Do you want to create an online store? Are you confused about which is better, BigCommerce vs WooCommerce? Do you want to expand your eCommerce store?
Then, you’re on the right page. An online store is the best way of getting your products out to your customers nowadays. And if you’re looking to open an online store, you might’ve heard of eCommerce websites.
BigCommerce and WooCommerce are both eCommerce platforms that will help you create your online store. While both of them do the same thing, they’re vastly different from one another. Read on to find out which one is the best for you.
BigCommerce is the fifth most popular eCommerce platform on the internet. It houses more than 100,000 websites and is fully hosted. This means that BigCommerce will give you everything you need to create an eCommerce store; from hosting to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to marketing features.
It’s extremely convenient to create an eCommerce store with BigCommerce. You can easily make one by purchasing a plan of your budget or liking. One of the great features of using BigCommerce is its WordPress plugin.
The plugin allows you to simultaneously run your BigCommerce website and your WordPress website. The only downside is that there aren’t a lot of customizations available for BigCommerce outside the ones on the platform.
WooCommerce is arguably the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress with more than 82 million downloads. But that does not mean that it’s the best. But the best part about WooCommerce is that you can easily transform your WordPress website into an eCommerce store.
Unlike BigCommerce, WooCommerce doesn’t give you everything you need to start an online store. You’ll need to look for hosting by yourself, install WordPress, and look for marketing tools yourself.
However, doing so isn’t as complex as it sounds. With WooCommerce, you can also make use of WordPress’s customization plugins to make your website even better. Learn more about WooCommerce here.
Now let’s talk about the features in BigCommerce and WooCommerce.
Despite being the fifth most popular eCommerce platform, features are where BigCommerce comes out on top. Let’s see what features it offers.
WooCommerce being the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress has some of the best features available. Although it lacks a number of features, it makes up for that in customizations. Let’s have a look.
Both platforms offer a one-click install feature. So you don’t need to pay extra fees for anything other than the platform itself. So let’s compare the costs of building a website using each platform in detail.
BigCommerce has a confusing price tag. The price depends on your location and your assumed annual income from your website. The basic plan for US-based websites starts at $29.95 per month. Considering they give you everything you need, this is very reasonable.
We’ll talk about everything available in each plan offered by BigCommerce below.
WooCommerce is basically free as it’s available on the WordPress plugin repository. However, you do need to pay for hosting. We would suggest you pick a good WooCommerce cloud hosting provider such as Bluehost. The cheapest cloud hosting plans come at around $10 per month.
Considering all these factors, it’s safe to assume that WooCommerce will cost you much less in the long run. That’s because you can change hosts at any time and the plugin itself has higher customizations as well.
We’ll talk about everything available in each plan offered by WooCommerce further ahead.
Since BigCommerce is an all-in-one platform where you get everything you need to build a website, it’ll take a short time to do so. If you really work on it, you can get your website up and go in a day or two.
All you need to do to create a website with BigCommerce is to sign up on bigcommerce.com, choose a theme, and start customizing your website. It’s that easy.
Creating a website with WooCommerce is a bit tedious. You’ll first need to create a website with WordPress. Since WooCommerce doesn’t assist you in any way, you’ll need to get everything ready.
That includes finding a good web host provider, install security plugins, and other technical aspects of building a store. This is also very time consuming and requires a high level of technical knowledge.
All plans offered by BigCommerce have no transaction fees, give you unlimited products, unlimited file storage, unlimited staff accounts, and unlimited bandwidth.
But, you can only have a sales threshold of $50000 per year if you take the “Standard” plan. In case you make more than $50000 per year in sales, BigCommerce will automatically upgrade your plan to one step bigger. And if you’re already using their “Pro” plan, you’ll need to pay an extra $150 per month for each $20000 you make in sales.
And if you want to use a premium theme or other premium features outside of your plan, you’ll need to buy those. Premium BigCommerce themes cost around $160.
