BigCommerce is a CMS platform designed specifically for e-commerce websites, and they are the platform a few of my customers use. Over they years, BigCommerce has become a big player in the e-commerce world with roughly 30,000 live websites.
However, as Google continues to push forward its mobile first index, BigCommerce may see some of its customers leave.
I Love BigCommerce
Although there is a learning curve with BigCommerce, once you get the hang of it, it is pretty user friendly. Building out your product pages on the platform comes with a WYSIWYG builder along with a number of different tabs that allow you easily optimize your web pages and add them to your Google Merchant Center.
The first company I worked with that was using BigCommerce saw an immediate impact to their Google organic traffic once I was able to optimize the website properly. Additionally, due to proper optimization we were able to see a nice improvement on Google Shopping Ads.
So if you are thinking about using BigCommerce rest assured that they do have a quality CMS Platform to help your grow your e-commerce store.
Is BigCommerce Mobile Friendly?
Well, that is almost a trick question and it all depends on what you consider mobile friendly. If you define mobile friendly as a website that displays properly on mobile devices and appears to load fast on mobile devices, then yes it is mobile friendly.
However, once you get into the technical side of things, BigCommerce lacks big time when it comes to mobile optimization.
To start with, this issue is for both mobile and desktop, BigCommerce does not provide an easy option to optimize your images. As a matter of fact, they don’t provide any apps or standard solutions to optimizing your images. You will have to optimize your images before uploading them to BigCommerce.
Next, if you are thinking about customizing your cache, forget about it! Yeah sure BigCommerce does have a section that allows you to set time limits for your cache. However, these limits appear to be set across the board. This means if you make updates often then you have to set a short period of time to refresh the cache, no matter what type of page it is.
Finally, BigCommerce does a pretty good job at hiding who handles their website hosting. But with some persistence I was able to determine they use SoftLayer to handle their hosting services for their clients. SoftLayer is a cloud hosting service that was acquired by IBM in 2013.
Here is how I found out that SoftLayer is the host.
First go here https://www.bigcommerce.com/showcase/ to get a list of BigCommerce websites. Take any one of those showcased websites and head over here https://www.whoishostingthis.com/ to find out who is actually hosting the websites and you will see that SoftLayer is the actual host for BigCommerce websites.
The next thing you want to do is to head over here https://www.bitcatcha.com/ and enter a couple of urls from the list of BigCommerce’s list of websites. Since these websites are in the cloud, you are going to see a number of different hosts when you run this server speed check. I found that a majority of these site speed checks resulted in poor response times.
The sad part about this whole hosting thing is that BigCommerce doesn’t host their website through SofLayer. BigCommerce actually uses Oracle to handle their hosting because, well if you run those same test above for BigCommerce you will see why.
The last thing I am going to mention about BigCommerce is their support. To be honest, I have a pretty good background when it comes to understanding all of these geeky stuff so I didn’t have to rely on their support too much.
However, when I did, their support seemed lost. They always seem to point you over to an article that really doesn’t answer the question you had in the first place.
Another great example of poor support is when a customer in their support forum asked a question about caching and support simply ignored the questions. Oh, and this question was posted April 12, 2017, so it’s been over a year already. Here is a link for you to view… https://support.bigcommerce.com/s/question/0D51300003dIqBVCA0/specify-cache-validator
Okay, so I bashed BigCommerce a bit but I still like their platform and would recommend it over Shopify or even a WordPress website with WooCommerce.
However, if you are not a geek like me, be prepared to pull out your hair and yell at your computer screen because there will not be much support there for you.
As far as mobile friendliness goes, yes BigCommerce is mobile friendly on the user end but not so much on the technical side.
If you really want a mobile friendly e-commerce site, may I suggest Magento?
Anyways, I would really like to hear your thoughts or experience with BigCommerce. Have you noticed a drop in organic traffic now that Google implemented is mobile first index? Have you ever had to deal with their support?
I would love to hear from you!