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Magento vs. BigCommerce

See how we contrast two popular ecommerce solutions, Magento and BigCommerce. Which is right for your ecommerce store?

Categories:  Ecommerce
4 min read
Looking to bring ecommerce to your business site? There are many ecommerce platforms available and it can be hard to narrow down your options to the one platform that will work best for you. Here, we contrast two popular ecommerce solutions, Magento and BigCommerce.

Ease of Installation

BigCommerce: Building your first store with BigCommerce is pretty easy. Pre-made templates limit flexibility, but do make for near-painless ecommerce. Magento: Many hosts offer one-click Magento installs, so users who are unsure about doing a manual installation have options. Because this is a very powerful and flexible platform, it’s worth considering having it installed by a Magento developer. Users can install it themselves, but using a professional will see that the business can get the most from the platform and as quickly as possible.

Ease of Use

BigCommerce: BigCommerce is easy to use for beginners. Its features, designs, and add-ons are simple to install, and the dashboard is intuitive. The dedicated support service is there to help if you run into trouble, too. You do not need to have coding or development skills to get an ecommerce site going with BigCommerce. If you are hoping to install advanced functions to heighten the shopping experience for your customers, you may find that BigCommerce is too basic for your needs. Magento: Magento offers an exceptionally high degree of customization. It is so customizable that you are limited only by your imagination, so hiring people with web design, coding, or development skills will allow you to take advantage of the many features that Magneto offers. Once the system is set up to your specifications, the ecommerce platform is straightforward to use.

Search Engine Friendly

BigCommerce: With a sitemap, a robots.txt file, and the ability to customize image descriptions, alt tags, header and title tags, and URLs, BigCommerce offers good control over your SEO. Magento: This ecommerce platform is extremely search engine optimization friendly. It consistently ranks at or near the top for SEO ease of integration. You can adjust URLs to make them SEO-friendly, and add meta info for various categories and products within your site. It’s easy to view what search terms people are using to find your site, and what they’re searching for on your site itself. Magento’s Google integration makes it that much easier to understand how SEO is impacting your shopping page.

Integration Ecosystem

BigCommerce: With an app marketplace that is highly curated, it is designed to work with many popular third-party apps, but only those that are reputable and high quality. Magento: Magento works with Windows, Android, Mac, and web-based devices. It supports integration with systems and applications such as BankPayment, PayOne, MailChimp, osCommerce, Facebook, Twitter, and WorldPay, and works particularly well with eBay.

Cost to Maintain

BigCommerce: The pricing for BigCommerce ranges from $24.95 to $299.95 a month, depending on which plan you use. The least expensive plan offers unlimited sales, storage, and bandwidth, but is hosted through the BigCommerce module. The more expensive plans allow for self-hosting and additional features like security and analytics, filtering, and fraud monitoring. Magento: Magento’s community ecommerce platform is open source, and thus, free. Being self-hosted, Magento is very customizable, but that means you’ll need to pay for your own hosting. There are no transaction fees stemming from Magento itself. You may have to pay the processor you choose though. There are few limitations with the free version of Magento. You may need to purchase extensions and hire specialists to install them as your business grows. This cost is normally not an issue, as business owners realize that they are benefiting from growth with Magento’s help.


BigCommerce: BigCommerce is better suited to beginners or people who want a DIY option, and are prepared to sacrifice built-in customization options. It is still customizable, but will end up looking more like a customized BigCommerce ecommerce site than your unique store. Magento: Magento’s customizability is one of its major advantages over competitors. Development and design skills are required to use the power of this platform to its full extent. With the right knowledge – the right hires – you can make Magento the perfect fit for your business. Features like responsive designs, zoomable images, reviews, wish-lists, and discounts add greatly to the customer experience.

Hosted vs. Self-Hosted

BigCommerce: With this ecommerce platform, the hosting is built in. You get features like security, PCI compliance, and hosting maintenance, but you do give up some of the customization flexibility that comes with choosing your own host. Magento: Magento is self-hosted. You are looking at paying for your own hosting, which can cost as little as a few dollars per month, depending on your needs and your site traffic. The added cost offers you massive flexibility and freedom.
Magento BigCommerce
Easy of Installation One-click features are available depending on host. Developers are recommended to use the platform to the fullest. 4/5 As simple as going through step-by-step instructions, even for beginners. 5/5
Ease of Use Setting up should be taken care of by professionals. Using the system afterwards is straightforward. 4/5 Great for beginners, but advanced users may find it lacking. 4/5
Search Engine Friendly Extremely SEO-friendly! 5/5 Extremely SEO-friendly! 5/5
Integration Ecosystem Simple and straightforward integration with most major players. 4/5 Integrates with many options. The app store is curated by BigCommerce, however, so may not have all the apps you’d like. 3/5
Cost to Maintain Initially free, plus the cost of hosting. Many features are built in. Businesses can pay for extensions and developers to install them as the business grows. 4/5 Various price points depending on the plan you choose. No hosting fees, although this limits flexibility. 5/5
Customizability Highly customizable, especially for those with the skills, or with the budget to pay someone for customization. 5/5 Fairly customizable but within the constraints of the platform itself. Users do not have complete control. 3/5
Hosted vs. Self-Hosted Self-hosted — more work, but more freedom. Hosted through BigCommerce – less work but less freedom.
Target Market Large businesses with high-volume stores and agencies managing multiple stores. Small to medium businesses. Individuals who want to create their first DIY store.
Looking for an experienced web design agency that can develop a ecommerce website that is search engine friendly and easy to manage for your business? Contact our award-winning ecommerce website developers and ecommerce marketing professionals in Raleigh, NC at 919-341-8901 or schedule a complimentary consultation and website review.

About The Author:
Richard Horvath

Richard Horvath is the founder of TheeDigital, a Raleigh based award-winning web design and digital marketing agency. He is proud of his team and the results that they provide to their clients.

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