Are you tired of having your small business profits cut into by commission prices from third-party hosting companies? Using another company's platform is easy, but small business owners often want to have their own platform and website. It's an online store that's entirely your own.
One of the biggest issues that people run into is that ecommerce websites are difficult to develop. You have to take different considerations into account than with normal web development. Most importantly, you need to have a secure checkout process and payment methods. You also need to have the ability to scale as your business grows.
Not all web development tools can do the trick. But there are some platforms that have been created specifically to develop ecommerce sites. Two of the most popular today are WooCommerce and 3DCart.
The most immediate, glaring difference between these two services is that WooCommerce is free to use, while 3DCart comes with a fee. So the question is: Does 3DCart offer enough enhanced features to be worth the price tag? And can you build a functioning ecommerce site with WooCommerce's free software?
I've taken a look at both to determine the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Overview of 3DCart and WooCommerce
Unique 3DCart Features
Unique WooCommerce Features
Customization and Design
One of the most convenient aspects of 3DCart is that it comes with a variety of pre-built ecommerce templates. Not only are they excellent building blocks for your company, they're also optimized for different industries. If you want a site tailored to your specific industry's needs, 3DCart may have it.
Some of the examples are:
Once you have a template, you can customize it with your company's branding, content, and other information. Since you're not starting from scratch, you can have a functioning ecommerce website ready to go within minutes.
WooCommerce is one of the most customizable platform development systems on the internet. In fact, you have complete control over how you present your website. The designs are all totally flexible. You can use themes, extensions, and plugins to fill your site requirements. Then you can adjust, code, and tailor them until you like what you see.
This can sometimes make the system difficult to use if you don't have a development background. Since you start from scratch, you need a basic working knowledge of how different ecommerce website elements work together.
The company has published a number of tutorials and helpful suggestions for getting started, though. Through their website, you can find advice such as:
Another option is to use a popular pre-built theme rather than starting from scratch. This requires less extensive coding. It's suggested that you use a "child theme," which is the version of the original popular theme without any of the adjustments. By doing this, you essentially get a blank template to work with.
The complete flexibility and freedom with WooCommerce may be invigorating to web developers. But for most people, it will cause a headache. By contrast, 3DCart has a much easier setup process that includes pre-built templates, resources, explanations of the requirements, and ongoing guidance.
3DCart has a number of scaling features included. The entire platform is designed to grow traffic through marketing and analytics tools. Every website is automatically search engine optimized.
When you need to scale for higher traffic and data, you can use a number of plug-ins and add-ons to further customize your website. There are multiple growth tiers, and the company also offers a variety of different development packages.
WooCommerce tends to be simple to scale. When your site is growing, you want to be able to handle increased traffic without impeding the store.
The WooCommerce code itself is designed to be scalable. However, it does come with some limitations. The developers say that it's best to make sure you have scalable plug-ins, add-ons, and a high-capacity server and web hosting plan.
3DCart is built with scalability in mind. The entire platform is designed around the idea that your business should garner higher traffic as time goes on.
3DCart is equipped with a number of advanced marketing and analytics tools. These allow you to increase your overall conversion rates and pull in new customers. They also let you determine how effective your advertising campaigns and landing pages are.
Some tools come with the basic software, while others are available as paid add-on apps through the app store.
WooCommerce itself does not come with any specific conversion tools.
However, since the user community is so extensive, there have been at least a dozen free plugins designed to increase conversion rates. They're made specifically to integrate with the WooCommerce system.
WooCommerce pulls out ahead because of the number of user-created, free conversion tools you can download. While 3DCart may have more tools, they tend to be pretty pricey.
Pros and Cons of 3DCart
Pros and Cons of WooCommerce
Final Thoughts: Which Is Better?
Both of these ecommerce platforms are easy to use and allow you to create a functional online store without needing to hire an entire web development team. They can both suit a variety of different businesses and industries, and both have different built-in functions to help with scalability as your traffic grows.
If you're looking for a free store building platform, WooCommerce is your best choice. Because it's free of charge, it's a good option for those who are just starting out or have limited budgets. However, it doesn't have the same number of resources or traffic-increasing features. Using it may be difficult if you're a beginner in website management.
On the other hand, 3DCart does require payment, but it also comes with enough features to make the payment worth it. This is what you want if you have a business that you're serious about growing. You get 24/7 customer support for issues, plus pre-built ecommerce templates proven to drive conversions. There are even additional conversion and analytics tools.