Spending time and nerves choosing between BigCommerce vs WooCommerce for your online business? Read this article to understand all the pros and cons of these two platforms and make your best decision!
BigCommerce as a hosted eCommerce platform makes it easy for you to quickly create and operate your online store. Whereas WooCommerce is the best eCommerce plugin for WordPress, giving you the capability to create top eCommerce websites from scratch. Both of them come along with full stacks of functionalities, making them undoubtedly top eCommerce solutions in the last couple of years. The competition is fierce, but both of them have obvious pros and cons. Therefore, instead of trying to call out the winner between BigCommerce vs WooCommerce, the debate should instead focus on which solution is optimal for your online business.
What is BigCommerce?
Launched in 2009, BigCommerce as a hosted solution to build online stores, has since grown to become a formidable competitor in the eCommerce field. With BigCommerce, you will pay monthly fee to maintain your webstore operation. It’s known to have successfully hosted many fast-growing businesses with a lot of its built-in features, data tools and more.
What are the Pros and Cons of BigCommerce to gather into summary?
- Easy to set up and run your store: Since BigCommerce is a fully hosted platform, there’s no need for you to take care of hosting and manage updates.
- A great deal of built-in features: BigCommerce provides beyond standard features to help you grow and succeed quickly without extra fee. The higher plan you choose, the more advanced features you’ll get.
- Excellent support: As part of your monthly subscription, you’ll get enthusiastic support from BigCommerce. The support channels include contacting via phone, email and live chat.
- Limit on annual sales: BigCommerce sets a limit on your total annual sales. To exceed that figure, an upgrade to a higher monthly plan is a must.
- Abandoned cart recovery missing from standard plan: BigCommerce doesn’t provide abandoned cart recovery feature in standard plan. You have to pay quite a lot to avail of this functionality from higher plans or by adding paid apps.
- Lack of design flexibility: BigCommerce provides you a fair number of free and paid themes. However, it’s undeniable that BigCommerce themes are in many cases too similar to each other. It’s also unable to customize themes using HTML or CSS editors.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce was brought into life in 2011 by WooThemes developers and works as an open-source plugin for WordPress. It can help you quickly turn an existing WordPress website into a fully functional webstore. The platform is regarded as a perfect solution for businesses at all levels, from small-scaled retailers to large enterprises. Since the beginning, the popularity of WooCommerce has increased gradually and even reached the interest peak in May 2020, as shown by Google Trend:
What are the pros and cons carried by WooCommerce?
- High level of design flexibility: You can customize your WooCommerce themes to a very large extent. However, to make the most out of them, you need to equip some technical skills such as the ability to use HTML/CSS editors.
- Enormous collection of 3-rd party plugins: WooCommerce runs on the most powerful content management system WordPress. This means users can benefit from enormous plugin collections of both WordPress and WooCommerce stores and even from other plugins websites.
- Poor support: WooCommerce has a large community of users and developers. However, it doesn’t mean you’ll instantly receive help any time you face an issue. You need to look around on documentation sites or similar topics from community sites, all by yourself.
- Technical knowledge required: With WooCommerce, it requires you steeper learning curve since you need technical knowledge to fully make use of the platform.
Detailed comparison between BigCommerce vs WooCommerce
Like facts and figures never tell lies, the popularity of BigCommerce and WooCommerce is backed by several sets of statistics. As of May 2020, BigCommerce powers 43.845 live websites and has the fourth most number of websites in the Top 1 Million websites from Hosted Solution category. On the other hand, WooCommerce powers 3,876,748 live websites, including 67.835 in the Top 1 Million sites across the internet.
However, it’s not always about numbers that people should look up and make decisions. That’s when you need to refer to an article covering a combination of criteria to which you can refer to choose between BigCommerce vs WooCommerce. How fascinating to know that LitExtension created that one article for you!
So before jumping into detailed comparison, let us present to you an infographic of what you will learn about BigCommerce vs WooCommerce in this article.
BigCommerce and WooCommerce have different mechanisms for setting prices. The former as an all-in-one solut ion offers tiered pricing plans while the latter stacks up expenses for separate components.
