Oct 23, 2021 - 01:32 PM
I have a few years of experience with Wordpress/Woocommerce. My background isn’t in coding specifically but broader IT consulting. If you have Wordpress skills you can learn how to manage a WooCommerce store and get 95% of things done without being able to code.
Personally, I started with Shopify then switched to WooCommerce. I can tell you that the sheer amount of available plugins (free and one-time fee based) will bring you functionality at a price that Shopify absolutely can’t compete. Shopify’s ecosystem is expensive (everything is a monthly payment and transaction costs are high).
The feeling when you have a good working site that you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars each month is very settling. For something like $500 -- $700 in plugins you can pack absolutely monster functionality into Woo.
There are functionalities/plugins that you can never get on Shopify. But you have to be aware of a few important considerations concerning the performance of your site, because that may be your biggest downfall.
1. Be Careful Not to Use Too Many Slow or Bloated Plugins
Wordpress can become super slow real quick if you make bad theme/plugin decisions. So first of all, try to be really picky when you pick the theme, since their inherent speed can already vary by a large margin.
Before you install a plugin, backup and then test your page speed AFTER EACH PLUGIN that you install. Some plugins make pages slow, only because they conflict between themselves and this is where you need to get help from a good developer.
He (yes, most are men) will investigate what makes things slow and you will decide whether to fix things or find a different, leaner plugin that doesn’t cause bloat and bring your system to a grinding halt.
For me, it took weeks to find a set of plugins that offer the functionality that I need and perform well. Now I have around 40 -- 60 plugins per page, including multi-language, multi-currency, gamification etc but the page works is as fast as one with half the plugins. But there were cases where it got like 5-8 sec load times.
BUT DO NOT EXPECT IT TO BE AS SWIFT AS SHOPIFY. This is the only thing that Shopify will always be better than woo - speed.
2. Get Good Hosting
Shopify comes with great (inherent) hosting by default. Performance of WOO will greatly vary depending on choice of host. I use CloudWays with their Premium package (Xeon CPUs, NVM SSDS) and it's much faster. Besides, Cloudways has amazing support. They will even go to your site and fix things sometimes. [capitalandgrowth] Another good option is Conversion Magic, with the hosting bundle.
3. Get Good Caching Plugins and a CDN
Again here I recommend CloudWays with their breeze plugin and CDN setup. It is simple to setup, and works well. But you can try different ones like WProcket. Lastly, don't forget to optimize images.
By the way Conversion Magic, comes with a hosting bundle that approaches Shopify speeds yet still offers the flexibility and low cost that are Woo’s advantages.