Magento, BigCommerce or Shopify. Which One is Right for You?

Magento, BigCommerce or Shopify. Which One is Right for You?

If you’ve reached the limit of your current eCommerce platform then it’s time to upgrade to a system that is capable of handling your current needs as well as your long term goals. Your next platform is a major commitment and one that will require the investment of your resources and time. And while you may be ready to graduate to another platform there are some key questions you must first answer.


Shopify is the easiest platform for users to get a store up and running on in no time at all and with little technical know-how. Shopify is based off of a tiered pricing format, meaning that you can start off small and quickly expand when the need arises. In this segment we will be discussing the companies that use Shopify as well as some of the features that, depending on your needs, make it great.

Mobile Optimization and Responsiveness

Shopify is optimized for mobile and allows your customers to experience a complete shopping experience directly from their hand-held device. Shopify was one of the first eCommerce platforms to fully integrate mobile, meaning their mobile support is tried and tested and ready for your online store. This is vital because the number of mobile shoppers increases by the day and the responsiveness of your site will play a huge role in its ability to convert. The website themes that Shopify offers are mobile responsive. Shopify also offers iPhone and Android apps that can be used to manage your own store from your fingertips.

Ease of Use

If you would describe yourself as ’non technical’ then Shopify might be the best fit for you. Shopify’s platform is one that is much more of a ‘drag and drop’ interface, similar to what you would experience building a website in Squarespace or Wix. This user-friendly functionality makes it easier for you to build and customize your store if you or your team lack programming experience and/or you have a do-it-yourself identity. Shopify also features a robust App Store, where plugins can be purchased and installed with ease, extending the functionality of your site. Think the iTunes App Store but for eCommerce. The platform allows for website customization as these apps can be easily integrated. This means that merchants can easily add extra features and functionalities to their  store and enhance its value, offerings and increase the overall user experience. If you’re currently limited with the amount of resources and man-hours you can dedicate to your eCommerce site, then a move to Shopify might be what’s best for you in the long run.

Storefront design

The basic tier of Shopify comes with more than 25 free storefront template designs with additional templates available for purchase. There is a built-in blog template but the platform also fully integrates with WordPress, allowing you to blog on the platform of your preference. The available storefront templates make it easy to get your site started and all templates can be modified, relatively easily, to your liking. There is also a large community of third-party developers available on Shopify’s website that you can tap into as well.


One thing that’s unique about Shopify is that you can also use it as your in-store POS system by adding its Retail Package to your plan, making it a great choice for small businesses that have both online and brick-and-mortar stores.

Fully Hosted

By being a fully hosted site, Shopify allows merchants to not have to worry about finding their own web host, upgrading software or installing security updates. The technical elements and roadblocks that normally cause merchants to hesitate about running their own store are eliminated with Shopify. By being a globally-hosted platform, Shopify has created a reliable infrastructure along with optimized software and hardware. This also results in super-fast loading speeds and an improved user experience.

Customer Support

Shopify also offers 24/7 phone support, live chat and email options to all users experiencing problems. To provide some perspective, to get the same level of Shopify support for your Magento eCommerce site you would need to enlist the services of a certified Magento developer (just like the certified pros right here at InteractOne). With Shopify, experts are available for round-the-clock customer support to ensure your store is running as designed at all times.   

Shopify Pricing Plans

Shopify offers basic plans ranging from $29 to $299 per month. They also have more expensive “enterprise” level plans for larger entities.

What companies use Shopify?

Budweiser, Bulletproof Sunday, Somewhere WaterAid, New York Times Shop, The Economist, Leesa Mattress, Penguin Books


Shopify Pros

  • No design experience is needed.
  • There is a consistent cost profile, month to month.
  • Software patches are included in fees.
  • It is easier to administer.

Shopify Cons

  • Apps available for popular customizations like year, make, and model may require customization, which can get expensive, and development options are limited to the module developer.
  • There are ongoing annual or monthly fees – whether or not you are making changes.
  • You don’t own your own website.
  • SAAS platforms do not support large catalogs (500K+ SKUs), and Enterprise-level versions can become very expensive compared to the base-level fees.
  • Some desirable features, such as faceted navigation or additional product attributes, aren’t available out of the box.


