Migrating from Woocommerce to Shopify

What are the advantages of moving from Woocommerce to Shopify?

If you want to build an eCommerce store, Shopify is one of the best platforms available right now. So if you’re thinking about migrating your Woocommerce store over to Shopify, you’re definitely moving in the right direction!

But what are the main advantages of Shopify that may interest you as a WordPress store owner?


The Shopify interface is amazingly simple to use 

Your day to day interface is based around what you’ll need to run your store. With its clean design, it’s simple and easy to use.

Shopify is closed source 

This means that the full site is hosted inside Shopify’s servers and you won’t have to worry about hacking, backups, or the stability of your e-Commerce store. 

Shopify is stable 

So you can relax safe in the knowledge that your website will always work and, if there are any issues with the platform itself, Shopify will take care of fixing the issue, quickly. 

As you might already have experienced, WooCommerce isn’t as stable – you’ve probably encountered the classic “everything has stopped working” experience after an update on WordPress, or worse still, “our server has crashed” when you were in the midst of making loads of sales. 

Luckily, when you migrate over to Shopify, this won’t be a problem! 

You don’t need backups or constant updates

As discussed above, when you’re working with Shopify, you won’t need to back your store up every time you run a simple update or make a minor change. Shopify keeps your data and the store’s appearance separate, so it is virtually impossible to lose or compromise your store. Phew! 

It’s easier to work offline

With Shopify you can easily test and experiment with making changes to your theme while working offline so that your live store isn’t impacted. Then, when you’re totally happy with your changes, you can simply swap the themes over and go live!

Shopify 2.0

Last but certainly not least, Shopify 2.0 will completely revolutionise the E-Commerce platform industry, read this article to find out more about Shopify 2.0 and Section Everywhere.

Migrating to Shopify

Migrating to Shopify isn’t too complex (the platform is easy to use, remember?), but it does require a certain level of knowledge. However, if you’re migrating a store with lots of products, making a large number of sales, we’d highly recommend contacting a Shopify Expert to take care of the process for you.  

There are lots of small details to take into consideration and this way, you can ensure that everything runs smoothly. 

How to migrate your Woocommerce store to Shopify

Create a Free Shopify Account

First thing’s first, if you want to migrate your store over to Woocommerce, you’ll need to open a Shopify store.  

You can do this by following the link below. (And, if you click the link, you’ll also be helping us create lots more useful content just like this!) 


Design and Functionality

Once you’ve set up your free account, it’s time to start making some decisions! The first decision you’ll have to make will be the design of your store. 

You’ll typically have three options to choose from:

A template

Your Shopify expert will suggest the best themes for your specific store, but you can also check them out yourself here: Shopify themes and Evanto themes.

A full custom design

You’ll need help from a design agency if you opt for this one. They’ll help you develop your branding and mockups for the design of the site. These will then be passed to a dedicated development agency or expert to build the site. Of course, choosing the right agency is crucial, we’d recommend checking out this article to be sure you’re choosing the right one for your project!

A template, modified where needed

This is a compromise between the two options above.


Which is the best option for you?

I want to keep my store design exactly the same 

For some people, migrating their store from Woocommerce to Shopify will provide an exciting opportunity to update their site. However, others don’t want their users to notice any design changes at all. If you want to keep your store design exactly the same when you migrate, you will need a full custom design so it can be made to look just like the old site. 

I’d like to update or improve the design

If you’re looking forward to updating and improving your design, the good news is you’re flexible – you can use any of the options above! Most people in this position choose to use a theme and modify any parts where necessary. 


When you change to Shopify, you’ll also be able to take advantage of new functionality, and many of the functions will be built in to the template. 

This includes:

  • Megamenu
  • Filters and Dynamic filters
  • Sections available
  • Upsell features
  • Wishlist
  • Compare function
  • Custom tabs on product pages 
  • Custom swatches 

It’s important to remember that not all functions come as default with all the themes. So, if you want to include any specific functionality, make sure you look for that function when you’re searching for a theme.



There are other functionalities available that aren’t provided within the Shopify themes. These can be only integrated by using Apps. 

Lucky, Shopify has a large database of Apps that can do almost anything you need them too!

Click here to visit the Shopify App Store

Migrating data

Once the site is designed, you’ll all of the data will need to be migrated over. Migrating data can be simple and straightforward or more challenging, depending on the number of products your store has and the volume of sales you make. 

