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Shopify vs. WordPress vs. Kajabi: A Visual Guide To Choosing In 2024


Apr 1, 2024
Read Time: X Min
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Shopify, WordPress, and Kajabi are powerful builders for e-commerce websites, each offering unique features and benefits. 

Deciding which platform to use can be challenging, as it largely depends on your specific needs, technical skills, and online business goals.

This guide will explain how they compare across major factors when choosing a platform. We’ll look at differences in ease of use, design flexibility, scalability, functionality, integrations, and pricing.

Shopify vs. WordPress vs. Kajabi At A Glance

Table comparing the features of Shopify, WordPress and Kajabi.

Kajabi Overview

Kajabi homepage

Kajabi is an all-in-one platform for creating and selling online courses, digital products, and memberships.

With an intuitive drag-and-drop site builder, you can easily create professional websites and landing pages, deliver courses, and build an engaged community without needing advanced technical skills.

You can set up an online school with video lessons, quizzes, workbooks, and discussion forums. You have flexibility over access rules, drip content over time, bundle courses into sequences, and gate courses.

Kajabi also comes integrated with marketing tools. You can create and send targeted email campaigns, automations, and broadcasts to engage with your audience and promote your products.

Kajabi Features

1. No Technical Skills Required

A major advantage of Kajabi is that you don’t need coding or design experience to build an online course or membership site.

Kajabi offers a drag-and-drop interface for creating your website and landing pages. This intuitive system lets you design and organize content visually without needing to write or understand code. 

The platform provides professionally designed templates for courses, websites, landing pages, and email campaigns. 

These templates are customizable and optimized for conversion.

In addition, Kajabi is an all-in-one platform, so users don't need to worry about finding, integrating, and managing third-party tools for email marketing, payment processing, or web hosting. 

This eliminates a significant barrier for non-technical users, who might find integrating various services daunting.

2. Integrated Marketing Tools

Kajabi has integrated marketing tools that help you attract, engage, and retain customers directly within the platform.

Here's an overview of the marketing tools Kajabi offers:

  • Automated Campaigns: You can create automated email sequences that trigger based on specific actions your audience takes, such as signing up for a course or downloading a free resource.
  • Broadcast Emails: You can send one-time broadcast emails to your entire list or targeted segments, useful for announcements, product launches, or promotions.
  • Pre-built Pipelines: Kajabi provides templates for common sales funnels, such as product launches, webinars, and lead magnets, simplifying the process of setting up complex marketing strategies.
  • Custom Funnels: Users can also create custom pipelines from scratch, tailoring each step of the customer journey to their business needs.
  • High-Converting Landing Pages: The platform offers a variety of landing page templates designed to convert visitors into leads and customers. These pages can be easily customized to fit any marketing campaign.
  • Opt-in Forms: Kajabi enables the creation of custom opt-in forms to capture lead information. You can embed these forms on landing pages, websites, or even within course content.
  • Segmentation: You can segment your audience based on behavior, purchase history, or custom criteria, allowing for more targeted and effective marketing campaigns.

By providing everything you need to market your products effectively within one platform, Kajabi streamlines the process of growing an online business. 

You can focus more on content creation and less on managing multiple marketing tools.

3. Mobile App Availability

Recognizing the growing trend of mobile usage for learning and purchasing, Kajabi has a mobile app, for both iOS and Android, that allows you to access courses, content, and communities directly from your smartphone or tablet.

Learners can also access course content, track progress, and engage with the community while on the go.

Benefits Of The Mobile App For Course Creators And Entrepreneurs

The Kajabi mobile app facilitates higher engagement rates by making it easier for users to consume content anytime and anywhere. This directly impacts course completion rates and overall customer satisfaction.

You can also send push notifications to your audience through the app, a powerful feature for informing students about new content, updates, live sessions, or promotions.

Although the primary content creation and management tasks are performed on the desktop version, the mobile app allows you to monitor your business performance, engage with your community, and manage basic tasks directly from your mobile device.

For Students and Customers

Learners can access purchased courses, memberships, and digital products from anywhere, making learning flexible and adaptable to their lifestyle. 

The mobile app also supports video, audio, and textual content, ensuring a comprehensive learning experience on a mobile device.

The app includes features for downloading content for offline viewing. Students can continue learning even in the absence of an internet connection.

4. Robust Analytics

Kajabi provides detailed reports on your sales and revenue, allowing you to track your earnings over time.

