Entrepreneurs who haven’t tested the waters of ecommerce yet face the challenge of choosing the best platform for their online store.
To be honest, no ecommerce platform is perfect, and each has its pros and cons. Discovering the right platform for your online store is a tedious process that takes up a lot of time. You need to compare the strengths (and weaknesses) of the platforms and evaluate them on the basis of performance, cost-effectiveness, and customizability.
In this piece, I have focused on two major competitors in the ecommerce arena – WooCommerce and Volusion. I decided to explore the features and benefits to help you decide which one of them (if any) is right for you.
Let’s start with a general comparison of WooCommerce vs. Volusion on several important factors that should be essential to the selection of the ecommerce platform for your business.
|Ownership & Hosting||⭐⭐||⭐⭐|
|Security & Encryption||⭐||⭐⭐⭐|
|Design & Usability||⭐⭐||⭐|
WooCommerce vs Volusion Comparison In Detail
WooCommerce is a free ecommerce platform that lets you set up a store within minutes. The WordPress plugin is free and offers a selection of themes to customize the store just the way you wish. There are many free and paid extensions available to enhance the user experience. And, developers using the WooCommerce platforms can easily integrate social and product management plugins for easier use – in short, the platform is simple to use and provides complete flexibility.
On the other hand, the best thing about Volusion is that it is a custom ecommerce platform that lets you create your online stores in minutes without knowing how to code. The platform is available for a price of $15/month for basic stores and its premium service is available for $135/month. With Volusion, you get everything built-in, including the themes, plugins, and even CRM tools. It also allows the users to easily add social media plugins to their stores for seamless sharing.
WooCommerce is a widely used online shopping platform. It has more than 42% market share globally and most of its users reside in the USA and the UK
On the other hand, Volusion is a recently launched platform. According to Builtwith, it has less than one percent market share [currently] and Volusion itself says that it owns around 22,000 websites online.
- Preinstalled payment gateways
- Total control of the checkout process
- Set Default Currency
- Geolocation Support
- Reduce Page Loading Speed
- Add/Manage Products
- Search Engine Optimization
- CRM and Store Management can be added
- Custom Store Builder
- Secure Hosting Solution
- Easier On-Page SEO
- Custom storefront designs
- Easier Social Media Integration
- Email marketing tools
- Efficient returns and refunds
- Abandoned cart reports
- Third-party integrations
- 99.9% guaranteed uptime
- 24/7 dedicated customer support
- Secure checkout for every plan
The Issues of Ownership & Hosting
WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform. This means its owner has complete control on the platform. Though the backups are his responsibility because he/she doesn’t have to stick with one host, it just makes the migration process easier.
Moreover, the user can easily choose a hosting solution of his choice for his WooCommerce based ecommerce store.
On the other hand, Volusion doesn’t allow you to host your store with another hosting service. Moreover, the themes available with it have also their own limits and you can’t customize them completely. This sometimes restricts you [as the store owner] from making any significant changes to the store.
Another thing to note is that as the data is hosted on Volusion’s servers, therefore it keeps the control of your website. This means it can shut it down at any time without providing a reason, as is stated here. So, you are technically a partial owner of the store.
Security & Encryption Matters
With WooCommerce platform, you have to choose your own hosting provider to host it online. Almost all hosting service companies are PCI compliant and the majority of them provide the option of getting free SSL certificate for your website. Some of these also provide a CDN for your service if needed.
Note: If you install WooCommerce on Cloudways, you get CDN installed for free.
On the other hand, Volusion also offers an SSL-certificate and a CDN for seamless accessibility of your store. It promises an uptime of 99.9%.
Design & Usability of the Stores
With WooCommerce, you get 500+themes for free. You can, however, add as many premium themes as you want because WooCommerce has an extensive community and installing a theme is stress-free. You can also easily install third-party plugins to help with the management of most ecommerce-related tasks. As most of the plugins you install have their own communities and forums, these come in handy if you get stuck.
Volusion allows you to choose from 28 free and 88 paid themes from its catalog. Most of the themes are generic and not custom built for ecommerce audience but they will still work for establishing and running an ecommerce store nonetheless.
The only problem with Volusion, if compared with WooCommerce is that customizing themes is hard and don’t allow users to make any additional changes. The platform also makes it amend the source code because it doesn’t offer any FTP client for developers.
Scaling Up & Down
WooCommerce is easier to scale because it is self-hosted. You only need to increase the size of your server’s storage space and bandwidth. A better option is to choose a Cloud host that allows easier scalability. Take Kyup. It allows autoscaling and it can easily be managed by using Cloudways managed cloud hosting service.
On the other hand, Volusion has an all-in-one storage hosting service that the starters can use for $15 per month, while experts with a huge amount of traffic on their website can get $125 per month. In comparison with WooCommerce, Volusion is a bit more costly.
Plugins, Plugins, Plugins…
WooCommerce has hundreds of free and paid plugins available that can be used for setting up your ecommerce store as per your needs. Users can install the ones of their choice with a single click through a GUI interface. Most plugins even come with user documentation and public forums, where they can even ask for help if needed.
On the other hand, Volusion has around 70 plugins in total, which is a small number if compared with the WooCommerce platform but these plugins can do all the necessary personalizations needed in a Volusion-based ecommerce platform.
The Cost of the Platform
WooCommerce is free and there is no hidden cost attached to it. The only costs you will incur is the hosting service you choose and the plugins you purchase.
With Volusion, you pay a basic subscription fee for using the ecommerce platform but if your bandwidth exceeds the prescribed limit then it will provide additional bandwidth for a small charge. Volusion also offers downgrading to the previously chosen storage and bandwidth limit, but this whole process is a little cumbersome and will require your authorization through a live chat session.
The Question of Customization
WooCommerce provides a ton of customization options. Most developers customize it through its FTP server access. However, the platform’s dashboard also provides a code editor, where developers can easily make slight changes in the code of the ecommerce platform to customize it as per their needs.
On the other hand, Volusion does not provide many customization options that you will find in the WooCommerce platform. A user will need an FTP client to customize its themes. The community around it is small and finding solutions to a problem is hard.
Performance is Everything
Performance of an ecommerce store based on WooCommerce depends on the type of hosting it uses. If it is on a shared hosting service, it is probably used by other sites as well. This will decrease sites’ speed because of shared bandwidth. But, if you choose a cloud hosting, then the hosting isn’t shared and you get dedicated space. Plus, there aren’t many restrictions on bandwidth but it costs more.
Many WooCommerce users use cache plugins to speed their websites.
On the other hand, Volusion’s performance can be measured because it uses its own hosting service for the store. Users can select the type of Volusion’s hosting they need and the dedicated bandwidth is provided to them. Most of the Volusion themes are smaller in size so they provide faster performance. But the downside is that the themes cannot be customized.
WooCommerce has an extensive community around it that helps reshape the platform by suggesting changes, an addition of new plugins and much more. In fact, many WooCommerce developers and enthusiasts do regular blogs, vlogs, and podcasts to spread its knowledge. But a major credit for the grown community goes to it being open-sourced.
Volusion is a new ecommerce platform. It has a small community and currently only limited to the forum and chat support. As it grows, its community will likely increase.
Both the ecommerce platforms have their pros and cons. In comparison with Volusion, WooCommerce has a significant following behind it as around half the internet uses it and the entry to starting an ecommerce store is almost negligible.
On the other hand, Volusion is comparatively new and still testing the waters but it is great for beginners who want to experiment their online business projects because of its small starting fees.
Which of the two is the best choice for beginners? Let us know in the comments below.
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