BigCommerce vs Magento

BigCommerce is an Open SaaS platform that provides flexibility with the cost savings, low maintenance and security of SaaS.

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BigCommerce vs Magento: Why businesses are making the switch

Craft endless commerce possibilities with our flexible solution designed to help you build, innovate and grow your business.

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Flexibility to future-proof your business

New technology, higher customer expectations and increased competition are expanding the boundaries of what’s possible in ecommerce. Brands need flexible tech that allows them to adapt quickly. BigCommerce has platform-wide APIs that enable businesses to customise their sites and integrate with external applications and services — all without changing the source code.

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Security you can count on

Security in ecommerce must always be top of mind. However, with BigCommerce, you can let it be at the top of someone else’s mind. Unlike Magento, BigCommerce automatically applies all security patches for you. And BigCommerce is ISO/IEC 27001:2013 & PCI DSS 3.2, Level 1 certified. Spend your time building your business, not worrying about security.

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Low maintenance frees you up

No ecommerce business owner — or their developers for that matter — delights in spending their time applying routine updates to keep their site in working order. BigCommerce has no-hassle, automatic updates and upgrades, so you always have access to the latest features and can focus on revenue-generating innovations instead.

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Scalable to grow with you

BigCommerce supports businesses of all sizes and at every stage of their growth. With the speed, ease-of-use, high performance and low cost of multi-tenant SaaS, BigCommerce has the out-of-the-box features you need now and the ability to easily integrate with a huge ecosystem of best-in-breed solutions to adapt as you grow.

Migration success stories

“Magento was one huge headache after another — from security updates to parts of our site not functioning. With BigCommerce, none of that is a concern now, which is great. We don’t have to spend time worrying about that, and we can spend time on running our business.”

Randy Choi & Billy ThompsonCo-Founders
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“Moving to Magento had meant too many compromises, and within a few months we decided it wasn’t the right platform. We wanted to be more in control of our site and bring in our own developers so that we weren't solely reliant on outside agencies, and BigCommerce offered us that opportunity.”

Neil BruceEcommerce Manager
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“[Magento] was very expensive to use and it was constantly fraught with problems. We've only been on BigCommerce a couple of months now and the sentiment within the company is like, ‘Why didn’t we do this earlier?’”

Lee HackettEcommerce and Marketing Manager
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“Prior to BigCommerce, we were on Magento. For everything you wanted to do, there was a different functionality and plugin that you had to buy. We wanted flexibility to market to our customers, and BigCommerce lets us do anything we want from the get go.”

Ken WardDirector of Ecommerce
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“Now, with BigCommerce, I don’t have to spend my time thinking about the details related to operating the site; instead, I can spend more time strategising about how to delight the customer and how to tell our new brand story in a really invigorating way.”

Steve MillerDirector of Ecommerce
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Common BigCommerce vs Magento questions

What are the different versions of Magento and how do they compare to BigCommerce?

Magento Open Source (formerly Community Edition) is a free-to-download version that can be hosted on-premise or by a third-party. Magento Commerce (formerly Enterprise Edition) is a managed version that requires license fees and includes support. Magento Commerce can be self-hosted or include cloud hosting (Magento Commerce Cloud). It’s important to note that the cloud-hosted version is PaaS, not SaaS, which means the user will still be responsible for version updates and security patches.

By contrast, BigCommerce is a SaaS platform and always includes ecommerce hosting, maintenance and automatic security patching as part of the subscription fee. For more information about the different versions of Magento and how they compare to BigCommerce, see this resource.

Do I need an agency to implement a BigCommerce or Magento store?

For any version of Magento, to set up your store, you will need either in-house developer resources or an outside agency. 

BigCommerce offers out-of-the-box themes and a user-friendly Page Builder that make it possible — for simpler builds — to set it up yourself. For more complex builds, many BigCommerce merchants choose to work with an outside agency or internal development teams to unlock the full power and possibilities of our Open SaaS platform.

How does the cost of ownership of a BigCommerce store compare to Magento?

Both Magento and BigCommerce will require some costs at the outset to build and design your store — which will vary depending on your internal resources and if you use an agency or not (see question above). Beyond the initial set up, to understand your total cost of ownership, you need to first understand what is and is not included in your ongoing costs.

BigCommerce is a SaaS platform, meaning your subscription fee includes hosting, security patching, maintenance, updates and support. With Magento, you will be paying for licensing fees (depending on the version you use; see question above), hosting (again, depending on the version you use), maintenance and keeping the platform secure. It will depend on your specific business needs, but generally BigCommerce stores have a lower total cost of ownership than Magento Commerce stores. If you’re interested in specific pricing for your business, talk to a BigCommerce expert.

