Shopify vs. WordPress SEO: A Quick Comparison
Because of the global pandemic, eCommerce which has been experiencing steady growth over the years suddenly exploded, with more than 25% of the world’s population expected to make online transactions this year. The world continues to embrace the convenience and ease of online shopping and soon it will become the norm.
As more and more businesses choose to go digital, they must first choose what would be the best platform to build their online store on. When it comes to building your online store what you usually want are: flexibility, ease of use, and for it to perform. The two biggest platforms today are WooCommerce (WordPress) and Shopify and while they both have their own pros and cons, one of the features you need to consider is SEO. Even though both are top performers, they have some key differences when it comes to SEO.
Let’s dive in a little bit more as to how these two sites can help you and how they perform in terms of SEO. In this article we will be comparing Shopify and Wordpress SEO. For the sake of consistency, we will pertain to WooCommerce as Wordpress as the focus is on SEO.
So which one of the two is better for SEO?
The short answer is, it depends on your knowledge and experience.
Both platforms are the best for a reason. But there are some differences especially in SEO that would really depend on what your experience and expectations with SEO are.
Here’s a quick comparison between the two:
Best for users with little to no experience in the technicalities of building a website. The platform is easy even for beginners to use as it requires minimal configuration.
A self-hosting platform with a free plugin named WooCommerce that is highly customizable especially when it comes to SEO.
Most site visitors or users prefer websites that load fast. Like really fast. If your website isn’t up to speed and takes longer than 3 seconds to load, chances are that users will close it and move on. That’s why loading speed is one of the best pros, and Shopify does this faster than WordPress, mostly because of the way it is built. Shopify’s back-end server technology scales to ensure optimum speed on top of the fact that most of the applications it uses are lightweight and always ready to go.
On top of that, all websites on the Shopify platform automatically get a mobile responsive website. Part of the way Shopify makes your life easier is enabling this option. A mobile responsive website is crucial in today’s digital world where most people use multi-channels to do their online shopping from phones, tablets to their laptops.
As mentioned above, Shopify is best for those who aren’t very technical or have little knowledge on the technical aspects of building and maintaining an eCommerce website. Shopify removes those and offers you a ready to use platform that automatically produces XML sitemaps, and lets you easily customize SEO data like META and title descriptions. However, this ease of use also makes it hard for those who want to move things around. Professionals might be disappointed to see that they will be limited to Shopify’s architecture and won’t be able to refine the site further.
You also won’t be able to customize URLs and will be stuck with Shopify-generated URLs.
Another good thing about Shopify is that your store automatically gets an SSL certificate as part of your monthly fee which means that your site gets top-level SSS encryption without you having to pay an additional fee or manage it elsewhere. This also means more security for your SEO.
Shopify’s app stores also lets you choose from a wide range of SEO applications to help you improve your SEO performance.
The thing though with Shopify is that it has limited blogging capabilities and content via your blog is very important. Having timely, engaging content can directly affect your SEO ratings especially when Google looks at the quality of your website content. Because Shopify was made for selling, unlike WordPress, it lacks those extra features you might need when you’re creating content which in some cases may be disadvantageous.
The best thing about Shopify is its optimized CSS and HTML5 coding thanks to its own CSS editor, Liquid. With this, you get a bit more flexibility and it allows your store to load faster because it’s coding is SEO-optimized.
You should however, consider that Shopify may be more expensive at the end of the day with a basicCustomizable, SEO-optimized code
Because WooCommerce is created by WordPress, a powerful CMS that was primarily used as a blogging platform, it is designed with SEO features that help it excel in that area. And unlike Shopify, it allows you to do more customization which we think professionals would love.
Earlier we mentioned that on Shopify, you can’t really change or customize URLs but on WordPress you can. Shopify requires all second level pages to be under the site name or page link structure while on WordPress, you can have cleaner, shorter, top-level domain structures.
You also get access to Yoast which is a popular SEO optimization tool because it allows you to customize almost everything. We mean everything from names, meta details, image compression, server optimization, and database access. You also get rich snippet support which is great for optimizing your content when it appears on Google search results.
Because WordPress is primarily a blogging platform, that means you get a stronger blogging support. Features that can help you create more powerful content are made available on this platform. It offers a lot of blogging capabilities that unfortunately, Shopify does not have.
There are a lot of great things going for WordPress but Shopify is still a strong platform. Unlike Shopify, WordPress themes are not automatically optimized for CSS and mobile so you would still need to optimize your theme or have someone do it for you. If you aren’t keen on learning about WordPress and coding, you may get overwhelmed with it, and that’s where Shopify shines.
Apart from that, WordPress loads a little bit slower as compared to Shopify. This is because its coding is more complex and it would depend on the host servers, site plugins, and many other factors that can affect loading speed.
Knowing all this, what is the best platform for you? It really depends on the amount of experience you have, the time and budget you’re willing to spend, and which platform you are more comfortable with using in the long run.
You have to dig deep and find out what your SEO needs are because both these platforms actually do well in terms of SEO. Shopify is great if you want an easy platform with minimal customization, and WordPress is better if you want to have a higher level of customization, and if you’re willing to put in the time to get more SEO control.
Just remember, whether you’re building your store on Shopify or WordPress (WooCommerce), your SEO strategy and expertise is what will really make a difference. First, because this helps potential customers find your website, your products and can help boost your online store’s reputation. If your website doesn't have great visibility in the search results, you're going to struggle with sales and traffic.
Our SEO experts here at Webinopoly can help you on whichever platform you choose. We have dedicated teams who can help you achieve your business goals from expanding your audience, reaching targeted sales, and having a better performing website overall.
Here at Webinopoly, we create solutions that can help entrepreneurs like you build and expand your online business. If you need help optimizing your Shopify pages, building or designing it, we are here to help!
Webinopoly is 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