WordPress or Shopify for my Dropshipping Business?

One of the goals I have for 2018 is to build two additional streams of income beyond my web design business 5espressos. One of the business models that is most intriguing to me right now is dropshipping, but one of the first decisions I have to make before I proceed with testing ideas is a crucial one. Do I use WordPress or Shopify for my dropshipping business?

Lets define a few things before we dig in.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a style of order fulfillment an e-commerce business can use to deliver goods to a user without actually holding inventory. A customer visits a website, places an order, and then the business owner works with a supplier to get the product sent directly to the customer. This style of business isn’t without it’s challenges, but not having to handle a lot of inventory is certainly an advantage.

Shopify

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows users to easily set up an online store and get selling. Because the service is focused around selling online, everything that they include in their service is geared around what you might need to manage your store.

Their plans start at 29 per month for a startup ecommerce platform, but their plans can scale up to fit the needs of a business as it expands.

WordPress

WordPress is a CMS (Content Management Service) that a webmaster can use to build websites. It was initially a blogging platform, but has expanded into a bit of a monster. It’s currently the most popular CMS to use for a website — commanding 60 percent of the market share of websites that are using a CMS for their building blocks.

Simply put, WordPress can do just about anything. But that being said, it doesn’t necessarily do E-commerce better than a specialized service like Shopify.

In order to replicate what Shopify offers for 29 a month, one would need to tap into multiple different resources in order to piece together a WordPress-based Shopify Experience. And before I make my decision on whether or not I use WordPress or Shopify for my dropshipping business, I wanted to give a breakdown of what it would take with both options.

Oh, and primarily I’ll be using services that integrate with WooCommerce- one of the largest e-commerce solutions built for WordPress.

Note: 5 espressos primarily uses the WordPress platform to build websites for our clients, and even though I have experience with building e-commerce solutions for our clients, this is still a helpful breakdown for me to research.

The Breakdown:

 

Shopify

WordPress 

Monthly

29 / mo

This will vary a ton, but for 5-10  dollars a month you can get a reasonable host. Siteground is a host I’ve used and recommended in the past.

Transaction fee for Card

2.9 % + 30c

2.9 %+ 30c (using Stripe)

Number of Products

Unlimited

Unlimited

Staff Accounts

2

The World is your Oyster

File Storage

Unlimited

Based on Hosting Plan

Retail Package

49 per month

79 per year (Woocommerce extension — ~6.58 per month)

Shipping discount

Yes

I’ll discuss this below

Print Labels

Included

I’ll discuss this below

24/7 Support

Included

Support is largely dependent on the quality of your webhost

Fraud Analysis

Included

Included with Stripe Payment Processing

Manual Order creation

Included

Doable

Discount Code

Included

Included

Website and blog

Included

It’s WordPress, yes!

Free SSL

Included

Yes, with Lets Encrypt — most webhosts these days are getting better about offering this to clients

Domain Name included?

 No.

Some Hosting Plans include a domain name, other wise most .coms will run 10-15 per year.

Design?

Free and Premium Themes

Free and Premium Themes, also 5 espressos 😉

Order fulfillment with WordPress —

So this seems to be one of the biggest hangups with using WordPress as you an e-commerce platform. Integrating in real-time shipping costs can be done, but only achievable after investing more money in an additional 3rd party plugin. The same goes for printing shipping labels. One service i’m interested in is called Shipstation that would take care of any of these issues, but at the cost of an additional monthly subscription — starting at $9 per month.

That being said- this all might not be that big of a deal with a dropshipping business in mind, as shipping orders is the responsibility of the supplier!

The Verdict: Will I use WordPress or Shopify for my Dropshipping Business?

So before I started preparing this post, I didn’t actually know whether I would want to use WordPress or Shopify for my Dropshipping business, I don’t necessarily think there’s a wrong choice here.

If you’re looking to scrape by on the cheap, you can likely find a way to make WordPress fit your bill exactly, but if you’re looking to completely replicate all of the things that Shopify offers to you right out of the gate, it doesn’t take long to justify the 29 per month they are charge.

I think if I end up starting two dropship experiments this year, I’ll do one on Shopify and then one on WordPress, but if I only do one, I’ll be giving it a shot on the Shopify platform.

A couple reasons for that.

  1. I’ve never built a website using Shopify, and i’m a ridiculously curious person.
  2. I’m not looking for a robust setup, so I’m confident I won’t be limited by Shopify’s offering.
  3. Where WordPress can offer anything, you have to tap into several different plugins and support teams to achieve your goal, with Shopify it’s all under one roof, and for a side hustle, I’m not sure you can really beat that simplicity.

So what do you think? What did I miss? and are you going to start a new income stream in 2018?

 

uber frugal: one

In Day 1 of the Uber Frugal Month challenge, we’re asked to answer the questions in the original Uber Frugal post.

Why are you participating in this Challenge?

One of my goals for the year is to live within a budget- and to track every dollar earned and spent in the next year. This is a good way to jumpstart that.

What do you hope to achieve?

I hope to take the results of the uber frugal challenge and create a flexible budget that I can carry over into the rest of the year.

What are your longterm life goals?