Generally speaking, the migration will cover the following data:

  • Products
  • Customer accounts
  • Orders 
  • Refunds

How to migrate your data


Exports/imports: products, customers, orders, and inventory.

Downsides: it may not work for huge stores with lots of data as the server can timeout.

Important! Make sure all your products are fulfilled and shipped before you start the migration. If you don’t do this, it will create issues in Shopify.



Exports/imports: products, categories, customers, orders

Downsides: some technical knowledge is required

Important! Make sure all your products are fulfilled and shipped before you start the migration. If you don’t do this, it will create issues in Shopify.



Exports/imports: products, categories, customers, orders, redirections

Downsides: higher cost than other solutions  

Important: Make sure all your products are fulfilled and shipped before you start the migration. If you don’t do this, it will create issues in Shopify.



So, the next question is, what will happen if a client asks for a refund after you’ve migrated all the data over into Shopify?

This is a problem that many stores face. The only solution is to leave your Woocommerce store password protected in a different subdomain. This way, your store won’t be visible to Google or your users, so no one will be able to find it, but you will still be able to process refunds if they are requested. 

Then, once the time available for any existing customers to request a return has passed, you can close the Woocommerce store down once for all. 

SEO considerations when migrating from Woocommerce to Shopify

When you’re going through a big migration, such as moving from Woocommerce to Shopify, it’s vital that you protect (and grow!) your organic traffic. This is especially important if you have a large e-commerce website with lots of pages and a significant amount of traffic.

Here are some of the most important things you will need to consider from an SEO perspective:

Migrating & Redirecting URLs

This will depend on the sort of migration you are carrying out. Whether it’s just a CMS (content management system) migration, or a domain + CMS change, you’ll need to ensure that all your existing content is redirected to the new content. 

This is arguably the most important thing to get right (after your design + UX of course!), as it directly impacts your bottom line. 

Shopify has a very specific set of URL restrictions when it comes to their pages:

  • Regular pages fall under /pages/
  • Collections fall under /collections/
  • Products fall under /products/
  • Blog posts fall under /blogs/news/ (unless you change it)

So, unless your previous website had the exact same structure as the new one, we would recommend ensuring that the new URLs are all optimised for SEO, before being mapped to the old URLs so that you can issue the redirects.

The processing of mapping the URLs is a little bit more complicated so we’d always recommend enlisting the help of an SEO expert to ensure this important stage of the migration goes to plan.

Or, if you’re comfortable doing the URL mapping and uploading the redirects yourself, all you need to do is go to Navigation > View URL Redirects. Here you will be able to import your list of redirections.

Once that’s done and everything is live, make sure you test the redirects to ensure everything is working as expected.

UX, Content, and Speed

These three main pillars are just as essential as the redirections. We could go into great detail about every single aspect that we recommend you consider, but to save time, here are the basics:

Ensure the user experience (UX) of your new site is as good as or better than the previous site

This is something a Shopify expert can help you with. It is relevant for everything from navigation and product page design, through to landing page structures, check out experience. and everything other interaction the user has with the site. If the new site is harder to navigate than the previous one, then this is a negative user signal and could depreciate the quality of your site in Google’s eyes.

Keeping the right content

If you are moving content over to the Shopify site, make sure that all the important content is there. That means product descriptions, landing page content, blog posts, returns policy, and collection page content. 

Only keep useful content that is relevant to the users. If you fail to consider the content on the new site, you risk losing the important user signals that tell a user (and Google subsequently) what your site is all about.

Too little content might make it hard to understand the relationship between the previous content and the new content. But too much new content may dilute the message.

This, again, is a large part of what an SEO expert would help with directing.

Speed: Make sure your new website is quick

Speed is known to be an important ranking signal

More specifically, site performance as a whole. The new core web vitals update has shown us that Google likes sites that try to provide a quick and seamless experience to their users.

This means ensuring that your pages load quickly, with all the key technical fundamentals in place.

Post Migration Tasks

So, we’ve covered the fundamentals that you should consider before and during the migration. But the work doesn’t stop there! 

Once the migration is complete, it’s time to ensure the new site gets seen. This includes tasks such as:

  • Submitting the new XML sitemaps in GSC
  • Requesting indexation of the most important pages
  • Fixing any 404 errors
  • Updating internal links across the content to the new URL paths

There’s a lot more to consider but we hope this gives you a good sense of how you can make your migration from Woocommerce to Shopify a great success!