WooCommerce vs Cart66

WooCommerce and Cart66 are both e-commerce solutions for WordPress. In this article we’ll talk about the similarities and differences between WooCommerce and its marketplace of WordPress plugins versus the suite of services and e-commerce features you get with Cart66.

TL;DR

WooCommerce is a huge and awesome e-commerce platform that can do almost anything you can think of. It is up to you to buy and configure all the extensions to make it work and you are responsible for all your own security.

WooCommerce has the most comprehensive set of features.

Cart66 Cloud gives you an entire e-commerce system with almost 90 different payment gateway integrations and all the security for PCI compliance built in. Because your payment page is securely hosted on your Cart66 Cloud account you don’t even need your own SSL certifcate.

Cart66 has the best value and best security.

WooCommerce vs Cart66 – Overview

If you are looking for an e-commerce platform that can do virtually everything ever imagined, you should go over to WooCommerce and take a look through the vast supply of  WooCommerce extensions. You will probably be able to find an extension for almost anything you need. With all the extensions and configuring the settings, it can get pretty complicated to set up and also pretty expensive since almost all of the extensions are paid.

On the other hand, if you just want to set up a store and start selling things then take a look at Cart66 Cloud. For less than the cost of a payment gateway add-on and an SSL certificate, you get everything Cart66 Cloud has to offer. It all comes in just one WordPress plugin that connects your WordPress site to your secure and PCI compliant Cart66 Cloud account.

Cart66 Cloud comes bundled with almost 90 different payment gateway integrations, recurring billing, and you don’t even need your own SSL certificate. Perhaps the best thing is your e-commerce site is PCI compliant with your payment page, customer data, and product information securely hosted in your secure Cart66 Cloud account. Meanwhile, your keep hosting your entire WordPress site on any host you want. Cart66 Cloud only hosts your checkout page and sensitive e-commerce data – not your WordPress site.

Similarities between WooCommerce and Cart66

Both WooCommerce and Cart66 provide great tools and features for selling things with WordPress. Both platforms give you the ability to use WordPress to manage your store and that includes access to a ton of themes (many more than Shopify or Bigcommerce) provide. You also get access to the vast library of over 28,000 WordPress plugins for things like SEO, image galleries, sliders / slide shows, embedding music and videos, and connecting with all your social media channels. There are many other similarities as well.

Hosting your WordPress

Another similarity shared between WooCommerce and Cart66 is that you host your own WordPress site. Cart66 provides a suite of bundled services including a secure hosted payment page, but you can host your WordPress website anywhere you want. Cart66 provides security features not included with WooCommerce that we’ll discuss later, but both WooCommerce and Cart66 allow you to host your own WordPress installation.

Your store is all in WordPress

With both WooCommerce and Cart66, your customers shop entirely on your WordPress site. With WooCommerce your product pages are usually custom post types where you enter your product descriptions, add product images, etc. In Cart66 people often organize their products as normal WordPress posts and use the built in features that WordPress provides to organize the products in the same way that you would organize blog posts into categories. If you only have a few products or if you want to highlight certain featured products, with Cart66 you can easily place Add To Cart buttons (or product order forms if your products have options) on any page or post of your WordPress site. The overall point is that with both WooCommerce and Cart66 all your product pages are in WordPress and your customers are shopping on your WordPress website.

Differences between WooCommerce and Cart66

The easiest way to summarize the differences between WooCommerce and Cart66 is that with WooCommerce it is up to you to roll your own e-commerce solution and Cart66 gives you everything you need from features to security all in one easy to use package.

Only Cart66 makes your store PCI compliant

Cart66 gives you a secure hosted payment page that looks exactly like the rest of your WordPress website because we skin your checkout page with your WordPress theme. You don’t need an SSL certificate, security scans, or to worry with any of the technical requirements for PCI compliance. This saves you a great deal of money and hassle. With Cart66 you build e-commerce sites just like any other type of WordPress site. With WooCommerce it is up to you to make sure your site is secure, and PCI compliant- and that involves much more than just installing an SSL certificate.

