What's the Best Blog for Shopify? DropInBlog vs. Shopify’s Blog vs. Wordpress

Lizzie Lizzie
10 minute read

We live in a world something of near-infinite choice. The beer we drink, the TV we watch, the cars we drive - even picking out an apple at the grocery store can seem like a daunting task. There are over 100 varieties of apples grown in the US alone! Pink Ladies, Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Crispin....I could go on and on! Is anyone else having anxiety here? How are we supposed to choose an apple let alone the best blog for Shopify?!

Fortunately, choosing a blogging platform for your Shopify site doesn't have to be so complicated. Today we're going to compare three blogging platforms: DropInBlog, Shopify's Blog and WordPress. By the end of this article you'll be able to decide which platform is best for you with confidence (and without having a breakdown in the produce section.)

By the way, in case you are wondering: Honeycrisp is the only apple you should be eating. But that's for another article.

What's in a Blog?

The first step of figuring out what platform is right for you is figuring out what you need. The answer to this question will be different for everyone, but there are a few features that every blog needs.

Easy Setup

Easy to setup blog for Shopify

Your blog needs to be easy to set up and use. Coding? Struggling with a million plugins? Downloading third-party apps with no guarantee that they will even work? Configuration files?! Ain’t nobody got time for that. You need plug-and-play. Simple as that.

Flexibility

Flexible Shopify Blog

You may not have many followers or plan to monetize your blog at first, but someday you will! Choosing the wrong solution early on can totally hamstring you into a rigid platform that either isn't great for SEO, or is cumbersome to maintain as your business grows.

Support and Optimization

Blog SEO Analyzer

You need customer support. You also need SEO analysis and content optimization help. Your blogging platform should offer all of these things so that you can spend less time looking for spelling mistakes and more time growing your business.

Let’s see how our three competitors stack up.

Shopify Blog

Your Shopify site comes with a built-in blog. Depending on your needs and priorities, this might be exactly what you need or woefully inadequate. Keep in mind that Shopify is not a blogging platform - the blog that comes with the site is very basic.

Pros

  • Easy to set up. The store comes with a default blog called “News.” You can either keep this blog, or add your own. The button to add a blog is in the admin panel for your Shopify site.

  • No additional cost. Because it’s built right in, there is no additional cost to install or set up.

  • Customizable (to a point.) Shopify provides an option to create a custom template that can be applied to either the entire blog or a single post if you know your way around CSS.

Cons

  • Inflexible. The default template that Shopify provides is very basic, and the features you get with the blog will depend on the theme you choose. Some themes have lots of features for blogs and some don’t. This means you might end up having to choose between a theme that’s perfect for your site, and the theme that works for your blog.

  • No easy way to inject products into posts. Your customers are there to read about your products. There should be an easy way to incorporate direct embeds of products in your post. This seems like a no-brainer for an e-commerce site, but somehow the Shopify blog doesn’t have a built-in solution for this. 

  • Awkward URL Structure. Shopify inserts an extra “/blogs” into your blog’s URL path. So if you name your blog something like “Blog” (seems reasonable), the URL for your blog will be "example.com/blogs/blog". It doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but you’d be surprised how easily customers are turned off by awkward or “unprofessional looking” things like this, and it doesn't seem like a good idea for SEO either.

WordPress

WordPress is probably the best known blogging platform out there. And it’s been around for a long time. There’s a reason that WordPress is the first thing many people think of when they think about incorporating a blog into their site. But there are downsides to using their service when it comes to pairing it with Shopify.

Pros

  • Features, themes and plugins. The strength of WordPress is in its plugins and themes. In fact, there are over 21,000 plugins for WordPress - everything from SEO, to data analysis to just making unicorns appear on-screen. It’s a pretty sure bet you’re going to need some of these plugins to bring your blogging experience to the level you want.

  • SEO, readability and proofreading. Of those 21,000 plugins, many are dedicated to SEO Analysis and improving readability - arguably the two most important things to a blogger.

  • Support. Because WordPress has been around forever, there are a ton of people out there who can answer your questions around the net and in forums, and plenty of documentation and FAQs on the main WordPress site (although, unfortunately you can't actually contact WordPress themselves.)

Cons

  • Cost. A WordPress blog will need to run on a sub domain or a separate domain to the rest of your Shopify site, so you will still need to pay for a 3rd party hosting plan. Shopify does not allow you to host a WordPress blog on your main domain. Not to mention, you'll inevitably need to pay a developer to maintain it.

