Do you want to create an online store? Are you confused about whether to use BigCommerce or WooCommerce?
If so, then you’re not alone.
WooCommerce and BigCommerce are two of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the market. The competition is fierce, but both of them have their own pros and cons.
In this article, we will compare BigCommerce vs WooCommerce and show the differences between them, so you can choose the best platform for your needs.
What to Look for in Your eCommerce Platform?
Before we begin our WooCommerce vs BigCommerce comparison, let’s cover some important things to look for when choosing your eCommerce platform.
- Ease of Use – The platform you choose should be easy to use and beginner-friendly, so you can quickly handle issues at the time of need.
- Budget – If you want to start your store on a budget, then you should check the initial cost of starting a website. Also, check the recurring (yearly or monthly) expenses.
- Payment Methods – Check if the platform supports the payment gateways you want to use. It is better to choose a platform that supports multiple gateways.
- Scalability – Make sure that the platform has ability to scale up to meet your needs when your store grows.
- Support – It should offer reliable support to solve any problem immediately.
These are the fundamental requirements that you need to consider when planning to start your eCommerce business. Besides these, you may need additional features to manage invoices, taxes, inventory management, shipping, SEO etc.
That being said, let's compare how WooCommerce and BigCommerce stack up against these requirements.
Table of Contents – BigCommerce vs. WooCommerce
- Ease of use
- Cost comparison
- Payment options
- Integrations and addons
- Conclusion: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce – Which is better?
Overview – WooCommerce vs BigCommerce
As we mentioned above, WooCommerce and BigCommerce are among the top eCommerce platforms on the market.
According to the eCommerce technology stats from BuiltWith, WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform that covers 21% of the entire eCommerce market. The same report shows BigCommerce as the fifth popular platform used by 3% of the total eCommerce sites online.
If you compare the search terms ‘BigCommerce’ and ‘WooCommerce’ with Google Trends, then you can see a similar trend of ‘interest over time.’
WooCommerce saw a rapid growth in search trends, but in recent years BigCommerce is catching up. It still has a lot more catching up to do, but it is surely growing in popularity.
What is BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is a fully hosted eCommerce platform. It means that BigCommerce gives you a whole package of services including hosting, design, content, SEO, payments, and marketing features needed to create an eCommerce store.
It is therefore called software as a solution (SaaS) or all-in-one platform. You can create a BigCommerce store easily and quickly by purchasing a subscription plan.
The downside of using BigCommerce is lack of customization abilities because you will be limited to the tools available in the BigCommerce platform.
The biggest advantage comes with BigCommerce WordPress plugin which allows you to run a fully functional BigCommerce store along with your existing WordPress site.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It helps you easily transform any WordPress blog or website into an eCommerce store easily.
To start a WooCommerce store, you need to buy and set up web hosting, install WordPress, WooCommerce, and different marketing tools yourself. The process may look somewhat complicated at first; however, it is not as complex as it sounds.
We will explain more about the user-friendliness of the two platforms in the next section below.
Ease of Use – BigCommerce vs WooCommerce
Choosing an easy to use platform has many benefits. For example, you can quickly make changes or fix issues, so you have plenty of time to spend on growing your business.
If you're a non-techy user, then you want a solution that allows you to easily manage and run your online store without hiring developers.
Let’s compare BigCommerce vs WooCommerce to see which is easier to use.
BigCommerce – Ease of Use
With BigCommerce, starting and maintaining an eCommerce store is easy. Since it is a fully hosted platform, you don’t need to set up hosting or install any software. You also don’t need to think about security, backups, and performance issues.
To get started, you can simply sign up with their trial plan and set up your store in 3 easy steps. All you need to do is enter your email, contact address, your store’s name, and a few details about your store.
It takes a few minutes to setup a store on BigCommerce. Once done, you can see your BigCommerce dashboard with quick options to preview your store, add products, and customize.
You can start by previewing how it looks on the frontend. If you want to change its design, then you can change the theme or customize your existing theme with the available design options. After that, you can add products to it.
You can find all other settings and options in the admin panel on the right-hand side. It includes options to manage orders, products, customers, marketing, analytics, apps, and more.
If you are starting a completely new business, BigCommerce will provide you a subdomain for free. A BigCommerce subdomain name looks something like this: https://mystore.mybigcommerce.com.
If you want a custom domain name, then you can buy it directly from BigCommerce or any other domain name registrar.
If you run an existing WordPress site, then you use the BigCommerce WordPress plugin which allows you to run an eCommerce store along with WordPress.
You will be able to use BigCommerce to manage eCommerce while still using WordPress to manage your content.
WooCommerce – Ease of Use
WooCommerce is not a hosted platform like BigCommerce. It is a WordPress eCommerce plugin which you need to install in your WordPress website to work.
