As dropshipping is becoming popular more than ever, many people are asking if they should use WordPress or Shopify for dropshipping.
And there are many factors to decide which one to choose, based on your needs and strategy, as I will show in this 20-point comparison.
So, stay with me to get my unbiased opinion!
WordPress or Shopify for Dropshipping?
Shopify is a better all-in-one solution for dropshipping businesses as it was created mainly for building reliable, secure and fast e-commerce stores, and there are many useful apps and integrations that help you save time and effort.
The myth about WordPress being cheaper than Shopify is untrue, because if you want to use WP for building dropshipping stores, then you need a special hosting package for WooCommerce.
In any case, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial to try it before paying anything, and you can cancel anytime if you don’t like it.
The only situation where WP would be good is when you have an established WP website or blog, and you want to sell few products on it through the dropshipping model and you don’t expect high volume of traffic to the product pages, or if you want to rely mainly on seo for driving traffic to your store.
WordPress Dropshipping vs. Shopify Dropshipping Detailed Comparison
1 – Originally for Ecom
WordPress was generally created to help non-techie people start a normal website or blog, and it allows for customization and changes that allows them to create an ecom store, but it requires some work to do so as you need to add a plugin called WooCommerce and do some setup.
While Shopify was mainly created for building e-commerce stores, which makes everything a piece of cake when starting a dropshipping store compared to WordPress and WooCommerce.
Conclusion: Shopify is better than WordPress and WooCommerce for ecom stores as it was created originally for e-commerce.
2 – Ease of Use
Both WordPress and Shopify were created to help non-techie people to start websites and online stores and manage them without the need for technical knowledge or hiring developers.
However, Shopify’s dashboard is super-intuitive and much easier to use, especially that when you build a website with it, it is ready to use as an online store, but when you start a website with WordPress, then you need to add special plugins and themes in order to add the store functionality to it.
Conclusion: Shopify is much easier to use than WordPress for ecom and dropshipping stores for non-techie people, and easy to use by beginners.
3 – Products Outsourcing
With both platforms, you can virtually dropship millions of products from thousands of suppliers that offer the dropshipping service.
So, where is the difference?
The difference is in how easy you can add dropshipping products and fulfill orders on WP or Shopify.
And there are many tools, on both platforms, that can save you time and effort by allowing you to import products to your store in few clicks, manage inventory, fulfillment, and automate some tasks.
But the advantage with using Shopify over WordPress for dropshipping is that there are more reliable tools (apps) for dropshipping, and they are usually easier to integrate with Shopify compared to plugins for WordPress.
For example, Shopify owns and operates a dropshipping app called Oberlo, which allows you to import products and fulfill orders in few clicks from one of the biggest online marketplaces, such as AliExpress.
Add to that, many print on demand companies like Pillow Profits work mainly with Shopify and don’t integrate with other platforms, but there are some reliable ones that work with both, such as Printful and Printify.
Conclusion: Shopify has a slight advantage thanks to Oberlo, and the many POD apps that integrate with it exclusively.
4 – WP Vs. Shopify Dropshipping Cost
While others claim that Shopify is more expensive than WordPress, I don’t agree with that as they don’t place their judgment on a fair apple to apple comparison.
That’s like comparing a car that carries five people with a bike that carries one or two maximum.
Of course the bike would be less expensive, but it comes with limitations to what it can do for you, especially if you want to cross lots of bumpy roads, carry lots of stuff, and have others who need to ride with you.
And the same applies to the comparison between WordPress and Shopify for dropshipping in particular, and e-commerce in general.
Lots of successful dropshippers drive big volumes of traffic to specific product pages, and those pages usually have high quality images, which are big in size.
And if the hosting is not fast and reliable enough, then people would start leaving the product pages before they load and the dropshippers would lose potential sales.
This is a problem that is highly likely to happen if you use a normal shared WordPress hosting for your dropshipping store.
And Shopify was built especially for e-commerce stores, which makes it faster than the shared WP hosting plans.
The solution for this issue with WordPress would be by getting a special hosting page for e-commerce with WP, which costs more than the normal cheap hosting plans.
Add to that, with Shopify, there are many apps and themes, free and paid, that are specially designed for ecom stores in order to give certain features that could increase your sales and revenue.
