Shopify vs WordPress: How I Use Both for Different Reasons

So you’re ready to do this e-commerce thing but you’re stuck between two choices: Shopify or WordPress. This decision isn’t as easy as you might think because the truth is that you’re looking at two totally different platforms that were originally meant for different things.

While both platforms can be used for e-commerce and content creation, they are not equal in either.

So when trying to choose between Shopify vs WordPress which one do you go with? That’s what we’re going to cover here.

Why You Should Use Shopify vs WordPress

Shopify is built for e-commerce. That’s what it was designed for and that is what it excels at. If you’re looking for an aut-of-the-box solution for building an e-commerce store, then this is one of the best options.

What makes it so great is the fact that it handles so much for you:

  • Web hosting
  • The set up guide helps you get a shop up and running as quickly as possible
  • Dedicated support for any of the problems that you might have
  • No coding knowledge required unless you want to start customizing your own themes
  • You can buy your domain through Shopify so everything is where you want it
  • Easy integration with other distribution channels like TikTok and Amazon

If your main goal is to set up an e-commerce shop then I would recommend Shopify over WordPress. It’s what it is built for and with all of the different apps at your disposal it can become an invaluable tool to help you get up and running.

It’s what my enamel pin store uses and I absolutely love it.

But what about WordPress?

Shopify vs WordPress: the best solution for you

Why You Should Use WordPress vs Shopify

WordPress is a bit more complex because it really is a do everything application but it didn’t start off that way.

WordPress was created to help people blog and that’s still its primary function. So if you’re looking to create a ton of content then WordPress might be a more viable option.

One of the confusing things about WordPress is that there are two different version: and is the self-hosted version of the software. It’s where you can sign up for almost any web host that you want and install the software on the server. This sounds more complicated than it is because almost any web host will allow you to install WordPress at the click of a couple of buttons. is the hosted version of WordPress by the company that makes WordPress. It’s more limited in what it can do so if you’re thinking about using it for e-commerce you might want to consider the self-hosted version.

So what advantages does WordPress have over Shopify?

  • The WordPress ecosystem is unmatched with its themes and plugins
  • You can decide the costs by choosing the hosting provider that fits your budget
  • Better for SEO with content as it gives you more control over the content on a page
  • You can set up multiple sites under one account

But again, WordPress is mostly used for content creation. This site uses WordPress and thinking about creating this much content on Shopify gives me the chills.

It’s just not built for it.

So if your site is going to be more content-focused then I would recommend WordPress over Shopify.

Comparing Shopify vs WordPress

Now that you have a general idea of each let’s do a closer comparison of how they stack up against each other in different categories.

For this comparison I’m going to assume if you go with WordPress then you’ll go with the self-hosted version to give yourself more options.

Web Hosting

As mentioned before, Shopify takes care of all your web hosting needs. Shopify stores all of your files for your website.

WordPress will do the same, but many web hosts have storage limits for WordPress sites and although it can be hard to reach those limits, it’s important to know that those limits exist.

In this case, it sounds like Shopify is the obvious choice, but there comes with a major trade-off in that you have less control over the server environment and configuration.

Why would you care about that? Well, if something goes wrong you won’t be able to debug it yourself since you won’t have access to the server logs. And for most of you that is okay but some people like to have that kind of control.

With WordPress you’re responsible for your own hosting platform and many of the web hosts that you can choose from will offer the same kind of support that you can get with Shopify.

If you wish to have more control over your server and that is the most important thing for you then WordPress becomes an obvious choice.

However, if you want to let a billion-dollar company that runs millions of sites manage things for you, then Shopify is a good bet.

User Experience

I’ll admit that both user experiences for Shopify and WordPress aren’t that user-friendly. But it’s not because they aren’t designed well.

I think both are designed really well.

The problem is that because these platforms are so flexible you’re left with a ton of options and it can be hard to get all of those options on screen in a way that anyone can understand.

Shopify does a great job of walking you through the setup. The setup guide helps you choose a template, add products to your store, and configure everything to start selling products.

WordPress isn’t as straightforward because out of the box it’s meant for content creation. So with WordPress you’ll have to figure out which e-commerce plugin you want to use to sell your products with the most popular one being WooCommerce.

WooCommerce offers a similar setup to Shopify in that it will walk you through everything required to get started with your store.

Storefront Design

Shopify has over 140 themes to choose from for your storefront and the wonderful thing is that each theme is almost ready to go the second you install it.

This means you can get your storefront up and ready in a shot amount of time.

WordPress, with its giant ecosystem, offers thousands of e-commerce themes, but they will require a bit more setup and customization. This is good and bad as you have the power to customize almost anything you want.

But that can also add to the complexity of things if you’re not careful.

Ecommerce Functionality

We could make this easy and say that Shopify takes the cake here because it is built for this stuff. With WordPress it’s going to be highly dependent on which e-commerce plugin that you choose.

Overall though, you can make both:

  • Sell physical and digital products
  • Customize shipping rates
  • Sell products with different variations
  • Add product personalization capabilties
  • Set up secure payment processing
  • Create and accept gift cards
  • Generate automatic or manual tax rates
  • Integrate with drop shipping and print-on-demand platforms
  • Add cross-sell and upsell functionality

Chances are if you need to make it happen with your store there is a way to make it happen with either platform.

Search Engine Optimization

Depending on how you plan to generate traffic to your site this might not be a concern to you but if you wish to get traffic from search engines, then you need to be aware of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

This is where WordPress excels. Because it’s designed for content creation, SEO is a very important aspect of the platform. A lot of the sites that you come across in the search results are WordPress sites.


Because WordPress gives you more control over technical SEO. You can submit your sitemap to Google and create a more logical structure to your site with topic clusters and other things.

Administration and Management

Again, because Shopify’s main focus is around e-commerce, if you need to manage your store from anywhere then Shopify is easier due to it’s mobile apps.


Shopping Experience for Customers

One of the most important aspects of building a successful e-commerce store is the shopping experience and this is where Shopify excels.

Almost half of e-commerce purchases come from mobile devices so it’s important that the experience is top notch. Shopify out of the box does this well and most of your customers are probably already familiar with the checkout experience.

Final Verdict: Shopify vs WordPress

It would be easy for me to do a breakdown of use cases for when you should use Shopify vs WordPress, but to be honest, if your goal is to have a store and you’re not going to do too much content creation then I would go with Shopify.

If your site is mostly focused on content creation with some e-commerce then WordPress is the way to go.

But what about both?

What if you want an e-commerce shop with a ton of content creation? Then your best bet might be to use both.

Wait, that’s an option?

Yes. You can have WordPress or Shopify on the main domain and the other on a subdomain.

For example, maybe your Shopify store is on while your WordPress site is on

However, it also depends on what you plan to sell. If you’re strictly sticking to digital products then another solution than Shopify could work better but that’s a different post to write.

Ready to Grow Your Online Store and Build a Living Through Your Creations?

It’s possible to make a living through creating the things that bring you joy.

In this 5-day email course I’ll show you how I approached the creation of my own Shopify store The Gray Muse.

Because I know that you find joy in creating and if you could make money from your creations, how is that not the perfect world?

Get It Today