If you are starting a new store, then you need to buy a domain name and hosting account. After that you need to install WordPress and the WooCommerce plugin.
If you choose a WooCommerce hosting provider, then you will not need to install them manually because hosting services like Bluehost eCommerce hosting come pre-installed with WooCommerce.
For step by step instructions, see our guide on how to start an online store with WooCommerce.
Once WooCommerce is installed, you can get started by running the setup wizard. It helps you to quickly setup your WooCommerce store with basic things like creating pages, payments, currency, shipping, taxes, and more in a few minutes.
Once the setup is complete, you can start adding products to your store.
While that’s all you need to make an online store with WooCommerce, you will need to do more work to make your store powerful and useful.
You can change a theme to improve design and use WooCommerce plugins and extensions to add more eCommerce features.
Also, you need to take care of the security, backups, caching, and performance aspects yourself.
WooCommerce platform has a bit of learning curve in comparison to BigCommerce. Hence, BigCommerce is easier of the two platforms in comparison.
Cost Comparison: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce
Another critical factor you need to consider while choosing your eCommerce platform is the cost of starting and maintaining your store. Let's compare the cost differences between WooCommerce and BigCommerce.
What Is the True Cost of Using BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is a subscription-based eCommerce platform which comes with different pricing plans. There are mainly four pricing plans; 3 Essential plans for small businesses and Enterprise plan for large agencies.
The most basic plan is ‘Standard’, which is available for $29.95 per month. This price offers everything you need to launch your online store with a BigCommerce subdomain.
If you want to use a custom domain name, then you need to buy a domain name. You can buy a domain name directly from BigCommerce for around $12 per year or from any domain registrar.
All plans include no transaction fees, unlimited products, unlimited file storage, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited staff accounts. However BigCommerce does have thresholds for your total sales. For example, the total sales limit for the ‘Standard’ plan is $50k per year.
If you’re making more sales, then BigCommerce will automatically upgrade your store to a bigger plan. In case you are already using their biggest Essential plan ‘Pro,’ they will charge you an additional $150 per month for each additional $200k in online sales.
In addition to these costs, you may need to spend more money if you want to use a premium theme and app. The paid BigCommerce themes cost a minimum of $170.
What Is the True Cost of Using WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin which you can download and use on unlimited sites free of cost. However, you’ll need other paid services to set up a WooCommerce store.
First of all, you’ll need a domain name, a website hosting account, and an SSL certificate. Typically, a domain name costs $14.99 / year, web hosting around $7.99 / month, and SSL Certificate around $69.99 / year.
When these costs sum up, the total amount seems very expensive for small-budget startups. But thankfully, there are some hosting companies providing specialized WooCommerce hosting services at an affordable price.
Among them, Bluehost WooCommerce hosting is a remarkable option. Bluehost is an officially recommended WooCommerce hosting provider.
They are offering WPBeginner users discount on hosting + free domain name and SSL certificate. Basically, you can get started for just $6.95 per month.
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With a Bluehost eCommerce plan, the cost of starting an online store is a lot lower than any of the BigCommerce plans.
If you want to use a premium WooCommerce theme or paid extensions, your expenses will go up. But luckily, there are plenty of free WooCommerce plugins and free WooCommerce themes that you can use instead.
In conclusion, the WooCommerce platform is clearly a more cost-effective platform than BigCommerce when you're first starting out.
Payment Options: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce
There are many different payment providers companies in the market. Sometimes, the payment gateway may not be available in your region or your customers’ regions.
This is why it is crucial to choose a platform that offers the payment gateways you need. Let’s take a look at how BigCommerce and WooCommerece compare when it comes to payment integrations.
Payment Options in BigCommerce
BigCommerce offers plenty of payment options to let you accept payments. It has built-in native integrations with the best payment platforms in the industry, including PayPal powered by Braintree, Square, Adyen, Stripe, Authorize.net, and CyberSource.
The processing fee for debit and credit cards starts at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, but it decreases as your BigCommerce store grows.
Also, it has built-in integrations with popular digital wallets including PayPal, Amazon Pay, Masterpass and Apple Pay. Adding these trusted digital wallets to your store helps to significantly improve your mobile conversion.
Payment Options in WooCommerce
WooCommerce offers PayPal and Stripe payments by default. It also supports all major payment gateways through extensions and addons.
Because WooCommerce is an open-source platform, many regional and less popular payment services have also built an integration for WooCommerce. Therefore, you can find an integration for almost any payment gateway you want to use.
Integrations and Addons: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce
No matter how powerful an eCommerce platform is, the core software will always have a limited set of features.
That is when the integrations and addons come in handy. The most sought integrations for eCommerce websites are email marketing tools, lead generation, analytics, and outreach services.
