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BigCommerce vs WooCommerce: Choosing the Best eCommerce Platform

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Blasting off from where we left in our previous mission, you’ve successfully shared access and now it’s time to navigate through the cosmos of e-commerce platforms. In the vast universe of online sales, two giants stand out: BigCommerce and WooCommerce. Choosing between them can feel like picking your spacecraft for an interstellar journey—each has its unique features and capabilities.

As a Hueston partner, you’re not just launching a website; you’re embarking on a mission to maximize your online presence. In this guide, we’ll explore the galaxies of BigCommerce and WooCommerce, helping you decide which platform is your best co-pilot. Whether you’re aiming for the stars with a fully-loaded, all-in-one solution or prefer the flexibility of a customizable rocket ship, we’ve got the insights to prepare your site for lift-off.

Overview of BigCommerce and WooCommerce

What is BigCommerce?

BigCommerce is a leading cloud-based e-commerce platform, designed to let you easily create and manage your online store. It’s a powerful solution for retail businesses of all sizes, offering a wide range of built-in features, customization options, and advanced SEO tools. With BigCommerce, you can sell physical, digital, and service-based products without needing extensive coding knowledge. It’s known for its scalability, making it a great choice for rapidly growing businesses. Key benefits include:

  • Robust Security: PCI compliance and advanced fraud protection ensure your store and customers stay secure.
  • Integrated Payment Solutions: Offers seamless integration with popular payment gateways, without additional transaction fees.
  • Comprehensive Marketing Tools: Advanced SEO features, social media integration, and various marketing tools help boost your online presence.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It’s designed to provide small to large-sized online merchants with the capability to sell products and services seamlessly. Being an open-source platform, it offers unprecedented flexibility and customization options. You can add unlimited products and users, and take unlimited orders. It’s particularly popular among businesses that already have a WordPress site and wish to add e-commerce functionality. Key highlights include:

  • Customization: Access to thousands of WordPress themes and plugins, allowing for total control over your store’s appearance and functionality.
  • User-friendly: Despite its robust features, WooCommerce is known for its simplicity and ease of use.
  • SEO Advantage: Leveraging WordPress’s superior SEO capabilities, making it easier to rank higher in search results.

Choosing between BigCommerce and WooCommerce ultimately depends on your business needs. BigCommerce is perfect for those seeking an all-in-one, scalable e-commerce platform with minimal setup. WooCommerce, on the other hand, is ideal for businesses already comfortable with WordPress and looking for a more customizable solution.

Remember, for Hueston partners, keeping your Mission Control Team in the loop is crucial. Now that you’ve explored BigCommerce and WooCommerce, ensure you circle back with us. We’re ready to refuel your project and thrust your site into the e-commerce orbit. Together, we’ll navigate the galaxies of online commerce, ensuring your venture is a stellar success.

Features and Functionality

Choosing between BigCommerce and WooCommerce comes down to evaluating each platform’s features and functionality. Let’s break down what each has to offer, helping you navigate through the cosmos of e-commerce solutions.

BigCommerce Features

BigCommerce stands out for its comprehensive set of features that are designed to scale businesses efficiently. Here’s a closer look:

  • Built-in sales tools and analytics: BigCommerce offers a suite of powerful sales analytics and reporting tools that provide insights into your store’s performance. This means you can make data-driven decisions quickly.
  • SEO and marketing tools: With BigCommerce, you gain access to advanced SEO settings and marketing tools, making it easier to reach your target audience and boost your site’s visibility.
  • Security and compliance: BigCommerce prioritizes security with its inclusion of SSL certificates and compliance with various payment card industry (PCI) standards.
  • Multi-channel selling: Expand your reach by selling on multiple platforms such as Facebook, eBay, and Amazon directly from your BigCommerce dashboard.

WooCommerce Features

WooCommerce is known for its flexibility and customizability, offering features that appeal to businesses seeking a more tailored e-commerce experience. Key features include:

  • Customization and control: Being an open-source plugin, WooCommerce allows for extensive customization. You can modify everything from the storefront to the checkout process to fit your needs.
  • Vast plugin ecosystem: With access to thousands of WordPress plugins and themes, you can add any functionality imaginable to your store.
  • SEO advantage: Built on WordPress, WooCommerce naturally benefits from the platform’s robust SEO capabilities, helping your store rank higher in search results.
  • User-friendly experience: Despite its vast customization options, WooCommerce maintains a user-friendly interface, making it accessible even to newcomers in the e-commerce space.

