Bigcommerce vs WordPress for E-commerce

We recently compared Shopify vs WordPress for e-commerce and wanted to do the same for BigCommerce. Like Shopify, BigCommerce offers an all-in-one hosted solution for running your own online store. In this review, we will compare BigCommerce to using Cart66 with WordPress so you can decide what the best solution is for you.

Bigcommerce vs WordPress Review

Bigcommerce is an all-in-one, fully hosted e-commerce solution that comes with a robust set of tools for managing your online store. Even compared to Shopify, Bigcommerce wins when it comes to the number of tools and features you get included out of the box for selling physical or digital products. Bigcommerce pricing scales up based on the number of products you sell and how much storage you need. All of the e-commerce features are included in all of the plans so you don’t have to buy add-ons or “apps” like you do with Shopify. In fact, there are so many features it may overwhelm you.

When it comes to design, however, Bigcommerce is a one of the less flexible solutions. The Bigcommerce templates are not the most attractive and if you want to do something about it you’re going to need to hire a developer to work directly with the HTML/CSS code for your store. Your developer will have to navigate through a maze of template files using a built-in editor in the advanced tool of your Bigcommerce admin. Our experience has revealed this to be a remarkably tedious and unpleasant experience, especially compared to how simple and easy it is to work with WordPress themes.

Bigcommerce does not offer any recurring billing, subscription or membership tools at all. Cart66 comes with a built-in recurring billing engine that works with all of the 50+ included payment gateways so you can sell subscriptions and memberships just as easily as you can sell a t-shirt or a digital download.

E-commerce features

Bigcommerce offers a large set of e-commerce features for selling physical products, digital products, and accepting payments for things like a service or an event. Product and inventory management is included. Integration with QuickBooks is also available for an additional monthly fee via a 3rd party add-on eCC by Webgility. In terms of features, Big Commerce comes with a very robust set of tools that allow you to sell digital and physical products.

While there are a few less overall features related to selling physical products, a WordPress store powered by Cart66 gives you a rich set of features for not only selling digital and physical products but also for selling subscriptions and memberships which is something that is not included at all in Bigcommerce. Recurring billing is a powerful and profitable tool that is often overlooked by small businesses or people starting on new online store because it seems too complicated to set up. Cart66 gives you everything you need to quickly and painlessly setup subscriptions that you can use for all sorts of things.

Here are some ideas for things you can sell with Cart66 that you cannot sell with Bigcommerce:

  • Recurring donations and sponsorships
  • Ongoing retainers for consulting services
  • Web hosting
  • Monthly subscriptions to premium content on your site
  • Subscription access to support documents
  • Online courses and tutorials
  • Subscriptions access to discounted / wholesale products

You can even sell physical products on a subscription. Any type of consumable product can be set up as a “subscription” so you can mail the product to you customer on a regular basis without them having to log on to your site and buy the product over and over. For example, you could set up subscriptions for products like:

  • Printer ink and printer paper
  • Cosmetic products like lotions and soaps
  • Eye care products like contact lens cleaning products
  • Vitamins
  • Pet food

While Bigcommerce has more features when it comes to physical products, Cart66 allows you to sell more types of products including memberships and subscriptions that include recurring billing.

Design options and flexibility

Bigcommerce does not allow public access to view the available themes. But, from our own experience working with Bigcommerce and from other reviews of Bigcommerce it seems generally accepted that many of the available themes are somewhat outdated, although there are some new themes being developed. Currently there are about 100 themes available for Bigcommerce and all of the themes are included for free with your Bigcommerce subscription.

WordPress, on the other hand, has tens of thousands of themes available. Some are freely available in the WordPress repository and others are for sale from places like Elegant Themes and Themeforest. You do not have to have a special “e-commerce” theme to use Cart66 because Cart66 provides all of the e-commerce features for you. You can easily place products on any page or post of your site and Cart66 handles the shopping cart, secure checkout, and all of the other features you need for e-commerce. This means that if you already have a WordPress website you can easily start using it to sell your stuff without needing to change themes. You don’t even need an SSL certificate because Cart66 handles all the security for PCI compliance too.

Finding developers

You do not have to have a developer to get started with either WordPress or Bigcommerce. Anybody can easily use a WordPress website. In fact, according to W3Techs report over 20% of the websites on the internet are powered by WordPress and almost 60% of the sites that use a CMS use WordPress. So, it’s very easy to use even if you don’t know anything about HTML or code.

On the other hand, if you do know how to code, or you want some custom enhancements and hire a developer, WordPress offers a much larger community of developers and much more flexibility for what you can do. You can literally make WordPress connect to anything you want. All the code is open source and the documentation is extensive. Those two things give you the freedom to do anything with WordPress.


Bigcommerce is very popular and probably the number 2 contender behind Shopify when it comes to hosted e-commerce solutions. Bigcommerce offers all of its e-commerce features to every tier of their service offering. The pricing for Bigcommerce is tiered based on the number of products you want to sell and the amount of disk space you need for your hosting account, not by the amount of functionality you get with your account.

While Bigcommerce has a very robust set of tools, features, and options for selling physical and digital products they do not support any type of recurring billing features. It is not possible to sell subscriptions or memberships.

WordPress has vastly more themes and plugins, a much larger community of both users and developers, and provides many more features for the “website” side of your online store. For example, with WordPress you have access to over 26,000 different plugins for things including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content marketing, integrating with social media, installing image galleries, slide shows (sliders), embedding audio and video, and customer engagement such as polls, comments, and surveys.

Cart66 adds secure e-commerce functionality to WordPress which, like Bigcommerce, makes it safe and easy to sell physical and digital products. Cart66 goes a step further than Bigcommerce and includes the ability to sell subscriptions and memberships as well. This includes both a built-in recurring billing engine that works with all of the 50+ credit card processing payment gateways as well as tools for restricting access to content on your website. This allows you to sell subscriptions to content on your website, magazine subscriptions, access to videos, subscriptions access to discounted (wholesale) products, recurring donations, and more.

With Cart66 you have the freedom to host your own WordPress site without having to worry about the technical concerns and security requirements of running an e-commerce store. Cart66 handles all of that for you. You do not even need your own SSL certificate. If you would like WordPress hosting included also, Cart66 can do that too. Cart66 Hosted gives you fully managed WordPress hosting with Cart66 included.