Magento vs BigCommerce – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons)

Magento vs BigCommerce – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons). Choosing an ideal eCommerce platform to get your store up and running can be daunting with so many options in the market. This can especially be overwhelming for amateurs who’ve just set foot in the eCommerce niche. The most common questions you’ll ask yourself when choosing an eCommerce platform are:

  • Should we choose an open source solution or a hosted solution?
  • Which eCommerce platform is the best for our business requirements?
  • What factors do we need to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform for an online business?

In this post, we are going to comprehensively compare two of the most popular, eCommerce giants Magento vs BigCommerce. Even though both these platforms aim to fulfill the same objective, they mainly differ in various factors including their core architecture and how they manage payments, extensions, security, etc. 

We will be diving deeper into the pros, cons, features and functionality they have to offer for your unique business requirements.

Magento vs BigCommerce– Overview

Selling online is competitive. You have to leverage your eCommerce platform to provide a shopping experience your customers demand. BigCommerce vs Magento are the two popular eCommerce platforms .Magento is authenticated by around 3000,000 online stores around the world. On the other hand BigCommerce uses a fifth of that.  

What is Magento?

Magento is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms across the globe leveraged by millions of online store owners. It is an open source platform (just like WooCommerce) comprising exceptional benefits to power your e stores. Magento currently powers 0.7% of the internet, accounting for about 12% of all eCommerce websites. To be precise, Magento has over 175,848 active websites up and running today. 

Some of the popular brands using Magento in 2022 are Ford, Helly Hansen, Nestle Nespresso, Landrover, Sigma Beauty, Monin, and many more.

It is a self hosted platform that powers your eCommerce store, be it SMEs or bigger brands. Established in 2007, Magento was developed with the aim to be a highly flexible platform that offers unlimited scope for customization to the users. It comes in a free, open source version (driven by the community) and premium Enterprise level versions as well. 

Features of Magento eCommerce

Is Magento better than BigCommerce ?

  1. Catalog Management
  2. Order Management.
  3. Marketing and Advertising
  4. Website internalization.
  5. Easy to Checkout.
  6. Reporting and Analytics.
  7. Enhanced Security.

Pros of Magento

  • Detailed KB (knowledge base) offers good self service support for basic problems
  • Impressive inventory management features allow you to add products to your catalog whilst your site ticks over.
  • Available in free version.
  • Highly customizable platform.
  • Unlimited scalability .
  • Best for large enterprises with a large inventory, large budget, and good experience level.
  • One time payment option.

Cons of Magento

  • Steep learning curve can be overwhelming for beginners
  • Rich features and functionalities such as SEO apps, security practices, hosting, etc. demand additional costs.
  • Complex to set up.
  • Requires a third party hosting.
  • Requires ample coding knowledge to customize your e store site beyond the template

What is BigCommerce?

BigCommerce is another biggie in the eCommerce business. It is a fully hosted, all in one eCommerce platform (just like Shopify) that is ideal for SMEs (small to medium enterprises) with a constricted budget. BigCommerce is witnessing steady growth over the years, and it has over 51,777 live websites currently. 

Big brands that are currently using BigCommerce in 2022 are Sony, Casio, RAZER, GE Appliances, Ubisoft Store, Black Diamond, and many more.

This ecommerce platform -BigCommerce is a SaaS (Software as a Service), hence you have to pay a monthly subscription fee for their hosting infrastructure, but you won’t own the technology. With this approach, eCommerce store owners don’t have to worry about infrastructure related issues whatsoever. You can start building your site right away leveraging the beautiful, pre built themes BigCommerce offers. You can even customize these templates as per your preferences.

BigCommerce Features

Is BigCommerce better than Magento?

1.Customized Emails to reduce Cart Abandonment.

2. Product Comparison.

3. Wishlist.

4. Simpler Checkout Process.

5. Recently Viewed Products.

6.Live Chat Integration.

