How Much Does a Good eCommerce Store Cost?

WooCommerce vs Shopify and their Costs

Running an eCommerce store is a great way to scale your brick-and-mortar shop. You may be even starting a business without a physical storefront and going straight online. You may have questions about how much it will cost you to create an eCommerce website. This article may help you gain better information. 

We will be comparing two of the most popular eCommerce platforms, WooCommerce and Shopify. This will help you come up with an action plan so you won’t end up choosing the wrong platform and overspending. 

Here are the areas we will cover:

  1. Hosting / Subscription
  2. Design and Development
  3. Add-ons
  4. Payment Processing
  5. Maintenance

Let’s get the ball rollin’, shall we?

1. Hosting / Subscription

You might be wondering why we’re just down comparing two different online services. It’s because these are the most popular choices, very easy to use and are two different creatures. WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform that requires you to get your hosting while Shopify provides it for you with your subscription.

Wordpress Hosting

WooCommerce

When running an online shop, you want a fast and reliable hosting service. You don’t want a down website due to a server problem resulting in a loss of customers and sales.

WooCommerce dedicated Hosting providers like SiteGround provide you with convenience and reliability. You also get great technical support which gives you peace of mind when troubleshooting.

SiteGround’s packages start from $14.99 a month for the StartUp plan and would range up to $39.99 a month for the GoGeek plan. But honestly, you only need the StartUp plan because the other packages are suitable for multiple websites for a single account. Unless you plan to have multiple websites, but chances are you will only have one eCommerce store. 

SiteGround also offers a lot of discounted deals that can save you as much as 60% in the first year.

Other options can start for as low as $5.99 up to $9.99 per month. But of course, you want to have dedicated services for optimal performance.

Shopify Subscription

Shopify

Shopify is a Saas (software as a service) eCommerce platform. You don’t need to install, manage it or get hosting for it. You just create an account and you can start building your shop. 

Shopify is a subscription-based platform. The package rates start from $29/month for the Basic Shopify and would go up to $299 for Shopify Advanced. If you’re just starting, you’re fine with the basic package. If you are an established retail shop, you will want to go with the next packages for more features and lesser processing fees.

WooCommerce and Shopify

Both platforms require you to purchase your domain name. Depending on where you are getting it from, it may range from $1.99/year up to $17.99. There could be more expensive ones but you’re fine right in this range.

Estimated eCommerce Hosting/Subscription and Domain Costs

WooCommerce Hosting: $5.99 – $39.99 / month or $71.88 – 479.88 / year
Shopify Subscription: $29/month – 299/month or $348 – $3588 / year
Domain: $1.99 – 17.99 / year

 

2. Payment Processing

One of the most overlooked parts of operating an eCommerce business is the Payment Processing fees. This can bring a serious impact to your business in the long run because the cost of fees adds up as you make larger sales.

WooCommerce

There are a lot of options for payment integrations for WooCommerce. The best part is it’s free to use any payment gateway you want and you only pay the processing fees, no monthly subscription fees. WooCommerce supports Paypal, Stripe, and Square to accept credit cards. But you can also choose from dozens of options that are available as extensions and the average processing fees are 2.9% + 30c.

WooCommerce also does not put a cap on your sales. This means you can sell as much as you can without having to upgrade to another subscription plan.

Processing Fees

Shopify

Unlike WooCommerce, Shopify comes with its payment called Shopify payments. While Shopify allows you to integrate other payment gateways to work on their platform, you would also have to pay a 2% processing fee to Shopify on top of your payment gateway’s processing fees which are most likely 2.9% + 30c. That’s a total of 5% on every sale. 

The upside of Shopify is you can use it as POS too, making your inventory and sales management easier. 

Estimated Cost of Payment Processing Fees

  • WooCommerce: PayPal or Stripe – 2.9% + $0.30 for transaction
  • Shopify : Shopify Payments – 2.9% + 30¢ | Additional 2% per transaction for third-party payment gateways

3. Design and Development

Both WooCommerce and Shopify come with available themes to choose from. There are big differences in the way they are set up and that’s what we’re here to find out.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the eCommerce plugin for WordPress websites. There are countless options just with the free themes alone. But if you want to be specific with the design and features of your online store, you would want to purchase a theme that is developed to be compatible with WooCommerce. That means that when you purchase a WooCommerce-compatible theme, the modifications you would have to do are lesser. Themes start from a one-time fee of $29 up to $299.

Wordpress and Shopify Design

Shopify

Shopify on the other hand comes with lesser design options. There are about 10 free templates you can use. If you want to upgrade, there are 60+ paid templates which cost about $180 each for a one-time fee. The good thing about Shopify templates, whether free or paid, is that they are easy to use. They’re like a plug-and-play kind of platform even with the shipping calculations. 