Cart66 gives you an e-commerce plugin PLUS services

To build an e-commerce site the right way, you need to do far more than install an SSL certificate. An e-commerce plugin alone cannot accomplish everything you need for a solid e-commerce store. Cart66 comes bundled with a suite of free services including:

  • Built-in recurring billing engine that works with 80+ payment gateways.
  • Free storage on Amazon S3 to securely host and deliver digital products (if you sell them)
  • Free business class SMTP service so your email receipts and customer emails aren’t flagged as spam
  • Free, PCI compliant storage for customer accounts and billing data
  • Free, PCI compliant secure hosting for your checkout page

Many people don’t even realize they need these services until they have already launched their store and notice their customers aren’t getting email receipts or something. Of course, the biggest issue is making sure your site is safe and secure for your customers. Here is an article that goes into more details on how (and why) Cart66 protects you.

WooCommerce Marketplace vs Cart66 all-in-one

With WooCommerce you will shop through the WooCommerce marketplace of extensions and purchase the add-ons that you need for your store. These add-ons might include features such as:

  • Payment gateway (Stripe, Authorize.net, etc.) Price: $79/year
  • WooCommerce subscriptions. Price: $199/year
  • Newsletter integration with MailChimp. Price: $49/year

The list of WooCommerce extenstions is very comprehensive and almost all of the extensions are developed by 3rd party developers. The good news is that you can probably find an extension for almost anything you can think of. The bad news is, you have to find the extension, install and configure it yourself, and rely on 3rd party developers for support and updates.

WooCommerce is more expensive than you think

Two things are often overlooked about WooCommerce. One is the cost of acquiring all the add-ons you need. The WooCommerce core extension is free of charge and available in the WordPress repository. But when you add up the cost of the add-ons you need, the “free” plugin becomes expensive quickly. For example, the three extensions mentioned above add up to $327/year. All of these features are included for free with your Cart66 account.

The other often misunderstood aspect of WooCommerce is that WooCommerce add-ons are essentially annual subscriptions. It is true that once you purchase the add-on that you get to keep it. Once your year is up you are not forced to renew, but the support and upgrades are only available for one year. If you are going to be running a secure e-commerce site, you need to continually make sure all your plugins are updated because 3rd party services like your payment gateway may update their API, security patches might get released, or WordPress itself might get updated and the plugin needs to be updated to work with the latest WordPress core.

Cart66 is more secure

WooCommerce is developed by very talented developers, but Cart66 provides secure services that go beyond what you can do with a WordPress plugin alone. With Cart66, your product prices, coupons, customer data, and even your customers shopping carts are all stored in your secure Cart66 Cloud account on PCI compliant servers powered by Firehost, the leader in secure cloud hosting.

So, in the unfortunate event that your WordPress site gets hacked, all of your sensitive and important e-commerce data like customer accounts, orders, products definitions, and digital products are all still safe in the cloud and never exposed to the hacker. Simply restore your WordPress site and you’re back in business.

Why we developed Cart66 Cloud

We felt that e-commerce sites should be as easy to build as any other WordPress site. WordPress developers shouldn’t have to become e-commerce security experts in order to build online stores. With Cart66 Cloud you don’t have to worry about getting and configuring SMTP servers, Amazon S3 storage, dedicated IP addresses, SSL certificates, or security scans. You don’t have to worry about what features your payment gateway has. As long as it can charge credit cards (which they all do) all of the recurring billing features and customer account features work because it’s all built into your Cart66 account, not your payment gateway.

Get security without giving up control. Not worrying about security is great, but we also know that, as a developer, you don’t want to give up control of the look of your checkout page. So we invented a one-click way to skin your checkout page with your WordPress theme so even though the checkout page is hosted on a PCI compliant server, it still looks exactly like the rest of your site. There’s no confusing change like bopping back and forth from PayPal. Everything is consistent, intuitive, and simple for your customers.

With Cart66 the cost is simple, affordable, and easy to understand. With WooCommerce and their extension marketplace, the cost adds up quickly. For example, the subscription add-on for WooCommerce is $199/year and the average payment gateway extension is $79/year. Those two extensions add up to more than the cost of the entire Cart66 e-commerce system which, among many other things, includes recurring billing and over 50 payment gateways.