How does hosting and bandwidth impact my pricing on Magento and BigCommerce?

Whether you’re going with Magento Commerce or Magento Open Source, a number of factors will likely impact pricing. If you are looking at Magento Commerce with hosting through Magento, you may be asked to do a cloud sizing exercise as part of receiving a quote. You will need to carefully calculate your hosting and bandwidth needs and ask Magento what effects traffic spikes may have on your site. These will still be factors for on-premise versions of Magento (both Commerce and Open Source), but this is generally done with a third-party hosting company. If you are managing your own hosting, you will need to consider the costs of building and maintaining that infrastructure. 

BigCommerce is a SaaS platform and includes hosting that scales with you, so you don’t have to worry about bandwidth.

Can I edit the source code of Magento or BigCommerce?

You can edit the source code of Magento, however this can introduce additional complexity when managing future updates and patches. On BigCommerce, you can’t edit the source code; however, the platform-wide APIs enable businesses to customise their sites and integrate with best-in-breed external applications and services. In fact, over 90% of the BigCommerce platform is exposed via APIs. This can provide you the flexibility to customise without introducing unnecessary intricacies.

Can BigCommerce and Magento connect to my ERP, PIM, CRM or other external systems?

Both Magento and BigCommerce can connect to external systems using either pre-built connections from their app marketplace or custom integrations. Setting up these connections can be managed by your development team or an outside agency. Depending on the integration, BigCommerce does include a wide range of single-click apps that can be installed without development resources. Additionally, BigCommerce has in-house Solutions Architects who can help you build completely custom integrations as needed.

Can the frontend and backend of my store scale independently?

With Magento, like many other factors, this will vary depending on how your Magento store is configured and hosted (or for on-premise, just in how you set it up). 

With BigCommerce, having your ecommerce team working on the backend doesn’t degrade the performance of your live store as BigCommerce’s frontend and backend scale independently.

Can I use BigCommerce or Magento as part of a headless build?

If you choose to go headless (connecting a frontend solution to your ecommerce platform on the backend), it is possible on both BigCommerce and Magento. However, your ease of set-up will vary depending on your platform and your frontend of choice. 

Magento has pre-built integrations with Acquia and Adobe Experience Manager and provides support for progressive web apps. 

BigCommerce has pre-built integrations with Acquia, Adobe Experience Manager, Bloomreach, WordPress, Drupal and Sitecore, as well as support for progressive web apps. Additionally BigCommerce has a Channels Toolkit that can make it easy for developers to create and on-board custom headless solutions.

Who is responsible for version updates of my store?

On Magento, your development team (in-house or agency) will need to handle all updates and patches to maintain PCI compliance. This becomes more complex to do the more customised your site becomes. 

On BigCommerce, you can future proof your business by having access to the latest version without having to manually update the platform yourself. These automatic updates free up your development teams to focus on the business growing projects of your choice rather than taking on tedious tasks like patching.

Is there a difference in PCI compliance on Magento and BigCommerce?

The level of effort you have to extend to maintain PCI compliance varies depending on your platform. 

Magento Commerce (with cloud hosting through Magento), without any changes or customisation, is considered to be PCI compliant, but if you make changes to the source code, the responsibility of proving compliance falls on you.

BigCommerce stores come standard with Level 1 PCI compliance.

Who is responsible for making sure my site is up-to-date with critical security patches?

Keeping up with patches is incredibly important to maintaining the security of your site. Magento operates with the shared responsibility model meaning they supply critical security patches, but the user is responsible for installing them.  

On BigCommerce, no-hassle security patching is automatic, so you don’t have to worry about making these updates yourself.

What effects does customisation have on managing my store and how will that affect installing patches and updates?

With Magento, customisation introduces additional complexity. Magento has an extremely extensive setup and requires a developer to manage the build and maintenance. The more customisations you make, the more complicated it becomes to conduct routine maintenance like security patches and updates. With BigCommerce, these updates are made for you, so the level of customisation you achieve has little impact on your maintenance.

What support will I get with a BigCommerce or Magento store?

For Magento, the amount of support you receive depends on the version you are on. Magento Open Source does not include support. Magento Commerce includes 24/7 support; however, phone support is limited to priority 1 incidents as defined by Magento.  

With BigCommerce, we provide fast, US-based support. On average, users are speaking to a live support person in under two minutes. Over 85% of issues are resolved on the first call. 

Both Magento Commerce and BigCommerce Enterprise include a customer success manager.


Recommended Resources

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