Since WooCommerce itself is a free plugin available on WordPress, there isn’t a real paid plan in it. The cost depends on how much you’re willing to spend on your website. It does offer blogging, one-click refunds (refund your purchase with a single click), and unlimited customizations.
You’ll need some security and other types of plugins for your website. You’ll also need a theme to start with. Luckily, there are a lot of free plugins and themes on the WordPress repository that are very good.
Regardless of being a free plugin, it offers limitless customization for your website so WooCommerce is the better choice in this case.
Now let’s talk about some plugins and themes available for both platforms.
While BigCommerce helps you with almost everything you want to build a store for you, it’s limited on some extra features. Those extra features you can add to your website are called plugins.
Plugins make a website even better and easier to manage. In BigCommerce, you do have third-party apps and integrations but they’re only useable to expand your store. There are over 800 of these integrations available on BigCommerce.
However, these apps and integrations don’t help your store scale well into the future. Some of these include tax automation, marketing tools, and shipping services.
As for themes, BigCommerce offers 12 themes at the beginning with over 50 premium themes. Themes really help make the first impression and BigCommerce helps you do that very well.
Plugins are a crucial part of WooCommerce. It’s how WooCommerce essentially works. And the best part is, WordPress has thousands of plugins in its repository for you to try out.
WooCommerce itself being a plugin, can make use of other plugins to make your store really stand out. Unlike BigCommerce, plugins available for WooCommerce help your store scale well into the future.
The entire idea of WooCommerce is to have you use plugins to expand your store. There are plugins available for marketing, shipping, payments, analytics, and so on.
As for themes, WooCommerce has more than 1200 themes in total. But these themes are much cheaper than BigCommerce’s themes and more customizable.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in BigCommerce is very good. It improves your chances of ranking higher on Google. SEO is readily available on BigCommerce right from the beginning so let’s see what it offers.
Much like BigCommerce, WooCommerce also offers the same features. That is, for one exception. WooCommerce doesn’t offer an SSL certificate by default.
SSL essentially allows you to have security in almost everything you do on your website. That ranges from transactions to messages you send within your website. However, web hosting services like Bluehost provide a free SSL certificate if you choose them.
Other than that, you can have one of the best SEO tools, the Yoast SEO plugin on your website that has WooCommerce. That’s one advantage of making a WordPress based website.
Since marketing tools are so vital in order to bring in more customers, BigCommerce gives you a lot of those right from the beginning. It has marketing tools for all types of online stores.
These are some marketing tools offered by BigCommerce for your website:
BigCommerce also has one very good tool which is unfortunately unavailable for the cheapest plan. Abandoned cart delivery is a very useful tool to rack up sales. It’s available starting from the “Pro” plan.
Although WooCommerce doesn’t provide any marketing tools from the very beginning, it can make use of 97 different marketing tools. These are all tools available on the WordPress repository.
While more marketing tools give you more customizations, they also give you extra work. But if you really want to grow your store to the fullest, you should have no problem walking the extra mile.
You can get literally any type of marketing tool you want. Even in BigCommerce, the abandoned cart delivery tool is unavailable for the cheapest plan. You can get that for free in WooCommerce.
But, you’ll need a separate extension for the abandoned cart recovery feature and separate extensions for sending emails and follow-up messages. You can also have social media integration along with third-party store integrations just like in BigCommerce.
But, you’ll need to pay around $80 for social media and external store integrations. Other than that, everything is pretty much free. Also, you have the coupon and discount feature in-built in WooCommerce so you don’t have to get an extension for that.
BigCommerce is a very popular eCommerce store builder, has some of the best security measures for its users. BigCommerce itself is ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and PCI DSS 3.2, Level 1 certified. This is among the highest forms of security certifications given to any company.
Other than that, BigCommerce also has in-built firewall protection. Firewalls protect you from a majority of malicious files. It also offers file integrity scanning and intrusion detection. Moreover, you can install any extra security app on its store for additional security.
Since WooCommerce doesn’t offer any security measure on its own, you’ll have to install them on your own. But the best part is, you can have any kind of security you want on your website. That’s because those security tools are available on the WordPress repository.
