WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress that launched in 2011, having begun development as a side project of the WooThemes team formed in 2008 by three WordPress enthusiasts. Today, WooCommerce has become the Woo team's most popular release, surpassing its predecessor WP eCommerce, and the WooCommerce team has grown to include designers and developers from multiple countries all working together to create additional tools and themes for WordPress.
Shift4Shop is a feature-rich eCommerce platform serving businesses of all sizes in a wide range of industries across the globe. Offering an unmatched free eCommerce solution, the company provides everything you need to start — and grow — your business. This turnkey eCommerce experience includes powerful tools to help businesses succeed — a robust website builder, product and order management, customer marketing tools, and more. Customers can choose from dozens of professionally designed, industry-specific templates, all of which are mobile-friendly, SEO optimized, and highly customizable.
WooCommerce may be free, but costs can quickly add up to thousands of dollars thanks to expensive extensions. As a basic shopping cart plugin, WooCommerce offers only barebones features, forcing users to purchase expensive add-ons for essential shipping and payment integrations, themes, backend tools, and simple storefront features.
Shift4Shop is a dedicated eCommerce platform, and offers everything you need to setup, design, and manage your online store, built right in – no expensive add-ons needed. With access to the industry’s latest, most cutting-edge tools, you’ll have everything you need to succeed at selling online right at your fingertips.
WooCommerce offers few out-of-the-box features, instead pushing its customers toward expensive extensions for features like product reviews, payment gateway and shipping integrations, product bundles, gift certificates, wishlists, newsletter functionality, and more. Shift4Shop includes all of these features, plus countless more, for free in every plan, ensuring you have all the tools you need to succeed, built right-in.
Like many open source eCommerce platforms, WooCommerce does not maintain a dedicated technical support team. WooCommerce users are directed to forums and online documentation, without access to live support of any kind. Shift4Shop offers unlimited 24/7 technical support via phone, live chat, and email, even during peak shopping times such as weekends and holidays.
“WooCommerce is good if your needs are very basic. But if you’re picky about your website’s design, need marketing tools of any kind, or access to detailed reports, you’re not going to get far with WooCommerce. Sure, there are add-ons, but a hundred bucks a pop for most of them quickly adds up.”
– Ex-WooCommerce customer
Through WooThemes, WooCommerce offers only five free themes and a handful of paid themes (ranging from $39-$139), which can make finding the right design for your online store not only difficult, but expensive, too. Shift4Shop offers 100+ gorgeous, free and premium responsive themes, all of which are fully customizable, so that you can design a store that perfectly matches your business and brand.
WooCommerce and Shift4Shop both have a selection of free themes to help you design your online store, but which themes are better? Let's compare.
WooCommerce uses WordPress, and there are thousands of free WordPress themes available. Many themes also include additional site customization options that you'd normally have to do manually within the theme code, or by adding additional WordPress plugins. With all these themes available, you have tons of choices for optimizing your branding. However, there are some drawbacks — not all WordPress themes work well with WooCommerce, so you might be in for a lot of trial and error. WordPress themes are made by designers all over the world, which does lend a lot of variety, but also means support and theme updates may not be available. Free WooCommerce-compatible WordPress themes are really only the best if you have development skill to make sure they work properly.
Shift4Shop offers over 150 free themes with a variety of looks, but unlike WordPress/WooCommerce themes, all Shift4Shop themes work the same way behind the scenes. Shift4Shop themes are only made by in-house designers or trusted partners, not by "just anyone", so you'll never have to wonder if a theme will work with your website. Plus, Shift4Shop themes are more technically advanced. Responsive design ensures your store is mobile-friendly for shoppers on any device, and Shift4Shop's powerful Core Template Engine provides an advanced theme framework built on Bootstrap that integrates AMP for product pages, optimized code structure, AJAX and more, for seamless browsing and lightning-fast page load speeds. These provide a boost to SEO in addition to an improved user experience. Customization isn't quite as easy as it can be on WordPress, but the end results are better-optimized for eCommerce. If you do want to jump into deep customization, you only need standard knowledge of HTML and CSS.
Shift4Shop supports more payment solutions than any other eCommerce platform. See a full list of payment providers here.
WooCommerce comes with five payment processors in its core features.
The quality of your web hosting is just as important as the power of your eCommerce software, and it can make or break your site. But how do you know which web host is better?
WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress, and in turn WordPress is a blogging software package that must be installed onto a suitable web server. There are numerous web hosting providers available who offer WordPress hosting, but they're not created equal. The problem is that this is yet another decision you'll need to make before you can launch your business. You already have to choose which shopping cart platform, which store theme, which payment processors, etc. so do you really want to have to research and choose a reliable web host to keep your site running? You'll also have to evaluate web hosts for their pricing, which can get complex when you look into shared vs. dedicated servers, plus different package levels, plus the extra cost of SSL security. Choosing a web host for an important business website is an unbelievable hassle and you're never going to be sure if you got the very best host for your needs.
Unlike WordPress, Shift4Shop was developed for one thing only: building and running a successful and powerful online store. As part of our mission to help you meet your eCommerce dreams, we include web hosting in every plan. There's nothing for you to download or install, no do-it-yourself software updates, and no need to pay extra for hosting and security. Shift4Shop websites come with a free SSL, are PCI compliant as required for accepting credit cards online, and are hosted on reliable servers with frequent backups and industry-standard 99.9% uptime. With Shift4Shop, you can skip the process of looking for a compatible web host and get a head start on launching your website, taking sales, and building your business.
WooCommerce offers only five free themes and a handful of paid themes through WooThemes, leaving you with few options and little freedom to create the store you’ve always dreamed of. With Shift4Shop, you can choose from 100+ responsive themes, with new ones added on a regular basis. Whether you’re looking for something modern, chic, classic, edgy, rustic, or bold, Shift4Shop’s theme store has what you’re looking for. And with full access to your store’s HTML and CSS, you can customize every facet of your store’s design for a truly memorable shopping experience.
Shift4Shop offers the most advanced features to subscribers of every plan
With out-of-the box features that adapt to complex business needs