Who said looks don’t matter? They certainly do when it comes to websites – most particularly, online stores.
Think about that time when you stumbled across an online store with a really bad design and poor aesthetics. Your instinct told you not to trust that site simply because the design didn’t look right.
Well, that’s because a good design gives a good first impression. With a good design, you can make the impression that you are a professional and you mean serious business.
But what does good design mean? Is it all about attractive elements and color combinations? Well, no.
Good design is a lot more than aesthetics. A beautiful design only makes a good first impression. But after that, you need to make sure your visitor has a good experience on your site. A beautiful design is of no use if the user is left scratching his head trying to find his way around your site or trying to figure out what to do next. That’s where UX design comes in – it’s just as important as the beauty of your site if not more.
Now let’s discuss design in the premise of our comparison of WooCommerce vs. Shopify. Which one does better design? Do Shopify sites look better than WooCommerce? Which one has the edge in design? Here is a detailed comparison of the design aspect of WooCommerce vs. Shopify.
Choices of Themes in WooCommerce vs. Shopify
The design of your store in both WooCommerce and Shopify depends on the theme you use. That is when you ask a question, ‘how much choice do I have when it comes to selecting a theme for my e-commerce store?’
Both platforms compare well in this regard. Shopify comes with its own dedicated theme store which offers 63 themes, 10 of which are free.
WooCommerce, on the other hand, works with most premium WordPress themes, thousands of which can be found on ThemeForest alone.
So the choice in WooCommerce is massive as compared to Shopify.
However, when researching the number of choices in themes, we found around 580 Shopify themes that are being sold on ThemeForest currently. These themes also cost far less than the themes in Shopify theme store – the former priced under $60 while the latter priced at over $100. But further research into user experiences revealed the following:
- The quality of Shopify themes found on ThemeForest is not on par with that in Shopify Theme Store.
- Many users have complained about incompatible elements, code giving errors and customization problems in Shopify themes bought from ThemeForest. One user in particular complained about not being able to customize something as simple as changing menu placement from bottom of the screen to the top without handling the Liquid language of Shopify and that too after fixing a lot of errors and cleaning up a mess of code.
- Users comment that Shopify themes on ThemeForest are ‘hit or miss’ and it’s harder to find quality themes on ThemeForest as compared to Shopify Theme Store which only offers themes that are reviewed and curated by the developers at Shopify.
So, if you take quality of themes into consideration, you are really down to around 50 premium themes in Shopify versus 100s of premium WooCommerce compatible WordPress themes.
Customization of Design in WooCommerce vs. Shopify
No matter how great a theme’s default template looks, it is always recommended to customize the design to make it your own.
When we talk about designing and building pages from scratch, both Shopify and WooCommerce themes are easy to handle. All Shopify themes come with drag and drop functionality, which makes it easy for you to design the page the way you like.
On WooCommerce, on the other hand, most themes ship with powerful page builder plugins like The Visual Composer, which is much more advanced than the simple drag and drop functionality of Shopify. Though a similar app, Shogun, is available for Shopify users as well to help them design pages but it’s not as advanced as The Visual Composer and has to be bought separately for a monthly subscription of around $30 per month.
Themes on both WooCommerce and Shopify output HTML and CSS and so, if you are looking to tweak simple things by writing some CSS code, you will find enough room to play in both.
Features in Shopify Themes vs. WooCommerce Themes
When you compare the features found in Shopify Themes versus WooCommerce themes, you will find the latter being far ahead in the game. WooCommerce themes are generally found to be more feature-rich than their Shopify counterparts.
Here are some features found in one theme on Shopify:
Compare the above to features found in a WooCommerce theme on ThemeForest.
Additionally, WooCommerce themes sold via Themeforest often come with many extra plugins included for free like The Visual Composer, Revolution Slider, Mega Main Menu, MailChimp, and much more.
Building Custom Designs in WooCommerce vs. Shopify
This is one aspect where WooCommerce particularly stands out. With WooCommerce, you get the unbridled power of WordPress. You can use the official StoreFront theme framework of WooCommerce and build your own child theme based on it. Or you can use many other third party themes and create their child themes to build on. You can even write from scratch if you have reason to.
Child Themes is a feature unique to WordPress. The best thing about creating child themes is that you can edit the child theme and leave the parent theme as it is. This way, you can still get all the theme updates and bug fixes without risking any of the customization you’ve done on the child.
Shopify, on the other hand, limits you to what you can find on their Theme Store. Although you can edit theme code in Shopify as well, it’s not as versatile or straight forward as in WordPress.
Basically, there is not much of a difference between WooCommerce designs and Shopify designs. Your websites on either platforms depend on the theme you use. The themes on both WooCommerce and Shopify give you lots of customization options and both look great off the shelf. However, WooCommerce offers a wider and more feature-rich selection of themes.
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