Many Vancouver startups come up with an idea and the first step to making that idea become a reality is setting up their new website. The easiest path to setting up your Vancouver based e-commerce store is of course going to be Shopify; or is this the easiest way? This is actually a falsehood and Shopify is no easier than a WordPress install, however their marketing is strong and many people skip over WordPress in favor of Shopify. We are going to explain why WordPress is the best platform for businesses in Vancouver to set up their e-commerce store. At Metric Hunter, we love WordPress so hopefully by the end of this article you will understand why we recommended it to all our Vancouver clients.

Shopify is expensive

If you’re from Vancouver and starting an ecommerce store, you know that saving every dollar counts and Shopify is filled with fees. We already have enough overhead building websites in Vancouver (expensive rent, expensive food, etc) In the screenshot below, these prices were taken directly from the Shopify website:

Vancouver WordPress
Shopify pricing for Canadians 2019

As you can see, just to get started is going to dig deep into your pockets. The benefit of Shopify is you can use their servers and checkout system. The website is easy to build and you can get the shop running in very little time. However, if your business is successful the fees they take and the monthly installments are going to start to add up. In contrast to WordPress, which costs $0 to run a store and use their e-commerce platform we can’t really understand why people choose Shopify so often. Woocommerce (The e-commerce portion of WordPress) is open source as well, which means you get access to a vast library of free plugins and software add ons.

Open Source For The Win

WordPress costs nothing because the platform itself is open source. This means the community helps keep it updated and a collective effort is put in to ensure the platform is maintained. This is beneficial in a number of ways but the most obvious factors are the price and the collective development of the platform. Another great feature is the massive plugin library WordPress has and most are free or have a free tier option. You can customize your store any way you want to and it costs next to nothing. Of course, you do need your own hosting plan and a domain but this will cost less than a Shopify minimum plan store, we guarantee it.

Own your property

Something rarely mentioned about Shopify is the fact that they own your website, your sales data and anything else hosted on their server. This may not sound alarming to you, but in the instance that Shopify decides your store violates a policy or your payment details fail they will close the store without any notice. One of our North Vancouver e-commerce clients had a Shopify store they had built before contacting us. Shortly after building their Shopify store, they realized they had used a non-company Visa to pay for the store and wanted to switch to their corporate card to keep the books clean. They switched the payment details and the store was immediately shut down for 5 days while Shopify verified the new payment method. Their card was legitimate and they had entered all details correctly but Shopify decided it was a risk and closed their store for 5 days. This is a huge hit to business and leaves the owner of their Shopify store feeling like they have no control (which is true).

Now if we flip the story on our North Vancouver clients and they actually started with WordPress from the start they wouldn’t have faced 5 days of down time. Luckily for us at Metric Hunter, they contacted us shortly after and we got them sorted out with a great WordPress based store. They have full control over every aspect of the store and own the website from the server all the way to their sales data. Owning your web property is important and will help you when it comes time to sell the business or expand the business. It’s already hard enough for us Vancouver residents to own property, so at the very least you can own your Vancouver based website top to bottom.