In the discussion for choosing the most robust ecommerce platform for small business owners, WooCommerce and BigCommerce will surely come on top.
In today’s edition of the Ecommerce face-off, I have compared these two platforms, focusing on their prominent features including pricing, security, scalability, and customization.
I interviewed more than 20 ecommerce store owners who are using WooCommerce and BigCommerce to know what makes them different from the rest. And, most importantly to find out if both of these stores are compared with each other, which one will stand out?
There isn’t a doubt that both the ecommerce applications are complete with all features and can help you establish scalable businesses, but the real question is: Which one of these will be easier to scale, and most importantly cost effective?
Before I dive into the technicalities of these ecommerce platforms, let’s see which one of these are favored by the public. Google Trends is the best place to find that and as you can see WooCommerce has an absolute edge. Reason: It powers almost 50% of the ecommerce stores available online.
In fact, BuiltWith has also shown similar results. There are only 67,373 live websites on BigCommerce whereas 2,324,883 on WooCommerce.
Why Am I Comparing these Applications?
It is already established that WooCommerce is more prominent than BigCommerce in terms of popularity. But, the latter also offers some genuinely impressive features.
The only reason I decided to compare these two is that most users want to get a hosted ecommerce platform that comes complete with all features. This way they won’t have to worry about technical details and they can be on their way to glory in the shortest time.
On the other hand, some love to tinker with all the technical details. They want to set up their own store from scratch and therefore choosing a self-hosted option will be a better choice for them.
Without further ado, here is a summary of our comparison of the two platforms. The complete details, including the reasons why I ranked them this way, are provided below.
|Ownership & Hosting||⭐⭐⭐||⭐|
|Community & Support||⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐|
Detailed Comparison of WooCommerce vs BigCommerce
Arguing Ownership Dilemma
- WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress CMS. So, you need to install it [WordPress] first to power the WooCommerce platform. You will need a reliable hosting providers to host it.
- Just install WordPress and WooCommerce and your very ‘own’ ecommerce platform is live where you’re the owner of everything from customers sensitive data to order details.
- It lets you switch to any of your preferred hosting solution provider within minutes through the migration system.
- You’re not tied to any third party rules or obligations.
- BigCommerce is a hosted ecommerce application and you can’t host it anywhere else. I have discussed this previously in our Magento vs BigCommerce post.
- You’re not the sole owner of the hosted space, in fact, it is shared with other BigCommerce stores.
Tackling Security Loopholes
- I would repeat this point from the previous face-offs between WooCommerce and Big Cartel, “WordPress core is rarely the cause of hacking and most of the susceptibility is due to the third-party plugins.”
- The security of your WooCommerce store is mainly based on your hosting provider and most of the hosting services are PCI compliant. A majority of them also offer free SSL certificates and CDNs for your store.
- BigCommerce is a certified PCI compliant platform that ensures you don’t lose your sensitive customer data. It has an option for a dedicated SSL certificate that comes at an additional cost.
Simple and Transparent UI
- Unlike Magento, WooCommerce is really easy to use and setup through a point-and-click installation process.
- If you have ever run a WordPress site or if you are familiar with its interface then managing WooCommerce store would be pretty easy for you.
- Even if you’re a newbie then you won’t find it difficult to learn and your learning curve would definitely be shallower.
- BigCommerce is certainly the one which is really easy to use and start off. You don’t have to worry about the technical aspect of your BigCommerce store, as all these are taken care of by the BigCommerce support.
Discussing Scalability Woes
- WooCommerce is an open source ecommerce application that’s really easy to scale.
- It is built for small and medium-sized ecommerce stores but you can even go beyond that as it can handle up to 100,000+ products and thousands of transactions per minute.
- As it is self-hosted, you only need to increase server storage space on your hosting provider to scale it up. Cloud hosting is preferred in this case, as it is the easiest to scale and provides impenetrable security.
- BigCommerce is a great choice for startups and small business. The only drawback is that if you’re dreaming of scaling your store further then you should definitely consider an open source application like Magento or WooCommerce.
- Please note that every BigCommerce plan comes with an annual sales threshold which means that you’ll be automatically upgraded to a higher pricing plan if your annual sales limit exceeds.
Comparing Price Points
- It’s FREE. WooCommerce and it’s CMS, WordPress, are completely free. They are easy to download and install in minutes.
- Whereas, there are no hidden cost or charges. You just need to host it on a reliable and secure WooCommerce hosting provider.
- Considering cloud hosting, an average cloud hosting provider bills you between $5 to $10.
- A basic BigCommerce plan starts at $29.95. It has a with processing fee for debit and credit card starting at 2.9%, with $0.30 per transaction [applies to all plans].
- It includes both free and paid themes. You can also get other extensions for BigCommerce website, which are charged on a monthly basis.
Examining Customization Options
- WooCommerce is the most customizable ecommerce application.
- It offers hundreds of free and paid extensions, themes and plugins.
- There are multiple tutorials available online for WooCommerce customizations.
- BigCommerce allows you to customize your store but the play field is limited.
- It offers a large number of free and paid themes and plugins but it can’t compete with WooCommerce.
Reviewing Community & Support
- It has an active community offering extensive content in the form of blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and Wordcamps.
- It includes hundreds of forums entirely dedicated to discussing WooCommerce and its issues.
- BigCommerce has an active community forum that provides answers to your queries.
- It also provides a 24/7 Phone, Email and Chat Support for all plans.
Choosing a platform for your ecommerce business is as important as choosing a niche for it. Therefore, do complete research and weigh the pros and cons of all stores before settling for one.
BigCommerce is no-doubt a simple and secure solution for small sized businesses but when it comes to scaling and customization, then WooCommerce ranks higher in security, scalability, pricing, and customization.
Have you missed our previous Ecommerce face-off? Read about ‘Magento vs BigCommerce.’
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