  • Features, themes and plugins. Yup, those same things we just talked about. Like I said... there’s over 21,000 of them! It’s hard to know where to begin. And once you’ve chosen a theme or plugin, you still have to learn how to use it, install it, and integrate it with your site (and trust me, this can be a real pain. There’s a reason WordPress developers are a thing.)

  • No theme integrations. WordPress themes are different from Shopify themes, so unless you hire someone to design (and build) a custom theme for you, you’ll be stuck with a blog that feels like the third wheel instead of a seamless part of your site.

  • SEO Analysis through plugins. WordPress doesn’t have a built-in SEO Analyzer, so if you want that sweet benefit, you’ll have to find (and install, learn, configure, use and maintain) a third-party plugin for that.

  • Less than ideal domain & url. Since WordPress will not be running on the same domain as your main site it's probably going to hinder your SEO. The best you can do is something like "blog.example.com". You'll basically be running a separate website. Ideally you'd want your blog running in a sub folder on the main domain.
  • Security. Remember when I said that a ton of people use WordPress? Well, not all of those people are great at web security, or even follow WordPress security best practices. WordPress regularly finds and fixes security issues, but not everyone who uses WordPress regularly updates their sites. That means that if a bad actor compromises one site using an outdated version, they could potentially compromise other sites running the same outdated WordPress or plugin version. So that puts the responsibility to keep everything updated on your shoulders... and when was the last time you ran a software update?

DropInBlog

DropInBlog is a WordPress alternative without the themes, plugins and security issues of WordPress. It’s also a perfect Shopify companion with more flexibility than the built-in Shopify blog.

Pros

  • Easy to set up. DropInBlog is available through the Shopify App Store, so you can install DropInBlog to your Shopify site with a couple of clicks. DropInBlog is designed to integrate seamlessly with Shopify, so there’s no complicated setup.

  • Complete theme integration. DropInBlog uses the CSS from your theme to blend into your existing site design, without any extra code or setup. DropInBlog also provides beautiful, customizable templates for the blog itself. Just plug-and-play. Simple as that.

  • SEO Analysis. DropInBlog features a built-in SEO Analyzer that's super effective and simple to use. It doesn’t require any additional plugins - it’s part of the default editor.

  • Ability to inject products directly into posts. Your customers want to buy your products - DropInBlog offers you an easy way to embed products in your post, directly from the editor. No other solution does this.

Embed a Product in your Shopify Blog

  • No awkward domain or url situation. DropInBlog doesn’t run on a separate domain (costly and bad for SEO), and has a cleaner url structure than the built-in Shopify blog solution.

  • Real customer support. DropInBlog offers excellent customer service through Facebook Messenger chat or via email. This is a life saver when it comes to setup or customization questions.

Cons

  • Less customizable. DropInBlog has no cons when compared to Shopify’s own built-in blog. But compared to WordPress, it is slightly less customizable. There are fewer themes, and there are not 21,000 plugins if you have a desire to add some obscure feature. (e.g., unicorns) But knowing how frustrating plugins can be to manage, you could argue that that’s a good thing.

  • Cost. DropInBlog is not free, but the cost in nominal for anyone who is serious about content marketing. Although if you are using WordPress, remember you will need to find and pay for a 3rd party hosting plan and probably a developer to keep it maintained and secure. But then again, if you consider the value of your time and what it will take to customize a WordPress blog to look remotely like your Shopify store, and install the plugins, and maintain it all, DropInBlog comes out ahead.

Picking the right blogging engine is paramount to your blog’s (and your Shopify store’s) success. An awesome blog can drive traffic, increase customer engagement and help build your brand. It’s worth doing your research and investing in the platform that’s not only easy to get up and running, but that will support your blog as it grows.

Which blog platform is best for your Shopify Store?

I would argue that of these three contenders, DropInBlog offers the easiest solution with the most flexibility at a reasonable price. It’s up and running quick like Shopify’s built-in blog, and nearly as customizable as WordPress - but without all the WordPress headaches that come with maintaining plugins and worrying about security updates. It integrates perfectly with the design of your Shopify site without any additional effort, and offers excellent SEO, all while running in a subfolder on your main domain.

Interested in giving DropInBlog a try? A free 14 day trial will give you plenty of time to test out all the features and make your own decision. And as always, please reach out to support with any questions or feedback.

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