- What to look for in an eCommerce platform?
- Overview of BigCommerce vs WooCommerce
Are you thinking about starting your own online store but not sure whether to go with BigCommerce vs WooCommerce?
Well, don’t worry! These are two of the most well-known eCommerce platforms out there, and in this article, we’ll break down the differences between BigCommerce and WooCommerce.
By the end, you’ll have a clearer understanding of each platform’s strengths and weaknesses, helping you make an informed decision on which one suits your needs best.
What should you look for in eCommerce platforms?
Before we dive into BigCommerce vs WooCommerce, let’s discuss some important factors to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform.
- Ease of Use: It’s crucial to select an eCommerce platform that is user-friendly and easy to navigate, especially if you’re a beginner.
- Budget: If you’re starting your store on a tight budget, it’s important to check the initial costs of setting up a website. Additionally, consider recurring expenses, such as yearly or monthly fees.
- Payment Methods: Ensure that the platform supports the payment gateways you want to use. Try to choose a platform that offers support for multiple payment options.
- Scalability: As your store grows, you’ll need a platform that can easily scale up to accommodate increased traffic and sales.
- Support: Reliable support is essential for resolving any issues or concerns that may arise during your eCommerce journey.
These are the fundamental requirements to keep in mind when planning to start your eCommerce business.
In addition to these basics, you may also require additional eCommerce features for managing invoices, taxes, inventory, shipping, and SEO optimization, among others.
With these factors in mind, let’s compare how WooCommerce and BigCommerce measure up to these requirements.
Overview of the eCommerce platforms
As we mentioned earlier, both WooCommerce and BigCommerce are prominent players in the eCommerce platform market.
According to Statista, WooCommerce holds the majority share with 36% coverage of the entire eCommerce market.
On the other hand, BigCommerce holds less than 1% of the total market share, as reported in the same study.
However, it’s important to note that being less popular doesn’t mean BigCommerce lacks popularity altogether.
The internet is vast, and if we compare the search terms ‘BigCommerce’ and ‘WooCommerce’ using Google Trends, we can observe a similar trend of interest over time.
When looking at the Google Trends data for BigCommerce vs WooCommerce, we see that WooCommerce experienced rapid growth in search trends.
However, in recent years, BigCommerce has been catching up. While it still has some ground to cover, it’s evident that the eCommerce platform is steadily growing in popularity.
What is BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is a fully hosted eCommerce platform, which means it provides you with a complete package of services including hosting, design, content management, SEO, payment integrations, and marketing features.
It’s an all-in-one solution for creating an online store. With BigCommerce, you can easily and quickly set up your store by purchasing a subscription plan.
One downside of using BigCommerce is the limited customization options. You’ll be confined to the tools available within the BigCommerce platform.
However, a significant advantage of BigCommerce is its WordPress plugin.
This plugin allows you to run a fully functional BigCommerce store alongside your existing WordPress website. It’s a great option if you already have a WordPress site and want to integrate eCommerce functionality with BigCommerce.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is the top eCommerce plugin for WordPress, and it makes turning your WordPress blog or website into an online store a breeze.
To get started with WooCommerce, you’ll need to purchase and set up web hosting, install WordPress, and then add WooCommerce and various marketing tools. At first glance, it might seem a bit complicated, but don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it may appear.
In the next section, we’ll delve into the user-friendliness of both platforms and provide more details.
Check out our article and find the cheapest website builder available in 2023.
BigCommerce vs WooCommerce: Ease of use
Opting for an easy-to-use platform comes with several advantages.
For instance, you can swiftly make modifications or address any issues that arise, allowing you to focus more on growing your business.
If you’re not a tech-savvy individual, you’ll want a solution that enables you to effortlessly manage and operate your online store without the need to hire developers.
Now, let’s compare BigCommerce and WooCommerce to determine which one is more user-friendly.
With BigCommerce, starting and maintaining an eCommerce store is simple.
Since it’s a fully hosted platform, you don’t have to worry about setting up hosting or installing any software.
Plus, you can leave concerns about security, backups, and performance to BigCommerce.
To get started, all you need to do is sign up for their 15-day trial plan and follow three simple steps to set up your store.
Just provide your email, contact address, store name, and a few details about your business.
Setting up a store on BigCommerce takes just a few minutes.
Once you’re done, you’ll have access to your BigCommerce dashboard, where you can quickly preview your store, and add products to the customizable eCommerce platform.
You can start by previewing how your online store looks on the front end.
If you want to change its design, you can choose from available themes or customize your existing theme using the provided design options.
After that, you can start adding products.
In the admin panel, located on the right-hand side, you’ll find all the settings and options.
From there, you can manage orders, products, customers, marketing, analytics, apps, and much more.
