Thinking of building an ecommerce store?
WooCommerce and BigCommerce pop up as popular options when SMBs and enterprises consider picking up a platform to build their online store. And since both these platforms may look similar at a superficial glance, people may get confused in picking the better option.
I’ll dissect and compare both platforms to help you avoid analysis paralysis. This blog will thoroughly compare the prominent ecommerce platform’s features, including pricing, security, scalability, customization, and more.
Before I dive into a technical aspect of the WooCommerce vs BigCommerce platform debate, let’s see which platform is enjoying more popularity according to Google Trends.
Google Trends show WooCommerce as the clear winner. And that’s no surprise since WooCommerce powers almost 50% of the ecommerce stores available online.
Why Am I Comparing WooCommerce and BigCommerce?
Even with the vast disparity in the number of active platform users, it’s hard to write off BigCommerce as it offers some impressive features.
BigCommerce is a hosted platform that makes it easy for people to set up a store. Plus, it also takes away the burden of handling the technical difficulties, but that can be restricting and also cause performance issues.
On the other hand, some love to tinker with all the technical details and want advanced features for their stores. They want to set up their own store from scratch and want to customize everything to have the best performance. Therefore, choosing a self-hosted option will clearly be a better choice for them.
All these points make BigCommerce vs WooCommerce a worthy debate. So, let’s get down to it and explore the pros and cons of both.
First, let’s review the summary of our ‘WooCommerce vs BigCommerce’ platform comparison in the chart below. After the chart, you’ll find a detailed comparison of the two ecommerce solutions.
|Meets User Requirements
|Ease of Use
|Community & Support
|Pricing Starts From
|Pricing Starts From
|G2 Customer Ratings
*These values were taken from g2.com
Detailed Comparison of WooCommerce vs BigCommerce
Let’s now take a plunge into the detailed comparison between Woocommerce and Bigcommerce.
Arguing Ownership Dilemma
When you set up a store, you’d want things to go your way, right? That’s the case with WooCommerce, but with BigCommerce, your dependence on the platform is high.
If BigCommerce goes bust someday, your store will take a hit too. But with WooCommerce, there’s no dependence on any one platform.
So, the bottom line is that with WooCommerce, you own the store. But with BigCommerce, your ownership is partial.
- WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress CMS. So, you need to install it [WordPress] first to power the WooCommerce platform. You will need reliable ecommerce 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 providers within minutes through the migration system.
- It does not tie you to any third-party rules or obligations
- BigCommerce is a hosted ecommerce application, meaning 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
Security is often a major concern for businesses when it comes to making online sales. Both these ecommerce solutions do quite well in terms of security. Although, the balance needle tilts a little towards WooCommerce.
That’s because with WooCommerce, you can tighten your store’s security with premium plugins and secure hosting. But with BigCommerce, you are bounded by what the platform offers.
- 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
UI plays an important role in efficient store management. In this domain, BigCommerce has a slight edge over WooCommerce due to its ease of use. That said, store owners quickly get the hand of WooCommerce’s backend, and it’s not that difficult to navigate.
- Unlike Magento, WooCommerce is really easy to use and set up through a point-and-click installation process.
- Managing a WooCommerce store is quite easy for anyone acquainted with WordPress’ interface.
- 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 that 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
Many business owners ignore a platform’s scalability factor when starting their first online store. They think that scaling is a concern for a faraway time. But that’s a mistake. Many stores grow faster, becoming an issue for platforms that are difficult to scale.
WooCommerce is a clear winner in terms of scalability. Since it’s an open-source platform with a huge community of developers, betterment will never depend on a single entity. Plus, with so many top-notch paid and free plugins available, you can have additional features for your store without paying much.
- 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 businesses. 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
Pricing is where the WooCommerce vs. BigCommerce debate gets interesting. Setting up a WooCommerce store is technically free. You just have to pay for the hosting and custom domain costs to start your ecommerce website. Sure, the costs will increase if you go for premium plugins and themes.
On the contrary, BigCommerce’s standard plan starts at $29/mo and goes all the way up to $299.95/mo. And if you want an even larger store, you’ll have to discuss your needs with their reps for enterprise plans (which can get very expensive).
- It’s FREE. WooCommerce and its CMS, WordPress, are completely free. They are easy to download and install in minutes.
- Whereas, there are no hidden costs 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 processing fee for debit and credit cards 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 the BigCommerce website, which are charged on a monthly basis.
Examining Customization Options
You must always have the option to customize your store. With Google rolling out SEO updates regularly, you’ll need to tweak the store to make it as user-friendly as possible.
That’s the reason why your platform must be highly customizable. WooCommerce takes a clear edge in this domain.
- WooCommerce is the most customizable ecommerce application. You can code or even hire a developer to customize the store’s design.
- You can build a website from scratch or purchase a theme to customize your site the way you want.
- It offers hundreds of free and paid extensions, themes, and plugins, allowing for greater customization.
- WooCommerce has multiple tutorials available online for easy customization.
- BigCommerce allows you to customize your store, but the playfield is limited.