Magento is currently in the middle of permanently shifting versions from Magento 1, which has been active and supported since 2008. But Magento 2 promises to maintain the same features that made Magento 1 so popular, while adding many new features as well. Magento 2 will still offer an Open Source (Community) version of M2 which will allow for custom extensions to be added to native features. The Magento 2 Commerce (Enterprise – paid/licensed) edition will continue on as well. Let’s explore some of the great features that made Magento so popular as well as some of its latest features as well.


Magento 2, both the Community and Enterprise versions, will allow for the management of three separate databases; products, orders, and checkout. This is being done to prevent data overload and reduce incidences of system failure. The result being increased data security, speed, and scalability. By separating these three databases, Magento 2 sites will give visitors a smoother, faster, and more accurate experience as well as improve the ability your certified Magento developer has to make refinements to the platform.

Company Accounts

For B2B online merchants there may be many individuals who need to have access to an individual account. Supervisors, buyers, accountants, and managers may all require individual access. With Magento 2, store administrators will have the ability to moderate accessibility to the account. Buyers will also have the ability to assign full access or limit the access of their team members.

Quick Order

Magento 2 features a new SKU quick order feature, which allows users to add an item directly to their cart by entering the SKU numbers rather than having to navigate the site manually to locate the item and then add it to their cart. This feature extends beyond an individual item as well. M2 allows users to upload a file containing all the matching SKU’s and their desired quantity directly to the platform. Thus, improving the speed and quality of the purchasing experience for those visitors with a long list of items.

Quotes & Price Negotiation

When it comes to dollar amount and in actual product volume, B2B orders are quite often much larger than B2C orders. This dynamic increases the likelihood that your business may need to negotiate or provide terms with a custom quote. Magento 2 will allow customers to request a quote from you, directly from the product page while also allowing the customer to submit their own price request. The administrator on the page then has the opportunity to refuse, accept, or continue negotiating the offer. If the offer is accepted, the customer then has the option to complete the purchase at the negotiated price directly from their cart, just like a normal purchase.

Requisition Lists

The wishlist feature on Magento 1 is pretty standard. It allows customers to move items back and forth between their wishlist and cart, while removing the item from the wishlist upon completing a purchase. With the new Requisition List in Magento 2, customers can set up lists of favorite items and recurring products that will be continually purchased. This streamlines the purchasing process for renewables and other frequently ordered items making it easier and faster.


The result of many of the aforementioned enhancements will be increased speed. M2 will optimize your webpages for a faster delivery with accelerated server response times, which will ultimately result in an increase in loading time between 30% and 50%. M2 users can also expect to see a 38% decrease in checkout time compared with M1.  These improvements will also be extended to mobile as well with Magento 2’s responsive design structure. Magento 2 has the ability to handle 10 million views per hour, which is 50x the capacity of Magento 1. Magento 2 also can also handle more than 90,000 orders per hour, more than double the ability of Magento 1.


Magento boasts an extensive library of user guides and their Magento Forum is famous for hosting a large database of educational, user generated content.  The guides are easy to find, are usually simple and very comprehensive. Whatever your problem is, there is no doubt that another Magento user has experienced this same issue and has created a how-to for solving it. But while these user-generated guides are readily available, there is one major piece of support that Magento is lacking and that is customer support. There isn’t a phone number to call or an email address to reach out to if you want the guidance of a trained professional. There’s something reassuring about knowing that there’s a trained person you can reach out to with intimate knowledge about your platform.

Magento Pricing Plans

Magento Open Source is free to use, though you will need to choose and pay a site hosting provider. Magento Commerce edition has an annual license fee of $30,000 or more depending on your site’s revenue.

What companies use Magento?

Nike, Jaguar, Canon, Jack Daniels, HP

Magento Pros:

  • The ongoing cost of ownership is higher than it would be on SaaS or auto-specific platforms so merchants who plan to achieve at least $2 to $3 million in sales may want to consider other paths.
  • Concerns and costs go hand in hand with managing site security, hosting, and ownership of your website code.


BigCommerce is a hosted SaaS solution for small to medium sized merchants who are still growing. It’s a feature-rich solution with built-in selling for third party marketing places like Amazon and eBay that is great for medium-sized and larger merchants. BigCommerce also offers educational resources to assist merchants. BigCommerce offers two levels of eCommerce solutions including BigCommerce and BigCommerce Enterprise.


Like Shopify, BigCommerce takes care of hosting for its merchants. And since it is a Software as a Service (Saas) product, you don’t own the software, but pay a monthly fee to use it.

