WordPress vs Shopify which CMS to use for your CBD Website

Shopify vs. WordPress: Which CMS to use for your CBD Website

September 18, 2020

What exactly is a CMS? A CMS (content management system) refers to any software platform that allows you to manage your digital content by creating, editing, publishing, collaborating and more. Using a CMS, along with a great web design, will allow you to expand your business and client base beyond physical limitations.

According to Business Matters Magazine, 60 percent of CBD sales are made online. However, choosing the right CMS could be a challenging task when you consider the wide variety of available options. We want to make it easier, so we will narrow it down to two widely used platforms – Shopify and WordPress. We will look at the pros and cons of both and determine which one would be best for managing your CBD website.

Using Shopify as a CMS for your CBD website

Shopify is a CMS that allows you to promote, sell, ship and receive payments for your CBD products from anywhere in the world, provided you have an internet connection. You pay a monthly fee and have access to an admin panel that allows you to promote your products and process your orders. It has an easy to use and clean graphic user interface, which means that navigating your CBD business on Shopify is simple. Additionally, Shopify has templates and editing features that allow you to tweak your theme to fit your CBD brand. You can use it in conjunction with social media, the web, and even brick-and-mortar shops to boost your CBD sales.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using Shopify for your CBD business:


  • Easy navigation: Launching your CBD business on Shopify is quick and simple with Shopify’s drag-and-drop editing tools. You need not be a professional developer to do so as this CMS was designed for average users.
  • Not subjected to U.S. federal laws: As CBD is linked to marijuana, online sales can be tricky. Since Shopify is a Canadian business, it is cannabis-friendly which makes it a good CMS for an online CBD business.
  • Decent for dropshipping: Shopify is integrated with Spocket and Oberlo, making dropshipping for your CBD business a lot easier.


– Payment restrictions: Shopify may be cannabis-friendly, but some of the gateway payments provided are not, such as PayPal or Stripe.

– High transaction fees: Shopify deducts 2.9% and an additional 30 cents in each credit card transaction. The only alternative is to use the available Shopify payments, which won’t process cannabis-related transactions.

– Limitations for customizing functionality: If their pre-loaded basic designs work for your online CBD business then Shopify is easy for you to use. However, if you want to customize some of the features, you would need the skills of a developer. Additionally, you would need to purchase add-ons which may become expensive.

– You do not have full control: Shopify has the authority to close your online CBD site without any warning and you have to comply with their policies which are subject to change.

Using WordPress as a CMS for your CBD website

WordPress as a CMS offers the same functionality as Shopify in the sense that it offers you all the tools you need to sell your CBD products from anywhere in the world and manage your CBD brand. Additionally, it functions as a set of open source files which means that it can be installed on multiple hosting platforms.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using WordPress for your CBD website:


  • No subscription fees: WordPress is totally free for everyone and since it works with open source files, it is kept up to date with modern trends.
  • Cannabis-friendly payment gateways: There are a few payment gateways that are cannabis-friendly which offer plugins for WordPress. Altrough, it’s pretty easy to integrate almost any payment processor which has API.
  • Multiple content management: WordPress supports plugins and offers themes that allow you to customize the appearance of your CBD website. Additionally, you have the space to customize the functionality of your CBD site or make a custom theme from scratch.
  • Offers flexibility: Due to its code, plugin support and themes, WordPress is a CMS where you can change your site to meet the growing needs of your CBD business. This means that you would not need to find a new CMS as your CBD business grows or your business needs change.


  • If you are using some third-party theme, it might be limited in it’s possibilities.
  • Frequent updates: Your plugins and themes require frequent updates to keep up with the changes that are constantly taking place to upgrade and improve the site. But it’s more or less easily doable.
  • Customization: For some of the more complex updates, you might need the help of a developer. But with our hosting maintenance plan, you are covered at all times.

What to consider when deciding which CMS to use for your online CBD business:

While both Shopify and WordPress are great platforms to sell your CBD products online, there are some distinct differences to consider when deciding which one is right for you. Both end up costing more when you want to customize the design of your CBD website, however, WordPress has several CBD Oil web designs that you can use.

Additionally, WordPress uses a CMS called WooCommerce that allows you to control your site eliminating the risk of it being closed like with Shopify. Finally, WordPress does not have additional transaction fees like Shopify and offers more payment options which are cannabis-friendly. We hope this article has given you some perspective on which CMS will be most suitable for your CBD website.

Feel free to check the fully-functional Cannabis and Hemp Website solutions here.

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