Shopware vs WooCommerce: What to use when?
Choosing one among the several online store management systems like Shopware and WooCommerce is an important task if you are someone who wants to sell their products online and support their brand. And not every store system can fit every company. Your decision should depend on your individual needs or the company’s needs.
The main difference between Shopware and WooCommerce is that Shopware is a full-featured ecommerce storefront, while WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. Switching to a different system once it has been chosen will be challenging because it is time- and money-consuming. In this article, you can learn about the two e-commerce solutions to better understand which one to use and when.
Comparison of the top two e-commerce platforms
Even though they both fall under the umbrella of “ecommerce tools,” there is a clear distinction between them. Comparing the platforms based on pricing, available support options, and many other factors will inform you well about their use cases. Here are some of the other differences for you to check out:
- Shopware is a self-managing platform, as mentioned in the introduction, whereas WooCommerce is a plugin made specifically for WordPress websites.
- With Shopware, you can expect openness and accessibility based on the platform’s philosophy, culture, and policies. So if you aim to create an independent e-commerce online store system to sell your products or services, this platform is for you.
- Meanwhile, regarding WooCommerce, it is more of a convenient solution for e-commerce brands already using WordPress websites.
- It offers its users some beautiful themes, smart features, and quick integration.
Now, you can move on to the comparison based on some important factors. It includes the following:
- Pricing and Editions Available
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Community Support
- Multi-store Management
1. Pricing and editions available
The pricing and financial aspects of choosing between the two content management systems are important factors. It is because your choice should at least be affordable to you. So, in the case of Shopware, it offers a free community version to its users to start with, even though it has limited possibilities and no support availability. If you want to upgrade your website, there are paid versions or membership options with monthly or yearly payment options.
You can easily change your free version to a larger paid version anytime. The paid versions, the enterprise and professional ones, provide a wide range of features and advantages, including the ability to customise, host one’s website, use plugins, and receive highly accessible support.
Now, regarding WooCommerce, it is a free WordPress plugin. But you will have to pay extra fees to get started with it. You will require many other outside functions and the help of other plugins for it to work. Also, they are not free, and the price of the plugins can vary. The maintenance and fixing costs also add up when setting up an online store.
Speaking of documentation, Shopware offers extensive and detailed documentation that is constantly updated and available in English and German. Many training options and resources are available, including video tutorials and thorough how-to guides To get you started using the platform.
On the other hand, WooCommerce also provides documentation, but only in English, to its users. Using the library of documentation and tutorials available, you can learn how to set up, customise, and expand the functionality of your products.
3. Search Engine Optimisation
When it comes to online stores, SEO is a factor that cannot be ignored, and it is essential to rank as highly as possible in the search engines. Both platforms offer the possibility of SEO, but WooCommerce requires a separate plugin for that as it is a plugin made for WordPress websites.
Shopware versions 5 and 6 have a built-in SEO module with effective SEO tools. Additionally, it guarantees that your platform is current with search engine trends. It doesn’t charge any special installations or prices on top. On the other hand, WooCommerce’s load times are very slow, which drops your store’s SEO score.
4. Community support
The Shopware platform provides support options only for the paid versions in two default languages, English and German. If you are using the free version, you can use the documentation offered by the platform in the form of tutorials and guides. And in case of doubt or being stuck at any point, you can ask questions and get help from the platform’s active community.
It’s the same for WooCommerce because you can get the instructions and guidelines for the plugin easily online. You can take care of the problems you may encounter by using them. Otherwise, you will have to rely on outsourcing developers and agencies. Both platforms have no direct support.
5. Multi-store management
It is important if you want to manage multiple stores from a single backend. Multi-store creation in Shopware is a standard feature that can be done at the main, sub, and language levels. This feature is not included by default with WooCommerce. However, a plugin can be used to create multilingual pages. Utilising multiple stores is simpler when using Shopware because it comes with it by default.
Shopware has a management panel that is very intuitive and simple to use. It makes maintaining your website and catalogue simple. Like WooCommerce’s dashboard, there aren’t too many options to get lost in. There is a high level of user-friendliness on both platforms. It may seem more logical to use Shopware if you are new to both systems. WooCommerce is easier to use if you are familiar with WordPress.
No content management system can satisfy all sides. What you can do is choose the most suitable one. And the above explained factors can help you make that choice. Before making a decision, take the time to analyse all of them and undertake the necessary research, keeping in mind that your choice will determine the future of your brand.
The author: Sascha Thattil works at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.