Training and Support

BigCommerce puts a ton of focus on helping you learn how to build a successful online store. They offer access to BigCommerce University; in-depth videos, how-to guides built right into your store’s dashboard. Also available is a setup wizard, an autoresponder email series at signup, and a consultant assigned to your account to answer any questions right off the bat. 

Knowledge is power (and money), and BigCommerce puts a huge focus on it.

Customer Service

BigCommerce not only assigns you a dedicated “consultant,” they also have active forums, a huge learning knowledge-base, and support via Facebook, Twitter, chat, email, and phone. And this level of support is a huge pro for BigCommerce – especially in comparison to non-platform options or DIY options. If you go the build-it-yourself open source route (ie, building your eCommerce site with Magento), you and your team are going to be on your own to sort out any bugs or problems, unless you’re working with a trained developer. If you don’t have the development resources or talent and don’t want to spend your time actually dealing with a checkout page errors, then BigCommerce with their strong customer support is worth a look.

Abandoned Cart Saver

Another BigCommerce feature worth singling out for praise is its abandoned cart feature – it’s arguably one of the best out there. The tool allows you to create and automate up to three emails to site visitors who go part of the way through the buying process only to leave your store without completing a purchase. This has the potential to dramatically increase your revenue with little effort – other than the ‘one-off’ time investment in setting up the automated messages – being involved. Ultimately, if you are confident of receiving a large number of visits to your site, or are already experiencing high traffic levels, then purchasing the Pro or Enterprise plan featuring the abandoned cart saver makes a lot of sense.

Store Design

BigCommerce has recently released a new visual merchandising tool called Store Design that allows merchants to immediately see the effects of your edits. This new feature makes BigCommerce much more customizable.  The product comes with a range of customizable templates to help you design your online store; you can use it to sell either physical or digital goods; and there are also some tools provided to help you market your store. BigCommerce has the best in-house features of any ecommerce builder. These provide a high level of quality and reduce the reliance you may have on third party apps. You effectively have everything you need right at your fingertips, and for no extra cost.

Product Types

BigCommerce is the only ecommerce builder on the market which lets you sell physical, digital, and service-based products without having to use an app. All of these sales types are already built into the editor. This means less hassle and less cost, because you don’t have to worry about using third party apps.

Payment Options

Unlike some other ecommerce builders, BigCommerce doesn’t lock you into its own payment gateway. It also doesn’t impose transaction fees on any of its plans. Instead, it lets you choose your own payment gateway without imposing any extra charges or transaction fees. There are over 65 integrated payment gateways to choose from. With one-click setup, mobile payments, and multiple currencies supported, BigCommerce does its best to get you paid fast. Payment providers include PayPal, Stripe, Square, Apple Pay and Amazon Pay.

Pricing Plans

Bigcommerce offers four month-to-month pricing plans, which are as follows:

Bigcommerce Standard: $29.95 per month

Bigcommerce Plus: $79.95 per month

Bigcommerce Pro: $249.95 per month

Bigcommerce Enterprise: pricing varies, depending on your business requirements. The Enterprise version includes marketing tools, real-time analytics, reporting, and 24/7 support.

What companies use BigCommerce?

Sony, Toyota, Ben & Jerry’s & Paul Mitchel

BigCommerce Pros:

  • All-in-one solution
  • Hosted platform
  • User-friendly interface
  • Comes with many out-of-the-box features
  • Customizable with add-ons

BigCommerce Cons

  • Lacks scalability and customization
  • Has limited add-on availability
  • Hosted platform has been subject to outage issues
  • Security

Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify: Finding the right fit

Magento, BigCommerce, and Shopify all have their pros and cons. The critical decision is choosing a platform that you can live with, and perhaps as importantly, can afford. Magento is a market leader for a reason. It is scalable, customizable and ready for global eCommerce. Magento is typically an excellent option for medium to large businesses with high-volume stores that value customization. Although potentially pricey for small merchants, Magento is a smart investment for merchants with large inventories and whose growth is dependent on a flexible and powerful platform.

BigCommerce offers a strong option for mid-sized merchants who may need something more scalable than Shopify, but maybe not up for the robustness of Magento. BigCommerce provides all-inclusive pricing for hosting and support. However, some reports indicate that the support for BigCommerce isn’t as advanced as the Magento support community or of the Shopify customer service team. Mid-sized merchants on an upward trajectory could outgrow the platform and need to migrate to a more scalable platform.