If you’re starting a brand new business, BigCommerce provides a free subdomain for your store.
For example, your store’s web address could be something like “https://mystore.mybigcommerce.com“.
If you prefer a custom domain name, you have the option to purchase it directly from BigCommerce or through any other domain name registrar.
If you already have a WordPress website, you can use the BigCommerce WordPress plugin.
It enables you to run an eCommerce store seamlessly alongside your WordPress website.
This way, you can manage your eCommerce operations using BigCommerce while still using WordPress for content management.
#WooCommerce: Ease of use
Unlike BigCommerce, WooCommerce is not a hosted platform.
Instead, it is an eCommerce plugin designed for WordPress websites that you need to install yourself.
After that, you can install WordPress and then add the WooCommerce plugin.
Once WooCommerce is installed, you can begin by running the setup wizard.
This handy tool helps you quickly set up your WooCommerce store by guiding you through essential tasks such as:
- creating pages,
- setting up payments,
- choosing currency,
- configuring shipping options,
- and managing taxes.
You can complete this setup in just a few minutes.
After the setup is complete, you can start adding products to your online store and make it fully functional.
While these steps cover the basics of creating an online store with WooCommerce, there are additional actions you can take to enhance your store‘s power and usefulness.
For instance, you can change the theme to improve the design and install WooCommerce plugins and extensions to add more eCommerce features.
It’s important to note that with WooCommerce, you are responsible for managing security, backups, caching, and optimizing performance on your own.
Compared to BigCommerce, WooCommerce has a slightly steeper learning curve.
Therefore, in terms of ease of use, BigCommerce is generally considered the simpler option between the two platforms.
Prices of BigCommerce vs WooCommerce
When choosing an eCommerce platform, considering the cost of starting and maintaining your store is a crucial factor.
Let’s compare the cost differences of BigCommerce vs WooCommerce.
It operates on a subscription-based model, offering different pricing plans.
There are mainly four plans available: three Essential plans tailored for small businesses and one Enterprise plan designed for large agencies.
- Standard plan
The most basic plan is priced at $29.95 per month.
This plan includes everything you need to launch your online store, along with a BigCommerce subdomain.
If you prefer to use a custom domain name, you will need to purchase one separately.
BigCommerce offers domain names for approximately $12 per year, or you can obtain one from any other domain registrar.
All BigCommerce plans come with benefits such as:
- no transaction fees,
- unlimited products,
- unlimited file storage,
- unlimited bandwidth,
- and unlimited staff accounts.
However, it’s important to note that BigCommerce does impose thresholds on your total sales.
For instance, the ‘Standard’ plan has a total sales limit of $50,000 per year.
If your sales exceed this threshold, BigCommerce automatically upgrades your store to a higher plan.
If you’re already on their largest Essential plan called ‘Pro,’ they will charge an additional $150 per month for every extra $200,000 in online sales.
In addition to these costs, you may need to spend additional money if you wish to use a premium theme or app.
While there are a few free themes available, premium BigCommerce themes start at a minimum price of $150.
WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin that you can download and use for free on unlimited websites.
However, there are other paid services required to set up a WooCommerce store.
To begin with, you’ll need a domain name, a website hosting account, and an SSL certificate.
When you add up these costs, it may appear expensive for small-budget startups.
However, there are hosting companies that offer specialized WooCommerce hosting services at affordable prices.
One notable option is Bluehost WooCommerce hosting, which is an officially recommended hosting provider.
With a Bluehost eCommerce plan, the cost of starting an online store using WooCommerce becomes much more affordable compared to any of the BigCommerce plans.
If you decide to use premium WooCommerce themes or paid extensions, your expenses will increase.
However, the good news is that there are plenty of free WooCommerce plugins and themes available that you can utilize instead.
In conclusion, when starting out, the WooCommerce platform is clearly more cost-effective than BigCommerce.
Payment options in your eCommerce store
In the market, there are numerous payment gateway companies available.
However, it’s important to note that not all of them may be available in your region or the regions where your customers are located.
That’s why it’s crucial to choose an eCommerce platform that offers the payment gateways you require.
Now let’s compare how both BigCommerce and WooCommerce stack up when it comes to payment integrations.
#BigCommerce payment gateways
BigCommerce provides a wide range of payment options to ensure you can accept payments smoothly.
It offers built-in native integrations with some of the industry’s leading payment platforms, such as PayPal powered by Braintree, Square, Adyen, Stripe, Authorize.net, and CyberSource.
When it comes to processing transaction fees for debit and credit card, BigCommerce starts at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
However, as your BigCommerce store grows, the processing fee decreases, providing potential cost savings.
Additionally, BigCommerce offers built-in integrations with popular digital wallets, including PayPal, Amazon Pay, Masterpass, and Apple Pay.
