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WordPress vs Shopify for Blogging: Debating between WordPress and Shopify for your new blog? This comprehensive comparison reveals the pros, cons and key differences between the two platforms in 2022 – so you can make the right choice from the start.
With in-depth analysis of features, SEO, customization, scalability, security, support, costs, and more, you’ll have all the insights needed to determine the best blogging platform for YOU.
Let’s weigh WordPress vs Shopify for blogging across the most crucial criteria so you can launch your blog the smart way.
WordPress: The Long-Standing Blogging King
First released in 2003, WordPress pioneered blogging and quickly became the world’s most popular platform. Today it powers over 60 million websites globally, with thousands more created daily.
Nearly 40%+ of all sites run on WordPress – and for good reason. The open source CMS offers unmatched power and flexibility for blogs of all scopes and sizes.
From hobbyists to major media publications, WordPress can scale to meet any blogging need. The vibrant ecosystem of plugins, themes, developers and resources make it the #1 choice for bloggers.
Shopify: A New Contender Tailored for Ecommerce
Founded in 2006, Shopify emerged much later than WordPress – and with a different focus. The commerce-centric platform enables anyone to easily launch online stores and sell products.
Shopify powers over 1 million merchants. But its core purpose is ecommerce, not blogging. While Shopify can support blogs, it lacks the dedicated blogging features and flexibility of WordPress.
Still, Shopify’s simplicity appeals to some bloggers. Let’s compare WordPress and Shopify’s key attributes for blogging.
Ease of Use and Setup
WordPress – Installing WordPress requires purchasing hosting, domains, installing the CMS, and configuring settings. This gives geeks limitless control, but isn’t as user-friendly for blogging newcomers.
Shopify – Shopify is a turnkey SaaS platform allowing instant blog setup in minutes via the web. No technical skills needed. Much simpler for blogging beginners vs tackling WordPress hosting/config.
Features for Customizing Design and Layout
WordPress – WordPress offers endless customization of design, layout and functionality through its library of 50,000+ plugins and 10,000+ open source themes. Absolute design freedom.
Shopify – Shopify has only 10 blog template themes lacking advanced layout and styling options. Further customization requires a developer. Far fewer possibilities than WordPress.
WordPress – Optimized for SEO out of the box with editable metadata, XML sitemaps, customizable URLs, SEO-friendly permalinks, etc. Superior SEO-focused plugins available too.
Shopify – Weaker on SEO without access to underlying code and metadata. Still possible but requires apps and developer support. Not built for SEO like WordPress.
Content Management and Organization
WordPress – Robust organizational features like hierarchical posts/pages, categories, tags, rich editor, multiple author user accounts, comments, custom post types, etc. Ideal for managing content-heavy blogs.
Shopify – More limited content management. No tags/categories or menu management. Less robust WYSIWYG editor. Customer accounts not designed for authoring content like WordPress.
Multimedia and Functionality
WordPress – Make your blog shine with easy embedded videos, photo galleries, contact forms, sliders, tabs, popups, calendars, social streams, and endless features via plugins. Anything’s possible.
Shopify – Embedding third-party code is clunky. No gallery/contact form plugins. Mostly limited to adding images. Additional features require apps and developer skills.
Scalability and Performance
WordPress – WordPress powers the largest news sites without issue. Advanced cache/object plugins like W3 Total Cache and Cloudflare easily scale blogs to handle heavy traffic.
Shopify – Shopify blogs may experience slowdowns at high traffic volumes. Caching apps and upgrading plans can help, but optimization is tricker. Designed for product pages, not heavy content sites.
WordPress – Being open source, vulnerabilities in plugins/themes require constant monitoring and patching for security. But this transparency also enables greater control.
Shopify – Closed source SaaS model puts Shopify in full control of security. Less customization but reduced potential for interference. Security handled for you.
Winner: Toss Up
Support and Documentation
WordPress – Extensive official docs, forums, live chat, and expert developers offer WordPress support. The huge community quickly answers any question.
Shopify – Knowledge base and 24/7 chat/email support channels. But less mature blogging user base to tap into. Support best for store questions, not content.
*Winner: WordPress *
Costs and Pricing
WordPress – Self-hosted WordPress requires paying upfront for hosting/domains annually (~$100 -$300/year). Managed WordPress hosting simplifies setup with monthly fees ($15+).
Shopify – Shopify pricing starts at $29/month for basic plan. HigherShopify tiers unlock more features. Overall simpler than managing WordPress costs.
Winner: Toss Up
Plugins and Functionality Expansion
WordPress – Any functionality imaginable can be added via the 50,000+ plugins in the WordPress repository. 700+ free blogging-specific plugins available.
Shopify – Shopify offers under 3,000 apps total, with limited selection focused on blogging. The app ecosystem can’t compare to WordPress in selection or quality.
Design and Theme Marketplaces
WordPress – 10,000+ free and premium WordPress themes available, with endless blogging designs. Established marketplaces like ThemeForest offer quality options.
Shopify – Just 10 free blog template themes exist. Paid themes are focused on ecommerce rather than content sites. Theme selection is minimal.
API and Developer Support
WordPress – Open source with a vast developer community publishes endless tutorials, books, and resources for building on WordPress. API allows limitless customization.
Shopify – More limited developer ecosystem but growing. Shopify Partners program supports app creators. API and Liquid provide developer functionality but not as robust as WordPress.
Blogging Specific Functionality
WordPress – Core features like posts, categories, tags, comments, user roles were designed specifically for blogging from day one. Ideal features available out of the box.
Shopify – Shopify’s features cater more to ecommerce stores vs content-focused sites. Key blogging functionality missing or requires custom development.
Omnichannel Commerce Monetization
WordPress – Requires integrating external tools but supports all monetization from ads to affiliate to digital products/memberships and more. The ultimate monetization flexibility.
Shopify – Streamlined to sell physical/digital products online. Integrated checkout and payments. Less customizable than WordPress but easier ecommerce onboarding.
Winner: Toss Up
Verdict: WordPress is Superior for Blogging
Looking at the detailed comparison, WordPress clearly overpowers Shopify for building content-rich blogs tailored to your vision. The extensive features, customization range, API flexibility, performance and SEO have made WordPress the standout choice for blogging for over 15 years now.
For simply publishing blog articles, Shopify works but feels limited compared to the possibilities with WordPress. Unless you need extreme simplicity or built-in ecommerce, WordPress gives bloggers far greater capabilities today – and the flexibility to evolve as your blog grows.
While no platform is perfect, for unlocking the full potential of your blog, WordPress is the clear winner in this matchup. Don’t settle for limits. WordPress offers the best foundation for launching the feature-packed blog you’ve always envisioned.