Shopify provides real benefits for smaller companies with all-inclusive pricing for hosting, support and set up. Shopify is considered user-friendly and a smart choice for the busy or less tech-savvy merchant.  However, some users report running into a “Shopify Ceiling” noting that the platform can be very limiting for growing merchants. Flourishing merchants could quickly outgrow the platform and need to migrate to a more scalable platform.

Shopify and BigCommerce take care of site hosting for merchants. These platforms target merchants who lack design experience and need an easy-to-use website builder. Smaller or niche merchants can find great success on these platforms.

If you would like to talk about your specific needs to determine which platform is right for you, please connect with us using our contact form.

Top 10 Magento Extensions for 2020

Top 10 Magento Extensions for 2020

With the new year approaching it seems everyone is in the business of list-making and we didn’t want to be left out. So here is our list of the Top 10 Magento third party apps and extensions for 2020.

10. Urapidflow Product Import/Export

One of the most feature-rich, robust product export/import extensions for Magento. This extension allows you to set up multiple profiles and export/import product data to/from different locations using FTP. It can also send and receive product information based on logical conditions created within the extensions simple to rules generator tools. This extension is the easiest to use when importing Magento product information.

9. Xtento

Xtento is the most stable and powerful order export solution available for Magento. It allows merchants the flexibility to set up multiple profiles and export orders to many different places using one extension. These exports can be done in any text-based format (Text/TXT, Tabbed, CSV/Excel, XML, JSON, SQL, ASCII/Fixed-Length-Files) and can include any required field. Xtento can be used to connect your store to almost any CRM, ERP, warehouse, drop-shipping or shipping system. Merchants are also empowered to set up an unlimited number of export profiles. All of this can be accomplished from within the admin interface of the extension.

8. Subscription & Recurring Payments

If you’re selling a product or service on subscription then this extension may be a great solution for you. Subscription & Recurring Payments by aheadWorks allows you to create subscriptions with multiple products, create separate shopping carts for subscriptions and more. Built-in to the extension is the ability to handle multiple languages and stores, allowing you to localize recurring payments and subscriptions to all possible markets. A big win for B2B businesses.

7. Mageworx SEO Suite

Mageworx is your all-in-one SEO extension. Its advanced templates allow you to mass-optimize any meta values, descriptions, URL keys, SEO names, etc. for any of your products, categories, CMS, and category filter pages. It also comes complete with a full arsenal of SEO tools, allowing you to tackle such tasks as eliminating duplicate content, adding breadcrumbs and setting redirects and more. It also includes the Wave Crypto Payments extension which enables merchants to collect crypto payments via their eCommerce store as well.

6. ShipStation

ShipStation is excellent for merchants who need a shipping label printing solution that can scale. Its built-in automation engine allows merchants to have a hands-off approach with low overhead. All while providing branded and customized labels, packing slips, and shipping confirmation emails. And, if you have multiple Magento stores, ShipStation allows you to manage and organize them all from a single account. ShipStation also boasts integrations with ERP systems like Acumatica and Netsuite. The extension is also fully integrated with more than 25 shipping carriers.

5. ShipperHQ

We touched on ShipperHQ slightly in our recent Top Shipping Rate Quote Solutions blog but this app is a must-have for most Magento merchants. ShipperHQ gives you control over the shipping rates and methods you show customers at checkout while also providing you with a wealth of options such as multi-location rating, in-store pickup, dimensional shipping, carrier rules and more. 

ShipperHQ also allows for customization in their Magento extension, allowing you to make adjustments within the Magento checkout code and cover every feature you may require for powering shipping quotes.

4. Klaviyo

Klaviyo’s power lies in its segmentation and targeting. Its web-tracking system is top notch as it uses specific browsing behavior to segment visitors so they receive specific ad campaigns and emails based on their on-site activity. Klaviyo will help you identify the visitors to your site, who looked but didn’t buy, who is a frequent visitor, who hasn’t visited recently, who left their cart full without purchasing, etc. Then, you can implement a campaign designed around the visitors’ site-specific actions.

3. TaxJar

For businesses, it’s always tax season. And our #1 choice to to help with your eCommerce taxes is TaxJar. Currently being utilized by more than 15,000 businesses worldwide, TaxJar is used by large and small businesses alike. The app features Magento’s SmartCalcs API, which determines if, when, and how much sales tax needs to be applied and collected on any purchase, foriegn and domestic. It allows users to program individual products for different tax rates for different states. But the automation doesn’t stop there. TaxJar will also accumulate your annual taxes over the course of the year and can file your taxes directly with your home state.