By incorporating these trusted digital wallets into your store, you can greatly enhance mobile conversions and provide a seamless checkout experience for your customers.
#Payment gateways for a WooCommerce store
WooCommerce provides built-in support for PayPal and Stripe payments as default options.
These are widely recognized and trusted payment gateways.
In addition, WooCommerce offers extensive flexibility by supporting all major payment gateways through extensions and add-ons.
This means that you can find integrations for almost any payment gateway you prefer to use, including regional and less popular options.
As a result, both BigCommerce and WooCommerce offer robust payment integration capabilities, making it a tie in terms of available payment options.
Plugins and integrations
Regardless of how powerful an eCommerce website builder may be, the core software will always have its limitations in terms of built-in features.
This is where integrations and add-ons play a crucial role.
The most commonly sought integrations for eCommerce websites include email marketing tools, lead generation, analytics, and outreach services.
Now, let’s evaluate the availability of third-party integrations for both BigCommerce and WooCommerce.
#BigCommerce eCommerce features
BigCommerce offers a wide range of third-party apps and integrations to enhance the functionality of your BigCommerce store.
You’ll find both free and paid add-ons available in the BigCommerce app marketplace.
The app marketplace features six collections of featured apps, including must-haves, shipping essentials, design, marketing tools, payments, and more.
These collections make it easy for you to discover and choose apps that meet your specific store requirements.
Additionally, the marketplace includes dozens of apps in categories such as accounting and tax, analytics and reporting, CRM and customer service, product sourcing, and many others.
This extensive selection allows you to explore and integrate apps that cater to various aspects of your business operations.
#WooCommerce plugin & add-on selection
WooCommerce, being an open-source eCommerce website builder plugin built on top of WordPress, provides access to a vast library of plugins.
With over 55,000 free WordPress plugins and numerous premium plugins available, you have a wide range of options to enhance your WooCommerce store.
These plugins can be found in the official WordPress.org plugin repository, the official WooCommerce website, and other plugin websites.
In addition, the official WooCommerce extensions store offers about 830 free and premium extensions specifically designed to expand the features of online stores.
Whether you need to add contact forms, lead generation forms, analytics tools, SEO optimization capabilities, performance optimization solutions, or more, there are plenty of choices available.
Most popular third-party services also develop their own plugins to integrate seamlessly with your WooCommerce store.
Moreover, if you have coding skills or hire a developer, you have the option to create a custom WooCommerce addon tailored specifically for your store.
In terms of available third-party integrations and plugins, WooCommerce takes the lead due to the vast ecosystem of WordPress plugins and dedicated WooCommerce extensions.
BigCommerce vs WooCommerce: Scalability
Scalability is an important consideration as your website grows. Now let’s examine the scalability features of both WooCommerce and BigCommerce platforms.
Since BigCommerce is a fully hosted solution, you don’t have to worry about technical aspects like storage, backups, downtimes, updates, or security.
As your business expands, you can easily upgrade your plan, and the eCommerce platform takes care of the rest.
It offers a hassle-free solution for scaling up your business.
WooCommerce, being a self-hosted platform, places the responsibility of managing resources, backups, updates, and security of your website on you.
Most reputable WordPress hosting companies allow you to upgrade your web hosting plan to accommodate the needs of your growing website.
However, the process of upgrading can involve some complexity depending on the web host.
Using a managed WordPress hosting company like WP Engine can simplify the hosting experience for WooCommerce.
In conclusion, both BigCommerce and WooCommerce offer scalability options.
However, for businesses seeking a hassle-free solution, BigCommerce may be the better choice.
It handles the technical aspects of scaling your store, while WooCommerce requires you to manage those aspects on your own or with the assistance of a managed WordPress hosting provider.
Therefore, in terms of scalability, the winner is BigCommerce.
Security of BigCommerce vs WooCommerce
Security is a critical aspect to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform. Let’s examine how BigCommerce and WooCommerce stack up in terms of security features.
#Security of BigCommerce stores
As a fully hosted solution, BigCommerce takes care of essential security measures for your online store.
You don’t have to worry about managing security patches, implementing an SSL certificate, or handling backups.
BigCommerce handles these aspects, ensuring your store’s security and protection against potential threats.
#Security of WooCommerce stores
WooCommerce, being a self-hosted platform, requires you to take responsibility for the security of your WordPress site.
This includes implementing security measures like SSL certificates, managing backups, and keeping your WordPress installation and plugins up to date.
Choosing a reputable WordPress web host that specializes in WooCommerce can help ensure a secure hosting environment.
Additionally, leveraging security plugins and following best practices for website security is crucial to safeguarding your store against potential vulnerabilities.
If you prefer a platform that handles security aspects for you, BigCommerce provides a convenient and secure solution.
