Since its launch in 2004, Shopify has quickly taken its place as a leader in ecommerce platforms. Two snowboarders started Shopify trying to sell products online as they couldn’t find a platform for their business needs, so they built their own platform.
If you are starting a business, now is the right time. Throughout history, there hasn’t been a better and easier time to start a business. Whether you want to build your own website or launch your ecommerce business on Shopify, both have their pros and cons, and we will help you decide which one is right for you.
It would be best if you kept an open mind as there is no one-size-fits-all option – your choice depends on your specific goals and needs.
Let’s get started!
To begin our comparison, we will give you clear definitions of both:
Shopify is an ecommerce platform where people can set up their online store and sell their products. For almost two decades, it has been the leading eCommerce platform designed for every business.
Shopify started in 2004, and today it has over 800,000 stores in 175 countries. Shopify is the top software in the shopping cart category. Launching a Shopify store is easy, especially if you consult a Shopify development company like Clickysoft and take their services.
Having your website requires a lot more effort and will require a whole team behind your business. You will have to start with a creative process to learn more about the target audience, website functionality, design, and marketing strategies.
Moreover, you will also need to find a hosting provider or third-party extension to operate your site. Hence, custom-built sites take longer than ecommerce platforms.
Shopify’s basic account costs $29 per month, with additional transactional fees for using credit cards. However, if you choose to use Shopify Payments, you won’t have to pay extra for transactions. Even the basic Shopify accounts have many perks, and unlimited products can be listed.
On the other hand, a custom website costs a lot more. Building and maintaining a site will cost you between $1000 and $10,000 or even more, depending on the functionality of your site. Even if you choose to work with WordPress, a change in the template will cost between $300 and $1000.
Undoubtedly launching a store on Shopify is far easier than building it from scratch. Shopify is designed for everyone, from ecommerce experts to beginners. You don’t need to be a skilled web developer to create websites to get yourself a functional Shopify store within a few minutes.
All you gotta do is think about a store name and fill in your name and email address to get started. After initial configuration, you will have your new store.
Meanwhile, you will need a lot more if you want to create your site with a self-hosted solution. You will hire developers for your startup with hosting and domain services such as Bluehost and GoDaddy.
Moreover, if you want to manage your own store, you should consider setting up a CMS for managing your site and blog. Also, installing plugins with functionalities is highly recommended to customize your store.
Shopify supports many third-party apps to assist shoppers with SEO, inventory tools, marketing, and more. Shopify is an ‘all-in-one’ package, and it offers sellers various ecommerce solutions.
You can extend your reach, and the platform will support your sales channel integrations (such as Amazon or Facebook). Furthermore, shoppers can even combine selling online and in-person with Shopify POS.
On the other hand, the custom website has an entirely different story. The process requires a lot of research time and substantial fees to find the best eCommerce extensions or plugins for your online store.
Read Also: What Is Shopify SEO & Why Is It Important?
Growing your business is continuous work, an exercise in persistence, along with constant maintenance and upgrading. With Shopify, merchants have everything in their hands. The stores will automatically update to the latest version and work flawlessly with other softwares.
For a website, sellers will have to update it manually and regularly. Plus, if you don’t have much knowledge about website development, you will have to hire someone to work on the upgrades and maintenance; hence, you will have to pay a monthly fee for the consistent maintenance and upgrades.
Shopify has even excelled in security with the SSL certificate to protect you and your customers. On the other hand, with a customized website, you will have to pay a certain amount to identify problems and solve them.
Customer support is another Shopify feature that makes it great. It offers phone assistance, live chat, or email support. Shoppers can get more information through the Shopify Help Center. You can even get educational content about growing your store through Shopify Academy, Shopify Blog, or discussion in the Shopify Community.
Meanwhile, if you have your website, you must source learning materials from YouTube, Google, Blogs, Tweets, etc. Resources on the internet are limitless, but due to the lack of centralized sources, you will have to spend a long time finding suitable material.
Unarguably, a dazzling store will capture the audience, boosting your sales. Luckily, Shopify and customized websites allow customers to set up themes in different ways.
Shopify has pre installed beautifully-designed and responsive themes & templates to fulfill your site’s requirements. Shopify has 100 themes, with 18 free themes and 82 paid ones. You can have the paid themes and templates for $140 – $180.
Meanwhile, for the sites, you will have to spend more effort and time than usual to find the suitable theme. When researching, ensure the theme has a thousand positive reviews and active users. If you don’t have a web designer, you can find the appropriate theme at an affordable price. The personalized store theme will give you unlimited space for customization with flexibility.
We hope that this comparison will help you. Conclusively, if you are new to the eCommerce world and want to set up your online store without any hassle, Shopify is the best option for you.
However, suppose you are an ambitious person with a good amount to invest and relevant experience. In that case, a custom build site is the only option to provide you freedom in customization and uniqueness in the long run.
As much as we carry the debate between Shopify and your own site, only you can decide the right option for you.