To understand sales trends, you can view overall revenue, break it down by product, or analyze specific periods.

For businesses that operate on a subscription model, Kajabi offers insights into subscriber growth, churn rates, and lifetime value of customers. This information is crucial for understanding the health and sustainability of your subscription-based offerings.

You also get analytics on:

  • Course Completion Rates: You can monitor how many people complete your courses or consume your content. High completion rates can indicate effective content
  • Video Analytics: For video-based content, Kajabi provides detailed analytics on viewer engagement, including average watch time and drop-off points.
  • Funnel Conversion Rates: With Kajabi's Pipeline feature, you can track the conversion rates at each stage of your marketing funnels.
  • A/B Testing Results: Although Kajabi doesn’t outright support A/B testing, you can still conduct the split testing. The platform provides analytics on which version performed better, helping you make informed decisions about content, design, and marketing strategies.

5. Kajabi Payments

Kajabi Payments is a payment processing service that makes it easy for creators and entrepreneurs to accept and manage payments directly from their dashboard. This eliminates the need for third-party integrations and additional fees. Kajabi Payments supports various payment methods including major credit and debit cards, as well as flexible payment options like Afterpay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.

With an industry-standard processing cost, Kajabi Payments ensures secure transactions, automated sales tax calculation, and provides a unified platform for all payment-related data. The goal is to increase revenue and simplify payment processes for users.

Shopify Overview

Shopify homepage

Shopify is an industry-leading e-commerce platform used by over 1 million businesses in 175 countries to create customized online stores, sell across channels, and manage day-to-day operations like shipping and inventory.

Known for its ease of use, scalability, and robust features, Shopify caters to a wide range of sellers, from small artisans to large enterprises. 

The platform's popularity stems from its comprehensive toolset that supports sellers throughout the entire e-commerce lifecycle, from setting up the store to managing sales and analyzing performance.

Built-in features like automated tax calculations, order processing, and inventory management save hours on operations so you can focus on growing your business.

Shopify provides built-in fraud protection and security features, too.

Shopify Features

1. Powerful Built-in E-commerce Tools

Shopify stands out primarily because of its powerful built-in tools that cater to virtually every aspect of running an online store.

These tools are intuitive and accessible. Both novice and experienced merchants can efficiently manage their businesses using these tools.

Here's a closer look at some of the key built-in e-commerce tools that Shopify offers:

  • Unlimited Products: Shopify allows merchants to add unlimited products to their store, complete with multiple variants (such as size or color) and extensive product descriptions.
  • Inventory Management: An integrated inventory management system lets you track stock levels, set up automatic inventory updates, and receive notifications for low stock.
  • Omnichannel Selling: You can sell across multiple channels, including online marketplaces (like Amazon and eBay), social media platforms (such as Facebook and Instagram), and even in-person with Shopify POS.
  • Integrated POS System: Shopify's Point of Sale (POS) system allows seamless integration between online and offline sales.
  • Shopify Payments: Shopify offers its payment gateway, Shopify Payments, which is fully integrated into the platform.
  • Global Payment Gateways: For businesses targeting international markets, Shopify supports over 100 external payment gateways, allowing customers to pay in their local currency and through their preferred payment methods.

2. Built-in SEO Features

Shopify's built-in SEO features help online stores improve their visibility in search engine results, driving more organic traffic to their sites.

First, you can customize the meta titles and descriptions for your homepage, product pages, collections, and blog posts.

Shopify also automatically generates a sitemap.xml file for your store. This file helps search engines like Google and Bing understand your site's structure and index your pages more effectively. You don't need to create or submit your sitemap manually.

While Shopify has a predefined URL structure for pages, products, and collections, it allows some customization. 

For example, you can edit the handle of each page to include target keywords, improving the relevance of your URLs for search engines.

Like WordPress, Shopify also has a content management system. You can create a blog page and content to increase the number of pages on your website.

Regular, high-quality content is vital for SEO, helping to improve rankings and attract links.

3. Customer Mobile App

Recognizing the need for a mobile app, Shopify has a customer-facing app called Shop.

It represents a significant advancement in how independent Shopify brands can reach and engage with customers. 

This app streamlines the shopping experience, offering features that benefit shoppers and merchants.

Shop provides a platform for customers to discover and explore new independent brands on Shopify. This discovery is personalized, making it easier for customers to find products that match their interests.

One of Shop's standout features is Shop Pay, an accelerated checkout process that securely stores payment and shipping information. This makes purchasing from any Shopify store fast and convenient and encourages repeat shopping.