I plan on continuing the self-employed life, while exploring building multiple income streams. I have some pretty cliche goals like being an awesome husband and dad and traveling and yaddayadda.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

I want to be financially independent before the next 10 years are up.

What about your current lifestyle might prevent those goals from coming to fruition and what can you do about it?

Right now- I’m not saving enough, and i’ve let some non-essential spending take over. Some parts of achieving Financial Independence is strictly math.  My desire to be both a husband and a dad someday will certainly affect that math. So for today,  I’m choosing to focus on the things that I can control: making more, spending less, and being smart with the difference.

Why does it all matter?

We get one shot at life here on this rock, and many people who are interested in financial independence are looking to retire early, and I’ll admit, that does inspire me. But when i take a step back and examine my life, I don’t think i’d enjoy “retirement” for more than a month or two. However, if i can design my life in such a way that I can find happiness with less, while building a foundation to be very choosy about the way I spend my time- and that sounds pretty incredible.

What do you need clarity on?

I’m in for the Uber Frugal Month

Today is the first day of 2018, but also the first day of the Uber Frugal Month hosted by the FrugalWoods. This is the second time I’ve attempted the challenge, but i’m pretty confident that it will go well this time around.

Uber Frugal Month: keep more money in your wallet

FrugalWoods is a blog about financial independence and simple living: both things I strive for. They last hosted the Uber Frugal Challenge this summer — but it was hard for me to really focus on it in the midst of heavy client deadlines and summer vacations.  So this time around I’m in it for real.

Here’s a couple things that I think are setting me up for success with the Uber Frugal Challenge this time around:

My budget gets a fresh start.  …. it kinda has to. Last year I neglected my budget, which is slightly scary as it was my first year of self employment, and I definitely saw the inside of a restaurant far too often. I actually had a goal of only spending money on half of the days in 2017, but I don’t have to check my bank statements to know that I failed that one miserably.

The ‘Booch: I’ve discovered a couple youtube channels that have sparked an interest in home fermenting, and I can feel that interest spreading to more cooking and ways to be self sufficient. I currently have batches going of Kombucha, Sauerkraut (this might be the first time i’ve ever spelled that right on my first try), and sriracha sauce. Its possible a garden pops up in my backyard this spring, so I’m dreaming up the possibilities.

I’m finding it easier to focus on work at home more than ever. Up until about a month ago, I found it impossible to get any work done at home. I’m not really sure how it changed, but i’m going with it.

and finally.

I’ve never been more interested in ways to save money and attain financial independence.

Ultimately finding financial success is a function of

  1. How much money you make.
  2. How much money you spend
  3. What you do with the difference

In 2018, I am looking to optimize all 3 of these this year. Starting the year with an Uber Frugal Month ought to kickstart it all.

Today at 11.59 is the last chance you can sign up on the FrugalWoods website. If you miss out on it and want to see the updates, let me know and I can find a way to share them with you.

a journal of small victories? a name, explained

For a number of years i’ve called the blog at danhefferan.com ‘The Journal of Small Victories.’ but the post that actually explains that has long been absent from the web.

Today I had a change of heart and decided to really double down on this blog here at danhefferan.com. Even earlier this month I had been trying to kill this site once again and move all of my content creation energies over to dauntless.co, but the truth of the matter is this:

danhefferan is here to stay. The journal of small victories is here to stay.

This isn’t a 2017 year in review post, but the energy I plan on carrying into 2018 is a large motivator behind this move.

2018 will be a year where I look at growth on all fronts: improved health and relationships, an expanded business with 5 espressos, and I plan on experimenting with creating additional income streams through various online properties. — I’ll look to detail this in a post in the next week.

Small Victories.

Who celebrates small victories?

They are easy to ignore, a small client project is finished, the scale reads a smaller number than last week, you successfully go to a brewery and only order a salad instead of your usual slew of beers accompanied with beer.

These hardly are the huge monumental steps that you feel the need to broadcast to social media, but maybe they should be.

Success begets success: small victories lead to more small victories, and eventually lead to the big victories.

I quit my job in 2017 to pursue my web design and development business however that wouldn’t have happened without the help of small victory after small victory.

A few years back I created a set of ideal job titles, and the two that resonated most deeply were ‘Champion of small victories’ and ‘chief story teller’

and I think ‘Champion of small victories’ will carry forward. Lets celebrate the small victories, as those are the ones that lead to more small victories, and eventually lead to big success. don’t believe me?

lets try something.

Imagine your dream job or business

What does it look like? What do you do? Who do you serve? How does the job make you feel?

Next, lets imagine that you’re on the bottom of a staircase, and there are a number of steps that lead from where you are at the bottom of the staircase and the top where your dream resides.

What does the step that is right below your dream? What job or milestone exists that from which your dream is simply a natural progression?  An editor for the New York Times might look to first work as an editor for other big state news papers before finding the primo job with the NYT.

You can use this idea to keep working backwards- to become an editor for a big state newspaper, you’d likely need to be editing for a smaller paper, or writing for a big paper. Regardless of what the actual path looks like, you can likely trace a path from where you are today and your dreams.

success begets success

small victories lead to more small victories, which lead to the big victories.

lets celebrate the small victories my friends. I have the cheap wine ready.