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WooCommerce vs Big Cartel: Ecommerce Face-Off

February 12, 2018

4 Min Read
Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’re starting an ecommerce store for the first time, then it’s really important to understand the differences between major ecommerce platforms because your choice will heavily affect the success of your business.

That’s one reason we started this ‘Ecommerce Face-off‘ series, so that the first timers can know the disparities between the major ecommerce platforms and make an aware choice.

Woocommerce vs Bigcartel comparison

In today’s post, we have compared the features of two major ecommerce contenders: WooCommerce and Big Cartel.

WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that lets you setup an ecommerce store with just a few steps. On the other hand, Big Cartel is a hosted ecommerce platform that is fairly simple to run. 

Here is an overview of the technical and non-technical aspects of both the platforms.

  • WooCommerce is currently leading the industry with a market share of 23.16% whereas Big Cartel only holds 0.62% share.
  • WooCommerce is a well know and a powerful ecommerce application that has over 2,282,356 live websites. On the other hand, Big Cartel only has 25,847 live websites.

Below graph shows the drastic difference between both the ecommerce applications.

In our comparison, after analyzing these two against a set of benchmarks, we declared WooCommerce as the winner.

To learn why WooCommerce stood out, you will have to read the explainers provided under each sub-head.

POD WooCommerce? Big Cartel
Ownership & Hosting ⭐⭐⭐
Security & Encryption ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Design & Usability ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Scalability ⭐⭐⭐
Cost Effectiveness ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Customizability ⭐⭐⭐
Community & Support ⭐⭐⭐
Overall Rating ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐


Ownership & Hosting


  • Woocommerce is an open source ecommerce plugin installed on WordPress and is available for free.
  • You’re the sole owner of your store with no third-party interference.
  • You’re free to host your ecommerce store on any reliable ecommerce website hosting provider. 

Big Cartel:

  • Big Cartel is a web-based, fully hosted platform allowing you relief from major hosting woes but you cannot host your store anywhere else other than Big Cartel.
  • Customer data and information is shared with Big Cartel and you’re not the sole owner of your stores data.



  • WordPress core is rarely the cause of hacking and most of the susceptibility is due to the third-party plugins.
  • It is built on WordPress, the software that runs 26 percent of the web and is regularly audited by Sucuri, an industry leader in security.
  • The security of based store depends on the hosting provider you use

Big Cartel:

  • All Big Cartel checkouts are SSL-encrypted, using the strongest protection available. The personal details and payment info of your customers in your shop will be safe.
  • Big Cartel admin panel is also password protected.

Ease of Use


  • Even if you’re a complete beginner, WooCommerce is a pain-free way to host your first ecommerce website online.
  • If you already have a hosting, setting up WooCommerce is an even easier process through Softaculous.

Big Cartel:

  • Big Cartel store is a one-click solution for hosted stores.
  • The functions are simple and the process of adding products, creating discounts, and managing orders in inventory is as smooth as it can get.
  • Unfortunately, this ease of use comes with a limited feature set. If you’re selling in bulk, Big Cartel likely won’t be an ideal fit.

Scaling it Further


  • It can handle upto 100,000+ products, handling thousands of transactions per minute. But this will require a reliable hosting provider and team of developers.

Big Cartel:

  • Although, Big Cartel is a decent fit for startups and young entrepreneurs but it’s better to choose a platform which can scale up its performance. The biggest plan of Big Cartel only supports 300 products.

Cost Effectiveness


  • There is no hidden cost. WooCommerce is available for free and has been downloaded 38 million times.
  • Only pay for hosting. The average cloud hosting charges are $5 to $10.
  • Unless you have the technical expertise, you’ll have to pay for the services of a developer for its customization. 

Big Cartel:

  • Big Cartel offers four different types of plan:
    • The Gold account (free) allows a person a list of up to five products with Big Cartel’s domain
    • Platinum plan starts at $9.99 a month allows a person to list 25 products
    • Diamond plan starts at $19.99 a month allows a person to list 100 products
    • Titanium plan starts at $29.99 a month allows a person to list 300 products



  • WooCommerce is considered as one of the most customizable ecommerce platform.
  • It comes with hundreds of free and paid WooCommerce extensions and can fulfil specific needs of your ecommerce store.
  • The best thing about it is that you can modify your website entirely by playing with the themes. 

Big Cartel:

  • Big Cartel allows you to edit your site with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript customizations which are only available with paid plans.

Community Matters


  • WooCommerce has a very active community where you can learn, get help, and even contribute.
  • Thousands of web development experts are available to help you and respond to your queries.
  • It also offers thousands of communities where you can discuss about WordPress and WooCommerce.

Big Cartel:

  • Big Cartel doesn’t provide support on phone but it does offer support on email from Monday–Friday, 9am–6pm EST
  • Big Cartel also offers a strong community that responds to your queries.

Choice is Yours…

As you can see our results were in favor of WooCommerce because it has a larger market share and provides a couple of more features. Now, it is up to you to choose one, either WooCommerce or Big Cartel, as per your needs.

Have we missed something? Let us know through the comments below.

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Sajjad Shahid

Sajjad is an Ecommerce Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves helping out Ecommerce store owners, merchants and marketers in establishing their businesses and startups. Sajjad enjoys playing table tennis and cricket over the weekend.

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