Shopify vs AliDropship – Which Is Best To Start Dropshipping

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Shopify vs AliDropship

Shopify vs AliDropship is one of the main questions asked especially by newbie dropshippers. These are the 2 most popular platforms when it comes to starting a dropshipping business.

So the questions I get asked often is, which one should they use and why. Today I will share the main differences between Shopify and AliDropship and which should you go for.

First of all, Shopify and AliDropship don’t work alone when it comes to dropshipping. Each of these works with another platform to make it works for your dropshipping business.

What combinations of platforms are required to create your online dropshipping store?

To create your online dropshipping store, you will need 2 core things:-

  • Online Store Creator – A platform to create and design your online store
  • Dropshipping Plugin – A plugin that helps to import products from your dropship supplier, manage and track your dropshipping business

So let’s look at the combinations for both Shopify and AliDropship.

Shopify (Online Store Creator) + Oberlo (Dropshipping Plugin)

  • Shopify platform itself is an online store tool which allows you to create an online store easily
  • Shopify takes care of the hosting for you so you don’t need any technical knowledge to set it up
  • Oberlo is a freemium dropshipping plugin built for Shopify which helps to turn your online store into a dropshipping store

WordPress (Online Store Creator) + AliDropship (Dropshipping Plugin)

  • WordPress is one of the most popular websites creation tool and many use it to create their online store
  • WordPress, however, needs a hosting server to host it and you will need to know how to install WordPress into the hosting server (many hosting provides 1-click install options now)
  • AliDropship is a paid premium WordPress dropshipping plugin which turns your WordPress site into a full-fledge dropshipping store


  • Shopify is simpler to start as you don’t require any technical skill to set up your store
  • WordPress and AliDropship will require you to know a bit of technical skill to be able to install and set up your WordPress into your hosting server

Next, let’s talk about the cost involved. This is probably the number one concern everyone has.

Which is cheapest to start and operate in the long run?

Shopify + Oberlo

  • Shopify has a monthly recurring fee (from $29/month)
  • With the free Oberlo, you are limited to just 50 orders per month and there is NO shipment tracking and order fulfillment
  • If you have more than 50 orders per month, or if you want to automate the tedious process of shipment tracking and order fulfillment, you will have to upgrade to their paid version (from $29.90/month)
  • Both of these are recurring which means a total of $58.90/month
  • So you will have to pay a total of $706.8/year to run your dropshipping business in Shopify

AliDropship + WordPress

  • AliDropship is a one-time payment plugin (only $89) so there is no recurring fee. You only pay this once
  • WordPress is a FREE tool. So you don’t need to pay anything to use it
  • However, in order to use WordPress, you will need a hosting server. A hosting server will cost you around $48/year
  • So you pay $137to start your dropshipping business in your first year
  • On the second year onwards, you only pay the hosting server cost which is $48/year


  • Cheapest to start: Shopify is cheaper to start (just $29) versus AliDropship ($137)
  • Cheapest to operate: AliDropship is the winner as you only pay $48 every year to run your business, unlike Shopify which cost you a minimum of $348 to $706.8 every year
  • So even though Shopify is cheaper to start, you may quickly realize that it’s a lot more expensive to run your business
  • $137 with AliDropship allows you to operate for 1-year whereas $137 will only allow you to operate for 5 months in Shopify

Other things to consider

Store Design

  • Shopify comes with some free themes where you can choose to easily set up your store. It also supports premium paid themes

Shopify Themes

  • AliDropship also comes with free themes that they have fully tested and optimized for conversion

AliDropship Themes

  • And there are tons of other free and paid themes that AliDropship supports too

AliDropship WooCommerce Themes

Plugins & Apps

  • Both Shopify and WordPress comes with many plugins and apps that help to further enhance your store, automate tedious processes, improve marketing, etc
  • However, many Shopify apps for dropshipping are paid apps which can easily increase your monthly operating cost
  • WordPress, on the other hand, offers tons of plugins from free to paid. And it has a lot more plugins compared to Shopify. Many of these plugins works without any conflict with AliDropship

Store Ownership

  • With Shopify, your store is tied to Shopify which means you don’t fully own your store. In the case where Shopify thinks your store has violated certain terms and conditions, your store may be rejected and closed down permanently
  • with WordPress and AliDropship, you have full ownership where you can easily back up and move the whole store from one server to another. You own everything in your store and no one can close your store down…except you


  • Shopify has many terms and conditions that may force you to follow certain rules or you may get your store terminated
  • And with the FREE Oberlo app, there are many limitations such as the number of orders per month, no automation of 2 very important and tedious tasks which are the shipment tracking and order fulfillment
  • With WordPress and AliDropship, there is no limitation on anything. You can scale up and process thousands of orders, you get the shipment tracking and even automatically send the shipment status to your client via email. And or order fulfillment with a few clicks

So, Shopify vs AliDropship, which is best?

  • Both of these allows you to easily start your dropshipping store and provide you with all the necessary tools to run your dropshipping store successfully
  • Shopify is best for those who have no technical knowledge or whatsoever to easily start a dropshipping store although the operating cost will be a lot higher. Almost any customization you need on your Shopify store will cost you extra
  • AliDropship is best for those who want full ownership, flexibility, and freedom in managing their own business and with the cheapest operation cost possible. You can easily customize it to anything you like if you know how

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