2. Yotpo

Native Yotpo integration is a fairly new, but powerful addition to the extensions library. Yotpo integrates with Magento to collect, display and manage customer content. This content includes photos, videos and reviews. Social proof is increasingly important when it comes to driving revenue in eCommerce and Yotpo curates and places that social proof right on your product pages, meaning that visitors don’t have to leave your site to go looking for it.

1. Klevu

While we covered Klevu in a previous blog that doesn’t mean we’re going to shy away from singing its praises again here. Klevu remains our favorite  on-site search option. Klevu is low-maintenance, easy to implement and it will provide you with unique insights over time as its machine learning develops a greater understanding of the topics  your visitors are engaging with on-site. We particularly like the Autocomplete feature, which will make suggestions to your site’s visitors while they are typing in their search. Overall, Klevu is a great resource for merchants and adds to the overall shopping experience for your customers.

To learn more about any of these extensions  and how to make the absolute most of your eCommerce site in 2020, contact us today.

People Skills – Who You Need to Make an e-Commerce Initiative Work with CEO Brian Dwyer

People Skills – Who You Need to Make an e-Commerce Initiative Work with CEO Brian Dwyer

Creating a successful eCommerce company starts with the people. It’s vital that you have a cohesive team that can work together and grow together. In this presentation from the 2019 AASA Technology Conference , Brian Dwyer showed attendees how to staff an eCommerce team that will accomplish their goals, short and long term.

Download the entire powerpoint here:

To learn more about how to optimize your new website, or if you’re in the market for a new eCommerce site, contact us today. In business for over 20 years, our certified Magento developers and marketers know the eCommerce site art and science front-to-back and can help you make the absolute most of your site and your brand.


PHP v5.5 to v5.6 Could Affect your Magento Installation

PHP v5.5 to v5.6 Could Affect your Magento Installation

By Greg Reedy, PHP/MySQL Developer at InteractOne

What you need to know about upgrading PHP v5.5 to v5.6

If you’re a Magento merchant or developer, you’re well aware that the platform is well into its new life as Magento 2, however, you may not be aware that it is also well underway into a new life of patches and upgrades. Magento 2.0 was released in Q4 2015, and now – at the time of this writing – has iterated from version 2.0.0 all the way up to 2.1.1. That’s eleven minor version upgrades!  Now, is that something new or abnormal? Nope. This happens all the time with software, but sometimes updates occur within these minor upgrades that can affect things immensely, so it’s important to keep on top of what has changed and how it could affect your Magento store’s online environment.

Magento is, of course, built on PHP, and in an effort to stay up-to-date with technology, the requirements to run Magento have updated as well.

In the initial minimum requirements published with the M2 release, PHP versions 5.5.22 to 7.1.0 were acceptable.

from the original Magento 2 Developer Documentation


5.5.x, where x is 22 or greater
7.0.2 up to 7.1.0, except for 7.0.5
However, upon the release of Magento 2.1, support for PHP 5.5 ended.

from updated M2 Developer Documentation

System requirements

Our technology stack is built on PHP and MySQL. Magento 2.1.0 supports:

PHP 5.6 We do not support PHP 5.5x
PHP 7.0.2, 7.0.6 up to 7.1
MySQL 5.6
Apache 2.2 or 2.4
nginx 1.8(or latest mainline version)

Why does this matter?

It matters because your hosting company is likely about to automatically upgrade PHP on all of their servers to 5.6 from 5.5, and your M1 installation may not be ready for it! One day you wake up, your site is down, and clearing those Magento caches has zero effect.

All you see is something like this in the error log:

ERR (3): Deprecated functionality: iconv_set_encoding(): Use of iconv.internal_encoding is deprecated  in lib/Zend/Locale/Format.php on line 311

Why is this happening?

Because PHP 5.5 has come to an “end of life” (EOL) and nobody invited you to the funeral!2016-09-30_1142

So long PHP 5.5!


How do I fix it?

To keep your sturdy M1 site humming right along, there are a few simple fixes to get it to play nicely with PHP 5.6:

Fix #1: Upgrade to the latest version!

Magento’s latest releases of M1 have made the backwards compatibility to handle the deprecated functions. You can simply upgrade to the latest versions of Community Edition ( or Enterprise Edition ( and the deprecated functionality shouldn’t be an issue.

