Magento vs BigCommerce: Ecommerce Face-Off

by Sajjad Shahid  January 25, 2018

Do you want to run a makeshift ecommerce store?
Or
Are you in it for the long haul with the intention to make big bucks?

These are genuine questions that you should ask yourself before deciding on a CMS or a platform that would power your ecommerce store for the foreseeable future. Although, there are plenty applications in the realm of CMSs, fact of the matter is, not all of them are cut out to fit the needs of YOUR business.

Magento vs. BigCommerce

In this article (and the ones that follow in this series), I aim to resolve a basic, yet the most controversial conundrum of all time, pertaining to one of the most popular ecommerce platforms: Magento and other CMSs in this discipline.

So, considering your long term goals, business objectives and overall business perspective, here’s a comparison between Magento and BigCommerce. Put simply, a comparison between an open source and a closed source platform.

Spoiler Alert: Magento wins this comparison by a considerable margin. Find the table below for a quick snippet view, followed by a detailed explanation.

Here’s How Magento Takes The Lead

Magento is one of the most robust and highly customizable ecommerce platforms, with over 238,974 live online stores, as compared to 68,719 live stores using BigCommerce.

Cloudways Magento Hosting For Developers

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I show you the following screenshot of worldwide interest from Google Trends.

Still, there’s no denying to the notion that BigCommerce is easy to use and has some really amazing features, however, Magento rules out BigCommerce with a great margin. Take a look yourself:

POD Magento👑 BigCommerce
Ownership & Hosting ⭐⭐⭐
Security ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Scalability ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Usability ⭐⭐⭐
Cost Effectiveness ⭐⭐
Customizability ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Community & Support ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Overall Rating ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐

If you’re confused about these rating, here’s a detailed discussion of the point of differences (POD). Let’s get the ball rolling.

The Ownership & Hosting Catch

Magento

  • Magento gives you full ownership and allows you to control the data yourself. This means that you’re in charge of things like customer information, important details and much more.
  • You’re not bound with any contract or third party rules and obligations. So, if at a later stage you want to go back to Magento 1.x, you’re free to do so.
  • You’re free to choose the hosting provider you prefer. However, remember that the quality and features of your hosting provider directly impacts the performance and optimization of your Magento store.

BigCommerce

  • Although BigCommerce is best suitable for small business, keep in mind that there’s an ownership catch, unlike Magento. This means your data is shared with BigCommerce, you’re not the only owner.
  • You’re bound and can’t host your store anywhere other than BigCommerce hosting. You have to comply with all the rules and updates that follow.

The Great Wall of Security

Magento

  • From the security point of view, Magento quite often releases patches and critical updates that bring functional fixes and ensure that the platform is free from bugs and vulnerabilities.
  • Magento uses modern technologies and updated components such as PHP 7, Composer, Zend Framework, Symfony, and the integration of SSL Certificate (provided for free by most of the hosting providers). This further enhances not just the performance but also the trust level of ecommerce store owners and their customers.

BigCommerce

  • Your ecommerce store at BigCommerce is level 1 certified PCI compliant to ensure that you won’t lose any of your customers’ personal information.
  • BigCommerce offers free and paid SSL Certificates. The paid ones are verified by GeoTrust that have additional security features such as site seals, increased purchase protection, and Extended Validation. Whereas the free ones only offer basic encryption.

Usability: The Ease of Use

Magento

  • Working with Magento requires technical expertise of the platform. So you either have to be prepared yourself otherwise you’ll need to hire an expert Magento developer.
  • You have to code everything on Magento. However, at the same time, this drawback lets you customize the store the way you want.

BigCommerce

  • BigCommerce gives you the ultimate peace of mind. You don’t need to worry about the technical aspects or hire anyone to manage the technicalities.