Customers can track their orders in real-time within the app, receiving updates at various stages from checkout to delivery. This transparency increases trust and satisfaction with the purchasing process.

For merchants, connecting with Shop allows them to tap into a network of over 100 million engaged shoppers, instantly growing their brand presence and increasing their conversion opportunities.

The Shop channel also enables features that enhance the cart-to-home experience, encouraging repeat business. For example, post-purchase offers can incentivize future purchases, driving customer retention.

4. Built-in Security Features

Security is a crucial factor in e-commerce. Shopify provides robust security measures that safeguard data and transactions, minimize the risk of fraud, and ensure compliance with industry standards.

Every Shopify store has a free 256-bit SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. 

This standard security technology establishes an encrypted link between a web server and a browser, ensuring that all data passed between them remains private and integral. 

This is crucial for protecting customers' sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and personal data, during transactions.

Shopify is certified Level 1 PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant, the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry.

Being PCI compliant means Shopify meets all six categories of PCI standards: 

  • Maintaining a secure network
  • Protecting cardholder data
  • Maintaining a vulnerability management program
  • Implementing strong access control measures
  • Regularly monitoring and testing networks
  • Maintaining an information security policy

Shopify also includes built-in fraud analysis features that automatically flag suspicious orders. 

This helps merchants identify and assess potentially fraudulent orders before they process them.

The proactive approach lets you take precautions to protect your business from potential chargebacks and fraudulent activities.

WordPress Overview

WordPress homepage

WordPress is an open-source content management system that powers over 43.2% of all websites online today.

Originally launched as a blogging platform, WordPress has evolved into a comprehensive solution for creating and managing any website. 

It's known for its ease of use, flexibility, and extensive customization capabilities, primarily through themes and plugins.

WordPress is open-source software, which means it's free to use, modify, and distribute. 

This has contributed to its widespread adoption and a large, active community of users and developers contributing to its development, security, and extensive library of themes and plugins.

WordPress Features

1. Themes And Customization

WordPress offers over 11,000 free and premium themes, available directly from the WordPress theme directory. There are thousands more from third-party developers like Elegant Themes, ThemeIsle, etc.

These themes cover various uses, including business websites, online stores, blogs, portfolios, and niche-specific sites like restaurants or real estate.

WordPress themes library

Most WordPress themes are responsive. They automatically adjust to look great on any device.

WordPress includes a built-in customizer that lets you tweak theme settings with a live preview. Depending on the theme, this can include changes to the site title, logo, color scheme, background images, menus, widgets, and more.

Many WordPress themes are also compatible with page builders—plugins that offer drag-and-drop interfaces for designing custom page layouts without writing code. Popular page builders include Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Divi.

For deeper customization, you can create child themes. A child theme inherits the functionality and styling of another theme (the parent theme) while allowing for modifications and custom code additions without affecting the original theme. 

This ensures that customizations are not lost when the parent theme is updated.

2. Plugins For Extended Functionality

WordPress also enables you to customize and extend site capabilities beyond out-of-the-box features through plugins. 

With over 59,000 free plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory and thousands more premium options, there's a plugin for virtually every need. This makes WordPress one of the most versatile platforms for building websites.

WordPress plugins library

Plugins like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack help optimize your website for search engines, improving visibility and ranking. They offer features for keyword optimization, sitemaps, meta tags, and more.

WordPress makes it easy to search for, install, and activate plugins directly from the dashboard.

To add a plugin, you just have to:

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Navigate to the Plugins menu on the left sidebar.
  3. Click on “Add New” at the top of the Plugins page. This will take you to the WordPress Plugin Directory within the dashboard.
  4. Use the Search box in the top right corner to find a specific plugin by name or functionality you are interested in. For example, you can search for "SEO" to find plugins related to search engine optimization.
  5. Once you find a plugin you want to install, click the Install Now button next to the plugin.
  6. After installation, click Activate to enable the plugin on your WordPress site.

Most plugins come with settings pages that guide you through configuration and use.

Plugin developers regularly release updates to add features, improve security, and ensure compatibility with the latest version of WordPress.

3. E-commerce Solutions

WordPress's flexibility and scalability make it an ideal platform for online commerce.

You can transform your WordPress website into a fully-featured online store supporting a range of product types and monetization models through plugins and extensions. 

Leading e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and MemberPress help you sell physical goods, digital downloads, subscriptions, and memberships.

