WordPress vs WooCommerce – What’s the Difference?

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WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that helps you create a website from scratch. Besides, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that turns your WordPress site into an online store. It contains all functionality to sell products online and manage inventory.

In this article, we will compare WordPress and WooCommerce in detail to help you make a decision. We will cover everything from how they are used to their performance and SEO optimization. Let’s get started!

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free and open-source CMS written in PHP. It was first released on May 27, 2003, by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. As of 2021, WordPress is used by 455 million websites, powering around 43.0% of all the websites in the world.

Being an open-source system under GPLv2, anyone can use and modify WordPress. There is a strong community of developers around the world constantly improving WordPress.

Developers can create themes and plugins to add new features or functionality to WordPress websites. In fact, there are thousands of WordPress themes and plugins available in its library. You can install them on your website with just a few clicks for the preferred look and functionality.

WordPress offers a wide range of features to help you create a website quickly and easily. For example, it has an inbuilt drag-and-drop page builder that lets you create custom pages without having to code.

A lot of big companies out there use WordPress for their website, including CNN, Time Magazine, TechCrunch, PlayStation Blog, Skype, TED blog, etc., and much more.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that allows you to turn your WordPress site into an online store. It was first released on September 27, 2011, by WordPress co-founder WooThemes.

WooCommerce has become very popular because of its ease of use and simplicity. Currently, more than 3,876,748 e-commerce stores are using WooCommerce to manage their online sales and inventory.

As of 2021, WooCommerce powers around 23% of all online shops. That’s a pretty big number considering that it is just a plugin.

WooCommerce offers many features to help you build and manage an online store quickly and easily. For example, it has an inbuilt payment gateway so you can start processing payments immediately.

It also allows you to add an unlimited number of products, create coupons, and track inventory.

WooCommerce is a great choice for small businesses and startups because it is very affordable. That is because it’s totally free to use WooCommerce. You only need to pay for hosting and a domain name.

WordPress vs WooCommerce: What are the Main Differences?

Now that we have an idea of what WordPress and WooCommerce are; let’s take a look at the main differences between them.

Uses

You can use WordPress for creating any type of website, including a blog, portfolio, business website, etc. Along with thousands of themes to set up a website within minutes, WordPress also enables you to create custom website designs with page builders.

WooCommerce is only for creating online stores. However, you can WooCommerce along with a blog or portfolio.

Features

WordPress has many features that help you create and manage a website easily. Some of the notable features include a drag-and-drop page builder, builtin SEO, thousands of themes and plugins, etc.

WooCommerce also has many features that help you create and manage an online store easily. Some of the notable features include a builtin payment gateway, inventory management, coupons, etc.

Flexibility

WordPress is more flexible than WooCommerce. That is because you can use WordPress for any type of website including an online store. You can also extend the functionality of your WordPress site with plugins.

WooCommerce is only for creating an online store. Moreover, it’s functionality is very limited out of the box. You will require many plugins to extend the functionality of your WooCommerce site. Compared to the other e-commerce options, WooCommerce is not as flexible.

Performance

The performance of WordPress and WooCommerce depends on two factors- hosting and plugins/themes you are using. If you are using a good quality hosting then both WordPress and WooCommerce will perform well. However, too many plugins or a poorly coded theme can slow down your website.

Similarly, if you are using a good quality WooCommerce theme and plugins, then your WooCommerce store will perform well. However, if you have too many products or use a lot of images, then it can slow down your website.

Cost

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system. However, you need to pay for hosting and a domain name. You may also require spending more if you want to utilize premium themes and plugins.

WooCommerce is also a free and open-source eCommerce plugin for WordPress. As like any WordPress site, you will need to pay for the domain name, hosting, themes, plugins, and customization.

WordPress vs WooCommerce: Pros and Cons

Now that we have seen the main differences between WordPress and WooCommerce, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each platform.

Pros of WordPress 

Pros of WordPress include:

An Easy Way to Create Websites: WordPress is one of the easiest ways to create a website. You can create a website in minutes with WordPress.

Easy to Manage: WordPress is easy to manage. You can easily add and delete content, change themes, and install plugins.

You are In Charge: As WordPress is an open-source platform, you are in complete control of your website. You can do anything with your website without any restrictions.

SEO Optimized: WordPress is built with SEO in mind, making it one of the most SEO friendly platforms.

Lots of Plugins and Themes: WordPress has thousands of free and premium themes and plugins. You can easily find a suitable theme or plugin for your WordPress website.

Cons of WordPress 

Can be Vulnerable: WordPress websites can be vulnerable if not properly secured.

Learning Curve: WordPress has a learning curve. It may take some time to learn how to utilize the platform properly.

Frequent Updates: WordPress releases frequent updates which can be sometimes annoying.

Pros of WooCommerce 

WooCommerce has many pros, some of these include:

Cost Effective: Compared to the other eCommerce platforms, WooCommerce is very cost effective. You can create a small or large online store without breaking the bank.

Flexible Shipping Options: WooCommerce gives you the flexibility to offer different shipping options to your customers. You can offer free shipping, flat rate shipping, or shipping based on weight and destination.

Broad Customization Options: You can customize WooCommerce to match your brand. There are many themes and plugins available to help you achieve the look you want for your online store.

Maximum Security: WooCommerce is one of the most secure eCommerce platforms. It uses SSL to encrypt data and offers a number of security features to keep your store safe.

Product Variations: With WooCommerce, you can offer product variations such as color, size, etc.

Cons of WooCommerce 

WooCommerce has some cons as well, these include:

Relatively Slow Loading Speed: Your WooCommerce store might slow down if you have too many products or use a lot of pictures.

It Depends on WordPress: WooCommerce is a WordPress extension. So, switching to WooCommerce from another platform might be difficult for an established business.

No Dedicated Support: As WooCommerce is an extension of WordPress, it does not have dedicated support. You will need to rely on the WordPress community for support.

Conclusion

WordPress and WooCommerce are both great options for their intended purpose. WordPress is great for creating a website while WooCommerce excels as an eCommerce platform.

If you are planning on selling products online, then WooCommerce is the better option. If you are looking to create a simple website or blog, then WordPress would be the better option.

Thank you for reading! We hope this article was helpful.