Now, let’s take a look at where BigCommerce and WooCommerce stand in terms of available third-party integrations for each.
BigCommerce Addons and Integrations
BigCommerce comes with hundreds of third-party apps and integrations to help you add powerful features to your BigCommerce store. There are both free and paid addons available in the BigCommerce app marketplace.
It has six featured app collections categorized as must-haves, shipping essentials, design, marketing, and payments. You can quickly choose apps from these collections for your store.
Furthermore, there are dozens of apps in categories like accounting and tax, analytics and reporting, CRM and customer service, product sourcing, and more.
WooCommerce Addons and Integrations
WooCommerce is an open-source plugin built on top of the most popular content management system (CMS) software, WordPress. This gives you access to more than 55,000 free WordPress plugins and thousands of premium plugins.
You can find these plugins at the official WordPress.org plugin repository, official WooCommerce website, and plugin websites. The official WooCommerce extensions store contains over 250 free and premium extensions to extend your eCommerce features.
With such an extensive collection of plugins, you can get a plugin for almost any feature imaginable. There are plenty of choices for adding contact forms, lead generation forms, analytics, SEO, performance optimization, and more.
Most of the popular third-party services have built their own plugins to integrate with your WooCommerce store. Also, you can create a WooCommerce addon just for your store if you have coding skills or by hiring a developer.
Scalability: WooCommerce vs BigCommerce
Scalability features are essential because you need more resources when your website grows. Let’s see how scalable WooCommerce and BigCommerce platforms are.
Scalability on BigCommerce
Since BigCommerce is a fully hosted solution, you don’t need to worry about any of the technical things like storage, backups, downtimes, updates, or security. As your business grows, you’ll need to upgrade your plan, and BigCommerce will handle the rest.
BigCommerce gives you a hassle-free solution to scale up your business.
Scalability on WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform that makes you entirely responsible for managing resources, backups, updates, and security of your website.
Most of the top WordPress hosting companies allow you to upgrade your hosting plan to meet the needs of your growing website. However, the upgrading process can involve some confusing steps with some companies.
You can use a managed WordPress hosting provider like WP Engine that does make hosting WooCommerce easier.
In conclusion, both BigCommerce and WooCommerce have plenty of scalability options; however, BigCommerce may be a better choice for businesses looking for a hassle-free solution.
Support: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce
Support is another critical factor you need to check out while selecting your eCommerce platform. You need instant and quality support.
Let’s see how you can get support on BigCommerce and WooCommerce platforms.
Support Options for BigCommerce
As a fully hosted platform, BigCommerce comes with excellent support options. You can access multiple support options right from your BigCommerce dashboard which includes phone support, email support, live chat support, community support, and more.
When you get into an issue, you can simply click on any of these options and request support. The BigCommerce support is available 24/7.
The BigCommerce help center is very helpful for finding answers to your questions. It has a rich knowledge base to help you properly use BigCommerce, Question and Answer community, and blog for the latest news on BigCommerce.
Support Options for WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, and there are several platforms where you can seek support for your store.
For WooCommerce core plugin related issues, you can visit the WooCommerce support forum on WordPress.org or the official WooCommerce website. In these support forums, you can see already solved problems and also post new issues.
WooCommerce website has a support page including highly extensive documentation, tutorials, and guides to let you find solutions by yourself.
If you have issues related to your WooCommerce theme and extensions, then you can get support from their respective developers. Your web hosting company will be responsible for helping with any server related issues.
Also, you can find plenty of WooCommerce related tutorials on WordPress blogs like WPBeginner. Due to its popularity, there are plenty of support options for WooCommerce.
Conclusion: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce – Which is the better eCommerce platform?
BigCommerce and WooCommerce are both powerful platforms that you can use to start your eCommerce store. Since you have to choose one, it comes down to your technical skills, estimated budget, and personal preferences.
BigCommerce platform is a lot easier because it is an all-in-one solution. You don’t need to set up anything, and you can get started quickly.
They also manage everything from backups, security, and scalability, so it's a true hassle-free solution.
The best part is that it works seamlessly with WordPress.
The downside of using BigCommerce is that you have limited control over your store. There are fixed pricing plans, limited themes and integration apps, and certain ways to scale up your business. You cannot use any tool outside the BigCommerce.
WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform that gives you full control over your website. You are free to compare pricing for different services and start with the best-priced plan. That is why you can start a WooCommerce store at a lot lower investment than on BigCommerce.
The disadvantage of using WooCommerce is the learning curve for beginners, and the scalability challenges that you face as you grow.
We hope this article helped you to compare the pros and cons of BigCommerce vs WooCommerce. You may also want to see our side-by-side comparison of Shopify vs WooCommerce.
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