The battle of self-hosted vs SaaS

Updated 4 November 2022

Let’s have a look at the comparison between Open Source vs SaaS should you choose for your new eCommerce website. When deciding to start an eCommerce business for the first time, this is likely the first thing you would ask.

Next, we will discuss the key features, benefits, and functionalities to obtain a general understanding of these two well-liked eCommerce systems.

What is SaaS?

Software is licensed on a monthly basis under the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) distribution model. With the SaaS platform, you will get all the features and functionality which is required to maintain your online store. 

SaaS is a method of offering apps as a service for delivery over the Internet. You can avoid complicated software and hardware maintenance by just accessing software over the Internet rather than installing and maintaining it.

In Saas solution, the maintenance and hosting are done from the service provided only. You just need to purchase the plan and can run your online store in a very easy manner. Examples of Saas eCommerce are Shopify, BigCommerce, Salesforce.

What is Open source? 

Open source software is defined as having unrestricted user access. In open source, the user has complete access to make changes at the code end and customize the software as per their own need.

It is free to use and customize as well. Examples of self hosted Open source eCommerce are Magento2, WooCommerce, Prestashop, Opencart, and Bagisto.

Which one to Choose? 

You must make sure you have the proper settings and functions at your disposal whether you choose an Open Source or SaaS platform for your eCommerce store. 

Both of these platforms provide options and features that would appeal to a wide range of consumers. 

Open source v/s Saas

Now, it will be up to you to comprehend every fundamentally useful alternative provided by these two well-known platforms for your eCommerce. Building a house is similar to constructing your open source eCommerce store. You must make numerous purchases, work with experts, pay for supplies for construction, etc. You’ll get what you desire, but it can be very expensive.

Choose SaaS eCommerce builders if you lack the time and resources to manage website upkeep, software updates, etc. SaaS systems can also save you money and time so you can concentrate on more vital things.

Open source v/s SaaS eCommerce:

Although open-source platforms are typically free, the cost of hosting, development, modifications, integrations, security, and compliance could reach several thousand dollars annually.

SaaS, however, operates under a subscription-based business model. 

This implies that you will have to sign up for a monthly or annual plan for your company and pay a certain subscription cost for it.

If we talk about the open source then it will take a large amount of time, depending on the technical work as the installation process, security, and software updates and maintenance.

On the other hand, with the Saas solution, the service provider handles and completes all technical tasks on your behalf. 

You won’t need to bother about your eCommerce’s hosting, software upgrades, installations, security, setup, etc. after you’ve decided to put it on a SaaS platform.

It is designed in such a way so that anyone can able to easily manage your online store.

Open source eCommerce is only having limited features available and also only a few integrations are come up, it will also take a little longer time of yours if you do not have strong command over the code.

Saas eCommerce, you will get more features and functionality and multiple integrations available in it so that you can only focus more to nourish your running business rather to spend more time on the code end.

In the terms of designing and modification, Open source eCommerce is flexible to customize the platform as per your own need.

Due to its easy design and customization option, most of the users decided to go with the Open source eCommerce.

And if we are talking about the Saas solution, then this is not open to customizing, there are some limitations to accessing its source code that does not allow you to make changes to the current flow of the Saas solution.

Open source eCommerce is flexible to choose your own security system, The security of your website is your responsibility to ensure. You have complete freedom to choose a security service for your eCommerce site.

On the other hand, in the Saas solution, you can not able to choose the security services for your website. The security issues with the website are the service providers’ responsibility. They will take care of your eCommerce site’s security as well as PCI compliance.

The Final Words: 

The decision-making process will become clearer and more manageable once you know which type of platform is better suited to your company’s demands. 

Hopefully, the information above has clarified the differences between the two and will help you choose the eCommerce solution.

SAAS platforms will work for you if you want simplicity or have financial constraints. But eventually, when your business grows, you’ll need to switch to open-source software.

Rest is it up to you whether to choose the Saas solution or Open source solution for your eCommerce store.

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