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BigCommerce vs Magento

Monday, January 20th, 2014
Posted in Web Design by Joel Gross

The big battle of the season isn’t between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva, nor is it between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. No, if you want a real fight to the death, look no further than BigCommerce vs Magento. These two ecommerce powerhouses both claim to be the ultimate solution for online businesses, but which one actually reigns victorious? Each platform has its pros and cons, but ultimately, the victor will be decided by your own business needs and priorities. So let’s break down the features.

1

The Price

When it comes to price, it’s difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison because there are multiple variations of each platform, and they aren’t mutually exclusive. For instance, Magento has an entirely free version (the Magento Community Edition), which offers the most tantalizing dollar amount but not necessarily the best array of features. BigCommerce plans start at $24.95 a month, but the Bronze plan (the most cost-effective BigCommerce option) offers far more than Magento CE in terms of functionality.

For the most fair comparison, we should compare BigCommerce’s Silver and Gold packages to Magento Go. This will give you an idea of how the mid-tier packages compare for each program. For starters, neither Magento nor BigCommerce charges transactions fees, and that’s an important thing to look for in an ecommerce package. Other companies will charge a small fee for each sale that you make, and this—as you can imagine—adds up to a substantial investment over time, so you’ll want to avoid transaction fees like the plague.

When it comes to price, BigCommerce has a slight advantage. For $25 a month, you can maintain 100 products and 1 gigabyte of space. By comparison, Magento charges only $15 a month for its “Get Going” plan, but it allows for 100 products and only 200 megabytes of storage. If you bump up your Magento plan to the “Going Place” option, you’ll get 500 product listings for only $25 a month, but your storage will still be limited to only half a gigabyte. Therefore, if you have a lot of products, BigCommerce is your obvious choice.

Ease of Use

Do you find yourself struggling to navigate the complexities of CyberSpace? Or, by contrast, do you favor the ability to manipulate every facet of your ecommerce experience? When it comes to ease of use, your final decision will be dependent on your approach to design. In other words, are you looking for a simple point-and-click solution, or is PHP in your DNA? This is where things can get a bit complicated.

Magento was built upon an open-source framework, and it remains one of the most intricately customizable eCommerce platforms on the market today. BigCommerce is also highly customizable, but it’s more renowned for its ease of use. I would break it down this way: if you’re a developer and a cyber control freak like myself, go with Magento. If you just want to build and manage a site quickly and easily without any drama, go with BigCommerce. BigCommerce is customizable, but it was also designed with novices in mind. By contrast, Magento was built to maximize your possibilities through complex customization.

Customer Service

When it comes to customer support, both services are extremely favorable. The customer service representatives are helpful, knowledgeable, and focused on the needs of the customer. Magento, however, has a slight edge in this area, as you can reach their customer service representatives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. BigCommerce is only available by phone between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 p.m CST (as of this writing).

Customization

This was a tough one, but I’m going to have to call it a tie (forgive me if this sounds like a cop-out). For the amateur, BigCommerce and Magento both offer a wealth of superior templates, layouts and apps, guaranteed to afford you every customization option that you could possibly dream up. For the knowledgeable developer, both platforms give you free reign over your coding, enabling you to manipulate your PHP and HTML to your heart’s content. I would note, however, that if you’re relying on the open-source Magento CE, your options may be limited in terms of point-and-click customization.

SEO

Don’t underestimate the importance of SEO when choosing an ecommerce provider. Without integrated search engine optimization, you’re going to find it extremely difficult to obtain the kind of exposure necessary to run a successful online business. Magento and BigCommerce both include built-in features to promote adequate search engine exposure, but BigCommerce has a slight edge in this department. The sitemap integration and navigation structure are second to none, and BigCommerce makes it remarkably simple to integrate custom URLs, title tags, meta descriptions and content. Of course, we’ve already noted the incredible ease of use that BigCommerce provides.

 

BigCommerce vs Magento: The Final Verdict

 

Still struggling to find the right solution? I hate to oversimplify, and I would encourage you to consider all of the variables involved, but if forced to offer a blanket generalization, I would say the following: Go with Magento if you’re a more experienced developer, and go with BigCommerce if you’re a novice looking for an easy solution. In the battle of BigCommerce vs Magento, it’s all about your personal needs. And if you’re looking to improve your traffic and revenue with custom development and SEO services, give Coalition Technologies a call. We work with some of the nation’s top small businesses and corporate enterprises, and we can help you to massively improve your return on investment. Call us at 1-888-800-9101 for a free quote, and find out how our team of BigCommerce partners and Magento partners can take your online business to new heights.