Understanding the features and functionality of BigCommerce and WooCommerce provides a clearer view of what each platform can bring to your online store. Whether you’re leaning towards the comprehensive, built-for-you approach of BigCommerce or the flexible, customizable nature of WooCommerce, your choice will pave the way for your store’s future growth. Keep exploring each platform’s offerings to ensure your decision aligns with your business objectives and mission.

Pricing and Costs

When it comes to launching your online store, understanding the pricing and costs involved with your chosen e-commerce platform is crucial. Both BigCommerce and WooCommerce offer distinct pricing models that cater to different types of businesses. Let’s break down the costs so you can make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and business goals.

BigCommerce Pricing

BigCommerce operates on a subscription-based model, offering several plans tailored to businesses of various sizes. Each plan includes access to a comprehensive set of e-commerce features, but they differ in terms of advanced functionalities and support. Key to note is that BigCommerce does not charge transaction fees, regardless of which payment gateway you use. This can be a significant cost saver as your volume of sales increases.

Here’s an overview of the standard pricing tiers:

Plan Monthly Cost Key Features
Standard $29.95 Unlimited products, storage, and bandwidth; sales channels; responsive website
Plus $79.95 Customer segmentation; abandoned cart saver; stored credit cards
Pro $299.95 Faceted search; Google customer reviews; custom SSL
Enterprise Custom Advanced product filtering; API support; dedicated account manager

Remember, these prices can vary based on special promotions or changes to the pricing structure. Additionally, third-party apps and customization can add to the overall cost.

WooCommerce Pricing

WooCommerce, on the other hand, is a free WordPress plugin. This makes it an attractive option for businesses seeking flexibility and control over their website without a significant upfront investment. However, it’s important to note that while the plugin itself is free, there are costs associated with running a WooCommerce store. These include hosting, themes, extensions, and any additional plugins you may need to extend the functionality of your store.

A basic breakdown of potential WooCommerce costs includes:

  • Web Hosting: Starting around $3.95 per month for basic shared hosting to over $100 per month for dedicated hosting.
  • Themes: Free to $100+ for premium options.
  • Extensions and Plugins: Prices vary widely, with many essential add-ons ranging from $0 to $299.

Because WooCommerce is highly customizable, your costs can vary significantly based on the complexity of your site and the features you want to include. Remember, a more complex site will also require more maintenance, potentially increasing your costs over time.

Both BigCommerce and WooCommerce offer powerful platforms for launching and managing your online store. However, their pricing models cater to different needs and investment levels. Understanding these costs upfront will help you make a strategic decision that supports your business’s growth trajectory and financial planning.

Ease of Use

When selecting an e-commerce platform, ease of use is a critical factor for both newcomers and seasoned entrepreneurs. A platform that’s easy to navigate can save you time and money, letting you focus on growing your business rather than wrestling with technology. Let’s take a closer look at how BigCommerce and WooCommerce stack up in terms of user-friendliness.

BigCommerce Ease of Use

BigCommerce is designed to be an all-in-one ecommerce solution that caters to business owners, regardless of their technical expertise. Here are its standout features:

  • Intuitive Interface: BigCommerce provides a user-friendly dashboard that makes it easy to manage your online store. From product management to analyzing sales reports, every feature is just a few clicks away.
  • Built-in Features: One of the key benefits of BigCommerce is the number of built-in features it offers, eliminating the need for numerous add-ons or extensions. This streamlined approach simplifies the setup and operation of your ecommerce site.
  • 24/7 Support: If you do encounter any issues, BigCommerce offers round-the-clock support through chat, email, and phone. This ensures that help is always available when you need it.

WooCommerce Ease of Use

WooCommerce, as a flexible plugin for WordPress, offers a different but equally compelling set of advantages for ease of use:

  • Familiar WordPress Interface: For those already using WordPress, adding WooCommerce is a seamless transition. Managing an ecommerce site becomes an extension of managing a WordPress site, which many users find intuitive.
  • Customization Freedom: With WooCommerce, you’re not locked into a specific set of functionalities. The plugin’s open-source nature means that customizability is nearly limitless, appealing to those with specific or evolving needs.
  • Vast Community and Resources: The WooCommerce community is robust and active, providing an abundance of tutorials, forums, and third-party services to help you maneuver any challenges.