Although this process is not as intuitive as in Kajabi or Shopify, which offer more out-of-the-box e-commerce solutions, WordPress compensates with flexibility and customization options.

WordPress gives you full control over your website and data, unlike hosted platforms. You can customize every aspect of your e-commerce store to match your brand and meet specific business requirements.

You can extend your store's functionality far beyond basic e-commerce capabilities through plugins, themes, and custom code. 

This includes integrating advanced marketing tools, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and specialized shipping and payment options.

4. Scalability And Flexibility

Scalability and flexibility are among the primary reasons WordPress powers a significant portion of the internet. 

WordPress websites can efficiently manage sudden spikes in traffic, provided they are hosted on a server configuration that supports scalability. This includes options for shared hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated servers, and managed WordPress hosting services that offer automatic scaling features.

WordPress's robust CMS capabilities ensure that managing and organizing this content remains straightforward as your website grows in content — through blog posts, products, pages, or media.

Custom post types and taxonomies allow for content organization in a way that best suits your growing needs.

WordPress can integrate with many third-party services and platforms, such as payment gateways, email marketing tools, social networks, and CRM systems.

And if your business has unique needs that off-the-shelf plugins and themes can’t meet, WordPress lets you create custom solutions. The platform is built on widely used technologies such as PHP and MySQL, making it accessible to developers.

Shopify vs. WordPress vs. Kajabi: For E-Commerce

When using these platforms specifically for selling online, Shopify is the strongest dedicated e-commerce solution of the three.

Its centralized dashboard includes all the tools needed to create and manage an online store selling physical and digital products, including payments, shipping, tax calculations, fraud analysis, automated workflows, and robust reporting.

WordPress offers a highly customizable platform for e-commerce but requires installing third-party plugins like WooCommerce to enable shopping cart flows, checkout, and payments. 

The major benefit is full design control and ownership over your data. The self-hosted open-source model, though, does require handling server management and occasional complex debugging.

Kajabi is for entrepreneurs and businesses selling digital products, online courses, and memberships.

It’s as user-friendly as Shopify but with a distinct focus on digital product sales, offering features like course creation, content dripping, and member engagement out of the box. 

Shopify vs. WordPress vs. Kajabi: For Dropshipping

Shopify natively integrates with leading suppliers like Oberlo to automate adding products, inventory tracking, and order routing for fulfillment easily. Shopify also enables the creation of workflow rules to manage cross-supplier supply chains with ease. 

Many apps further streamline operational logistics using Shopify's commerce APIs.

When paired with WooCommerce, WordPress offers a highly customizable platform for dropshipping. However, it doesn't provide the same out-of-the-box dropshipping functionality as Shopify, but various plugins (e.g., AliDropship and DropshipMe) enable WordPress to support dropshipping. 

This route requires more setup and hands-on management, especially in selecting and integrating the right plugins for product sourcing, order fulfillment, and supplier management.

Kajabi primarily sells digital products, online courses, and memberships. It's not designed for handling physical products or integrating with dropshipping suppliers.

Shopify vs. WordPress vs. Kajabi: For User Experience

For the optimal user experience, Kajabi stands out as the most streamlined platform. It allows nearly anyone to create an impressive online course or membership site without technical skills or coding.

Shopify enables even beginner entrepreneurs to launch e-commerce stores quickly by centralizing the most critical business operations into an easy-to-navigate admin dashboard.

WordPress can help you build amazing sites but demands more advanced capabilities, given its open-ended flexibility. You need to invest significant upfront time to learn best practices before launching. Alternatively, you can hand off the work to a developer.

Shopify vs. WordPress vs. Kajabi: Which Is Best For Your Business?

When deciding between Shopify, WordPress, and Kajabi for an online business, the ideal platform depends on your business model, products, technical skills, and customization needs.

Shopify is likely the best solution if you're launching an e-commerce store to sell physical products or merchandise.

For extremely customized online store experiences, WordPress's open-source nature may better suit your long-term vision, although it will come with a steeper learning curve. 

WordPress also works well for any content-focused website. Its content management capabilities equip bloggers, publishers, and media companies with powerful tools to manage content. 

However, WordPress is also vulnerable to attacks from hackers.

If you want to create a digital training, education, or membership site, Kajabi offers the most well-rounded, intuitive platform built for online course creators, coaches, and consultants selling premium subscriptions, communities, and expertise.

From landing pages to email marketing and analytics, Kajabi gives you total control without the steep learning curve.