You can first start your business on BigCommerce with a 15-day free trial. After the trial period expires, BigCommerce will request you to choose among 3 pricing packages to continue the operation of your online store. Out of the 3 pricing plans, the Plus one is most favored by the public. The platform also provides an Enterprise plan, but you’ll have to contact BigCommerce directly for a custom price. With each upper tier plan you choose, you’ll get access to even more advanced features.
- Great news is that all BigCommerce plans charge no transaction fees to use leading payment gateways (e.g PayPal, AmazonPay, Stripe, etc.). Your website will also have unlimited bandwidth and staff accounts. Small merchants can start selling at $29.95 if they go with Standard plan. However, the Standard plan doesn’t offer important ecommerce features like abandoned cart recovery.
Please notice that BigCommerce sets a limit on total annual sales on their plans. Therefore, if your business grows and exceeds that figure, you’ll need to upgrade to a more expensive monthly plan.
WooCommerce has been long regarded as one of the best WordPress plugins for eCommerce. Like any other in the list, you don’t have to pay a buck to download and install WooCommerce. However, in order to operate a complete webstore, you need to pay separately for domain name, web hosting service and SSL certificate. To register a domain, you’ll pay a fair amount of annual bill at around $15. Hosting services cost you a wide range of monthly bills from $2.95 up to $5000, depending on the scale of your store. Next, you can get SSL certificates for free from Let’s Encrypt or pay hundreds of dollars for more cured ones.
In addition, if you want to customize and add functionalities to your website, you may have to pay for themes and extensions. Therefore, total expense adding up may change your initial conception about WooCommerce as a cheap solution for eCommerce. WooCommerce can be a relatively cheap eCommerce solution at the beginning, but later in the future, managing a compile of monthly bills is not an easy task to handle.
With BigCommerce, it’s easy to start and maintain your eCommerce store. Since it’s a fully hosted platform, you don’t need to set up hosting or install any software to get started. The same thing happens for security and version upgrade. Here are some thoughts from BigCommerce users shared on Capterra.com:
- “The ease of use was a major factor in my decision to go with Bigcommerce. There are many choices out there for online retailers to build their storefront.”
- “Moving from an open source ecommerce platform that was self hosted, I also don’t have to worry about version upgrades and monitoring the servers. This was a huge plus for me.”
BigCommerce provides a straight-forward interface with a vertical menu on the left hand side of the screen. That interface is sometimes rated as hard to navigate and here are some thoughts from users on Capterra:
- “Compared to other e-commerce platforms I’ve used, BigCommerce has a very confusing interface, things are really difficult to find.”
- “The interface has gotten a much needed facelift in the past few years, but it’s still very buggy.”
- Some terminologies from BigCommerce may cause beginners a little of hassle. You may need a lot of help from Google to understand all the terminologies every time performing basic tasks such as adding a product. After going through all these points, we believe BigCommerce user-friendliness is really a mixed bag of opinions.
On the other hand, things can be a little more complicated setting your first steps with WooCommerce. The platform itself is preferable for users who have acquired a certain level of technical skills. For tasks like domain registration, setting up web hosts and security certificates you’ll have to carry them all on your own. Therefore, having some good IT skills would certainly help a lot to get your online store up and running.
There’s finally a good news, is that WooCommerce has an user-friendly interface and did satisfy many of its users:
- “There are lots of reasons that I love WooCommerce. I really like the interface of WooCommerce, because it is very easy to understand and use.”
- “What I like the most is that the interface is neat for a new user.”
Themes and customization
A good-looking and well-designed storefront would definitely leave a strong impression on visitors. At this point, BigCommerce offers 12 free themes and 100+ paid themes available on their themes store. The price range for paid themes is from $145 to $235, which is even pretty high compared with other hosted solutions. Along with that, BigCommerce themes are in fact too similar to each other.
On the other hand, WooCommerce works as a plugin for WordPress and benefits from the CMS, so developers have put efforts to make WooCommerce compatible with WordPress themes. You can get thousands of WooCommerce free and paid themes from Themeforest and WooCommerce themes store.
It’s not over exaggerated to mention WooCommerce as the most customizable eCommerce platform with themes. WooCommerce themes are not only considerably cheaper than BigCommerce, they’re also more customizable. You can use the WooCommerce HTML/CSS editor to customize your themes.