Pros of BigCommerce

  • Perfect for selling across multiple channels even social media touchpoints such as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest
  • Powerful SEO tools boost your rank in SERPs 
  • 24*7 live chat and call support.
  • Rich set of built in features to help you get started right out of the box.
  • Does not levy transaction fees for accepting payments across any plan.
  • Excellent choice for businesses who want to grow fast.
  • Easy to set up and can be launched in a couple of days.
  • Perfect for newbies that are not highly tech savvy

The drawbacks of BigCommerce

  • Doesn’t offer a mobile application for ease of use.
  • Interface isn’t intuitive and user friendly.
  • Sale thresholds with the need to upgrade if sale reach certain level. 
  • Occurring fees.
  • People who are not a tech whiz may have a problem understanding complex terminologies the builder displays

Next in the Magento vs BigCommerce – What’s the Difference? we talk about major feature differences.

Magento vs BigCommerce - 8 Key Differences

1. Pricing in Magento vs BigCommerce

Magento Pricing

Magento comes in two versions, Free and Paid. Magento Open source is a free version that anyone can leverage to get their eCommerce site up and running. Since it comes with minimal built in features, it is ideal for small businesses. For add on features, one must visit the Magento marketplace to get the plugins.

The paid versions viz. Magento Enterprise Edition (self hosted) and Adobe Commerce Cloud (license + cloud hosting fee) come in different price. Magento Enterprise Edition license cost starts from $22,000 yearly. On the other hand, Adobe Commerce Cloud starts from $40,000 yearly.

With Magento’s pricing depends upon the extensions and hosting plan you choose. Hiring a developer to customize the site for you may also add to your expenses. In short, Magento provides greater control to users over costs.

BigCommerce Pricing

BigCommerce offers four core pricing plans:

  • Standard: $29.95/month
  • Plus: $79.95/month
  • Pro: $299.95/month
  • Enterprise: custom pricing

The Standard Plan is best suitable for small businesses with up to $50k online sales per year. It includes unlimited products, bandwidth, file storage and staff accounts. Other impressive features in this plan include multi currency support, real time shipping quotes, a built in blog, free sitewide HTTPS and dedicated SSL, and much more.

The Plus plan includes all the features of the Standard plan along with other extra features like customer segmentation and groups, abandoned card savers, stored credit cards, and Persistent Cart. This plan is good for online stores that sell up to $180k per year.

Since BigCommerce is a hosted platform, you don’t have to pay for:

  • Server maintenance or equipment costs.
  • Hosting costs.
  • Security patches.
  • Bug fixes.
  • Additional server capacity.

2. Themes Magento vs BigCommerce

Magento Themes

In addition Magento offers greater customization freedom. Magento requires plugins for add on features.

Currently, Magento offers 5 theme options – free as well as paid. The paid ones can cost you anywhere from $29 to $499. Or, you can even build your theme from scratch if you’re a tech whiz or you hire a developer for this work. It heavily relies on the extensions to add functionality to your site; hence you will find loads of extensions in the Magento marketplace.

BigCommerce Themes

As of today, BigCommerce offers 12 free themes along with up to 100+ paid options whose price ranges from $150 to $300 each. But, BigCommerce offers more choices when it comes to pre built themes, without the need for coding knowledge. Additionally, it offers numerous built in features within the dashboard.

3. Ease of Use Magento vs BigCommerce

Magento Ease of Use

The issue we see with Magento is a very steep learning curve, which can be daunting for those who don’t know to code. Even the setup process for Magento is quite advanced, as you have to install Magento, configure FTP, connect it to a hosted system, integrate extensions, and so much more.

BigCommerce Ease of Use

Navigation in BigCommerce is fairly seamless. However, the editing interface lacks intuitiveness. The use of complex terminologies may confuse newbies when navigating from storefront to backend. But overall, BigCommerce is easy to set up and easy to use than Magento.

Big plus with BigCommerce is that it doesn’t require hosting integration, so easier to use than Magento. Even the users that do not have coding knowledge can easily customize their BigCommerce e store. Besides, most of the tools required come built in within the dashboard for out of the box use.

