You got stuck into your online business when the pandemic kicked in, and you went with Shopify. It offered a lower startup cost, seemed easy enough to use and, well, everyone else was doing it, so it must be the best option, right?
Now, a year later, your business is going great and you want to keep it going. But the monthly costs of Shopify are starting to add up. And you need to dig deeper every time you want to add a new option or feature to your website. Maybe you’re paying well over a $100 a month for your Shopify website. And you’re projecting forward and doing the numbers, $1200+ every year (not taking into account Shopify price rises), and you’ll keep paying that as long as you have your website.
How much could you save by switching to a WordPress website? By the way, we say WordPress but the actual shopping software is called WooCommerce. It’s owned by WordPress, so for the sake of simplicity we will just refer to it as WordPress. By the way, WordPress is free and you will not be charged anything by WordPress for having a WordPress website (ever, it’s yours to keep).
Why switch from Shopify to WordPress?
First, you need to be sure about the reasons you want to switch from Shopify to WordPress. Like any business change, you need to look before you leap. Is this the best move for your online shop?
Here are some valid reasons for switching…
- Your long-term cost projections show a capital investment in an independent (open source) website system would be better than continuing to pay high monthly charges
- You’re concerned about being held to ‘ransom’ by Shopify (price rises, restrictions etc.) and feel an open source solution would be better
- You are looking for ways to reduce your monthly costs, to improve profitability
- You’d like to add more features to your online store (multi-currency, flexible shipping, custom product options etc) but the cost of the Shopify add-ons is hard to justify
- You want greater control over your website setup
So, there are advantages to changing your online store from Shopify to WordPress, but here are a few things you should be aware of:
- The upfront cost migrating from Shopify to WordPress (offset by lower ongoing monthly costs) – we charge approximately $500-700 for most migrations
- The learning curve using the WordPress admin (it is one of the easiest website management tools to use but anything new requires some getting used to)
- There may be some slight styling differences
- You may be required to provide cancellation notice to Shopify
How much could you save by migrating from Shopify to WordPress?
For the purpose of illustrating potential cost savings, we’ll use a standard Shopify store.
Monthly Shopify cost: $49 ($29 US dollars) – no paid add-ons (Shopify apps)
WordPress monthly hosting: $13 (hosted with us)
Monthly savings: $36
Annual savings: $432
Five years savings: $2,160
The credit card payment gateway fees are basically the same (currently Shopify is 2.7% for credit cards and Stripe is 2.9%). That said Shopify charge extra monthly payments if you use a third-party payment gateway.
From these savings, you’ll need to factor in the cost of migrating to WordPress, which depending on the size or complexity of your website and number of products may range between $500 and $700. The cost may depend on how much you were willing to do yourself, adding products or page content using the WordPress CMS.
Using Shopify apps
One last point is more good news if you are moving to WordPress, and that is if you need additional features (known as Shopify apps) such as multi-currency, product search, selling personalised products, sell accommodation or reservations, using a 3rd-party payment gateway, backups of theme files, upselling or cross-selling options, etc. then this increases the savings you’ll make switching to WordPress.
We’ve shown an example below:
Monthly Shopify cost: $109 – with 3 paid add-ons (Shopify apps)
WordPress monthly hosting: $13 (hosted with us)
Monthly savings: $96
Annual savings: $1,152
Five years savings: $5,760
Paid WordPress plugins: Some advanced ecommerce features may require the use of a paid WordPress plugin, however in most cases they are a one-off cost, not an ongoing monthly charge. That said, we have very rarely needed to use a paid plugin – it would only be very niche cases or complex setups.
How long does it take to migrate from Shopify to WordPress
It will depend on how many products you have, and complexity of these products (e.g. a lot of variations such as sizes and colours) however the process can normally be done in less than 10 working days.
A general overview of the process is:
1 – Discuss the changeover plan and timeline (to minimise disruption)
2 – Export products from your Shopify store (ideally don’t make any changes to your products after this time, or keep a record so the changes can be transferred to the new site)
4 – Setup your migration WordPress website, loading the products and page text
5 – When you are happy with the migration site, you choose when to switch over
6 – The switchover is done overnight with your domain now pointing to your new WordPress website
After the changeover you can do a final export/download of all your Shopify reporting (analytics, orders, inventory etc.)
Additional benefits of moving to WordPress
As well as the greater control you’ll have over your website, there are also some additional advantages having your online store in WordPress:
- Add as many admin accounts as you like (Shopify limits you to two)
- Email accounts are included free with your hosting (Shopify only offers email forwarding)
- Boost your SEO potential with the built-in blog
- Products with unlimited variations (e.g. sizes, colours etc)
Is migrating from Shopify to WooCommerce right for me?
This will depend on the specific setup of your business, your financial situation and long-term plan. You can read this case study of why the All Blacks store chose WordPress to get their perspective.
There are also other case studies of stores that have moved from Shopify to WordPress, like these guys.
One way to look at it is it’s a little bit like the difference between renting and buying. Renting seems cheaper but in the long term it’s more expensive, and more restrictive on what you can and can’t do to the house. You’re also at the mercy of the landlord if they decide to sell the house or increase the rent.
Ultimately, you’ll need to decide what’s right for your business, but just know that there are other options out there, and it might be easier than you think to break up with Shopify, and find your happy-ever-after with WordPress.
If you have any questions about the process, or costs involved in making the switch, just get in touch. There’s no obligation to move and our advice is free.