We live in a world of seemingly infinite choices. From the beer we drink and the TV we watch to the cars we drive, we face an almost overwhelming array of options. Fortunately, choosing a blogging platform for your Shopify site doesn't have to be so complicated.
As a Shopify store owner, you may have been wondering how best to make use of content marketing, or more importantly, which platform to blog on. We're going to compare three popular blogging platforms: DropInBlog, Shopify's Blog, and WordPress. We’ll look at the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision about which is best for you.
|Best blog app for Shopify at a glance:|
Table of Contents
What's in a Blog?
The first step in figuring out the best blog app for Shopify is figuring out what you need. The answer to this question will be different for everyone, but there are a few key features that every blog needs.
Your blog needs to be easy to set up and use. You don’t have time to spend hours struggling with complicated code or fumbling your way through plugin installation. Ideally, you want a blogging app that is plug-and-play – quick to set up, and then it’s ready to go.
When it comes to daily use, if you intend to blog regularly, you want to be dealing with a neat, user-friendly interface. All the SEO tools you need should also be logically placed and easy to find.
You may not have many followers or plan to monetize your blog at first, but someday, you might! 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.
You’ll need to ensure it has all the features you want but also some expansion potential and third-party integrations to make up for any missing features.
Support and Optimization
It should go without saying, but you need good customer support, especially if you’re running an e-business. You also need a boost when it comes to SEO analysis and content optimization.
Your blogging platform should offer all of these things so that you can spend less time agonizing over the quality of your content and more time growing your business.
Let’s now see how our three competitors stack up.
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, so the functionality that the blog comes with is very basic.
Shopify Blog 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-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.
- 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 fits your site perfectly and the theme that works best for blogging.
- No easy way to inject products into posts. Your customers are there to read about your products. There should be an easy way to embed products directly into 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 extra “/blogs” into your blog’s URL path, so it will be something like "example.com/blogs/blog." This may not seem like a big deal, but particularly long URL strings are considered bad for SEO and can look unprofessional.
WordPress is probably the most well-known blogging platform out there. It’s been around for a long time and still dominates the blogging niche.
There are definitely more than a few good reasons why WordPress is the go-to when people consider incorporating a blog into their site. However, there are downsides to using their service, especially when it comes to combining it with Shopify.
- 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. If there’s additional functionality you need for your blog, it’s a pretty sure bet that WordPress will have a plugin for it.
- SEO, readability, and proofreading. Content quality and search engine optimization are very important for a blog, and there are many suitable plugins.
- Support. WordPress doesn’t actually have a customer support team themselves. However, because WordPress has been around forever, there are a ton of people out there who can answer your questions. There are various forums and groups online, as well as plenty of documentation and FAQs on the main WordPress site.
- Cost. The WordPress software is free, but you will need to run it on a subdomain or a separate domain to the rest of your Shopify site. This means that you’ll also need to pay for a third-party hosting plan. Unfortunately, Shopify does not allow you to host a WordPress blog on your main domain.
- Features, themes, and plugins – These can be as much a downside as an upside. We mentioned there are an absolute ton of plugins and extensions for WordPress, but this only makes it hard to know where to begin. Then, you still have to learn how to use, install, and integrate them with your site. Oh, and you’ll also need to maintain them. Plugins don’t automatically update, and an out-of-date plugin can cause security problems for your site, if not worse.
- No theme integrations. WordPress themes are different from Shopify themes – they won’t match perfectly. Unless you hire someone to design (and build) a custom theme for you, you’ll be stuck with a blog that feels like an awkward addition instead of a seamless part of your site.
- SEO Analysis through plugins. WordPress doesn’t have a built-in SEO analyzer, and you have to gain this functionality through a plugin. As we mentioned earlier, plugins have a host of downsides around the hassle of installation, ease of use, and maintenance. They can also bloat your site and slow it down significantly.
- Less than ideal domain and URL structure. WordPress will not be running on the same domain as your main site, and you’ll end up with something like “blog.example.com.” This means your blog will be viewed as a separate website, which is bad news for your SEO efforts. Ideally, you'd want your blog running in a subfolder on the main domain.
- Security. I mentioned that WordPress dominates the internet when it comes to blogging, but this also means that it’s a huge target for hackers. WordPress does regularly find and fix security issues, but not everyone remembers to regularly update their sites. If your site gets hacked, you could end up spending a lot of money hiring a developer to repair it. While there are plenty of helpful WordPress site security guides out there, it does place a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.
DropInBlog is a WordPress alternative without issues regarding themes, plugins, and security like WordPress. It’s also a perfect Shopify companion, providing more flexibility and ease of use than the built-in Shopify blog.
- 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. It is designed to integrate seamlessly with Shopify, so there’s no complicated setup.
- Complete theme integration. DropInBlog automatically adopts the CSS from your theme to identically match 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, and it’s part of the default editor with every plan subscription.
- Ability to inject products directly into posts. In order to get your customers to buy your products, you should make it as easy as possible to do so. DropInBlog offers you an easy way to embed products in your post directly from the editor. No other solution does this.
- No awkward domain or URL structure. DropInBlog doesn’t run on a separate domain – it’s simply dropped within your existing site. This way, it doesn’t complicate your URL structure, and all the SEO gains can be attributed directly to your site. When it comes to URL structure, it’s better than both previous options.
- Real customer support. DropInBlog offers excellent customer service through several methods. You can contact them for immediate support through Facebook Messenger chat or via email. This is a lifesaver when it comes to setup or customization questions.
- Less customizable. DropInBlog has no cons when compared to Shopify’s own built-in blog – it’s significantly better. But compared to WordPress, it is slightly less customizable.
- Cost. DropInBlog is not free, but the cost is justifiable for anyone who is serious about content marketing. However, WordPress is also not free when you consider the costs of a third-party hosting provider and any additional costs of hiring a developer.
DropInBlog - the Go-to Choice
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 quickly – like Shopify’s built-in blog – and it’s nearly as customizable as WordPress but without the typical 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.
Firstly, when choosing between any SaaS platform, you should outline what features and functionality you need. Consider your level of coding knowledge, the amount of time you have to spend building and maintaining your blog, and of course, your budget.
Ultimately, most people will want a blogging app that is easy to set up and use and doesn’t require a deep knowledge of coding. It should provide all the features you need to hit your SEO targets and effectively engage your audience.
To blog on Shopify, you don’t have to use the built-in blogging tool by default. In fact, there is a range of blogging platforms available, with WordPress being the most commonly known. To better understand how Shopify, WordPress, and DropInBlog compare, see our detailed review.
Picking the right blogging platform 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 a platform that’s not only easy to get up and running, but that will also support your blog as it grows.
We think it’s pretty clear that DropInBlog offers a lot of advantages over WordPress and certainly over the Shopify blog. Why not give it a try? You can easily sign up for a free 14-day trial, which will give you plenty of time to test out all the features and make your own decision.
As always, please reach out to support with any questions or feedback you may have.