WooCommerce vs 3dcart – both great ecommerce platforms but definitely aimed at different customers. There’s not a huge amount of difference in terms of functionality between the two but depending on how much you want to customise your store, will determine the best platform for your needs. our overview of both platforms, their pros, cons and costs will help you find the best ecommerce platform for you.

WooCommerce vs 3dcart: Woo Overview

Small business owners that have built a modest eCommerce store with WordPress might want to take a look at the WooCommerce shopping cart. The plugin is free and providing you don’t need too many extras, WooCommerce software presents an affordable and user-friendly option.

Is WooCommerce SAAS?

No, WooCommerce is an add-on to WordPress and you’ll need to pay for hosting of WordPress and then use the WooCommerce plugin to convert WordPress to an e-commerce store.

WooCommerce Setup Costs

The WooCommerce plugin is free from WordPress. For small businesses on a budget, this provides you with all the functionality you need to get your eCommerce store up and running at low-cost. However, if you want to add more functionality, you’ll need a handful of plugins, which cost around $49/£35 each.

On top of that, there is a £70 fee for an SSL certificate and web hosting costs together with domain registration fees.  Some web hosts offer SSL certificates and domains for free as an incentive for customers to sign up. Realistically, you can set up a fully-functional eCommerce website with WooCommerce for under £1000 if you do it all yourself.

WooCommerce Monthly Costs

WooCommerce is a free plugin which reduces your monthly running costs. Basic eCommerce sites can be as little as £15 a month for the first year if all you need is web hosting. Monthly costs, therefore, depend on your hosting package and could ultimately, be as high as £350 a month if you use a dedicated server.

WooCommerce Hosting Options

WordPress, and thus WooCommerce, require third-party hosts. Hosting plans are well represented across the board and for the most part are reasonably priced. You can get premium hosting plans for as little as £200 a year with unlimited bandwidth. The cost of WooCommerce really depends on how much you develop the platform from the standard install.

WooCommerce Set-up Skills

Setting up WooCommerce is as easy as installing a plugin into the backend of your WordPress website. Okay, there are other more technical functions to perform such as setting up buy buttons and syncing them with payment gateways, but if you are already familiar with WordPress, this is not too difficult to do.

Having said that, it is easier if you have some coding and WordPress knowledge – although your host support or development team should be able to guide you through most of the setup functions. If you need visual aids, use the WooCommerce setup wizard.  That walks you through everything you need to know in less than five minutes.

You also have access to Storefront Powerpack which hosts easy-to-use tools and enables you to make customisable designs to the template without needing any coding skills. Again, this is much easier if you already have some understanding of how WordPress works, but in all honesty, it’s not too difficult to pick up if you are given the right guidance to get you started.

WooCommerce Theme Availability

Templates for WooCommerce are scarce in the WooThemes Storefront, but at $39/£29 are not expensive. However, you will find plenty of pre-formatted design options through WordPress themes and other third-party sources – although you may have to pay twice as much for a theme. Marketplaces like ThemeForest are a great source of themes.

WooCommerce Day-to-Day Running

Together with Shopify, WooCommerce is the easiest interface to navigate. You access WooCommerce through your WordPress dashboard and can see pending shipping orders, product information and inventory tracking at a glance.  Shipping details are built-in automatically so customers can select their preferred method. Adding products is performed through WordPress.

WooCommerce Payment Options

WooCommerce software offers five built-in payment gateways including PayPal (and Simplify for US users). Customers also have the option to pay by direct bank transfer, check payment or cash on delivery.

In addition to the free options listed above, you can install the following payment gateways:

  • Amazon Payments
  • Stripe (supports Apple Pay)
  • Authorize.net
  • PayPal Pro
  • FirstData
  • Square

WooCommerce Product Attributes (whether unlimited or not)

Because WooCommerce is open source, one of the advantages the software offers is unrestricted customisation. However, some WordPress themes present obstacles which can only be navigated with additional code which subsequently slows download speeds. Because the WooCommerce shopping centre is hosted by a third party, file storage depends on the package you have with your web host.

WooCommerce Typical Annual Running Costs for the first year then ongoing years

The WooCommerce platform is free and unlimited – if you choose it to be. However, on-running costs will depend on how much you want to enhance your eCommerce store. Remember that extensions, shipping options and payment gateways carry individual fees but you only have to buy these once. Hosting plans and SSL certificates may change yearly so check with your web host.

WooCommerce Customer Support Options

WooCommerce does offer customer support, but it is a ticket system and replies typically take 48 hours. Support options are limited, particularly if you have a customised website. The tech team at WooCommerce will just refer you to your web developers or ask you to disable third-party products before they help you. There is also a self-support forum which features useful documents, tutorial videos and tips from other users.