Inventory management system has become critical for every online business. It helps you to keep track of your products, create reports and make data-driven decisions.
Fortunately, BigCommerce comes with a powerful inventory management system with no need for third-party software. Some of its functions include tracking your stock by SKU, setting low stock notification and changing stock levels individually or in bulk. In addition, you can integrate BigCommerce with 3rd party inventory management apps to further extend functionalities.
With WooCommerce, it can help you handle basic tasks like creating inventory reports and make changes to any part of your products. However, managing WooCommerce inventory is not as easy as it seems especially at bulk stock management. It’s because you have to visit various pages and toggle tons of settings individually just to make a simple change. Another fact is that it’s difficult for WooComerce to handle a large database if your inventory grows larger each day. To solve this problem, you can simply add plugins for managing inventory available on WooCommerce store.
Online stores that apply flexible and multiple payment options can take advantage in selling to a broad range of customers and in various countries. At this point, both BigCommerce and WooCommerce can fulfill any of your requests regarding payment gateway.
With BigCommerce, you can choose from over 65 pre-integrated payment gateways. The list includes big names such as PayPal, Amazon Pay and Apple Pay. It’s even better to know that BigCommerce charges you no transaction fee using third-party payment solutions.
You can intentionally choose suitable payment gateways for your store. But if you forget to set up one, the smart BigCommerce will automatically apply payment gateways available to you upon detecting store country and currency.
If you choose to go with WooCommerce, you will get access to 100+ payment gateways available on WooCommerce store. It’s great to know that WooCommerce integrates by default with major gateways like PayPal and Stripe.
WooCommerce also provides its own payment gateway designed exclusively for WooCommerce stores. This payment plugin is free to download, with no setup fees or monthly fees. With WooCommerce Payments, you’ll be able to securely accept major credit and debit cards. It can even help you to increase conversions by allowing customers to proceed to checkout without leaving your website.
Apps and plugins
Adding apps and plugins can fill up what is missing from a limited set of features in every eCommerce platform. At this point, both BigCommerce and WooCommerce can fully satisfy its users with enormous stocks of apps and plugins.
BigCommerce comes with 800+ apps to help you add powerful features to your store. It categorizes apps in multiple essential categories. Some of which include Analytics, Marketing and Payment as the most popular for purchases.
Compare to BigCommerce, WooCommerce provides even more and diverse plugin choices to add more functionalities. The open-source platform benefits greatly from WordPress so it gives you access to more than 55.000 free plugins and thousands of premium plugins. These plugins can be found on WordPress.org plugin repository, official WooCommerce website and other plugin websites. WooCommerce plugins are designed to serve in various categories including Store management, Shipping, Payment and more.
Putting efforts on SEO and marketing is vital if you want to succeed in your online business. Imagine you could have the best products in the world but not knowing how to push them on SERPs, what would happen next? Luckily, either you choose BigCommerce or WooCommerce, you’ll have powerful SEO and marketing tools to boost your business performance.
With BigCommerce, you’ll be able to perform essential SEO tasks like editing meta title/description, customizing URL slugs, adding alt text and get keyword support. It’s good to know that the SSL certificate which helps search engines verify your website security is a default part of BigCommerce.
BigCommerce also provides the Microdata feature to help you add more website information appearing on search results and can possibly increase click-through rate. In addition, you can improve your SEO performance by adding apps.
Similar to BigCommerce, WooCommerce also lets you edit meta titles/descriptions, customize URL slugs and add image alt text. Knowing that search engines put lots of weight on the number and quality of links pointing to your site, creating blogs can be the perfect way to leverage your SEO efforts.
It’s great to know that WooCommerce inherits from WordPress the quality blogging feature. You can easily create a blog by adding a post right from the WordPress Admin dashboard.
- Unlike BigCommerce on the SSL certificate, you will have to buy to apply one for your store. But when it comes to SEO plugins, WooCommerce is again undoubtedly the champion. The most popular SEO plugin for WooCommerce must be Yoast SEO, with which you’ll have to pay $89 a year for the premium version.