Scalability For the Future

Magento

  • Without a shadow of a doubt, Magento wins in this regard. It is easily scaled up as the requirements of your business change or when your catalogue of products or categories increases.
  • Magento is a choicest option for SMB’s and large ecommerce stores.
  • Magento 2.0 has some incredible performance and scalability standards:
    • Processes significantly more orders per hour on the same hardware
    • Offer near-instant server response times for catalog browsing
    • Deliver double-digit decreases in response times for cart and checkout pages
    • Better handle peak order volume, extra-large catalogs, and outsized customer lists
    • Supports significantly more simultaneous administrative users on the backend

BigCommerce

  • BigCommerce can be a good choice for startups and small businesses.
  • Each BigCommerce plan comes with an annual sales threshold. This means that you’ll be automatically upgraded to a higher pricing plan if your annual sales limit exceed or if you want to scale up.

Hidden Costs – Numbers Don’t Lie

On average, the development of an ecommerce store costs around the 6-figure dollar range for Mid-Level and Enterprise clients. Although its the initial investment that everyone is concerned with, it is important to also consider the recurring future costs.

If you’re willing to spend initially on the development of your Magento store, unlike BigCommerce, you wouldn’t need to pay the recurring monthly costs. Moreover, customers of SaaS shopping carts such as BigCommerce often have to pay for services they don’t need. Additionally, these users have to pay extra for the services they require (which leads them to upgrade the pricing plan).

Magento

  • Magento has easier entry-level options as compared to BigCommerce. The platform itself is free and an average cloud hosting provider charges $5-$10.
  • There are no hidden cost or charges, it’s totally free! You just need to host it on a reliable and secure Magento hosting provider.
  • Unless you have the technical expertise, you’ll have to pay for the services of a Magento developer.

BigCommerce

  • Plans at BigCommerce start at $29.95 with processing fee for debit and credit cards starting at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for all plans.
  • They’re both free and paid apps and other integration in BigCommerce but getting a paid integration means you have to pay its rent on a monthly basis.

The Ability to Customize

Magento

  • Magento is written on PHP and is extremely customizable. There are tons of free and paid third party integrations available for your Magento store.
  • You can customize your store and processes the way you want. All you have to do is play around with the code along with the help of a variety of development tools, extensions and modules.

BigCommerce

  • BigCommerce has a large variety of free and paid themes and plugin which are somewhat similar in functionality. However, the number of integrations can’t compete with that of Magento.
  • It allows you to customize your store but with limited options and this customization can be expensive.

Enterprise Solution

Both Magento and BigCommerce offer Enterprise Solutions. Large or Enterprise Level merchants with high volume of orders, large product catalogs, complex processes like advanced logistics, always go for the Enterprise Solution.

Magento

  • Magento Commerce (formerly known as Enterprise Edition) focuses on providing additional functionalities and offers better support options out-of-the-box.
  • Magento 2.1 Enterprise Solution has an effective way of creating a bridge between ecommerce and the marketing world with its Content Staging and Preview Options that are available within the Enterprise Platform.

BigCommerce

  • Similarly, BigCommerce Enterprise offers additional functionalities with dedicated resources for faster loading times and advanced development tools for easier coding.
  • Just like Magento’s Enterprise Solution, BigCommerce Enterprise can be costly yet extremely effective for the job.

Community Matters

Magento

  • Magento is one of the most widely used ecommerce platforms with a ton of content available for you to learn from a very active community.
  • Being open source in nature, there are thousands of developers and experts available to help you out and respond to any query.

BigCommerce

  • BigCommerce also has a strong community that responds to your queries.
  • A notable factor is that BigCommerce provides 24/7 Phone, Email and Chat Support on all plans.

The Decision is Yours!

These were some important factors that you should consider while choosing between Magento and BigCommerce.

Which one do you agree or disagree with? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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About Sajjad Shahid

Sajjad is an Ecommerce Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves helping out Ecommerce store owners, merchants and marketers in establishing their businesses and startups. Sajjad enjoys playing table tennis and cricket over the weekend.

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