Is BigCommerce Open Source? Benefits, Pros and Cons

Updated: June 06, 2021

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Over the last few decades, the eCommerce business has been steadily developing and evolving, and those changes have accelerated with the events of 2020. As you look for technology to suit these and other requirements, you’ll notice that the choices are numerous. One of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether or not you want an open-source eCommerce platform.

We’ll help you answer the question “Is BigCommerce open source?” in this post by going over the term, as well as the advantages and downsides you should think about.

Table of Contents

What is open source?

The term “open source software” refers to software in which the user has complete access to the source code. As a result, anyone can adapt and personalize the platform to match their specific business requirements. We actually mean “everyone” when we say “anyone with development resources.” Open source platforms are flexible and strong, but they’re also complicated. Certified developers are the best people to handle changes.

Open-source software is frequently created collaboratively, and there are often communities formed around specific platform development. A user might pick an open-source platform because they need a lot of customization; if a feature isn’t available, it may be added by modifying the code. To use the analogy we used before, open-source is similar to owning a home. You can download it and use it to knock down walls and add a finished basement if you have the funds to hire professionals.

What is open source?

Pros and cons of open source

There is no one eCommerce platform that is right for every business. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each before deciding which might be the best fit for your business.

Pros

Complete control

The most significant advantage of open source software is its flexibility. The source code is in your control. If you want to make significant changes and have extremely specific requirements, open source may be the way to go. You’re only limited by your imagination and the skills of your development team.

Widespread community support

The community that grows around open source platforms builds and maintains them. Developers with expertise in the platform provide ideas and enhancements that you may use. You may tap into the information source around your platform by visiting blogs, community forums, and Github. It’s worth noting that the amount of community help you receive will likely differ depending on whether you have paid or free licensing.

Cons

Complex

The more you change the source code, the more complicated your system becomes. Updates may be more expensive and complex as a result of this. You may discover that the software has a learning curve.

Heavy maintenance

Open-source systems are not only expensive and difficult to set up, but they also require a lot of maintenance to keep them up and to run. To manage this upkeep, you’ll need a developer, an in-house IT team, or an agency. Because your marketing staff will need developer support to make updates, it may be more difficult to make quick modifications to the site to keep current.

High cost

We already discussed the costs of open source eCommerce, so we won’t go over them again, but enough to say that open source platforms come with a laundry list of expenses to consider. Calculate whether the original construction expenditures and ongoing operational expenditures will work out in your favor in the long run.

Vulnerabilities in security

Anyone can download and edit the source code for open-source software. That’s a benefit for the community of developers who are working to improve it… Also, when it comes to evil actors looking for flaws to exploit, this is a disadvantage. Ecommerce sites are financial data treasure troves; therefore, hackers are continuously seeking a way in, making security breaches a serious problem. Patches for known flaws may be available for your open-source platform, but it is up to your team to be proactive in implementing them.

Final answer: Is BigCommerce open source

BigCommerce belongs to SaaS eCommerce. Although SaaS may be able to deliver the customization you require without requiring open source, not all SaaS is created equal, as we’ve already shown. In this booklet, you’ll learn more about Open SaaS and what it can do.

BigCommerce is a popular open-source SaaS eCommerce platform for mid-market and large businesses. It combines all of the advantages of multi-tenant SaaS — ease of use, fast performance, and continuous updates — with platform-wide APIs that allow businesses to customize their sites and interface with third-party apps and services. The platform’s drag-and-drop PageBuilder makes it simple to change without having to know how to code. BigCommerce is used by tens of thousands of B2B and B2C businesses in 150 countries and across a wide range of sectors to create beautiful, engaging online stores.

Final answer: Is BigCommerce open source

Benefits of using BigCommerce over open-source platforms

Easier to use

Closed source software, such as BigCommerce, is unquestionably more user-pleasant than open-source competitors.

Closed source software is made for people who don’t have a programming or web development background. These platforms are typically provided with straightforward interfaces that allow you to modify your eCommerce sites without needing to edit or add code parts. To make modifications to your eCommerce site, you can usually employ code-free plugins with specified functions.

If you don’t have much technical skill, though, BigCommerce is likely to be less time-consuming and complicated than Magneto or other open-source systems.

Better support

Because the vendors have customer service teams whose responsibility is to solve any queries or concerns you might have, BigCommerce and other closed source platforms tend to have far better quality support. When you seek assistance, you will be provided competent, clear guidance on how to quickly resolve your problem.

The assistance you receive from open-source platforms is frequently disorganized. Typically, these tools include forums and articles where you can seek assistance. However, you may need to do some digging before you uncover a solution to your problem.

Security

It is debatable whether open-source platforms are more secure than closed-source systems. In some ways, open-source platforms may be more secure.

However, it is worth noting that open-source platforms have weaknesses that closed source programs like BigCommerce don’t. For example, open-source platforms frequently allow you to utilize plugins, enabling hackers to gain access to your site if the plugins aren’t secure or aren’t updated regularly.

BigCommerce has a security benefit in that a select group of BigCommerce developers can only view the platform’s code. These programmers are always looking for vulnerabilities and viruses in BigCommerce. The vendor’s control over its software can theoretically make it more secure.

Conclusion

For some business owners, open-source eCommerce platforms are ideal. One of the most popular eCommerce platforms today, BigCommerce, is not open source.

However, if you are interested in using BigCommerce, the fact that this platform is closed source can make BigCommerce all the more valuable to employ. After all, employing closed source SaaS tools like BigCommerce has a number of significant advantages.

We hope that after this article about Is BigCommerce open source?, you will have an additional choice to build up your own eCommerce store successfully.

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