WordPress vs WooCommerce – What’s the Difference?

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WordPress is an incredibly popular content management system (CMS) that helps you create a website from the ground up. On top of that, WooCommerce, a WordPress plugin, turns your site into a fully functional online store, perfect for selling products and handling inventory.

I’ll compare WordPress and WooCommerce to help you decide. Learn about their uses, performance, and SEO optimization. Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • WordPress: A free, open-source CMS that’s highly flexible and used for various types of websites including blogs, portfolios, and business sites.
  • WooCommerce: A free plugin that transforms a WordPress site into an online store, offering features like payment gateways, inventory management, and product variations.
  • Flexibility: WordPress offers more flexibility for different website types, while WooCommerce is specifically tailored for e-commerce purposes.
  • Performance: Both depend on hosting quality and the number of plugins/themes used; too many can slow down your site.
  • Cost: Both platforms are free, but you’ll need to pay for hosting, domain names, and potentially themes and plugins.

What is WordPress?

WordPress, a free open-source CMS written in PHP, was released on May 27, 2003, by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. By 2021, it powered 455 million websites, about 43.0% of all websites.

As an open-source system under GPLv2, anyone can use and modify WordPress. A strong community of developers worldwide consistently improves it.

Developers can create themes and plugins to add new features to WordPress websites. There are thousands available in the WordPress library. Install them with just a few clicks for your preferred look and functionality.

WordPress offers many features to help you build a website fast. For example, its inbuilt drag-and-drop page builder lets you create custom pages without needing to code.

Many large companies use WordPress for their websites, including CNN, Time Magazine, TechCrunch, PlayStation Blog, Skype, and TED blog.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that turns your WordPress site into an online store. Launched on September 27, 2011, it was developed by WooThemes, co-founded by a WordPress creator.

WooCommerce is hugely popular due to its ease of use and simplicity. Over 3,876,748 e-commerce stores now use WooCommerce to manage online sales and inventory.

As of 2021, WooCommerce powers about 23% of online shops. That’s a significant number for a plugin.

WooCommerce provides 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 begin processing payments right away.

It also lets you add unlimited products, create coupons, and track inventory.

WooCommerce is a great choice for small businesses and startups because it is very affordable. 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?

Let’s explore the main differences between WordPress and WooCommerce.


You can use WordPress to create any website, like a blog, portfolio, or business site. With thousands of themes, you can set up a site fast. It also lets you build custom designs with page builders.

WooCommerce is ideal for online stores. You can also combine WooCommerce with a blog or portfolio.


WordPress offers many features to help you create and manage a website with ease. Some key features include a drag-and-drop page builder, built-in SEO, and thousands of themes and plugins.

WooCommerce offers features to help you set up and run an online store with ease. Key features include a built-in payment gateway, inventory management, and coupons.


WordPress offers more flexibility than WooCommerce. You can use WordPress for any website, including an online store, and extend its functionality with plugins.

WooCommerce is primarily for creating online stores, but its basic features are quite limited. You’ll need several plugins to expand its capabilities. Compared to other e-commerce solutions, WooCommerce lacks flexibility.


WordPress and WooCommerce performance hinges on hosting and the plugins/themes in use. Quality hosting ensures both work well. But too many plugins or a poorly coded theme can slow down your site.

If you’re using a high-quality WooCommerce theme and plugins, your store will perform well. But having too many products or images can slow down your site.


WordPress is a free, open-source content management system. However, you’ll need to pay for hosting and a domain name. You might also spend extra on premium themes and plugins.

WooCommerce is a free, open-source eCommerce plugin for WordPress. However, you’ll need to pay for the domain name, hosting, themes, plugins, and customization.

WordPress vs WooCommerce: Pros and Cons

Now that I’ve discussed the main differences between WordPress and WooCommerce, let’s explore the pros and cons of each platform.

Pros of WordPress 

Pros of WordPress include:

An Easy Way to Create Websites: WordPress lets you create a website in minutes. It’s one of the simplest tools available.

Easy to Manage: WordPress is simple to control. You can quickly add or delete content, switch themes, and install plugins.

You are in Charge: WordPress being open-source means you have full control over your website. You can customize it to your needs without any limits.

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

Lots of Plugins and Themes: WordPress offers thousands of free and premium themes and plugins. You can easily find a suitable one for your website.

Cons of WordPress 

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

Learning Curve: WordPress can be challenging at first. You might need some time to understand how to use the platform effectively.

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

Pros of WooCommerce 

WooCommerce offers several benefits, such as:

Cost Effective: WooCommerce stands out among eCommerce platforms. You can set up both small and large online stores without spending a fortune.

Flexible Shipping Options: WooCommerce lets you provide various shipping options. Choose from free shipping, flat rates, or shipping based on weight and location.

Broad Customization Options: WooCommerce offers many themes and plugins that let you shape your online store to fit your brand.

Maximum Security: WooCommerce ranks high in security for eCommerce platforms. It uses SSL to encrypt data and includes several security features to protect your store.

Product Variations: WooCommerce lets you offer variations like color and size.

Cons of WooCommerce 

WooCommerce has some drawbacks:

Relatively Slow Loading Speed: Your WooCommerce store may lag if you have too many products or use many images.

Depends on WordPress: WooCommerce is an extension of WordPress. Switching to WooCommerce from another platform can be challenging for an established business.

No Dedicated Support: WooCommerce is an extension of WordPress and doesn’t offer dedicated support. You’ll need to depend on the WordPress community for assistance.