Open-source vs SaaS eCommerce | What’s the right for your business?

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The eCommerce industry is subjected to continuous growth owing to technological advancements and customers’ needs. That being said, eCommerce platforms are also the top priority. An eCommerce platform helps to create eCommerce websites or stores. Therefore, you might come across a rising number of platforms when you start finding one for your own website. Eventually, finding the suitable per business needs becomes more challenging, for example, Open-source vs SaaS eCommerce.

There are two types of eCommerce platforms, namely open-source and SaaS. You must know about them in detail to lay your hands on the right eCommerce platform. For instance, you should look at the difference, functionality, ease, and more.

So let’s know a little about the platforms before discussing Open-source vs SaaS eCommerce.

Open-source eCommerce 

Open source is such software on which there are no restrictions to access the source code. It means anyone gets the software and can customize it according to the requirements.

However, to make it usable for you, obviously, the customization should be excellent. And undoubtedly, it can be done only by the experts because the open-source is complex. By experts, we mean the developers or the Ecommerce Website Development Services.

SaaS eCommerce 

On the other hand, SaaS stands for Software as a Service, also called web-based software and hosted software. It is a software type that you have to pay for to get access to; subscription model. The payment can be monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

Users cannot install it on individual computers. However, the software providers take care of hosting and installation of the platform on the privatized servers. Also, the users cannot have access to the source code, so you cannot customize it.


Open-source eCommerce SaaS eCommerce
Woocommerce Shopify & Shopify Plus
Magento BigCommerce
OpenCart Volusion
PrestaShop Squarespace

Now let’s dive into the comparison between both platforms.


Open-source vs SaaS eCommerce


Both platforms have an easy installation process, even for beginners. Open-source eCommerce platforms installation is free of charge. Similarly, the SaaS software offers trials to help you understand the process. Finally, the users can pay and buy the paid version.


While talking about the features, both SaaS and open-source serve best to business needs. It is already mentioned that the open-source framework is free of charge. However, to get started with the forum, the user needs to have coding expertise and put in a lot of effort. For instance, buy the hosting, security, themes creation, etc.

Nevertheless, SaaS seems to be quite user-friendly and has built-in themes. Moreover, to streamline the functioning, SaaS eliminates the headaches of individually setting and buying the hosting, security, and so forth.


Following customizations, there is an absolute difference. That is, SaaS being licensed software and unreachable source code does not allow unlimited customization. Only the extensive support rendered by the provider is available to boost and ensure the smart functioning of the platform.

In contrast, open-source is really open to customizations. Making the e-store adapting to the business and customers’ essentials and user experience, the user can add the required functionality without any restrictions.


Ecommerce relies on online shopping and online payments, so security becomes a critical point. Besides, with the increased cyber-crimes and hacking, users hesitate to entrust their confidential information.

So let’s take a look at the provided security in Open-source vs SaaS eCommerce platforms.

SaaS provides the best of the best security and has made the platform PCI compliant. But, at the same time, in open-source, users have to take the headache. So they have to catch up with the PCI compliance standard and other tasks like taking care of the security firewall on their own.

Maintenance & Support 

In open-source, the users are their own bosses. Therefore, the users have control over the platforms’ infrastructure, management, etc. In particular, it includes finding a good Web Hosting company, monitoring the performance, backups, and updates. Thus, if you need any support concerning maintenance, you have to contact Ecommerce Website Development Company.

On the contrary, SaaS is more like a ready-made meal that you just have to buy, and you are good to go. That is, the software comes with various facilities – you don’t have to worry about hosting, servers, backup, monitoring, etc. In case if the users still need any assistance or support regarding the software breakdown, the software provider is the ultimate helper.

Total Cost Estimate 

Here comes the important aspect that most individuals and businesses pay special attention to “price.”

Drawing from above, it is readily observable that SaaS and open-source have a particular course of action, which indeed affects the ownership price. Therefore, we will list the factors that typically includes in the ownership cost.

Open-source eCommerce SaaS eCommerce
Free of cost eCommerce framework Monthly subscription fees
Licensing fees for some forums; Magento Agency/ developer fees (if used)
PCI compliance & Security costs Apps or extensions
Hosting fees Integration to other systems cost
Apps or extensions cost for each functionality  
Hired Ecommerce Website Development Services fees  
Supplementary costs for software updates  
Integration to other systems cost  

What’s right for your business? 

The primary query is which is best for your business from both platforms. Predictably, every business has a unique niche and hence the customers. So any suggestion or comparison like Open-source vs SaaS eCommerce will not be one-size-fits-all. The simple uptake is that it mainly depends on the preferences and budget. Secondly, on the business requisites, specifically, the business growth.

In particular, the people who want to have complete control over the forum prefer an open-source eCommerce platform. Furthermore, the individuals that do not have interest, insights, or don’t have time to pay attention to forum/ website, find SaaS the best pick.

Still and all, before consulting eCommerce Website Development companies, you must take into account the pricing, architecture, flexibility, and functionality to finalize a platform to build a smart e-store for your business.


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