Fix #2: Patch the offending files in the Zend

The main issues really fall in the Zend library that ships with M1. If upgrading isn’t immediately possible (let’s inject here that official upgrades and updates are always recommended), a mediary solution can be to simply patch the offending files in the Zend folder by copying them to your local codepool and modifying the necessary lines.

Copy from:


Copy to:


Edit the newly copied files by searching for “internal_encoding” and replacing it with “default_charset”. Be sure that the “internal_encoding” string is a parameter of an iconv related function, otherwise it will break the code. (EXAMPLE: Don’t replace any other parameters or variable names by accident, such as “mb_internal_encoding” or “$internal_encoding” or any other unrelated elements, or you may otherwise certainly break your code.

In the official releases of the latest versions, the files listed above have defined constants to compare the PHP version against and they set the encoding accordingly.



However, setting the encoding in the above listed files to a fixed value should be fine as long as the PHP version is 5.6 or above.



With the actively occurring PHP upgrades happening now among hosting companies across the internet, it’s imperative to make sure your online store is up-to-date and ready. Many hosting companies will upgrade their servers without warning which could cause major outages and downtime. It is often up to merchants to be pro-active and ensure their stores remain open for business in the event of an unanticipated update such as this (which is no longer in the distant future!).

Contact InteractOne today and have our Magento team review your site’s integrity and viability for growth!

Improve Magento Performance By Upgrading to PHP7

Improve Magento Performance By Upgrading to PHP7

PHP7 Magento

What to Know About Upgrading to PHP7

PHP7 is here and our developers noticed some impressive speed improvements right off the bat. It’s important to keep your Magento server up-to-date for security and performance, but we recommend upgrading to PHP7 for noticeable Magento performance improvements. After some benchmark testing, we noticed a 70% decrease in page load time and 30% less memory consumption across the board on a base installation of Magento 1.9.

Our Lead Developer wrote some simple directions on upgrading to PHP7 from PHP5 on Ubuntu. These should be performed by a developer or system admin – Contact us for help on upgrading to PHP7 on any Magento install.

There’s only a couple of minor quirks, like not having dl() support which killed a couple of the extensions that had copy-protection on one site.  There are a couple of minor things to do to make PHP7 work but it’s covered below.

If you’re ready to take the Magento/PHP7 plunge and are using Ubuntu, then this is how you can do it:

  1. Remove PHP5 (Warning: This will remove PHP5 from your system completely.)
    • sudo apt-get purge php5-*
  2. Add the PHP7 repository
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
    • sudo apt-get update
  3. Install PHP7
    • sudo apt-get install php7.0
  4. Install PHP7 components 
    • sudo apt-get install php7.0-cli php7.0-common libapache2-mod-php7.0 php7.0 php7.0-mysql php7.0-fpm php7.0-curl php7.0-json php7.0-cgi php7.0-mcrypt
    • sudo service php7.0-fpm restart
    • sudo service apache2 restart
  5. The Magento PHP7 Fix

Here are some common problems with Magento after installing PHP7 – 

  • If Apache is dumping plain text php instead of rendering it, then be sure that you’ve installed libapache2-mod-php7.0.
    • sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-php7.0
    • sudo service php7.0-fpm restart
    • sudo service apache2 restart
  • Getting a white page or error about mcrypt in Magento?
    • sudo apt-get install php7.0-mcrypt
    • sudo service php7.0-fpm restart
    • sudo service apache2 restart

Still not feeling confident? If you aren’t ready for upgrading to PHP7 on your own, give the experts at InteractOne a call today at (513) 469-7042 or fill out our contact form.

Use this tool for Magento Security Patches

Use this tool for Magento Security Patches

MageReport - Magento Security Patches

We recently teamed up with hosting specialist, byte, to be a part of their Magento support system for  MageReport was created to protect the performance and security of Magento shops. By sharing their tools with the rest of the Magento community, byte hopes to increase the overall security of Magento worldwide.

We are certainly happy byte chose to share their useful tool. After using MageReport for scanning Magento sites, we were extremely impressed with the level of detail and accuracy it provides. MageReport is a definite asset to Magento merchants and the Magento Community.

