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BigCommerce vs. Magento

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Running a thriving eCommerce business has a lot of moving parts to it, but one of the most important factor is the software you choose to run your whole business on. No matter how perfect or needed your product is, some platforms are particularly challenging to work with and may keep your business from growing effectively and profitably.

Two of the largest eCommerce solution providers are BigCommerce and Magento. Both have the reputation of being powerful eCommerce platforms that allow you to customize your store and deeply integrate with all kinds of useful extensions. However, there are key differences between the two platforms that are critical to understand.

Magento is an open source shopping cart software that has been increasingly making shifts to appear more like a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, by introducing a cloud offering that gives merchants the option of having a single vendor handle both software and hosting. Meanwhile, BigCommerce is already positioned as a relatively open SaaS platform, allowing merchants to achieve customization and integrations that had historically only been possible using open source software. They are currently offering 4 months free and 10% off migration services for merchants that are looking to migrate. They also wrote an interesting piece comparing On-Premise vs Hosted vs SaaS and how to pick the right solution depending on your needs.

For merchants already familiar with Magento that are facing the end of life of Magento V1, now is a crucial time to consider available alternatives.

Here is a quick breakdown of the key benefits of using BigCommerce vs. Magento.


  • Upgrades and patches are automatic so you’re always on the latest version and have no downtime with each upgrade.
  • When an update that enables a new feature is rolled out, merchants have access to it immediately and can control when or if they want to enable that new feature.
  • Hosting is included without any bandwidth caps or limits.
  • With BigCommerce’s automatic updates, merchants don’t have to pay for ongoing maintenance costs, and can focus on innovation or growing their business.
  • A drag-and-drop Page Builder is available on all plans.


  • Keeping up with the necessary security patches and version updates is time consuming and labor intensive.
  • The more customizations a merchant makes, the harder (and more costly) their Magento store becomes to maintain. This has a huge impact on installing updates, security patches, and adding extensions.
  • Costs can vary greatly on Magento: Paying for infrastructure, development, hosting and maintenance quickly adds up.
  • With Magento, the complexity of the platform makes merchants reliant on developer support.
  • The learning curve from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is significant, due to Magento 2 using a different architecture and newer technologies under the hood, without significantly departing from the value proposition of Magento 1.

Another way to get an idea of what to expect is to look at case studies of merchants who’ve tried using both platforms. BigCommerce has published an insightful analysis of results for eCommerce company Awesome GTI. Such non-independent studies are often biased, but they can still shed light on key differences and get an idea of what you can expect when migrating to a different platform.

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