However, it’s important to note that this level of customization and freedom means WooCommerce can have a steeper learning curve for those not familiar with WordPress or web development basics. You’ll likely need to invest in additional plugins and themes to get your store looking and functioning exactly how you want it, which can add to the complexity.

Both BigCommerce and WooCommerce offer compelling arguments in terms of ease of use, each with its own strengths catering to different user needs and skill levels. Your choice should align with your personal or business preferences, technical expertise, and how much time you’re willing to invest in learning the platform.

Design and Customization

When it comes to setting up your online store, the look and feel of your site can significantly affect your customer’s shopping experience and, ultimately, your sales. Both BigCommerce and WooCommerce offer robust design and customization options, but they cater to different skill levels and needs. Let’s explore what each platform offers in terms of design capabilities.

BigCommerce Design

BigCommerce is known for its sleek, professional templates that are designed to cater to a wide range of industries. Here are some key points to note:

  • Pre-Designed Templates: BigCommerce provides a variety of free and premium themes that are fully responsive and optimized for mobile shopping. The themes are designed to accommodate different industries and can be easily customized to fit your brand’s aesthetic.
  • Customization Options: For those who want more control over their site’s design, BigCommerce’s Page Builder tool offers a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to customize your pages without needing to code. However, if you’re comfortable with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you can dive deeper into customizations.
  • Staging Environment: BigCommerce offers a staging environment where you can test your design changes without affecting your live site, ensuring that everything looks perfect before going public.

WooCommerce Design

WooCommerce, on the other hand, offers unparalleled flexibility and control over the design of your eCommerce site due to its open-source nature. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Themes Galore: As WooCommerce is built on WordPress, you have access to thousands of themes, both free and premium. These themes can be fully customized to achieve the exact look and feel you desire for your store.
  • Complete Customization: With WooCommerce, you’re not limited to predefined layouts or design options. You can customize every aspect of your site using custom CSS, HTML, and PHP. Additionally, there are numerous plugins available to extend functionality and aesthetics.
  • Developer-Friendly: While WooCommerce offers a higher degree of customization, it’s worth noting that making the most out of these capabilities often requires web development knowledge or the willingness to hire a developer.

Both BigCommerce and WooCommerce offer powerful design and customization features, but the choice between them depends on your specific needs, technical expertise, and the level of customization you desire for your online store. Whether you prioritize ready-made templates for quick setup or the freedom to fully customize your site, both platforms provide the tools necessary to create an engaging and visually appealing online store.

Ecommerce Capabilities

When weighing your options between BigCommerce and WooCommerce, it’s crucial to consider their ecommerce capabilities. Each platform brings a unique set of features to the table, designed to help you manage your online store efficiently. Let’s break down what both platforms offer.

BigCommerce Ecommerce Capabilities

BigCommerce stands out for its comprehensive, out-of-the-box ecommerce solutions designed to help businesses scale quickly. Here are some key features:

  • Robust Product Management: Easily manage your inventory with options for bulk import/export, product variants, and custom fields.
  • Seamless Payment Processing: BigCommerce supports a wide array of payment gateways without any additional transaction fees, making it easier for you to do business globally.
  • Advanced SEO Features: With built-in SEO tools, BigCommerce helps your store rank higher in search engine results, increasing your visibility.
  • Marketing and Conversion Tools: Engage customers with discount and coupon creation capabilities, segmented email marketing tools, and abandoned cart recovery features to boost sales.
  • Comprehensive Analytics: Access detailed reports on sales trends, customer behaviors, and website performance to make informed decisions.

WooCommerce Ecommerce Capabilities

As an open-source WordPress plugin, WooCommerce offers unparalleled flexibility for business owners who want to build a customized shopping experience. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Customizable Design: With thousands of themes and extensive design customization options, you can create a unique store that matches your brand.
  • Extensive Plugin Ecosystem: Expand your store’s functionality with access to thousands of WordPress plugins for SEO, marketing, payment gateways, and more.
  • Powerful Analytics and Reporting: WooCommerce comes with built-in analytics tools, and you can further enhance your insights with additional plugins.
  • Complete Control Over Products and Sales: From digital to physical products, you have full control over your inventory, sales, and how you manage your store.
  • Community Support: Tap into the vast WordPress community for support, tutorials, and insights on best practices for managing your ecommerce site.