You can set up a lot of different security plugins for your website that does specific tasks. You can have a plugin to prevent each type of attack right from the WordPress repository.
Monetization is where BigCommerce really shines. While other websites may have simple ads or business listings, BigCommerce gives you more room to work with.
There are five major ways of monetizing your BigCommerce website.
Since the WordPress plugin repository is huge, there are a lot of customizations available on your website. You can have almost everything for monetization on your website.
There are three major ways of monetizing your WooCommerce store.
This part is fairly simple. Since BigCommerce is a hosted eCommerce application, you’re not the only owner of the hosted space. You can’t change the hosting to any other web host provider. Which means your ownership is shared with other BigCommerce stores.
As for WooCommerce, you’re the only owner of your store since it’s made with WordPress. You’ll need to find a web host provider but they won’t take any ownership of your website. WooCommerce also lets you switch web hosts as much as you want. Also, you don’t have to worry about any third-party rules you need to follow.
Now, this is a bit complex. BigCommerce has three types of pricing plans. The first is the “Standard Plan” that comes at $29.95 per month. This is a great way to start your business as it’s fairly cheap and has everything except the abandoned cart feature.
Next is the “Plus Plan” at $79.95 per month. This includes the abandoned cart feature and has a lot of extra marketing tools for you to use. The final pricing plan is called the “Pro Plan” which comes at $299.95 per month.
This includes some of the most advanced features to grow your website and has strong site security. BigCommerce also offers a 15-day free trial without any card information required. This is a great way to see if BigCommerce is the one for you.
WooCommerce in itself is a free plugin available on the WordPress repository. However, you’ll need to pay for a couple of different things before you get your website started.
Firstly, you’ll need a theme. A typical premium theme costs around $60. Then, you’ll need to find a web host provider. A good web host provider such as Bluehost or HostGator can cost around $2.75 per month.
You’ll also need to install an SSL certificate if your web host doesn’t provide one. SSL certificates cost around $9 per year. This is everything you’ll need to pay for. Some of them might be a one-time payment so that’ll be much more efficient in the long run.
BigCommerce falls a little off on the maintenance and support part despite being a great plugin. It has 24-hour support including phone, email, and live chat support. Also, you can access its user forum to ask anyone for help with your problems.
It also has a help center with lots of articles and guides on BigCommerce itself. And if you sign up for BigCommerce’s enterprise plan, you’ll get your very own account manager and onboarding consultant.
The maintenance in BigCommerce is also very mediocre. Although they don’t have groundbreaking bugs every now and then, they do have some server issues and some malfunctioning here and there.
WooCommerce in itself isn’t nearly as good as BigCommerce in support and maintenance. But, pair your website with Bluehost and it’ll have one of the best support and maintenance options on the internet.
Bluehost is a popular hosting provider that has a lot of support and maintenance options for WordPress based websites. With Bluehost, you can have a free two-hour setup call with WooCommerce experts if you choose its WooCommerce hosting plan.
Aside from that, you can also get access to a 24-hour phone, email, and live chat support. With Bluehost, your support options are enhanced.
As for maintenance, that also depends on your web host provider. If you choose Bluehost, they have minimal server issues and bugs.
With everything being discussed, it’s time to look at some of the pros and cons of BigCommerce. Although being an excellent platform to create your store on, it has some ups and downs.
Next up is WooCommmerce. With everything we’ve discussed up until now in mind, let’s look at some pros and cons of this amazing WordPress plugin.
All in all, choosing the best eCommerce platform depends on all of you and the budget you’re willing to spend. But, we’d like to recommend WooCommerce for you as it’s completely free and it has a lot of customizations available. It’s also great if you’re just starting out on building a store.
We still encourage you to weigh out the pros and cons of both platforms for yourself before diving right into any one of them. We hope this article helped you in deciding which eCommerce platform is the best for you.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this article so feel free to comment on any queries or suggestions below. Also, check out our article on the best eCommerce platforms to make an online shop. And if you liked this article, do share it with your friends and colleagues.