Blogging: Shopify VS WordPress
With the pandemic still here, online shopping is going stronger than ever. If you are considering building an ecommerce website now, there’s no doubt you’ve also considered the other aspects that come with it. Of course with any eCommerce website, you have your essential pages, About Us, Contact Us, Shopping and the Blog.
There are now more eCommerce platforms to choose from but only a few select ones stay on top of the game, and of the biggest platforms out there is Shopify. Today, there are over 1 million businesses on the platform. It remains strong with over 20% of the market share.
If you don’t have a website yet, Shopify could be the best option for you. It’s main selling points are its user-friendly interface and features that can make anyone’s website building experience much easier.
Now when it comes to eCommerce, one of the main marketing tactics used is to have a blog. A blog helps draw customers in especially because of search engine optimization which helps direct potential customers to your website. Most online stores run a blog because this is the best tool to help keep your website relevant and for users to keep finding you in the long term. A blog helps add personality to your brand and can build your relationship with current customers so they can make repeat purchases.
But how do you run a blog for your Shopify store?
We suggest two options: One is to use the built-in Shopify blogging platform. The other is to use a WordPress blog, which will be hosted on a subdomain of your primary hosting. Next question is, how do you know which one is better?
Let us run you through it.
Shopify is primarily a dedicated, hosted eCommerce solution which is why it is usually the top choice of online businesses. You may be thinking that as an eCommerce platform, it may not be posed to have all the blogging features you need. But that’s not exactly the case. It is actually quite rare that anyone would have super specific and specialized needs for a blog that would make it impossible to do on Shopify.
Shopify’s blogging platform has the basics: writing text, adding images, publishing, and categorizing. Because Shopify tries to make their whole platform and interface user friendly and straight to the point, you won’t find the same level of customization on it like you would on WordPress. But with the help of a developer (like our Shopify experts here at Webinopoly) you can definitely have one working and customized to your needs.
We do suggest however to stick with Shopify. Why? Shopify is better overall in terms of experience, conversions, and performance as an eCommerce platform than WooCommerce (WordPress’ eCommerce plugin). So even if you may have those few blogging limitations, we do think that the benefits of using Shopify are better than having to do your blog on WordPress or even using WooCommerce and WordPress together. Shopify is built to gain conversions and its many tools help you get more out of the platform.
Earlier we mentioned that one option is to use Shopify as your eCommerce platform and WordPress as your blogging platform via a subdomain. This is indeed possible but it’s actually not good practice because you want to optimize your whole store not just parts of it. When Google reads your website and sees that it has a subdomain, it will read it as a different website which means it splits your traffic between your Shopify site and your WordPress blog. Plus it would entail more work for you, having to manage items between two different platforms. Working with a Shopify site and blog is more seamless and efficient for you and your team.
Other things you need to consider
You need to know how easy or hard it is to run a blog on these two platforms. Well, with anything on Shopify, it’s pretty easy as they do most of the work for you already. All you will really need to do is login as an admin, click on the online store section, blogs, then click manage blogs, and click add blog.
From here, you’ll be able to set up your blog from the title, to descriptions to managing comments. If you’re good with those already, just hit save and start crafting some blog posts. It’s really easy.
Unlike Shopify, setting up with WordPress entails a lot more steps. First, you would need to setup your WordPress blog with Shopify. To do this, you need to create a WordPress blog and it would need to be hosted with its own IP address. Next you would have to get the subdomain out of your main domain. You might need to contact your host or domain registrar for this. Next you will install WordPress on your Shopify subdomain and then modify your DNS records.
There are indeed a lot of steps. We recommend researching thoroughly how to successfully integrate WordPress with Shopify as it’s not as simple as plug and play.
There are many different factors that can affect your SEO performance. First is the domain. As we mentioned earlier, having a Shopify store and a WordPress blog would entail using subdomains which means you’ll be running two platforms while if you stick with the Shopify blog, it works under the Shopify host as a subfolder.
Another factor for SEO is speed. Having to use a subdomain may entail a slower loading time as opposed to a Shopify blog that is generally ready to go anytime a user clicks on it. Having a subdomain means that the loading of any content onto your Shopify platform gets a bit more delayed as it has to go through more steps.
When you’re talking about SEO, subdomains are never ideal especially with how Google treats it. Plus the speed of your website gets slower which can irritate readers or visitors on your platform.
There may be instances where Google just decides that certain images in your blog will make it perform better and because Shopify’s blogging platform just has the basics and has its limitations, you may not be able to easily adapt once that need arises.
The best course of action would be to install plugins or have a developer look into creating one for you. Since WordPress is first a blogging platform, they have more plugins suited to make the blog better and more customizable while Shopify’s plugins are more dedicated to developing it as an eCommerce store.
- Intuitiveness and design
One of the good things about Shopify is really its ease of use. Even customizing your blog theme is made easier because your whole website follows a certain theme. This way everything is uniform and your customers don’t get confused. It’s always good to be consistent to refrain from confusing customers at the risk of them closing your website or blog article. To get both your WordPress blog and your Shopify store to look the same, you would need to understand or have someone who understands both platforms. There are a number of things you would need to develop just to make it consistent and you’ll have to go through this trouble again if you ever change your theme in the future.
Another thing is how intuitive the platform is for whoever will be managing it. Generally, it is easy to find which buttons do which on Shopify but since there are limitations, there is a learning curve to it.
Overall, if you are set on running your whole eCommerce store on Shopify, we recommend you to use its built-in blogging platform. WordPress is indeed great for blogging but having to use it as a subdomain will just cause more hassles on your end, which means more work and more time wasted.
Hopefully, we’ve helped show you why Shopify’s blogging platform is better when you’re selling on Shopify (despite some of its limitations). Of course, if you need additional features, a few plugins from the Shopify store can help you. And if you can’t find any there, you know where to find us.
Here at Webinopoly, we create solutions that can help entrepreneurs like you build and expand your online business. We are an Award-Winning Digital Agency and are experts in Design, Setup, Development, and Marketing.Our services range from building your Shopify store to theme customization, website development, migration to Shopify, SEO, and marketing.
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He is an author, entrepreneur & founder of Webinopoly & multiple IT companies. Moe has been featured multiple times as one of top Shopify experts, Entrepreneur Magazine says he is a “Shopify Wizard” one of the 100 most brilliant Shopify Experts.Learn More