BigCommerce is a Software as a Service (SaaS) for hosting robust, fully-equipped eCommerce stores online. It’s a comprehensive solution for most or all of your sales channels, enabling you to manage Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Pinterest stores, all from one location. They offer solutions for fast-growing newer brands, with a focus on scalability and marketing, as well as advanced enterprise software for large brands.
In this article, we will first explain why you might choose either BigCommerce or WordPress for your eCommerce store. Then, we will discuss how they can be used in tandem. Finally, we will talk about the history of BigCommerce and WordPress integration, and look at what is still possible today through plugins and themes.
BigCommerce or WordPress for eCommerce?
BigCommerce and WordPress are completely different solutions for eCommerce websites. Which platform will work best for you depends on your unique needs and goals.
If you are looking to build a large eCommerce store that relies on plenty of external marketing, such as online ads and celebrity endorsements, BigCommerce is more likely to be suitable for you. This solution is built to handle large, complex eCommerce sites without missing a beat, even when your brand hits a rapid growth spurt. However, it lacks some of the flexibility found in solutions such as WordPress.
On the other hand, if you are interested in building an eCommerce site on the back of a blog or other content marketing, WordPress may be the better choice. WordPress is a powerhouse when it comes to content publishing and promotion, and if you want to create an income stream by making online sales, free plugins like WooCommerce makes it relatively easy. It is important to note, however, that WordPress is a content publishing platform first, and an eCommerce solution second. You will need secondary tools to create an online store using WordPress (such as WooCommerce).
To summarize, BigCommerce is a solution for those focused on growing a mammoth eCommerce brand. WordPress is a better answer for those interested in attracting a dedicated audience, where eCommerce is a supporting branch of the business.
BigCommerce and WordPress
As you can see from the long-abandoned plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory, BigCommerce and WordPress used to offer some integrations that linked the two so they could work together. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case, as it goes directly against the goal BigCommerce has established for itself: to be an all-in-one solution for your eCommerce needs.
That said, you can still run a complementary blog using WordPress, which will be a separate entity from your BigCommerce store. By linking the two platforms in their respective menus, however, your visitors will be able to seamlessly switch from one site to the other, and you’ll get the benefits of both solutions.
Of course, this does complicate your management job somewhat, as you’ll essentially be running your store and blog on two different sites. This is one reason to consider focusing on WordPress as an eCommerce platform. If you’re still on the fence about choosing a platform, there’s a chance BigCommerce may be overkill for your needs, and WordPress (alongside WooCommerce or a similar plugin) will suit you just fine on its own as an eCommerce solution.
Benefits of Using BigCommerce With WordPress
There are some benefits to running your eCommerce site with BigCommerce, while using WordPress on the side to run your blog. Since BigCommerce is primarily focused on providing quality eCommerce performance, they do provide a blogging platform, but it’s a limited secondary offering to their far more advanced eCommerce software.
Meanwhile, WordPress is an industry-leading platform for blogging and other content publishing. While the downside is that you will need to host the two elements on separate domains (for example, store.com and blog.store.com), you can still create a fairly cohesive experience between them through clever theme matching.
By using BigCommerce to run your online store, you’ll get all the benefits that come with an enterprise-level eCommerce service. When you add WordPress into the mix, you can better control your content marketing efforts and build up a blog that refers plenty of traffic to your central eCommerce site.
The biggest downside to using BigCommerce and WordPress side by side is that you’ll need to manage these sites from separate administrative dashboards. However, if you want to get the most out of both your store and blog, this small hassle may be worth the effort.
BigCommerce WordPress Integration
As mentioned earlier, integrating BigCommerce with WordPress has more to do with the way you design your sites and link them to each other than with creating a true integration between the platforms. It will take two steps to create a near seamless user experience for your website’s visitors.
First, be sure to choose similar themes for your BigCommerce and WordPress sites. It’s unlikely you can make them match perfectly, but they should have a close look and feel, with major links and menus all in the same areas of the page. Both BigCommerce and WordPress offer a wide variety of highly customizable themes, so you should be able to get close!
Next, you’ll want to mirror the main menus on both sites. In other words, both menus should include the same standard set of links. However, on your BigCommerce site these links will point inwardly into your eCommerce pages, and the blog link will direct readers into the external WordPress installation. Meanwhile, your WordPress menu will largely be directed at the external BigCommerce navigational links, and only the blog portion will point at itself.
With similar themes on both platforms, as well as matching navigation leading to the same pages for both sites, your visitors can switch between the two and should hardly notice the difference.
BigCommerce WordPress Plugin
Unfortunately, while there used to be plugins designed for BigCommerce integration into WordPress, they are no longer updated or supported. It is possible that new integrations will be built in the future, but there are currently no plugins to connect these two platforms that we can recommend. As we mentioned earlier, it’s worth considering simply using WordPress alongside an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce instead, if you’re looking for a truly integrated store and blog.
BigCommerce WordPress Themes
BigCommerce and WordPress both offer directories of free themes to choose from, and it is also possible to pay for premium or custom themes. If you choose to work with both platforms together, we recommend choosing similar-looking themes to create a more cohesive experience for your visitors. If you opt for WordPress alone, on the other hand, there are plenty of WooCommerce themes worth checking out.