlessly Expand Your Business with Shopify For a Price

Shopify is a fully hosted solution so you don’t have to worry about server management or performance.

It’s known for its robust infrastructure, which can handle large numbers of orders, unlimited products, payment processing during traffic surges, and more.

Growth does come at a financial cost though.

As your business grows, you may need more features. You can easily upgrade your plan and access premium features by upgrading your plan.

SureCart Does the Heavy Lifting

SureCart uses headless architecture so all the heavy lifting is done by SureCart’s powerful servers rather than your host.

This ensures your store is always ready to sell, no matter how busy it gets.

SureCart lets you add unlimited products- physical and digital. If you decide to sell subscription-based products or services, you can do that with any plan.

You can offer multiple payment methods like credit cards, express pay with Google Pay/Apple Pay/Amazon Pay, and more.

You can even offer flexible payment options such as installments or buy now pay later.

You can start with the SureCart’s Launch (free) plan as you are starting out and upgrade as your business grows.

The Winner 👑
Even though WooCommerce lets you add unlimited products and has fair customization options, Shopify wins due to its hands-off scalability.

SureCart is a runner-up though, thanks to headless eCommerce and not being dependent on web hosting for growth.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Updates and Support

Let’s discuss how these platforms provide support when you need it most and how frequently they update their platforms.

Find Your Own Solutions With WooCommerce

WooCommerce, being an open-source platform, lacks advanced customer support.

You have to find solutions to most of your issues by rummaging through the support documentation on the WooCommerce website.

There are also lots of blogs, FAQs, and support docs available online. But again, you’ll need to find your own answers

submit a support request

You can submit a support request via email, but WooCommerce might take up to 24 hours to reply with a solution.

Plus, you have to apply the solution yourself, and they won’t do it for you.

WooCommerce is regularly updated. However, we recommend backing up your website before making any major updates.

Shopify Offers 24/7 Chat Support

In addition to offering an extensive knowledge base, guides, and documentation, Shopify offers 24/7 responsive chat support.


The support system is based on the plan you’ve opted for though.

For basic Shopify plans, you get access to standard chat support. Priority chat is only available for Advanced and Plus users.

As for updates, Shopify is a cloud solution so patching and updating isn’t something you need to worry about!

SureCart Offers Top-Notch Support

SureCart has a dedicated support team you can connect with via chat and email anytime you need help.

It also provides comprehensive documentation, FAQs, a blog and video tutorials to help with anything you need.

SureCart Support

SureCart also has a vibrant online community where you can discuss common issues and address your problems.

It’s updated regularly too, as the changelog illustrates.

The Winner 👑
Both Shopify and SureCart offer brilliant customer support and regular updates. There are also lots of resources to help you solve your own problems if you prefer.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Addons and Integration

How do the three compare with addons and integrations? Do they provide the functions you need?

WooCommerce Addons Require Manual Setup and Investment

WooCommerce has the largest library of WordPress plugins and extensions.


Some extensions are free, and others require either a one-time or yearly subscription.

Integrating them with WooCommerce can require a little work on your part and perhaps some technical know-how.

Shopify Apps and Services Are Easy To Integrate

Shopify has a robust App Store with 8000+ apps covering every aspect of eCommerce.


Apps are typically vetted for quality and security, providing a reliable experience.

Integrating these apps is easy to set up and manage with a few clicks.

SureCart Has Built-In Features That Reduce the Need for Addons

SureCart offers essential features built-in, such as payment processing, digital product support, discount options, abandoned cart tools, shipping cost calculator, and more.

It integrates with payment methods and third-party applications like marketing tools, CRMs and other tools.

Using workflow automation plugins like SureTriggers or Zapier, you can connect your SureCart store to any app or platform.


SureCart emphasizes built-in features that reduce the need for many external plugins.

It aims to balance simplicity with essential functions, making it the top choice for people looking for an innovative platform.

The Winner 👑
WooCommerce is the winner due to the sheer number of addons available. Shopify is a close second.

SureCart deserves an honorable mention though as it doesn’t need as many addons as the others as there are more features built in.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: AI Assistance

Let’s evaluate the three eCommerce solutions based on their AI capabilities.