Build A Profitable Creator Business With Kajabi

To create and sell online courses, memberships, or digital coaching programs without needing advanced technical skills, Kajabi offers the most complete platform on the market today. 

Our user-friendly dashboard simplifies building a professional website to market your knowledge. The robust automation and marketing tools help you attract and nurture students into loyal, paying members.

Get started with Kajabi today and take advantage of the 14-day free trial. Explore firsthand how easy it is to build your website and start earning money as an online creator. 

Shopify vs. WordPress vs. Kajabi: Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Use The Shopify Buy Button On WordPress?

Adding a Shopify Buy Button to a WordPress site is straightforward. This allows you to sell Shopify products directly through WordPress.

Shopify Buy Button seamlessly adds e-commerce functionality to your WordPress site without fully migrating to Shopify or using a more complex solution like WooCommerce. 

This approach is useful for businesses or bloggers who want to sell a few products directly on their WordPress site while taking advantage of Shopify's powerful e-commerce capabilities.

Step 1: Create A Shopify Account

First, you need to have an active Shopify account. If you don't already have one, sign up on Shopify’s website and choose the most suitable plan. Even the basic plan includes the Buy Button feature.

Step 2: Add Your Products

Before creating a Buy Button, add the products you want to sell on your WordPress site to your Shopify dashboard. You can do this by navigating to the "Products" section in Shopify and adding your products there.

Step 3: Create A Buy Button

Once your products are added:

  • Go to your Shopify admin dashboard.
  • Click on the “Sales Channels” option, then choose “Buy Button.”
  • Click “Create a Buy Button.”
  • Choose the product you want to sell on your WordPress site from your product list.
  • Customize the button’s style and shopping cart to match your site.
  • Once you’re happy with the button, click “Generate code.”

Step 4: Embed The Buy Button On Your WordPress Site

After generating the code:

  • Copy the provided embed code from Shopify.
  • Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  • Navigate to the page or post where you want the Buy Button to appear.
  • Use the Custom HTML block in the WordPress editor and paste the Shopify Buy Button code.
  • Publish or update your post/page.

Step 5: Test The Buy Button

After embedding the button, test it to ensure everything works correctly:

  • Click the Buy Button on your WordPress site as a customer would.
  • Go through the checkout process to ensure the transaction completes without issues.

What Is The Plugin For Connecting WordPress With Shopify?

The ShopWP plugin is a dedicated WordPress plugin designed to seamlessly bridge your Shopify store with your WordPress site.

It allows you to display Shopify products on your WordPress website.

To install the ShopWP Plugin:

  • Navigate to your WordPress Dashboard.
  • Go to Plugins > Add New.
  • Search for "ShopWP" in the WordPress plugin repository.
  • Install the ShopWP plugin and then Activate it.

By default, ShopWP will create a ShopWP Products page on your WordPress site to display your Shopify products.

You can also use ShopWP’s shortcodes or blocks to display products on other pages or posts within your WordPress site.

Can I Sell Online Courses On Shopify And WordPress?

Yes, both Shopify and WordPress platforms support selling online courses. However, each platform approaches course sales differently.

On Shopify, you can directly sell courses as digital products in your store using the same checkout flows for physical products. Courses would be delivered as a digital download.

When uploading products on your website, you’ll need to specify if they are digital goods. Then, you'll also need to use an app to provide a download link to your product.

WordPress, on the other hand, offers extensive flexibility for selling online courses. The most popular method is using a Learning Management System (LMS) plugin.

Your choice depends on your specific needs, technical skills, and how integrated you want the course experience to be with your website.

How Do The Integrations Vary Among Shopify, WordPress, And Kajabi?

The integration capabilities of Shopify, WordPress, and Kajabi vary significantly, catering to their unique audiences and core functionalities.

Shopify excels in integrations that enhance the online selling experience, offering options for payment processing, shipping, and marketing through its extensive App Store, which has over 8,000 apps.

On the other hand, WordPress, as a content management system, shines with its flexibility and volume of integrations available via plugins. Its open-source nature allows for endless customization and integration possibilities.

Kajabi offers more niche integrations tailored to creators and educators selling digital products and courses.

While it might not boast Shopify's extensive app marketplace or WordPress plugin library, Kajabi provides powerful built-in tools and direct integrations with key services like email marketing platforms, payment gateways (Stripe and PayPal), and automation tools via Zapier.

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Shopify vs. WordPress vs. Kajabi: A Visual Guide To Choosing In 2024
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