On the other hand, with WooCommerce, you have more control over the security of your eCommerce website but need to actively manage and implement security measures to ensure a secure environment.
BigCommerce vs WooCommerce: Support & Help
Support is an essential factor to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform. It’s important to have access to instant and reliable support whenever you encounter any issues or need assistance.
Now, let’s take a look at the support options available for BigCommerce vs WooCommerce platforms.
You can easily contact BigCommercedirectly from your dashboard for support, including phone support, email support, live chat support, community support, and more.
Whenever you encounter an issue or need assistance, you can simply click on the support option of your choice and request help.
BigCommerce support is available 24/7, ensuring that you can get the assistance you need at any time.
The BigCommerce help center is a valuable resource for finding answers to your questions.
It provides a comprehensive knowledge base that guides you in effectively using BigCommerce.
Additionally, you can rely on the Question and Answer community to seek advice and insights from fellow BigCommerce users.
The blog section also keeps you up to date with the latest news and updates related to BigCommerce.
With these support options and resources, BigCommerce ensures that you have the necessary assistance and information to make the most of their platform.
#Support for WooCommerce store owners
For issues related to the WooCommerce core plugin, you can visit the WooCommerce support forum on WordPress.org or the official WooCommerce website.
These forums provide a wealth of information with solutions to previously resolved problems, as well as the opportunity to post new issues for assistance.
When it comes to issues specific to your WooCommerce themes and extensions, you can seek support directly from the developers of those products.
Additionally, your web hosting company is responsible for assisting you with any server-related concerns.
Furthermore, there are numerous WooCommerce-related tutorials available on WordPress blogs. Thanks to its popularity, WooCommerce benefits from a wide range of support options.
In terms of support, BigCommerce offers a more centralized and comprehensive approach with direct access to support options within the platform.
However, WooCommerce provides a variety of support channels, including forums, documentation, developer support, and WordPress blog resources.
Considering the convenience and availability of support options, BigCommerce takes the lead in this category.
Your online store and SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plays a crucial role in the success of any online store.
It determines how prominently your store appears in search engine results, such as Google, and directly impacts the amount of traffic your site receives.
No matter how great your products are, if people can’t find them, it’s pointless. Now, let’s compare the SEO capabilities of BigCommerce vs WooCommerce.
#BigCommerce SEO eCommerce solutions
On BigCommerce, you can easily edit meta titles and descriptions, which are the link and the accompanying text displayed in Google search results.
You can also customize URL slugs to ensure they are relevant to the page’s content, such as “/mens/tops/white-shirts/”.
Additionally, BigCommerce allows you to add image alt text, providing descriptive text to help Google understand the content of your images.
Moreover, BigCommerce has keyword support, providing recommendations on including specific words in your product descriptions to improve your store’s ranking for relevant search terms.
#WooCommerce in search engines
WooCommerce also allows you to edit meta titles and descriptions, customize URL slugs, and add image alt text for better SEO.
However, it lacks certain built-in features, such as SSL security.
Having an SSL certificate is important as it indicates to Google that your site is secure for WooCommerce users.
BigCommerce includes an SSL certificate as a standard feature, ensuring your site’s security.
On the other hand, with WooCommerce, you may need to pay extra to obtain an SSL certificate.
Considering these factors, BigCommerce has an advantage when it comes to providing a more comprehensive SEO package.
BigCommerce vs WooCommerce: Verdict
BigCommerce and WooCommerce are both powerful platforms for starting your eCommerce store.
Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to your technical skills, budget, and personal preferences.
BigCommerce is a user-friendly, all-in-one solution.
You don’t need to set up anything, and you can quickly get started with your store.
The eCommerce platform manages everything from backups to security and scalability, making it a hassle-free option.
The best part is that it seamlessly integrates with WordPress.
However, using BigCommerce means having limited control over your store.
There are fixed pricing plans, a limited selection of themes and integration apps, and specific methods for scaling your business.
You’re restricted to tools provided by BigCommerce and cannot use external ones.
On the other hand, WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform that provides you with full control over your website.
You have the flexibility to compare pricing and choose the best-priced services, allowing you to start a WooCommerce store with a lower investment compared to BigCommerce.
One disadvantage of WooCommerce is that it has a learning curve, especially for beginners.
It may take some time to become familiar with the platform.
Additionally, scalability can be a challenge as your business grows, and you may need to invest in additional resources to handle increased traffic and transactions.
We hope this comparison of the pros and cons of BigCommerce vs WooCommerce has helped you make an informed decision.
You may also find it useful to explore a comparison of other eCommerce platforms to sell digital products or our list of the best email marketing services for small businesses. In addition, we collected useful tips&trick about eCommerce marketing in this article.