What Are The Ongoing Costs of An E-Commerce Site

David Shane

David Shane

So you want to sell things online? Getting started with an online store, also called e-commerce, can be difficult if you haven’t done it before.

I just finished an e-commerce site build for a local wine store, and one of their initial questions was:

“How much will running our e-commerce site cost on an ongoing basis?”

As you can imagine, there are many different ways to make a website, so this question is a tricky one. I decided to compare and present pricing for two of the most popular e-commerce systems in the world: Shopify and WooCommerce.

Shopify: a stand-alone, subscription based software for selling online. Well known in the e-commerce world as an out-of-the-box solution for online stores.

WooCommerce, an e-commerce plugin for WordPress. Well known for its customization capabilities and large amount of add-on services.

Both offer the same capabilities for online stores, but go about it in different ways.


The standard types of fees we will compare for the ongoing pricing comparison are:

  • Software fees (Shopify Software / WooCommerce Addons)
  • Web hosting fees
  • Credit card processing fees,
  • Shipping fees

There are other fees associated with selling online, but these are the ones that will apply to every store, Except shipping fees for virtual product stores and software as a service (SaaS) stores.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the ongoing fees that my client, a wine store would encounter:

Shopify WooCommerce
Base Software Fee $79 per month (the plan that includes gift cards) $0
Web Hosting $0 – included in Shopify monthly fee. $3 – $12 per MONTH, you must choose a web host and by hosting somewhere.
Credit Card Processing 2.6% + $0.30 per transaction 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction (using Stripe)
Shipping Fees Variable discount offered. No discounts offered.
Annual Cost at $100 sales per day: $1,884 per YEAR $99 per YEAR
Annual Cost at $1,000 sales per day: $10,308 per YEAR $10,440 per YEAR

* price totals assume $1,000 per day credit card sales.

One Caveat:

One important thing to note that is different between Shopify and WooCommerce, Is that Shopify’s business model is to offer as much as it can included in one package, whereas WooCommerce charges for additional capabilities. This means that WooCommerce costs can increase significantly if more advanced features are needed.

It’s best to speak with us ahead of time to plan which e-commerce features you need and price them – we probably know some features you’ll need that you haven’t considered yet.


For a pumping web store, there’s not a ton of difference in cost. When you are smaller and tens of dollars matter, WooCommerce seems to be the better choice.

Whatever your situation is, let us know what your goals are, and we will be able to point you in the right direction for your project!