Both BigCommerce and WooCommerce offer compelling features for setting up and managing an online store. Your choice should hinge on the level of customization you need, your technical expertise, and the specific features that are most important to your business operation. Whether you value the plug-and-play ease of BigCommerce or the customizable nature of WooCommerce, both platforms are equipped to support a variety of ecommerce needs.

Integration and Plugins

Choosing the right e-commerce platform involves numerous considerations, one of which is the availability and quality of integrations and plugins. These tools are vital for extending the functionality of your online store, automating processes, and improving the overall user experience. Let’s navigate through the cosmos of integrations and plugins offered by BigCommerce and WooCommerce to help determine which platform better suits your mission.

BigCommerce Integrations and Plugins

BigCommerce stands out for its galaxy of pre-integrated apps, designed to enhance your store without the need for complex configurations. This platform focuses on providing a streamlined experience, ensuring that you have access to a wide range of high-quality, third-party apps and integrations out of the box. Important aspects include:

  • Comprehensive Marketplace: BigCommerce’s marketplace is stocked with over 800 apps covering various categories like marketing, shipping, payment gateways, and accounting. This diversity allows you to add advanced features without leaving the BigCommerce environment.
  • Seamless Integrations: BigCommerce partnerships with leading software providers mean you get seamless integration with crucial business tools such as QuickBooks, ShipStation, and Mailchimp. These integrations work flawlessly within the platform, providing a cohesive experience.
  • Ease of Use: Even with minimal technical expertise, you can effortlessly integrate these apps into your store, thanks to the user-friendly nature of BigCommerce. This ease of use ensures that you can focus more on growing your business rather than dealing with technical complexities.

WooCommerce Integrations and Plugins

WooCommerce, known for its flexibility and customization capabilities, offers an extensive universe of plugins. Given its open-source nature, both developers and merchants have the freedom to create and add an endless array of features to their stores. Here’s what sets WooCommerce apart in this domain:

  • Vast Plugin Ecosystem: The WordPress repository alone contains thousands of WooCommerce-specific plugins, not to mention numerous premium options available through third-party marketplaces. This vast selection means you can tailor practically every aspect of your site to your specific needs.
  • Customization Freedom: With WooCommerce, the sky’s the limit when it comes to customization. Whether you need a plugin for custom product options, advanced SEO tools, or specialized shipping methods, there’s likely a plugin that meets your needs.
  • Community Support: The vibrant community surrounding WooCommerce means that you’re likely to find free or cost-effective plugins for your desired functionality. Additionally, the community can be a resource for troubleshooting and customization tips.

As you chart your course through the vast expanse of e-commerce, consider how the integration and plugin offerings of BigCommerce and WooCommerce align with your mission objectives. Whether you seek a turnkey solution with seamless, high-quality integrations or the freedom to customize your online store with an extensive array of plugins, your choice will significantly influence your journey to creating a thriving online store.

SEO and Marketing

The success of your online store doesn’t just hinge on the products you offer but also on how effectively you can market them and enhance their visibility on search engines. Understanding the SEO and marketing capabilities of BigCommerce and WooCommerce can guide you in selecting the platform that aligns with your business goals. Let’s explore what each platform has to offer.

BigCommerce SEO and Marketing

BigCommerce is renowned for its robust SEO features and marketing tools designed to improve your store’s visibility and attract more customers.

  • SEO Optimization: BigCommerce provides SEO-friendly URLs, automatic sitemap generation, and rich snippets, ensuring your products stand out in search results. These features are built into the platform, making it easier for you to optimize your site without needing extensive technical knowledge.
  • Marketing Tools: With built-in marketing tools, you can create coupon codes, discounts, and gift vouchers directly from the dashboard. BigCommerce also offers targeted email marketing capabilities, allowing you to reach out to your customers with personalized offers and updates.
  • Social Media Integration: BigCommerce makes it simple to connect your e-commerce site with major social media platforms. This integration enables you to sell directly on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, increasing your products’ visibility.
  • Google Shopping Integration: By connecting your store with Google Shopping, BigCommerce allows your products to appear directly in Google search results, making it easier for potential customers to find and purchase your items.