No matter which eCommerce platform you choose, security should be one of the top priorities to take into consideration. At this point, BigCommerce tends to be more preferable by the public. BigCommerce as a fully hosted platform, will take care of security as part of your monthly subscription. About the SSL certificate, it doesn’t only offer the perks of SEO-friendliness but ensure the highest level of website security. In this regard, as I have mentioned, BigCommerce has the edge when providing SSL certificates within every plan.
To secure payment card transactions, BigCommerce servers are PCI DSS 3.2 certified at level 1, which protects against credit card data breaches. This will help you eliminate the massive cost and hassle of handling compliance yourself. In addition, BigCommerce offers apps to prevent fraud purchases and strengthen your security.
On the other hand, you must take care on your own most of WooCommerce security works. First in the list, before starting your business with WooCommerce, you should deliberately choose the hosting provider. Notably, hosting for WooCommerce is the main security measure in case of attacks.
With WooCommerce, you’d better keep updating to newest versions to get improved security patches and fix glitches. There’s a good news from WooCommerce is that the platform allows you to create two factor authentication. This feature helps reinforce access to your website and is extremely effective when your password accidentally falls into the hand of strangers. Unlike BigCommerce, it’s usual for WooCommerce users to pay for SSL certificate providers to get one.
With WooCommerce, you will also be responsible for the PCI compliance, however, you can receive advice on this. Follow the WooCommerce Docs so you can learn about the requirements to make your website PCI compliant. WooCommerce also offers plugins for security works to reinforce every corner of your web store.
Support is another crucial factor to check before choosing between BigCommerce vs WooCommerce. As a fully hosted platform, BigCommerce provides excellent support. You can simply contact for support right from the dashboard, including phone support, email support and live chat support. They also offer support from its user community where you can discuss any issue or interesting topics. Remember that BigCommerce offers support 24/7 so you can just request your questions any time you want. What’s even better is that BigCommerce created the Help Center archiving guideline documentation for users in any level from newbies to seniors, non-tech persons to developers.
On the other hand, WooCommerce provides help mostly in WooCommerce Docs and little-to-no personal support. You can request for help from their developers via tickets. Especially, WooCommerce has a huge community of users and developers, therefore, you you can seek help from them at any time.
Which is ideal for your business?
There should be no permanent answer for which is better between BigCommerce vs WooCommerce since two platforms are totally different solutions. Therefore, it would be wiser to consider a more suitable platform for your business.
And here’s how we conduct the final recommendation:
Choose BigCommerce if you want a straight-forward solution to build your online store. From a general view, BigCommerce is an easy to use platform. BigCommerce can first come with little hassle but becomes simple once you get familiar with its terminologies. The platform is well-designed and provides all features you need to grow and succeed. BigCommere is also ideal for those who want to focus on the eCommerce side instead of website customization.
Choose WooCommerce if you already have a WordPress website and want to transform it into an online store. WooCommerce comes with an advantage that you’ll gain full control over your website. It would be a lot more preferable if you have already equipped a light set of technical knowledge. Also, WooCommerce is an ideal choice if you have a tight budget at the beginning. And that you only need to pay more if you want to further customize and add functionalities to your website.
We have delivered everything you need to know about choosing between BigCommerce vs WooCommerce. Hopefully at this point we have cleared your doubts about which one would better suit your business. BigCommerce can help you grow quickly but surely, at some point in the future, it will cost you too much in order to expand your business. And that’s when you can rely on WooCommerce to scale up your business while keeping total expenses at a fair level.
If you’re considering a move from BigCommerce to WooCommerce, LitExtension can outstandingly help you complete the task. Here at LitExtension, we provide top quality migration services to all users even without technical and programming skills. We currently support 90 shopping carts with some migrations closest to your concerns:
- BigCommerce to WooCommerce migration
- WooCommerce to BigCommerce migration
- BigCommerce migration
- WooCommerce migration
It only takes a few simple steps to transfer Products, Customers, Passwords, Orders, Categories, SEO URLs and other data from your current store to a new one. To help you better visualize the migration process using LitExtension’s automated tool, we’ve created an instruction video.
Our enthusiast support team is available 24/7, so don’t hesitate to request any of your questions, at anytime!