And many of them are made by Shopify itself, even the free ones, which makes them trusted and reliable.
While with using WP for dropshipping, you might find some plugins and themes to help you, but these are usually developed by third party developers, and using the free version of any of them could cause harm to your WP dropshipping store as the free themes and plugins usually come with little support.
Which means that you need to invest in paid plugins and themes, and that adds to your overall cost.
In general, cost of building and maintaining online stores depends on many factors like the business model, the marketing strategy, the experience, …etc., like I explained in my estimation of the cost for building a Shopify store.
Conclusion: Shopify costs less than WordPress for starting and hosting dropshipping stores.
5 – Security
Having a secure website is a must for having a dropshipping store, because your customers will enter their personal information, including their credit card details.
And if your dropshipping store is not secure with an SSL certificate that protects your customers information, they will get notified by the browser that are using that their information could be stolen by spyware programs, which will make them leave your store without buying.
And for this reason, Shopify offers an SSL certificate for all of the stores that are built with it.
While with WordPress, it depends on where you buy your hosting from, and most of them offer the SSL certificate, but some charge you for it, and some offer it for free.
Conclusion: Both Shopify & WordPress dropshipping stores can be secured with SSL certificates.
6 – Long-Term
Here comes probably the main benefit of using WordPress over Shopify for building a dropshipping store.
WordPress is an open-source CMS (content management system), while Shopify is not.
Now you might say:
What the heck does that mean?
It simply means that when you build a store with Shopify, you can only hosting on their severs, thus, you keep using their paid plan.
You can’t move it to another hosting service, unless you re-build your store on a different content management system like WordPress or Magento, which takes some skill to do it, or money to hire others to do it for you.
While if you build your store with WordPress, then you can choose the hosting provider that you like, and you can easily migrate your store as it is from one hosting service to another, like from SiteGround to A2 Hosting for example.
But honestly, does that really matter?
To be honest, it might feel more secure on the long run to build your store with WordPress if you sell your own products and you have many products to list on your store, or if you want to use seo as a primary method of getting free traffic to your store.
However, when it comes to dropshipping, usually, add and remove products from your store every once in a while, based on the trending products.
And usually you would focus on few products, which makes it easy to move your dropshipping store from Shopify to a different CMS and hosting service.
The only case where I consider WordPress for dropshipping to be better for long term purposes than Shopify is when you want to focus a lot on seo and content marketing in driving traffic to your store, which means that you would create many blog posts and rank on them on Google, and it would require some work to move them later if you decide to move from Shopify to WordPress.
Conclusion: It doesn’t really matter which one you choose for a dropshipping store when it comes to long-term security, unless you want to heavily rely on seo for getting traffic, then WordPress might be a better option.
7 – Combining with an Existing Business
Some people might already have an existing online business, such as an online store to sell their own products, or a WP website to sell their services or to promote affiliate products.
And these people might want to add the dropshipping model to their existing business in order to create their revenue by selling specific products that might be of benefit to their website’s visitors.
And if this was the case for you, then there are two cases that make you might decide which platform to use for dropshipping:
- Firstly, if you want to sell the dropshipping products with a different brand name than your existing one, then you will need to start a store on a separate domain name, which is better to do with Shopify.
- If you want to sell the products with your brand name and on your site, then you can either add the products to your store through the WooCommerce plugin, or you can create a subdomain and build a Shopify store on it, or you can use the Shopify Lite plan that costs only $9 a month, in order to use Shopify’s strong hosting, add products there, and create “Buy Now” buttons and embed them on specific pages on your WP website.
Conclusion: Shopify is better than WP if you want to dropship with a different brand name, or if you want to setup a store on a subdomain, while both are good if you want to sell on the same domain name.
8 – WordPress Vs. Shopify for Scaling Dropshipping Businesses
When it comes to scaling your dropshipping stores, that usually means getting more traffic to the product pages, which requires high speed, reliability, and better support.
And here comes Shopify, which is more suitable for scaling dropshipping stores than WordPress as it was created for hosting online stores that require high availability rate and speed.
The only case where WordPress would be better for scaling is that if you want to heavily rely on seo for getting traffic to your product pages, and if you want to do lots of content marketing with seo, and you want more freedom in hosting your store.
Conclusion: In general, Shopify is more suitable for scaling a dropshipping store than WordPress, especially if you plan to drive lots of traffic to product pages.
