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Shopify Limitations: What the platform does not do

Shopify is fast. The interface is much simpler than wordpress, and it doesn’t break (where that’s the only thing wordpress does). However, there are a lot of things you can’t customize.

Shopify is basic.

Here is a list of things I am learning the platform does not do, as I continue to dig in further:

  • There is no easy way to add multiple products at once, except with a csv.. which is a pain in the ass.
  • There is no visual way to add products. It always requires you create a new product from the nav menu.. or duplicate an existing product.
  • You can’t customize Shopify’s product numbering system.
  • You can group products into a ‘collection’, but you can’t have different types of ‘collections’- meaning you can’t sort them, separate them. They are all lumped into one inseparable pudding.
  • You cannot sort your collections in any other way than alphabetical, or completely manual. I prefer to have my collections show by date added – new collections should show first. you can’t do this.
  • You can’t connect Shopify to any desktop app – like Lightroom, which your product photos are 90% likely to come out of if you have a business workflow.
  • And MOST IMPORTANTLY, Shopify product images experience a lot of trouble indexing in google & google images. Their support team says it’s been an ongoing issue, and that your ranking won’t be hurt. but that’s not my point. People shop visually, you can’t tell me or sell me otherwise. You cannot argue against this image:
  • shopify-google-images-indexing-problem
    • I also tried looking for my images in a variety of other ways. They simply don’t exist, and the ones that do aren’t coming up for any of the correct search terms. This is a huge huge blow. WordPress uses a cdn as well, and doesn’t have this issue.

So recommended CMS? I don’t know. WordPress is abismal and slow and clunky, but at least it ranks well and you can configure it to do almost anything you want (except manage an e-commerce business – no, woocommerce does not cut it. no plugin can cut it in wordpress because you have to work within their really outdated backend ui. as they say, you can’t build something awesome on a foundation of crap and expect it not to smell.)

and avoid Volusion.

About Steven Chu

Hi, I'm Steven! I'm an entrepreneur, photographer and art director in New York. Follow this blog for self expression, fun, and most importantly: looking comfortable, at ease, and amazing in your photos no matter who takes them! I dedicate this to my amazing friends who have let me inadvertently turn all of our hangouts and travel photos into a never ending photoshoot of fun. The proof is in the pudding-- our photos rock. My other projects: I'm the founder of, a face-to-face tech concierge service for NYC. Book a techie to walk you through something you want to learn! My work focuses on socially engaged art projects which use technology to create access to resources for communities. Visit Steven Chu Studio ( for branding & design work or Steven Chu ( for photography projects.

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