WooCommerce and Shopify

If you are an established business and want to ensure that your branding is reflected on your website and has specific modifications to match your way of running a business, you will want to hire a web designer and developer. Freelancers start from $1,500 – $4,000. Studios range from $5,000 to $25000. Agencies would range from $25,000 – $100,000. These are one-time fees by the way.

Estimated Costs for Design and Development

Themes
WooCommerce Themes: $29 – $299 (one-time fee)
Shopify Themes: $180 (one-time fee)

Custom Theme
Freelancer: $1,500 – $4,000
Studio: $5,000 – $25,000
Agency: $25,000 – $100,000

4. Add-Ons

But why do you need add-ons in the first place? When you set up your eCommerce store regardless of doing it on WooCommerce or Shopify, you get the basic functionalities of an online shop. These add-ons enhance the features and activity on your website to help increase your level of engagement and sales. A few examples are marketing tools like Mailchimp or Klaviyo, pre-order or fundraiser add-ons, upselling apps, and many more!

Wordpress Plugin Development

WooCommerce

These add-ons are called plugins. Since WordPress is an open-source platform, there are thousands of supported plugins that come free or paid. Most of these plugins cost as low as $5 and can go up to $400, depending on the kind of functionality you want to add. But the good news is there are a ton of options available. The better news is you only pay annually, some only once.

Shopify

On the other hand, Shopify is a platform run and maintained by its team of developers and designers. However, they offer APIs for developers to create and integrate their add-ons called apps. These apps are accessible through the Shopify app store where you can select and install them. Depending on the type of functionality, these apps may range from $4 – $2000. What’s jarring is you pay monthly.

WooCommerce and Shopify

Both these platforms offer flexibility for your add-ons. That means, if you have a specific activity or feature that you want your plugin or app to have, you can have it customized by hiring a professional developer. You can also hire a developer to create a custom add-on for you. These customizations can range from $1000 – $5000 per custom add-on.

Estimated Cost of Add-ons

WooCommerce: $5 – $400 per year
Shopify: $4 – $2000 per month

5. Maintenance

Another overlooked part of operating an eCommerce business is website maintenance. Once your website has been launched, it has to stay updated to keep up with changing web standards, and that happens only every day.

Website Maintenance

WooCommerce

Since it is open-source, the maintenance of the platform, the theme, and the plugins are dependent on the website owner. The good thing is that many developers, whether a freelancer or a studio, offer very competitive maintenance packages to take that task off your plate. It may seem easy to update WordPress because they are just a matter of clicks. But the problem happens when the update is not compatible with the rest of the website, resulting in sections that are not displaying or worse, a website that won’t load at all.

If you decide to maintain your WooCommerce website, the cost is completely free. If you hire a professional, they may range from $45 – $300 a month.

Wordpress and Shopify Development

Shopify

Since it is a SaaS platform, the own development team of Shopify maintains it for you and it is part of what you pay for through the subscription. You won’t have to worry about incompatibility issues and finding time to initiate the updates. 

Unless you had an app custom-made or customized for you, you will have to pay for the developer modifications to make sure it is compatible with Shopify updates.

WooCommerce and Shopify

Aside from platform updates, you will also need to consider updating the content of your website. That includes not just the text and the images of your website but also the product information. As a business owner, you want to focus on growing your business and increasing your sales. Professional designers, developers, and even experienced virtual assistants can do these things for you at a minimal cost. 

Estimated Cost of Maintenance

WooCommerce: $45 – $300 a month
Shopify: $50 – $150 per update

SUMMARY

Both platforms offer advantages over the other. It’s just a matter of which matches your business objectives and operations better. 

WooCommerce is great for flexibility and scalability but it comes with its underlying costs and manpower requirements. Shopify on the other hand is a plug-and-play platform that does most of the things for you, and the costs get higher as you upgrade to the packages.

Below is a summary of the estimated costs for all areas we talked about:

HOSTING

WooCommerce Hosting: $5.99 – $39.99 / month or $71.88 – 479.88 / year

Shopify Subscription: $29/month – 299/month or $348 – $3588 / year

Domain: $1.99 – 17.99 / year

PAYMENT PROCESSSING FEES

  • WooCommerce: PayPal or Stripe – 2.9% + $0.30 for transaction
  • Shopify : Shopify Payments – 2.9% + 30¢ | Additional 2% per transaction for third-party payment gateways

DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT

WooCommerce Themes: $29 – $299 (one-time fee)

Shopify Themes: $180 (one-time fee)

Custom Theme

Freelancer: $1,500 – $4,000

Studio: $5,000 – $25,000

Agency: $25,000 – $100,000

ADD-ONS

WooCommerce: $5 – $400 per year

Shopify: $4 – $2000 per month

MAINTENANCE

WooCommerce: $45 – $300 a month

Shopify: $50 – $150 per update

Help Us Help You

We’ve been designing, building, and maintaining eCommerce websites of different scales in different industries and we know a good one from the bad. There are so many trends and best practices to apply and optimize your website that will help increase your revenue and increase your business.

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