4. Performance and Security Magento vs BigCommerce

Magento Performance and Security

Big advantage with Magento is that it is highly secure, as it is PCI DSS compliant and supports TFA (two factor authentication). This platform releases security patches as well, but here you need to install them manually. The Magento doesn’t provide a free SSL certificate and has very limited paid SSL options. Rather, you need to rely upon a hosting provider that has an SSL certificate

BigCommerce Performance and Security

Since BigCommerce is a fully hosted platform, it automatically releases and applies security patches across your eCommerce site. Additionally, it offers free HTTPS and dedicated SSL across all pricing plans. It offers various paid SSL options as well, whose pricing may range from $59 to $200.

5. SEO in Magento vs BigCommerce

Magento SEO

SEO with Magento does not come with many built in SEO features. To achieve that, you may have to integrate third party SEO apps like SEO Toolkit, Advanced SEO Suite, etc. into the platform, which can be costly.

BigCommerce SEO

On contrary the BigCommerce has impressive built in SEO features like micro data (rich snippets), unique URLs, CDN (Content Delivery Network), and 301 redirects along with URL rewrites. Adding to this, BigCommerce offers over 600+ SEO apps to boost your rank in SERPs.

6. BigCommerce SaaS Platform vs Magento Open Source

Magento PaaS

The platform of Magento is a PaaS (Platform as a Service), open source solution and BigCommerce is a SaaS (Software as a Service), cloud-based solution. Magento also introduced a PaaS (cloud  based) Magento 2Magento 2 supports the latest PHP versions, supports MySQL and provides faster page load speed over Magento 1.

BigCommerce SaaS

Here, BigCommerce on the other hand is a cloud based Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. The software is licensed to its users, where they can access their webstore from any web browser via an internet connection. The big advantage of SaaS software is that the provider takes care of any hosting or infrastructure maintenance for its users, which leads to lower cost of ownership.

7. Help and Support Magento vs BigCommerce

Magento Help and Support

Support with Magento does not offer various support options. For the paid versions, you can get support via email and live chat. As for the free version, you need to rely upon the developers on Magento’s forums or other experienced users. These forums are comprehensive and highly informative with the inclusion of tutorials. The help center of Magento is also quite rich with tech resources, FAQs, KB, documentation, and forums where you can get most of your answers.

However, additional advanced support for Magento can cost up to $100 as per the support’s length.

BigCommerce Help and Support

On the other hand with BigCommerce offers solid support 24*7 via live chat or phone, email, and help center across all pricing plans. Whatever may be the problem, you can quickly get in touch with the team. However, it has a poor knowledge base for self service support which is often sought for common issues.

BigCommerce vs Magento which one is better?

To summarize it all comes down to your unique business needs, budget and plans for growth as a business. With both of them you can achieve it  but which one is better suited?   Below we shall compare a profile of BigCommerce merchant vs an ideal Magento merchant.

Magento Merchant

1.Established retailer
2. You want to be working with partner or agency to maintain website.

3. You require extreme customization of design and functionality of site.
4. No limit of time and can have more time to create website and go live.

5. Complete control of infrastructure and administration via in house IT team.

BigCommerce Merchant

1.It is fast growing
2.Smaller budget.

3. Ideal for scalability and flexibility to meet fast changing consumer needs.
4. Out-of-the-box solution and quick go live time.
5. Have 0 to limited in house IT team to take care about infrastructure and admin.

So which one is it going to be? Magento vs BigCommerce – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons).

Magento vs BigCommerce – What’s the Difference? Conclusion

Now that we’ve comprehensively compared these two most powerful eCommerce platforms, Magento vs BigCommerce, hope you can conclude which one would be the best choice for you. All the key criteria you need to consider before picking an eCommerce platform for your online store are elucidated above. 

To summarize, it all comes down to the hosting expenses, extensions, freedom of customization, ease of use, and scaling capacity you require. If you have limited coding knowledge, go for BigCommerce as it comes with impressive built in features and good support. But if you seek unlimited customization and unlimited scalability for your large inventory, go for Magento.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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