3dcart Overview

The 3dcart eCommerce software boasts a feature rich toolkit straight out the box and offers merchants of all sizes affordable packages. The fully-hosted shopping cart solution has multiple built-in features and provides online businesses with opportunities to reach a wider audience.

Is 3dcart SAAS?

Yes, 3dcart is fully-hosted by 3dcart.

3dcart Setup Costs

Because 3dcart is a Software as a Service platform everything is included in the price of the plan you opt for. When you sign up, you can be paid monthly, or you could save 10% if you purchase a plan for the entire year.

Set up costs depend on the plan you opt for. Small businesses that are just starting out are advised to opt for the basic plan at a cost of £22 a month ($29) or £237 ($299) for the year if paid in advance. SSL certificates are free of charge on all plans. If you opt for a Pro plan you will pay £173 ($229) per month to access the 3dcart software or £2076 for the year.

If you choose a premium theme from a third party source, expect to pay $99/£75 and upwards for a template. Customising your website to suit your brand will also require a developer which can cost anything from £500 for tweaks and around £2000 for a complete custom makeover.

Enterprise plans cater for businesses with a turnover of £400,000 a year. Costs are negotiable depending on the features you want, but essentially you can get an all-singing all-dancing website for less than most other eCommerce platforms can offer.

3dcart Monthly Costs

3dcart offers a range of price points depending on the size of your business. Considering the eCommerce platforms offers unlimited products, storage and bandwidth together with no transaction fees, 3dcart is one of the most cost-effective shopping carts available.

The only other fees you will have to pay each month in addition to the price points given in the table below are the payment gateway processing fees – but this is standard across practice across the board.

Package   Monthly Price Transaction Fee Products Storage Space Bandwidth
Basic $29/£22 None Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Plus $79/£60 None Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Pro $229/£173 None Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Enterprise Custom None Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited

3dcart Hosting Options

3dcart is a web hosted platform so you don’t have to incur additional costs purchasing a third party web hosting plan.

3dcart Set-up Skills

For the most part, the 3dcart user-interface is intuitive and not too dissimilar to WordPress. However, we can’t help but feel the desktop could be more user-friendly at times. There is no explanation for certain fields so you have to look them up in the support documents which is time consuming.

Having said that, there are plenty of support documents in the setup wizard that are useful. Setting up 3dcart is easier if you are technically minded and have some experience of backend software programs like WordPress. Otherwise, you may need to call on the ‘aided onboarding’ team at 3dcart, but that will set you back £302.

3dcart Theme Availability

There are over 50 free theme templates offered by 3dcart. In general, the designs are engaging and provide solutions catered for specific industries. However, free themes are one-dimensional and do not allow much scope for customisation.

If you want to include brand colours, fonts and images, you will need to purchase a premium template and possibly use a web developer. There are 100’s of premium templates available and cost anything from £75 to £150 for a basic theme without customisation. Budget around £50 an hour and 25 hours for a developer to fully customise a theme.

3dcart Day-to-day Running

For non-technical business owners, 3dcart provides an easy-to-use solution and has a powerful range of web tools. Adding products is a simple process and gives you plenty of room to work with.

Built-in social media tools make it easy to share products and promotions on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Blogs, newsletters and email are also built-in features you can use to provide information to your customers and upsell products to subscribers.

3dcart Payment Options

With over 100 payment gateways, 3dcart offers one of the most comprehensive range of payment options for customers. Payment gateways include the big-hitters such as PayPal, Stripe, Square and Authorize.net, all of which carry a 2-3% processing fee.

The only way to avoid processing fees is to adopt 3dcarts built-in gateway as your sole payment option. However, this will require your first-time customers to fill out an additional registration form which may deter customers that already use a trusted payment gateway (for example, Paypal) and have the one-click buy option set up on their computer or mobile device.

3dcart Product Attributes

The product attributes are in two parts. These are called options. There is no limit to the number of options you can add to a product in 3dcart.

3dcart Typical Annual Running Costs for first year then ongoing years

Year on year running costs do not change when you purchase 3dcart eCommerce software. Typical fees for related pricing plans are paid monthly unless you opt for an annual payment at sign up. See the table above.

3dcart Customer Support Options

Of all the eCommerce software solutions, 3dcart has one of the most comprehensive customer support teams. All the pricing plans include 24/7 personal support via email, live chat, social media and phone. In addition, there are video tutorials, a support forum, a knowledge base, webinars and an E-University.

How The Content Works can help

Here at The Content Works, we specialise in Technical Website Audits. We’re here to find the issues on your website that are causing you to lose visitors, see poor conversions rates and ultimately we highlight the issues costing you money. Take a look at our services page to see the technical website audits we offer. Call us on 0207 305 5599 to discuss your situation and we’ll show you how we can add value to your business.

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