- It offers many free and paid themes and plugins but can’t compete with WooCommerce.
- Again, heavy dependence on the platform
Inventory management is always a challenge for online store owners. Thankfully BigCommerce and WooCommerce both offer inventory management as a key feature.
- With WooCommerce you have several plugins to manage your inventory.
- Some of the WooCommerce inventory plugins are: WP Inventory Manager, PlainInventory – Inventory Management Plugin, Smart Manager – WooCommerce Advanced Bulk Edit, and Inventory Management.
- WooCommerce lets you experiment and choose plugins that best serve your business’ specific inventory management needs.
- BigCommerce also has a pretty good built-in inventory management system which suffices for most businesses.
- You’ll not need any third-party integrations for inventory management.
Payment gateways help online stores receive payments from customers and are a need of all ecommerce businesses. Thankfully, BigCommerce and WooCommerce have several options where customers can pay via credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets, or other payment methods.
With 65 payment options, BigCommerce is usually sufficient for store owners. However, in some cases, this number is a limitation that WooCommerce bridges by offering more than 100 payment gateway options.
- WooCommerce has over 100 payment gateways.
- It has most of the popular payment options, such as PayPal, Amazon Payment, Braintree, and Stripe.
- Enough options allow people and businesses to set up ecommerce stores anywhere in the world.
- BigCommerce also has 65 payment gateway options which is a decent number.
- Some payment options are only available in the USA.
If your store isn’t optimized for search engines, it’ll struggle to make sales.
A good ecommerce platform offers the necessary SEO assistance so that your store ranks higher on search queries.
Luckily, in the WooCommerce vs. BigCommerce debate, it’s a level playing field when it comes to SEO-friendliness. Both also offer top-quality marketing and reporting tools to help you grow your store on social media platforms.
Note: Loading speed is also a crucial factor that helps with ranking. With BigCommerce, you are restricted to their hosting only. But with WooCommerce, you can choose faster hosting plans and improve load times, giving WooCommerce an edge over BigCommerce.
- WooCommerce offers several plugins that you can integrate and meet your SEO needs.
- Yoast SEO, All in One SEO, MonsterInsights, and Rank Math are some essential SEO plugins that you can use to boost your SEO performance.
- Some premium themes are specially built to help WooCommerce stores rank better.
- BigCommerce also has some great SEO tools available for easy optimization.
- Some BigCommerce SEO options are ReloadSEO, ProSEOTracker, and SEO Rich Snippets.
Fast Loading Ecommerce Stores Earn Better!
Our Ecommerce hosting is specifically designed to make your stores fast, secure, and easy to manage.
Reviewing Community & Support
- WooCommerce has an active community offering extensive content in the form of blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and WordCamps.
- WooCommerce has hundreds of dedicated forums & communities like Quora, Reddit, Slack, and Telegram that discuss its issues and solutions.
- There are even dedicated Facebook groups that you can join and seek help if needed.
- BigCommerce has an active community forum that provides answers to your queries.
- It also provides 24/7 Phone, Email, and Chat Support for all plans.
- You can also contact their customer service reps if anything goes wrong.
Choosing a platform for your ecommerce business is as important as choosing a niche. And you must conduct thorough research and weigh the pros and cons of all the best ecommerce platforms before settling for one.
In this BigCommerce vs. WooCommerce face-off, WooCommerce is the winner due to its customization, ownership, scalability, and security, among other factors. Also, unlike BigCommerce, WooCommerce is an open-source platform, opening doors to many possibilities that BigCommerce doesn’t.
BigCommerce is surely a simple and secure solution for small-sized businesses, but when it comes to scaling and customization, WooCommerce ranks higher.
Have you missed our previous Ecommerce face-off? Read about ‘Magento vs BigCommerce.’
Q1. Which eCommerce platform is best?
The best ecommerce platform depends on your requirements. But WooCommerce takes the lead in terms of cost-effectiveness, scalability, documentation, and customizability.
Q2. Is BigCommerce the same as WooCommerce?
No. BigCommerce is a hosted platform, whereas WooCommerce is a self-hosted and open-source platform.
Q3. Is WooCommerce good for large eCommerce?
Yes, WooCommerce is a highly scalable platform suited for SMBs and large enterprises.
Q4. What is the difference between WooCommerce and eCommerce?
Ecommerce refers to businesses that operate online. WooCommerce is a platform that lets you create an online store via WordPress to help you sell products or services online.
Q5. Will I be charged transaction fees when I sell with BigCommerce or WooCommerce?
Transaction fees depend upon the payment gateway you use, regardless of the ecommerce platform.
Q6. What other ecommerce platforms could I use?
Some of the best ecommerce alternatives to BigCommerce and WooCommerce are Magento (open source), Ecwid, Opencart, Prestashop, and Magento.
Q7. Is BigCommerce or WooCommerce better for small businesses?
WooCommerce is a better choice for small businesses. It’s free, easy to set up, and highly scalable. So you’ll not need to migrate to another platform when the store grows big.