9 – Multi-Language
Creating a multi-language dropshipping store might help increase conversion rates and trust.
And here’s another area where WordPress might beat Shopify as there have been many plugins that would help you create a multi-lingual dropshipping store compared to Shopify apps that do the same.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t create a multi-lingual dropshipping store with Shopify, because there are many apps for that as well, and there will mostly be improvement in these apps in the future.
Conclusion: Both, Shopify and WordPress are good for creating a multi-language dropshipping store, but currently, WordPress might have a little advantage.
10 – Dropshipping Order Fees
Usually, the fees on the orders you get with dropshipping stores is reliant on the credit card processors and payment gateways, regardless of the platform you use.
However, with Shopify, in addition to the fee you pay to the payment gateway, there’s an additional fee on the orders you receive, which is 2%, 1%, or 0.5% of the order value, depends on the Shopify plan you are using (Basic, Shopify, Advanced).
Except if you use the Shopify Payments gateway for your store (available in few countries), then you only pay the transaction fees, and better, they get lower than the transaction fees with other payment gateways.
Conclusion: Shopify comes with an additional fee per order, unless you are using the Shopify Payments gateway, you pay a lower processing fee, which makes both platforms equal in this point.
11 – Payment Gateways
Both Shopify and WordPress allow you to integrate your store with many payment gateways that are available in your country, including PayPal.
For Shopify, there’s a specific number of payment gateways that integrate with it, because it’s a closed platform, while WordPress is an open-source platform, you can hire a developer to integrate some payment gateways that do not integrate with Shopify.
But the good thing is that the number of payment gateways for Shopify is increasing with time, and it is much easier and straightforward process to integrate them.
Conclusion: Both WordPress and Shopify allow for many different Payment Gateways integrations for your dropshipping store. WordPress offers more options, but Shopify is easier to integrate.
12 – Dropshipping Add-On’s for Shopify & WordPress Stores
Add-on’s for websites and online stores are applications that you can use in order to add certain functionalities or customizations to your website or store, such as showing pop-ups or banners, collecting emails, adding a countdown timer, offering up-sells or related products, …etc.
And both platforms offer a good number of add-on’s (WordPress plugins and Shopify apps) that you can use with your dropshipping store, free and paid.
And although some might argue that WordPress might have many more plugins that can add many more features to your website (not store), but Shopify is mainly for ecom stores, and they have more apps that can add custom features related to e-commerce and dropshipping.
Not to mention the Oberlo app for dropshipping, which is owned and managed by Shopify itself, while with WordPress plugins for dropshipping are all developed and managed by third party developers.
Conclusion: Shopify is better when it comes to finding add-on’s specifically for dropshipping and ecom purposes compared to WordPress.
13 – Integrations
Both allow for many integrations between your dropshipping store and different marketing channels and apps.
However, with Shopify, the process of integration is usually much easier and hassle-free, such as adding the Facebook Pixel to your store if you want to use Facebook ads, or by connecting your store to your FB page in order to create a virtual store on Facebook in few clicks.
And the same for many integrations such as integrating your dropshipping store with the Google Merchant Advertising platform, Amazon sales channel, …etc.
Conclusion: Shopify dropshipping stores are easier to integrate with different marketing and sales apps and tools than it is with WordPress-WooCommerce dropshipping stores.
14 – Dropshipping on WordPress Vs. Shopify with a Free Trial
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial where you can use it without paying anything, and you can cancel anytime before the trial ends in order not to get charged.
While with WordPress, you need to pay for the hosting plan you are getting, and usually, for a complete year!
Although some hosting companies offer a 30-day money back guarantee, but for some people, it’s a hassle to pay and then ask for a refund and get it.
Conclusion: Shopify than WP is better for giving you a free trial for trying it for building a dropshipping store.
15 – Email Hosting
Another point where WP has an edge over Shopify is that Shopify doesn’t give you the ability to host custom emails like (Support@MyDomainName.com), even if your domain name was hosted on Shopify itself.
The only way to have these emails with Shopify dropshipping stores is to register your domain name on a domain name registrar like NameCheap or GoDaddy, and host your emails there, which costs some money.
While with WordPress dropshipping stores, usually, the hosting plan includes hosting a certain number of custom domain email addresses for no extra fee.