How MageReport works

MageReport is a free service that checks the security status of Magento stores with lightening quick results. The report not only shows insight on the security status of scanned shops, but also on how to fix possible vulnerabilities. While it is not possible to see existing Magento files from the outside, MageReport uses behavior-based identification patterns. All possible because each Magento patch introduces subtle changes in behavior.  In addition, it’s possible to request a few static files and derive the Magento version from that. checks Magento shops for the following known security vulnerabilities:

  • Credit Card Hijack

Magento Security Patch - Credit Card Hijack

  • Ransomware
  • Cache leak vulnerability
  • Guru Inc Javascript Hack
  • Outdated Magento version
  • Unprotected development files
  • Default /admin location
  • Unprotected Magmi
  • Unprotected version control
  • Outdated server software
  • Security patch 5994 (admin disclosure)
  • Security patch 5344 (Shoplift)
  • Security patch 6285 (XSS, RSS)
  • Security patch 6482 (XSS)
  • Security patch 6788 (secrets leak)

Magento Security Patch 6788

  • Security patch 7405 (admin takeover)

Magento Security Patch 7405

  • SSL Certificate check

Head over to to read more about the Magento tool and to scan your site for security patches.

If you need help applying Magento Security Patches, head over to Magento Security Patch SUPEE-6788 and Magento Security Patch SUPEE-7405 or Contact us.

Top eCommerce platforms: Magento, WooCommerce and Shopify

Top eCommerce platforms: Magento, WooCommerce and Shopify

Top Final Smal
By Amanda Watkins, Marketing Communications Manager at InteractOne

Top eCommerce platforms, which is best for you?

We chose to compare and contrast the top eCommerce platforms by market share for the top 10k sites based on data from BuiltWith.

Starting an eCommerce business can be exciting and rewarding. One of the first important steps is deciding on the type of platform to use. When it comes to building, managing and running your website, you want to choose the right platform that will propel you to success, not a failure – especially if financial resources are limited.

As a long time senior Magento partner, we have worked on a lot of websites for many different levels of companies. While Magento is our platform of choice, we understand that it isn’t for everyone and every business. Whether you are just starting out or are ready to take your business to the next level it’s important to understand what you are getting into.

According to BuiltWith, Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify are top platforms by market share for the top 10k eCommerce sites.

All three platforms are chosen by top companies, but which is the top eCommerce platform for you?


Magento Community and Magento Enterprise editions are dominating the eCommerce platform community with a combined total of 20%. Free to download for the community edition, open source, powerful and scalable, it’s no surprise that Magento is the most used eCommerce platform worldwide.

Magento Pros:

  • Feature-rich, out-of-the-box with flexible options for nearly all languages and currencies
  • Thousands of extensions are available thanks to the flexible API architecture
  • Manage multiple stores from one admin
  • Supportive Community with a slew of developers and partners ready to build and solve problems
  • In-depth training available to help you get started
  • Two editions are available, community for small businesses and enterprise for larger merchants

Magento Cons:

  • Magento can be very complicated for a non-tech savvy merchant
  • Development can get expensive, especially for custom work and qualified help
  • Self-hosted, meaning it requires a Magento hosting provider


Gaining a lot of attention with 8% of the eCommerce platform community, WooCommerce is quickly becoming one of the most used eCommerce platforms. Different from Magento and Shopify, WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress and easily integrates into any WordPress site. Free to install, user-friendly, familiar and open source it’s no surprise WooCommerce is gaining popularity.

WooCommerce Pros:

  • Easily integrates with WordPress
  • Easily customizable with plugins
  • Developmental resources widely available via WordPress developers
  • Built-in blogging for easy Marketing and SEO
  • User-friendly interface

WooCommerce Cons:

  • Lacks scalability
  • Basic features require plugins that are becoming more costly as the platform gains popularity
  • While aspects of WordPress are simple, plugin additions can get complicated
  • Self-hosted, meaning it requires a hosting provider


With also 8% of the eCommerce market share comes Shopify. Shopify is notably different from Magento and WooCommerce in that it is a SAAS (software as a service) platform – not open source or downloadable (the code is proprietary). Designed for ease of use, Shopify is a one-stop-shop supplying hosting, set-up and customer support, making it an easy choice for busy or less tech-savvy merchants.

Shopify Pros:

  • Easy to use and set up
  • Hosting provided
  • Technical support provided
  • Comes installed with many basic payment options

Shopify Cons:

  • A commercial product requiring monthly fees
  • Inventory restrictions dependent on your payment plan or level
  • A limited number of available free themes
  • Lack of flexibility – Limited number of available add-ons

Which is best?

