Build Business Online with WordPress and Shopify
Choose the website platform that’s right for you now, and as your business grows.
As a general rule, most small and medium retail and service related businesses will be best suited to build their web presence using a CMS platform like either WordPress or Shopify that facilitates nimble development, content creation, SEO best practices, analytics monitoring, lead generation and online sales.
There are, of course, countless situations where a business needs to leverage custom built websites – large enterprises, proprietary services, and many more. But in most small and medium sized business cases, the options available for developing with either WordPress and Shopify will cover your needs beautifully while keeping development investments low and empowering the activities that will help the website become a vital component of reaching your business goals.
Quick Overviews of WordPress and Shopify
What are some key advantages of building my website on WordPress?
At a very high level, we would sum up the advantage of building your business website on WordPress with a couple words: expandability and horsepower.
Thanks to the massive world of WordPress Plugins that are available for WordPress to extend functionality and management, it is far and away the best choice if you want to build an entire business online – whether your business is exclusively online or if it reflects and compliments your offline operations. For example, you may want to build a business that features e-commerce, downloadable documents, customer communications portals, UGC tools, streaming webinars, client chatrooms and lead generation forms. With WordPress’ vast and ever-growing ecosystem of plugins, all this is possible, and more.
Of course, with this expandability and power comes a learning curve, along with website security issues that need to be factored into your building and website maintenance plan.
When setting up a WordPress website, here are a few fantastic advantages:
- Powerful SEO tools to build and manage your organic keyword footprint
- Vast repository of WordPress Plugins to extend management and functionality of your online business – so your building options are nearly unlimited
- Ecommerce capability with the addition of WooCommerce
- Nimble content development capability for Pages, Posts and more
Here are a few challenges of WordPress to consider:
- WordPress can get very complex when you add plugins to extend site functionality. There can be a learning curve to set your site up – and it takes ongoing resource commitment to build and maintain, either in your own hours or in investing in outside resource to build and manage your site for you
- WordPress takes regular, consistent management to keep both WordPress Core and all your plugins updated
- Because it is so wildly popular, WordPress is consistently attacked by hackers – so you MUST run site security to protect your website. Some web hosting companies provide server-level security, and others do not. Take website security seriously when choosing to build on WordPress
Why should I build my website on Shopify?
If your website is going to be built to SELL ONLINE, then it’s very likely that Shopify is for you.
Shopify’s entire existence (and the reason over 1,700,000 businesses choose Shopify) is built on the mission of driving online sales. As such, it features a number of advantages when it comes to building and managing an online store – first and foremost being a focus on transaction security, which helps drive buyer confidence.
To start your Shopify website, you can choose one of their free themes, or invest in a theme from their ever-growing Shopify Theme library. With the Shopify platform, you call sell, market and manage your online store, end-to-end, using their built in tools – including integration of social media, payment processing, shipping providers, Facebook, Amazon and eBay marketplaces, and much more.
When setting up a Shopify website, here are some key advantages:
- Easy-to-use drag-and-drop website builder
- Large theme library to suite almost any business
- Full blogging platform to facilitate your content marketing strategy
- Search engine optimized page builder and themes
- Built in Product reviews to help social selling
- Auto-generated SiteMap XML file to submit to Google for indexing your site
- Abandoned cart automation, automated tax handling, free SSL certificates
Here are a few Shopify challenges to consider:
- Shopify can get expensive, especially if you use a payment processor other than (or in addition to) their proprietary checkout system.
- The majority of apps available in the Shopify App Store are built to facilitate online sales – not other types of site functionality that you might want to build if your business is primarily brick-and-mortar or service based.
- Customization options are limited – there are many, many more Theme choices available for WordPress websites – so you want to be more comfortable accepting trade-offs in security and functionality over unlimited customization opportunities when it comes to layout and styling of your website.
Our bottom line when choosing a website platform for our clients:
If we were building a website for a client who primary online mission is to to drive online sales, Shopify would be our go-to platform choice.
For clients with a more complex online and offline business model, or a client who’s website needs to drive non-transactional business goals, WordPress would our platform of choice.