BigCommerce Hosting Review
To go live, every online store needs one thing: a web host. Hosting allows it to connect to the internet and be available for customers to visit and purchase items. A hosting platform is of great importance since it is a foundation to ensure the success of your business. The right hosting can greatly boost your online store’s performance and growth.
As you might have heard of BigCommerce before, BigCommerce is a fully hosted e-commerce platform that allows business owners to build online stores and sell their products on the website. So what is “fully hosted”, what are the main features of BigCommerce Hosting, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of this hosting option?
All these questions will be answered in this in-depth BigCommerce Hosting Review.
BigCommerce Hosting Overview
First and foremost, let’s have a look at the definition of an e-commerce hosting, some common hosting types, and then we will go into details about the main features that BigCommerce Hosting has.
What is E-commerce Hosting?
Ecommerce hosting is a business that involves a hosting platform helping you to host an electronic commerce website. It provides you with everything needed to operate an online business effectively, ranging from payment processing, security, SSL and shopping cart software, etc.
Common Hosting Types
There are many kinds of hosting available. The majority of retailers, mostly small businesses, do not host their own websites but rather purchase web hosting services due to their multiple benefits and low price.
Here let me introduce two main e-commerce hosting types to you: cloud-hosted which includes SaaS Hosting, IaaS, PaaS and self-hosted.
For cloud-hosted type:
The first one is SaaS Hosting. SaaS, which stands for Software-as-a-service, is one type of cloud-based hosting. SaaS is a form of internet-based software that is provided by a third party. Therefore, you do not have to worry about IT problems while growing your business with this platform.
It manages all sorts of things ranging from applications, data, runtime to servers, storage, and networking. All you need in order to access the software is an internet connection and a fixed monthly fee paid.
The second one is IaaS. IaaS, which stands for Infrastructure-as-a-service, is another cloud-based option operating via a pay-as-you-use structure. IaaS lets you have total control over the infrastructure; however, you often need to pay one company to license the software, and another party will host the website.
For example, meanwhile, you can manage the runtime, applications, and data, the provider can control the servers, virtualization, and networking.
Therefore, it is vital that you understand what eCommerce features you need to run your online business so that you pay a reasonable cost at the end of the month for the features you purchase.
The third one is PaaS. Another cloud-based computing option is Platform-as-a-service. Developers are the most frequent users of PaaS. The platform provides users with software and hardware resources over the internet, but merchants need to log into a particular platform and control panel in order to create applications.
You will have full control of the software while the vendor is in charge of infrastructure, servers, and networking.
For Self-Hosted Type (On-Premise):
This option allows you to host your website all by yourself, and you have complete control over your servers (you need to purchase your own physical servers). However, this option does not seem to be suitable for most online business owners. Not only does it require you to have technical knowledge, but you also need to be in charge of everything from hardware malfunctions to software glitches.
Therefore, as you can tell, BigCommerce is considered an Open SaaS platform provider and also a growing headless commerce provider.
BigCommerce Hosting Features
In this part, we will talk about features that BigCommerce Hosting has based on its four pricing plans: Standard, Plus, Pro, and Enterprise. Meanwhile, the monthly fees of Standard, Plus, and Pro plans are $29.95, $79.95, $299.95 respectively, the Enterprise pricing plan can be customized based on your sales volume, and you need to contact BigCommerce via phone, email, live chat, etc. to know the specific cost.
Features included in all pricing plans:
- Unlimited products, file storage, and bandwidth.
- Industry-leading uptime at 99.99%.
- Fast load time with Google Cloud Platform infrastructure, Google AMP, and Akamai Image Manager built-in.
- Unlimited Staff accounts.
- Two data centers and a third back-up data center spatially separated to reduce the risk of failure.
- Build-in blog that helps improve SEO rankings and provide a content-rich interface to your customers with a blog.
- Free Sitewide HTTPs and Dedicated SSL that improve consumer confidence, search rankings, and conversion. It’s worth mentioning that BigCommerce is ISO/IEC 27001:2013 & PCI DSS 3.2, Level 1 certified, and online stores on BigCommerce are protected by multiple security layers like firewalls, file integrity scanners, and intrusion detection.
- Page Builder allows you to easily launch and edit site pages.
- Professional reporting tools: customer reports, marketing reports, search data reports, finance reports, abandoned cart reports, etc.
- Mobile responsive website.
- BigCommerce mobile app.
- No additional transaction fees.
- Single-page checkout.
Advanced features on Plus, Pro and Enterprise pricing plans:
Customer groups and segmentation offered in Plus, Pro, and Enterprise plan: helps segment your customers for pricing, product access, and promotions to provide various experiences for shoppers on your website.
Abandoned cart saver offered in Plus, Pro and Enterprise plan a conversion tool that automatically sends shoppers a customizable series of emails encouraging them to complete their purchase.
Product filtering offered in Pro and Enterprise plans: enables shoppers to filter products easily and dynamically so as to improve the overall shopping experience.
Unlimited API Calls offered specifically in Enterprise plan: allows you to use BigCommerce’s fastest APIs to automatically sync data from third-party systems (such as ERPs) seamlessly into BigCommerce.
One notable feature in BigCommerce Hosting is the differing threshold of online sales per year of four pricing plans. To be specific, the maximum online sales for Standard, Plus, Pro plans are $50.000, $180.000, $400.000, and the online sales revenue for the Enterprise plan is not limited and can be customized at your preference.
Pros and Cons of Bigcommerce Hosting
Pros of BigCommerce Hosting:
BigCommerce is among the most feature-packed hosted online store builders. The overall feature set of BigCommerce Standard plans is very comprehensive.