Conclusion: WordPress dropshipping stores allow for hosting custom emails, while Shopify dropshipping stores allow you to pay for an external service provider.
16 – WordPress Vs. Shopify Dropshipping SEO
SEO is an area where WordPress is probably one of the best CMS tools out there due to the ability to manage your links, indexing by search engines, re-directs, and long-term security.
However, Shopify is also good for SEO as it helps you create meta titles, meta description, custom URL’s, re-directs, internal linking, and so on.
And you can do seo with Shopify as one of the free ways of getting traffic to it.
The main thing is that you are limited to how you can structure the link structure for blog posts, and if you want to move your site later, you need to do some permanent 301 redirects.
But there are many Shopify dropshipping stores that rank well on Google, including my store that has very little content.
Conclusion: Both Shopify and WordPress dropshipping stores are good for seo, but WordPress has a slight edge.
17 – WordPress vs. Shopify Themes for Dropshipping Stores
While WordPress has many more themes for sites for different purposes, free and paid, but Shopify has mainly themes for e-com stores.
The problem with WordPress is that the e-com themes that you can use for dropshipping are developed by third-party developers mainly, and the free ones can be unreliable and outdated, which could cause security issues and hacking problems.
Which requires you to buy paid themes, which are good, but still, developed by third party developers.
While with Shopify, the themes are all created for e-com purposes, and the best part is that there are many free and paid themes that are created by Shopify itself, which ensures constant updates in order to match the Shopify requirements.
Add to that, many Shopify themes are well suited for dropshipping stores, or even customized for certain niches, such as some of the Out of the Sandbox themes, or the ones on the Shopify official theme store.
Conclusion: Shopify’s ecom themes are better than WordPress ecom themes and more up-to-date.
18 – Customization
Because WordPress is an open-source CMS, you can hire a developer to do customizations for certain pages on your site.
While Shopify is a closed CMS, which means that it is more difficult and limited when it comes to customizations.
However, there are many great themes for Shopify dropshipping, which don’t require lots of customization, and even better, some of the themes like Flex by Out of the Sandbox, allow for choosing between different layouts for your dropshipping store.
Conclusion: WordPress allows for more customization, but you don’t need that big room as most Shopify’s themes are ready to use for dropshipping.
19 – WordPress Vs. Shopify Support
Shopify offers both, the CMS and the hosting, which makes things more compatible all the time, and hence, fewer issues to face.
While with WordPress, the hosting comes from a different company than the one that develops the CMS.
This means that depending on the hosting provider you use for your dropshipping store, you might face some issues with updates and infrastructure.
However, there are many great WP hosting providers, with good support and help teams, but usually they offer support through email and support tickets or chat, or even phone calls.
While Shopify is very reliable in the first place, and they take it to the next level by offering 24/7 support through email, live chat, and even phone.
Conclusion: Shopify is more reliable and have a better support for dropshipping stores than the vast majority of WordPress hosting providers.
20 – Training Material on Dropshipping
There are many training courses, free and paid, that teach you how to do dropshipping on both, Shopify and WordPress stores.
However, due to its ease-of-use, there are far more courses on Shopify dropshipping compared to WordPress dropshipping, including the free dropshipping courses from Shopify itself, in addition to many legit paid dropshipping courses like Ecom Elites.
Conclusion – Should You Use Shopify or WordPress for Dropshipping?
It is better to use Shopify for dropshipping stores that using WordPress as it was built for e-commerce mainly, it is easier to work with, and there are many apps and themes that make your life much easier and even save you money on the long term.
The only case I would consider WordPress for dropshipping is that if you want to heavily focus on content marketing through seo, and you want an environment where you are free like it is with WordPress.
Otherwise, Shopify is a much better all-in-one solution for dropshipping, to the extent that some people ask if Shopify was only for dropshipping or not.
The nice thing is that Shopify allows you to try it for building a dropshipping store with Oberlo or with POD apps for free for 14 days, and you can decide by then if you want to continue, or you cancel your membership and move to WordPress before paying anything to Shopify.
I hope that my article helped you learn which platform to choose for dropshipping, Shopify or WordPress with WooCommerce.
If you still have any question, please, let me know in the comments’ section below and I will do my best to answer you asap 🙂