Do you want to create a web store? If so, you will need to choose an eCommerce platform to build and host your online shop. But with so many eCommerce platforms available, choosing the best one can be a difficult task.
Here, we will compare and contrast 2 of the popular eCommerce platforms i.e. BigCommerce and WooCommerce. We will breakdown their features, pricing, support, pros and cons. At the end of the article, you will be able to figure out which one is the right pick for your requirement.
General Overview – BigCommerce Vs WooCommerce
BigCommerce is a fully hosted eCommerce platform. It gives you a whole package of service including hosting, design, content, SEO, payments and marketing features. This will be a great option for startup and online store as you need to pay only once to get everything you need.
But one important factor that you need to consider when signing up with BigCommerce is the ownership and hosting catch of being a fully hosted platform. Once you create an eCommerce store with BigCommerce, you won’t be able to move your website to other web hosting service provider. Plus, BigCommerce shares the data with other BigCommerce stores and you won’t be the sole owner of the hosted space.
Another downgrade of using BigCommerce is lack of customization abilities as you will be limited with the tools available in the BigCommerce platform.
WooCommerce is the most popular free eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It lets you transform any WordPress blog or website into an online storefront. It provides complete control and ownership over of your eCommerce site and you can choose any web hosting provider as per your preference.
To start a WooCommerce store, you will need to purchase and set up hosting, install WordPress, WooCommerce and different marketing tools yourself. This process may sound a little complicated at first but it is not as complex as it sound.
Features: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce
Like we have mentioned above, BigCommerce comes with tons of features right out of the box. You can easily build any type of online store in less than 1/2 of the time it usually consumes to create a website. It offers a wide range of free and premium themes suitable for every eCommerce industry.
The storefront editor allows you to easily change the look of your site without having to touch any codes. The templates let you personalize the shopping experience for the users with a flexible modular code base, conditional logic, and language files. Moreover, the theme is fully integrated with BigCommerce’s faceted search makes the website navigation easier.
They also provide a number of features to accept payments, shipping, fulfilling orders, seamless integration with popular applications, analytics and many more.
WooCommerce also offers countless features to build a powerful web store on WordPress powered website. Since WooCommerce is open-source and built on WordPress, you will get the endless customization possibilities. You will get access to over 55,000 free WordPress plugins available on its repository as well as many more paid plugins. Additionally, numerous of WooCommerce specialized templates are also available to build beautiful and intuitive online stores without any coding skills.
WooCommerce also provides numbers of free and premium add-ons to improve the functionality of your online stores.
Ease to Use – BigCommerce Vs WooCommerce
BigCommerce is one of the easiest eCommerce platforms to start and maintain an eCommerce store. It is a fully hosted platform, so you don’t need to set up hosting or install any type of software as most of the features come inbuilt on BigCommerce. Also, you don’t need to worry about the security, backups and performance issues as BigCommerce will handle it for you.
WooCommerce is not a hosting platform like BigCommerce. It is a WordPress eCommerce plugin that you need to install on your WordPress website to work.
Scalability – BigCommerce Vs WooCommerce
Since BigCommerce is a fully hosted solution, you don’t have to worry about any technical things like storage, backups, downtimes, update or security. However, as your business grows, you will need to upgrade your plans and BigCommerce will handle rest.
WooCommerce is a self-hosted open-source platform. So, you are entirely responsible for the management of resources, backups, updates, and security of your online store. This means you will have full control over your web store and you can freely enhance the functionality of anything as per your choice.
Cost Comparison: BigCommerce Vs WooCommerce
Since, BigCommerce is a subscription-based eCommerce platform that comes with 4 different pricing plans. The pricing plan includes 3 essential plans for small businesses and Enterprise plan for large agencies.
The most basic plan is “Standard” plan, which is available for $29.95/month. This plan offers everything you require to launch an online store with a subdomain.
If you want to use a custom domain, you need to purchase the domain name. You can directly register the domain name from BigCommerce at the price of around $12/year or from any domain name registrar.
All plans include no transaction fee, unlimited products, unlimited file storage, unlimited bandwidth and unlimited staff accounts. However, BigCommerce does have thresholds for your total amount of sales. Like for example, the total sale limits for the “Standard” Plan is $50k per week.
If you are making more sales, BigCommerce will automatically upgrade your web store to bigger plans. In case you are already using their biggest essential plan i.e. “Pro” plan, BigCommerce will charge $150/month for each of the $200k online sales.
In addition to these costs, you may also need to invest more money if you to purchase a premium theme or app. The cost price for the premium BigCommerce theme is a minimum of $170.
WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin that can be downloaded for free from the WordPress repository. However, you will need to pay for other services to set up a WooCommece store.
Firstly, you will need to register a domain name, a purchase a web hosting and an SSL Certificate. The domain name will cost you around $11/year, web hosting will cost around $10/month, and SSL certificate around $64/year. However, many of the popular hosting service providers like BlueHost, HostGator, WPEngine, etc will provide SSL certificate.
Then, you need to install WordPress and WooCommerce on your online store. After that, you can choose a suitable WooCommerce specialized WordPress template to startup your webshop. If you want to add any type of functionality, you can use checkout different free and premium WooCommerce plugins and extensions available.
Payment Options – BigCommerce Vs WooCommerce
BigCommerce offers plenty of payment options to accept payments. It contains built-in payment integration with best payment platforms such as PayPal powered by Braintree, Square, Adyen, Stripe, Authorize.net, and CyberSource.
Support – BigCommerce Vs WooCommerce
As a fully hosted eCommerce platform, BigCommerce provides excellent support. All the pricing plans come with 24/7 live agent support. So, if you run into an issue anytime, you can access the support right from your dashboard that includes phone support, email support, live chat support, community support, and more.
Additionally, they also have a Help Center where you can find tons of helpful tips, tricks, and how-tos in the form of guides, user docs, videos, and developer docs.
Since WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, there are several platforms available where you can seek support for your stores.
For the issue on the core WooCommerce plugin, you can visit the WooCommerce support forum on WordPress.org or on WooCommerce official website. There, you can already see most of the solved problems and also post new issues.
The official WooCommerce website has a support page that includes highly extensive documentation, tutorials, and guides to help you find the solution.
Conclusion – Which is the better eCommerce platform?
Both BigCommerce and WooCommerce are a powerful platform for startup eCommerce stores. Since you have to choose one, it comes down to the technical skill, estimated budget, and personal preference.
BigCommerce is a lot easier to platform as it is an all in one solution. You don’t need to set up anything and you can get started quickly. However, its downside is you will have limited control over your store. The pricing plan is also not fixed and limited number of themes and app are integrated with BigCommerce.
WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform that provides full control over your online store. You are free to compare different pricing for various services and choose the best one. This is the cost of WooCommerce is more reasonable than BigCommerce.