WooCommerce SEO and Marketing

WooCommerce, being an open-source platform, gives you complete control over your SEO and marketing strategies. It leverages the power of WordPress, offering an extensive range of plugins and tools to boost your online presence.

  • SEO Plugins: With access to WordPress’s vast repository of SEO plugins like Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack, you can extensively customize and optimize your store for search engines. These plugins guide you through optimizing your content, refining your titles, meta descriptions, and more.
  • Content Marketing: WooCommerce capitalizes on WordPress’s blogging capabilities, allowing you to enhance your SEO efforts through content marketing. Creating valuable content can attract more visitors to your site and improve your search engine rankings.
  • Email Marketing Integration: Various plugins available for WooCommerce enable you to integrate with email marketing services such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact. This integration facilitates the creation and management of email campaigns directly from your WooCommerce dashboard.
  • Social Media Plugins: Numerous social media plugins are available for WooCommerce, enabling you to link your store with social media accounts, share your content, and even sell on these platforms. You’re able to tailor your social media strategy to meet your brand’s unique needs.

Whether you choose BigCommerce or WooCommerce, both platforms offer powerful SEO and marketing tools to help you reach your target audience effectively. Your decision might come down to whether you prefer the ease of built-in features offered by BigCommerce or the customizable, plugin-driven approach of WooCommerce.

Support and Documentation

When launching an e-commerce venture, the quality of support and documentation available can make or break your experience. Both BigCommerce and WooCommerce understand this, offering diverse resources to assist users. However, their approaches differ, reflecting their respective platforms’ structures and philosophies.

BigCommerce Support and Documentation

BigCommerce prides itself on providing a comprehensive support system designed to help merchants at every stage of their journey. When you run into a hurdle, you’re not left to troubleshoot alone. Here’s what you can expect:

  • 24/7 Support: Round-the-clock access to customer service through phone, email, and live chat ensures that help is always just a moment away, regardless of your time zone.
  • Extensive Knowledge Base: A vast library of articles, guides, and tutorials covers everything from setup and customization to advanced features, making it easy for you to find answers independently.
  • Dedicated Success Managers: For more complex issues or strategic advice, eligible merchants can tap into the expertise of dedicated account managers, a perk that underscores BigCommerce’s commitment to your success.

In addition, BigCommerce offers regular webinars and a community forum where users can share experiences, tips, and solutions. This mix of resources means that whether you’re facing a technical glitch or seeking to enhance your store’s functionality, support is readily available.

WooCommerce Support and Documentation

Given WooCommerce’s open-source nature, its support ecosystem is vast and decentralized. Here’s a dive into the support structure that powers WooCommerce stores:

  • WordPress and WooCommerce Codex: An immense repository of tutorials, developer documents, and FAQs offers a solid starting point for users keen on DIY solutions.
  • Community Forums: Both WordPress and WooCommerce boast active, knowledgeable communities. Users can seek advice, share insights, and find troubleshooting help from peers and experts alike.
  • Third-party Resources: Given WooCommerce’s popularity, numerous blogs, YouTube channels, and independent forums are dedicated to optimizing WooCommerce stores. These can be invaluable for finding creative solutions and expert advice.
  • WooExperts: For those looking for professional assistance, WooCommerce’s WooExperts program connects merchants with vetted developers and agencies specialized in WooCommerce development.

While direct support from WooCommerce is more limited compared to BigCommerce, the wealth of resources available through the community and third-party experts more than compensates, offering both novices and seasoned developers the tools they need to succeed.


Deciding between BigCommerce and WooCommerce boils down to your business needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a platform with built-in features that streamline the process of managing your e-commerce store, BigCommerce stands out with its robust product management and comprehensive analytics. However, if customization and control are top priorities, WooCommerce’s extensive plugin ecosystem and the flexibility it offers might be more your speed. Both platforms excel in SEO and marketing, ensuring your store reaches its potential audience. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Consider the level of support you’ll need, the technical expertise at your disposal, and the specific features that matter most to your business. Whatever your decision, you’re taking a step towards creating a powerful online presence.

Win on the web with Hueston.