According to a projection, in 2019 approximately 1.92 billion people out of the estimated global population of 7.7 billion will shop online. This means that nearly 25% of the world’s total population will become digital shoppers. It is this trend which is encouraging numerous merchants around the globe to invest in e-commerce websites. Here we are discussing an important question- WooCommerce vs BigCommerce, which is better? WooCommerce is one of the most downloaded WordPress plugins and a popular e-commerce platform. BigCommerce is another well-known platform that caters specifically to online businesses. Both the solutions have large user bases and their own sets of benefits and drawbacks. Let’s compare these two powerful e-commerce website builders across some key metrics.
1. Ease Of Use
Website builders have taken coding out of the equation to a large extent. This has enabled even non-technical users to create a website. However, the complexity levels of various tools differ and ease of use becomes a big factor when choosing a builder. WoCommerce, technically speaking is not a platform in itself. You will first need to acquire a WordPress website. Users will have to download the files of the CMS and then install a theme. Then you can install the WooCommerce plugin to convert your interface into an online store. Moreover, you will need to subscribe to a domain name and hosting plan. The tool’s setup wizard will guide you through the process of creating different pages and integrating payment and shipping options. Once the store is set up, you can add products to sell.
On the other hand, BigCommerce is a fully hosted solution meaning there is no need to install a software or purchase a hosting package. First-time users are provided a sub-domain for free. There is also the option to purchase a custom domain from the service. All the changes to your shop can be conducted with its dashboard. You can preview your storefront here and all key settings related to products, orders, customers, etc. are displayed in the admin panel. After viewing both the platforms, it can be said that BigCommerce is much easier to use than WooCommerce.
2. Flexibility Of Design
Visual appeal is another important factor that draws people to an outlet. Attractive design with efficient navigation is the recipe for success. The WordPress plugin offers 14 storefront themes, 3 of which are free. There are other themes specifically built for the tool which are offered by third-party developers. In fact, the vast number of readymade templates is a major reason people convert HTML to WordPress or migrate from other formats. Customizing the layouts is easy and you can modify every area of your interface according to your specific requirements. All the designs are responsive and are suitable for all popular industries.
BigCommerce has 7 free templates apart from over 50 paid layouts. However, the premium templates are way more expensive than paid WooCommerce themes. It can also be a bit difficult to personalize the layouts. You do not get the freedom to modify each section according to your preferences. This means that the open-source plugin’s designs are much more flexible than those offered by the fully-hosted service.
3. Cost Of Development
Another important factor to consider in the WooCommerce vs BigCommerce debate is the cost of development. It is a well-known fact that WordPress, as well as the e-commerce plugin, are open-source products. However, you will need to invest money in buying a domain name and hosting package apart from an SSL certificate. The cost can escalate if premium themes and extensions are added to the store. There are numerous free designs and tools available and you can build your store by only spending on hosting and domain.
BigCommerce is a paid service that offers 4 plans to users. The cheapest Standard plan is priced at 29.95 for a month which includes a subdomain. You can choose to run a 15-day free trial before subscribing to a package. Every plan comes with unlimited products, storage, and bandwidth. However, sales in a year cannot exceed $ 50,000. In case, you reach the limit, you will have to upgrade to another plan. As far as cost is concerned, both platforms are equally placed. You can choose one which fits your budget and store size.
4. SEO Benefits
Search engine optimization is another important factor while choosing an e-commerce solution. In order to get in front of relevant audiences before the competition, you will need an SEO-friendly platform. The incredible SEO capabilities of the open-source CMS are well known. You can add optimized titles and meta descriptions for your pages besides creating an efficient permalink structure. There is also the option to add alt text to images so that search engines can understand them. The SEO-friendliness of an outlet can be further enhanced by using SEO plugins.
BigCommerce also provides all the SEO features like editing page titles and descriptions. Its users’ are also allowed to generate custom URL slugs. The platform also provides keyword suggestions to merchants for optimizing their product descriptions. However, the range of SEO-centric apps that the service provides is limited. In case, you are looking for an SEO-friendly platform, then WooCommerce is a natural choice.
5. Ease Of Scalability
As your business grows, you will need to scale up the operations of your online store. WooCommerce users have to make all the arrangements for scaling up operations themselves. Whether its more bandwidth that is needed or extra product pages, every issue will have to be addressed separately. Upgrading is not a difficult task as the immense popularity of the CMS has ensured that WordPress-specific hosting services are easily available. These agencies offer convenient ways to scale up your infrastructure.
Since BigCommerce is a fully-hosted solution, you do not need to worry about ramping up your operations. Users have to simply switch to a new plan and the service will take care of the rest. This is a huge convenience for non-technical users.
The clear conclusion that can be made from this comparison is that the final choice of the e-commerce solution depends upon the user’s technical knowledge and project budget. Technical users will like to do things themselves and therefore WooCommerce will be a suitable option for them. On the other hand, beginners will prefer BigCommerce as it handles everything for them. It will be better to hire an agency such as a WordPress web development company to build your outlet to start on a sure footing.