WooCommerce Relies on Third-Party Plugins

WooCommerce depends on third-party plugins to add AI capabilities. They include Jetpack, Tidio, AutomateWoo, Rank Math SEO, and others.

They can add AI-powered product recommendations, customer support chatbots, SEO functions and personalized marketing.

Shopify Has Native AI-Driven Features

Shopify offers Shopify Magic, a suite of free AI-powered features integrated across its products.

It combines the power of the Shopify platform and the latest AI technologies to provide personalized, contextually relevant support.

It can help with store building, marketing, customer support, and back office management.

You can also find AI-powered apps on the Shopify App Store, including:

  • Shopify Inbox: Connect with and manage customers via AI-powered chat.
  • Reclaim AI: Automates administrative tasks like calendar management and task prioritization.
  • CreatorKit: Create product images and backgrounds with generative AI.

You can find other Shopify apps that can elevate customer experiences with personalized recommendations, customer segmentations and other features.

SureCart Plans to Bring More AI-Driven Functionality

SureCart seamlessly integrates with the SureTriggers automation plugin.

Connect these two powerful plugins and create custom automations to execute actions triggered by specific events.

Sync data from SureCart to 600+ apps with triggers and actions.


You can create various workflow automations between SureCart and SureTriggers.

You could simplify your daily store management, order fulfillment, and after-sales communication with buyers.

Here’s a great example of how smoothly SureCart and SureTriggers work together.

The Winner 👑
Shopify is the winner here because of its native AI capabilities and more AI options with Shopify Apps.

SureCart isn’t far behind though, thanks to its close ties with SureTriggers.

Which Is the Best eCommerce Platform for an Online Store?

So what’s your verdict?

We think, if you want to start and manage your own website with access to your own data, SureCart or WooCommerce fit the bill.

If you want to launch quickly, with minimum fuss, choose Shopify.

We recommend SureCart because its free plan is sufficient to start your online business, regardless of whether you sell physical or digital products.

As your business grows, you can easily upgrade to its affordable premium plans.

Watch this video tutorial to see how easy it is to set up an online store with SureCart!

WooCommerce vs. Shopify FAQs

Which is better: WooCommerce or Shopify?

Shopify is a better eCommerce platform than WooCommerce for its built-in advanced features, addons and integrations, native payment processing, and growth opportunities.

However, if you want advanced features but can’t afford Shopify, go with SureCart.

What is the difference between WooCommerce and Shopify?

WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin built for WordPress. It transforms your WordPress website into a functional online store. You must buy and manage your hosting, domain, cache plugins, and more.

Shopify is a fully hosted eCommerce platform that allows you to create and manage your online store effortlessly. It manages all the technical aspects, including hosting and security.

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which is better for security?

Shopify has robust security measures, including SSL certificates, 2-step authentication and fraud detection. It’s the most secure option with the least user responsibility.

With WooCommerce, you must find a reputable host with a secure SSL certificate. You also need additional security plugins to ensure your website is fully protected.

Which has the best uptime: WooCommerce or Shopify?

Uptime depends on the hosting environment and infrastructure. With WooCommerce, your website’s uptime will depend on your hosting provider.

Shopify is a fully hosted eCommerce platform that manages its own servers, uptime, and maintenance. Thanks to its robust infrastructure, it maintains an uptime of 99.98%.

Which is cheaper to run: Shopify or WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is free to use and cheaper to run than other eCommerce platforms. However, other costs will include hosting, domain name, SSL certificate, themes, plugins, and transaction fees.

Shopify has a monthly fee and charges per transaction, so creating an online store with Shopify can be costly.

SureCart offers a free plan that includes everything you need to launch and manage an online store. Its upfront costs (hosting, domain, and other costs.) are the same as WooCommerce’s, but because of its built-in features, it reduces the need for external plugins.

SureCart’s plans are also much cheaper than those of Shopify. 😉

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may receive a small commission. Read disclosure. Rest assured that we only recommend products that we have personally used and believe will add value to our readers. Thanks for your support!

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