All three are top eCommerce platforms and have their pros and cons. The key is choosing which one you can live with, or more importantly, can afford. Magento is a market leader for a reason. It’s scalable, customizable and ready for global eCommerce. Although potentially pricey for smaller companies expecting a customized shop, Magento is a great investment for businesses whose growth is dependent on a flexible and powerful platform. WooCommerce’s easy integration into WordPress is worth noting. Bloggers turning merchants with basic tech savvy could likely profit from WooCommerce. However, WooCommerce merchants are discovering increasing prices with the increasing popularity of the platform. Finally, Shopify provides real benefits for smaller companies with all-inclusive pricing for hosting, support and set up and is a great choice for the busy or less tech-savvy merchant.  Nevertheless, successful merchants could quickly outgrow the platform and need to migrate to a more scalable platform.

Tracking Multiple Domains With Google Analytics

Tracking Multiple Domains With Google Analytics

It is possible to track across multiple domains with analytics, for instance let’s say you have your main site ( and your shopping cart, reservation widget or countless other scenarios (

You can feasibly track everything that goes on within these two domains under one profile so that you can get all the attribution tied into one place.

To get started you will need to have the ability to access both sites or have someone that has access that can install code for you.

First thing first, sign into your Google Analytics account go to the admin tab then the tracking info tab under that, you should see something similar to this:

Google Analytics Tracking Pixel

You will want to select multiple top-level domains from the radio buttons and then copy the code and put it your text editor. This is where you tweak it to fit your multiple domain website.

You’ll notice is there’s a couple of new items in the code:

  1. _setDomainName
  2. _setAllowLinker

Now add to the code, here’s the first trick to remember the domain you set refers to what site it’s actually going on. For instance the code that goes on your is set to “” and when you put the code on the other site you change that to reflect the root so it will be “”

Here’s what that looks like:
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-xxxxxxxx-1']);
_gaq.push(['_setDomainName', '']);
_gaq.push(['_setAllowLinker', true]);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview', '/dynamic funnel tracking']);

There’s a few more steps, however before we get to those let’s talk for a minute about tracking dynamic pages like some shopping carts or lead generation funnels.

In the case of dynamically produced pages you would put something after the back slash to ID that page.

You can build an actual URL like /step_one.html or you can build it to simply be something like this /step1.

It makes no difference whatsoever just name it what you want and write it down so you can build a goal funnel with this later on.

Now for the second component of this set up you will need to link back and forth from the sites, that could be with an add to cart button a link or even a form.

When using a form you need use this piece of code inserted into the form:

<form name=”f” method=”post” onsubmit=”_gaq.push([‘_linkByPost’, this]);”>

When you’re linking to the you need to use a different piece of code and looks like this:

<a href=”” onclick=”_gaq.push([‘_link’, ‘’]); return false;”>Add To Cart</a>

Realize that if you’re on the linking back to your you need to use something similar to the one above, however it has to have the right link in it and it will look like this:

<a href=”” onclick=”_gaq.push([‘_link’, ‘’]); return false;”>catalog</a>

Now that we’ve gotten through all the tags and what goes where we need to build another profile that will track all of your domains together, this way you will always have baseline historical data for your domains that you can refer to when setting up filters in your new profile.

Here are the steps to accomplish this:

  1. From the account home page of your analytics account select the account under which you want to add the profile.
  2. Click the Admin tab in the upper right hand corner of the page below the “my account’ settings.
  3. Then click on the desired profile
  4. Click on the tab that says filters and new filter and then set up your filter to look like the image below.

GA Profile Filter

There you have it check back later for your data if you run into issues feel free to post your questions below.

Content Management Systems – CMS

A big frustration many organizations have is managing content for their websites. Often Word Docs are passed along a chain of 3 to 4 people before the content actually gets posted to the website and by the time the content goes live it may already need to be revised.

“Why can’t we just update our site whenever we want” seems to be the million dollar question. We’ll I’m happy to announce that there is a solution for this question. Enter the age of Content Management Systems (CMS).

CMS come in many different sizes, shapes and colors but in the end they all serve to help organizations directly edit the content on their websites without having to get a tech person (IT) involved.

Some of the most popular CMS softwares are:

* Xoops –
* Drupal –
* Light-N-Easy –
* Adobe Contribute –

No matter which CMS solution you choose you will need the help of a competent web design firm to install/configure the software and train your staff on how to use it. Once the software is installed and running your organization can benefit from the increased speed and efficiency of managing it’s website content without calling IT.