Back to [Blogging] Basics: Shopify v. WordPress

First post on the refreshed blog. I think it’s fitting to start with this learning: Shopify’s blog platform simply won’t cut it. Over a year ago I was deciding whether or not to use WordPress/Tumblr vs. Shopify’s native blogging platform, and I went with the latter due to supposed SEO benefits and wanting to have everything live together.

A year later, I find myself crawling back to WordPress. The blogging capabilities and sorting widgets are just much better here. Shopify’s specialty is not blogging, and it shows. Also, I realized blogging from the perspective of the site felt too constraining, and not as personal. So I wanted to reorient this blog to be more of a personal/bigger picture blog that includes site-related posts.

Anyway. In case you’re in the same position of debating between using your webhost’s blogging function vs. a dedicated blogging platform like WordPress, here are four examples of why the latter won out for me:

  • Organization. There’s no easy way to browse a Shopify blog. There’s no auto-generated archive list, top post list, tag cloud, category list, etc. like WordPress has. That was one of the biggest things to me, poor UX (user experience).
  • Interaction. Shopify’s comment/notification system is weak. There isn’t a good way to respond to a commenter in a way that would let them know you responded. You have to manually go into your blog comment management section to see if you have any new comments, etc. WordPress has this all handled in how you’d expect, an straightforward notification section in the top.
  • Stats. Stats aren’t my priority with this blog but it’s always helpful to know if one particular post is doing better than others, or what visitors appear to be interested in. Shopify has no native stats on your blog posts (e.g. views, linkbacks, etc.). Yes you can link up Google Analytics to Shopify but it’s tedious and cumbersome compared to WordPress’ easy dashboard overview.
  • Media. It’s much more cumbersome to add media to a Shopify blog post. WordPress has this really easy to use photo gallery creator, like this:

You can even easily generate a slideshow gallery, which on Shopify you need to pay a monthly fee to use a slideshow widget for (???). Here’s an example using some of my Weekly Illo images:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In sum, Shopify is great for building an e-commerce platform. But when it comes to blogging, WordPress beats it by a longshot and I believe it outweighs any SEO benefits you might have with a Shopify blog.

Some things change and get better with age, some things are best kept original and simple.

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