What about themes?

WooCommerce has many e-commerce themes available with WooCommerce support built in. This can make it easy to get your site set up but also tends to lock you into a theme. Changing themes can become a big problem if you are relying on the theme to manage your store.

Cart66 Cloud is designed to work with virtually any theme which makes it easy to add products to a WordPress site you already have.

Summary

Both WooCommerce and Cart66 Cloud allow you to setup online stores with WordPress. Both solutions allow you to host your own WordPress installation. And, with both solutions, your customers shop entirely on your WordPress site, although Cart66 also provides a secure hosted payment page so you don’t have to worry with SSL certificates or any of the other requirements for PCI compliance.

While Cart66 Cloud and WooCommerce are both great options for e-commerce on WordPress, Cart66 gives you everything you need from features to security all in one package. WooCommerce leaves it up to you to find, install, and maintain all the add-ons you need for your site and also leaves it up to you to make sure your site is PCI compliant and secure.

WooCommerce offers you the best e-commerce platform that can do virtually anything you can think of but you pay for the add-ons and have to manage all of your own security.

Cart66 Cloud gives you everything you need to start selling your products for less than the cost of a payment gateway add-on and an SSL certificate. It is a great option for adding products to a WordPress site you already have.

6 comments

  1. Travis Stowe says:

    This is all good but one issue is the reporting. Your reporting is not up to part with standard practices. Downloading a CVS file is not an effective way to get needed reports on your store activity. Plus you don’t seem to have a refund or product return feature which will update the store to keep everything correct. When will this be avaliable?

  2. Myrna Hoffman says:

    I have a WordPress website that uses Cart66, but I am told Cart66 doesn’t do what I need for a new offering – allowing my customers to select from maybe 100+ images and download these images for
    printing. Does Woo Commerce have this function? I own three other name-related domains. What about keeping my original domain and setting up one of the other domains with WooCommerce and simply linking to it from my original site. Comments? Caveats?

  3. Scott Neader says:

    It seems the focus is on your Cloud offering, which is understandable (much bigger money maker) but it would be great if you would offer these comparisons also with your purchased license / self-hosted option (Cart66 Pro). It’s confusing to read these comparisons and not have it clear that you are referring to your Cloud offering only.

  4. Daniel Santoro says:

    If the three plugins from WooCommerce mentioned totaled up to $327, then how are we saving money if the total for the first year with cart66 is $399? It looks like this would be the breakdown of costs:

    WooCommerce:
    Hosting (Free) + Gateway (79) + Subscriptions (199) + Newsletter (49) = $327

    Cart66:
    Hosting (25*12= 300) + Setup Fee ($99) = $399 (in one payment)
    Hosting (30*12= 360) + Setup Fee ($99) = $459 (monthly)

    After the second year it’s actually much cheaper to go WooCommerce – License renewal for WooCommerce is usually 50% off, so:

    WC Year 1 ($327) + Year 2 renewals ($327/2 = 163.5) = $490.50
    C66 Year 1 ($399) + Year 2 subscription, single payment (25*12 = 300) = $699

    It seems like WooCommerce is a cheaper solution, and not having extra bloat is an additional bonus (aside from the extra $200 in your pocket).

    • cart66 says:

      Hi Daniel, thanks for the comment. The $99 launch pack is an optional cost if you want to have one of our developers connect and setup your Cart66 account for you. The point about the three WooCommerce plugins was to point out that there are meaningful costs associated with WooCommerce. Cart66 Cloud includes much more than just a gateway, subscriptions, and a newsletter integration. We weren’t trying to say that WooCommerce plus those extensions equals Cart66 Cloud. Cart66 goes much farther than that. To name a few other benefits, Cart66 also includes the ability to drip content, send timed follow up emails, live shipping rates, membership management, free and secure storage for your digital products, a business class email delivery system for your emails, and all the security you need so you don’t have to worry with SSL certs, dedicated IP addresses, security scans etc. giving you a PCI compliant e-commerce solution.

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