BigCommerce offers *ser-friendly interfaces and pre-built themes that can help you set up online stores fast with little to no IT knowledge.
You have unlimited products, file storage, and bandwidth regardless of your pricing plans.
BigCommerce offers great API breadth and performance . The API has access to more than 90% of the BigCommerce platform’s data. Moreover, BigCommerce can handle over 400 calls a second, allowing for 24,000 product updates in less than a minute. A full headless commerce experience is also possible thanks to server-to-server API functions.
BigCommerce runs on a High Availability (HA) system that provides merchants with 99.99 percent uptime, resiliency, and efficiency.
You get an unlimited number of staff accounts on any plans.
BigCommerce Hosting is certified secure. As a Merchant and Service Provider, BigCommerce is ISO/IEC 27001:2013 accredited and PCI DSS 3.1, Level 1 certified.
BigCommerce is of great scalability. BigCommerce provides you with a large number of integrations and apps that facilitate cross-channel commerce. You can sell your products by integrating with top marketplaces in the world, such as eBay, Amazon, and Google Shopping. Besides, you can also attract more customers on social channels with Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram integrations.
Basically, you pay a lower cost when using BigCommerce since you don’t have to charge the servers nor any related maintenance or updates. Besides, you have to paya consistent monthly fee and no additional processing fees, even though you use a third-party payment gateway.
On all plans, you get a decent range of reporting tools, which is not the case for many other platforms. They assist in driving real-time business effects via key metrics for orders, customer data, marketing, and more through the BigCommerce Analytics Dashboard.
SEO features are excellent: customizable, SEO-friendly URLS, and out-of-the-box Metadata and robots.txt editing. You can generate short URLs, all of its templates support the AMP format, and all plans have automated image optimization.
24/7 tech support via US-based phone, live chat, and ticket for any technical issues regardless of your pricing plans. However, with the Enterprise-level plan, you are provided with express routing, priority support, and customer success management along with API support.
Cons of BigCommerce Hosting:
BigCommerce offers certain advanced features that other platforms offer at a significantly lower price.
Annual online sales are limited, and if you surpass them, you’ll have to upgrade to a more costly monthly package.
In most instances, the free themes are very similar to one another, which limits customer’s customization experience. The number of fonts used in the free themes is also extremely limited. A host of premium themes are available, but they come at steep costs. The Page Builder functionality still needs more improvement since it is rather buggy and confusingly implemented at times.
Criteria to consider when choosing the best hosting for your online business
When choosing a hosting provider for your online business, there are multiple factors to take into consideration. Here we would like to mention seven most pivotal aspects that would help you in the process of selecting the best e-commerce hosting.
Uptime is the average amount of time your website is available and open to visitors within a given period of time. This factor is of great significance because there is nothing more annoying on the internet than opening a site and it not working or available. Moreover, it can result in the smaller amount of traffic your website gets and the total potential sales in the long run, your business makes.
Therefore, remember to check the hosting service availability and guarantee that the uptime is above 99% and never below 99.90%. The closer it is to 100%, the better the average uptime is.
Loading speed is basically the amount of time it takes for a website to load. As you can tell, loading speed plays a vital role in the decision of customers to stay on the website and purchase an item or not. According to a study by Google , 53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page if the loading speed is more than 3 seconds.
It is, therefore, your job to make sure the hosting you choose takes around 3 seconds or less.
Available bandwidth and storage
Another major factor is bandwidth and storage. Web hosting bandwidth is the amount of data that a website is capable of delivering to its visitors in a given period of time. Hence, it is obvious that the higher the bandwidth a hosting provider offers, the better it is for your customers’ experience and for your business growth.
As you know, storage refers to the amount of content that you can store, including text, pictures, code, databases, etc. Similar to bandwidth, the more storage you have, the better the hosting.
The best hosting provider will be the one that offers unlimited bandwidth and storage, and BigCommerce is among those ideal hosting providers.
Checking out which channels you can ask for help from the hosting provider is also important, especially in case you do not have much technical knowledge and development skills.
Another thing to consider is the cost of the hosting provider. It should be based on your budget and your business needs. Whenever purchasing any features, think about them carefully to see whether they are actually cost-efficient or not. Because paying more does not always mean better services and experience.
Room for growth
Your hosting platform should be geared towards long-term development because changing your site to a different platform can cause great difficulties for both you and your customers. Considering a web host that can grow with you is a great idea to keep in mind.
When starting out, you may not really pay attention to the high-traffic capabilities of a host. Nevertheless, if committed to your online business in the long run and focused on sustainable and scalable growth, you should go for a hosting service that can handle traffic demands in months and years to come.
Cloud hosting, for example, is one great solution that offers almost unlimited growth capabilities for your business.
When looking for a hosting web service, keep an eye on security. Security here means both your business and your customers’ data are safe. The best hosting should provide great security features such as firewalls, SSL certificates, DDoS protection, virus protection, domain name privacy, and secure data centers.
Being purchased by tens of thousands of B2B and B2C businesses across 150 countries in the world, BigCommerce hosting is undoubtedly among the leading open-source SaaS eCommerce platforms for mid-market and enterprise businesses. It showcases all of the advantages of a SaaS platform ranging from ease of use, high performance to constant updates along with APIs that allow businesses to expand at a greater scale with numerous third-party apps and integrations.
PageBuilder makes it simple for every new merchant to start building online stores without much tech skills; however, it could improve much more regarding template diversity and steep costs to pay premium themes.
Hopefully, you learn something new and useful about BigCommerce Hosting through this review. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. Thank you for reading!