BigCommerce offers a ready-to-use platform that helps small businesses get started with their ecommerce business on a budget; however, Magento is better because it offers more customizability, functionality, and control over the website.
Magento or BigCommerce: which to choose?
Magento is licensed under the Open Software License v3.0, allowing merchants and developers to use and customize the software for free. However, Magento 2 Open Source stores must be self-hosted, costing an average of around $20 to $40 or more for a small store.
BigCommerce is a subscription-based ecommerce platform that merchants can license from $29.95 per month for the most basic plan to $299.95 per month for their Pro plan. It’s worth noting that even with BigCommerce’s Pro plan, you’re still limited to a maximum of $400,000 in sales per annum, whereas in Magento, there’s no limit on how much you can sell.
Ease of use
It’s well-known that setting up a Magento store requires a degree of technical proficiency to configure the store properly, secure it, and even maintain it. While the store is easy to use from an administrative point of view, managing the application and its server requires a basic understanding of its supporting technologies.
BigCommerce offers significant ease of use as the platform itself is hosted and maintained by the application’s developers. As a store owner, you don’t need any technical skills to set up a store. Moreover, they provide 24/7 support across multiple channels providing their users with ease of mind when using the platform.
Magento offers both basic and advanced ecommerce functionality to its users straight out of the box. A single Magento installation can support an unlimited number of products, orders, customers, or stores.
BigCommerce, like Magento, supports an unlimited number of products. However, it limits the total value of online sales for each plan forcing retailers to upgrade to higher plans when they cross the threshold. It also limits the features based on each plan which means merchants are forced to upgrade if they wish to offer better functionality on their stores. For example, unless you’re subscribed to the Pro plan at $299.95 per month, you won’t be able to offer product filtering functionality on your store.
Magento stores are reputed for their industry-leading performance. With in-built support for caching technologies such as Varnish and Redis, they allow merchants to leverage open-source software to boost the performance of their stores.
BigCommerce manages the hosting for all their users, and hence, store owners have limited control over their store performance. Users often experience performance issues and end up with websites that are down for hours with little control over troubleshooting issues or fixing them.
Magento stores offer merchants the ability to fully customize their website look and functionality using custom code. Magento’s modular architecture supports overriding core functionality to extend features without editing core code.
Although BigCommerce supports customizing themes and layouts, it doesn’t allow merchants to customize core functionality. This is because BigCommerce is a SaaS offering, unlike Magento, which is an open-source platform.
Magento offers several SEO-friendly features out of the box. Its default product template contains data markup based on Schema.org standards, which means merchants don’t have to rely on third-party extensions to display their product listings with rich snippets on search engine results pages.
Like Magento, BigCommerce also offers multiple SEO-friendly features natively. It allows merchants to choose the URL structures for their stores, customize metadata, to generate and customize the store’s sitemap and robots.txt files. Overall, both Magento and BigCommerce offer essential SEO functionality by default, and one isn’t necessarily better than the other in this regard.
Magento offers several built-in security features, such as the use of strict content security policy headers. More recently, Adobe has also started releasing security-only patches that allow store owners to update their Magento stores’ security while deferring other low-priority updates.
While BigCommerce provides ease of use and similar functionality to Magento, it fails to deliver complete customizability. BigCommerce’s restrictions on total annual sales while offering lesser functionality makes it unappealing to established business owners.
Magento doesn’t restrict its users in any way and allows all businesses equal access to its functionality. Furthermore, it also provides merchants with complete control over their stores by enabling them to customize both backend functionality and frontend design, giving it a significant edge over BigCommerce.