BigCommerce Is Now PCI Compliant

It’s official – BigCommerce is now PCI compliant. We’ve completed thousands of changes that have taken thousands of man hours. We have the signed Attestation of Compliance and have worked with our assessing company for more than 12 months now to make this happen. It’s a great day for all of us and we’re proud to be one of the very few hosted shopping cart platforms that is PCI compliant.

Below I’ve included answers to some common questions around PCI compliance as well as some of the hilarious photos sent around by our team when we announced our PCI compliance earlier today.

Thanks for your patience over the last year. PCI compliance is definitely the most challenging project we’ve every under taken and I’m proud of how our team came together to get the job done.

What Is PCI Compliance?

According to Wikipedia…

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a worldwide information security standard defined by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. The standard was created to help payment card industry organizations that process card payments prevent credit card fraud through increased controls around data and its exposure to compromise. The standard applies to all organizations that hold, process, or exchange cardholder information from any card branded with the logo of one of the card brands.

Validation of compliance can be performed either internally or externally, depending on the volume of card transactions the organization is handling, but regardless of the size of the organization, compliance must be assessed annually. Organizations handling large volumes of transactions must have their compliance assessed by an independent assessor known as a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA), while companies handling smaller volumes have the option of demonstrating compliance via a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). In some regions these SAQs still require signoff by a QSA for submission.

What Does This Mean For Existing Clients?

As an existing BigCommerce client it simply means that the security around our data center and software is certified as rock solid. There are no changes you need to make and your store is PCI compliant.

How Can I Prove To My Bank You’re PCI Compliant?

Your bank will require a copy of our Attestation of Compliance which you can download as a PDF. Simply email this document to your bank. That’s all you need to do. BigCommerce will appear in Visa’s list of PCI compliant solutions in the next 3-4 weeks.

What About PA-DSS Compliance?

Because BigCommerce is an application developed by us and hosted on our PCI compliant network, it is not required to be PA-DSS compliant.

PCI Compliance Celebratory Photos – BigCommerce Style

It’s been a long road to PCI compliance, so what better way to celebrate than with randomly hilarious photos created by the team and sent to everyone in the company via email?

… and finally, our PCI hero Rod:

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[Video] Using Pareto’s Principle (or the 80/20 Rule) to Grow Your Business

Pareto’s principle states that 20% of your effort results in 80% of the result. While this ratio isn’t always exact, the general idea is that not everything you spend your time doing is productive, nor will it produce the results you want.

In this video I explain how Pareto’s principle is at work in your business right now and how you can use the simple concept to work less and accomplish more – specifically how you can increase the growth rate of your e-commerce business without sacrificing your work/life balance.

The key really is to shift the 80/20 balance in regards to tactics (day-to-day tasks that you can pay someone to do) versus strategy (the ideas to increase revenue that will grow your business). If you can shift from the typical 80% of time on tactics and 20% of time on strategy to 20% of time on tactics and 80% of time on strategy, then you can quite easily double the growth of your business in 2011.

Stepping back from the day-to-day and asking yourself as a business owner “where do I want to take this business and why?” is also one of the key questions you have to ask if you’re going to use Pareto’s principle to grow.

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New Minor Update Released – Over 40 Improvements

Happy new year everyone.

Over the weekend, we made BigCommerce 6.1.3 available as an opt-in upgrade. This build is our first release for 2011, and primarily comprises of bug fixes (with some enhancements). I’ll cover some of the release highlights below.

eBay improvements

This build contains a number of eBay fixes, which include product listing improvements, shipping / order workflow issues, and redirection loops.

Product pricing

We’ve spend some time reviewing and tweaking the way we calculate the final pricing, resulting in some edge cases being resolved.

Displaying product category information

Some of our customers have large lists of product categories, which means longer downloading and rendering times (an in some cases IE crashes) – so we’ve worked on a number of enhancements in this release to reduce this impact. These new efficiencies in product categories will now present a top level view, fetching new data as you request it – rather than displaying all information as the page loads.


The BigCommerce USPS module now uses the new version of their API. This is good news for BigCommerce because we can better extend this module in the future!

Google Base importer

The Google Base importer has been audited and we’ve managed to improve the performance, saving you time.

Template browser timeouts (Design mode)

One of the more recent pain points has been with the 15 minute timeouts – whilst we need to have the session limitations for PCI compliance, we have found a couple of places where the timeout hasn’t been working as expected. This build sees better session activity management when using the template browser in design mode.

Security fixes

We’re security focused, and invest heavily in the discipline. Needless to say there are some security updates we’ve made to this version of BigCommerce.

Full list of changes in 6.1.3

The list below denotes the changes in 6.1.3
  • Ebay Listing, incorrect product pricing
  • Incorrect calculation of product prices on checkout (rounding error)
  • RRP for product displays the discount price on the category page
  • Can no longer apply discount at the order level.
  • ShipWorks integration skips some orders
  • Order exports reportedly take much longer after 6.0 and may occasionally fail
  • Incorrect shipping method selected on cart page
  • Ship by Order Total brackets may not be calculating correctly for orders which have many small products
  • Product Import Resets Tax Class Setting on each Product
  • Free shipping product option allows item to be shipping regardless of the shipping zone
  • If your order contains configurable field data, and you edit the order, the configurable field data will be lost once the order is saved.
  • Sell on eBay page can work itself in to a redirect loop with the “Loading information from eBay…” modal
  • Updating an existing variation using the “Save & Keep Editing” button does not trigger a rebuild of affected product-variation combinations
  • USPS returns Invalid Country Name error for some British provinces which are listed as countries in ISO data
  • Editing a forwarded email account converts it in to a local mailbox w/ forwarder
  • Editing an email account results in a blank page
  • PaymentExpress Post checkout module may refuse approved orders if the response text is something other than ‘APPROVED’
  • When viewing an order list for a coupon code, if you choose to export that list the export system will export all orders instead
  • Changing the status of a return request to Item(s) Refunded may incorrectly notify the customer that they have been issued a store credit
  • Error in sitemap generation when generateNodeHtml is called with null $options
  • Resolved casting issue causing free shipping coupon to display incorrect shipping amount on final order.
  • Improved Store log summary output
  • Resolved issue with the control panel, all orders show as deleted when viewing return requests
  • Unable to set Multiple addresses when creating an order from the admin panel.
  • Resolved issue with some customers not being able to modify Ebay Settings in Control Panel, after the Ebay store name is changed
  • Minor issue with being unable to checkout with product level free shipping
  • Minor coding error in QUOTE_ITEM may cause invalid totals / discounts
  • Incorrect Interspire Email Marketer integration details can cause the Email Marketing section to display a white page
  • eBay listings will fail if the starting / buy-it-now price is based on the product price for products without a sale price
  • Resolved issue with ShipWorks, where it may skip some orders under rare circumstances
  • eBay orders for stores upgraded from version 5.x may show a blank shipping on their printed invoices
  • Resolved issue with comparing products (always prompted to select at least 2 products)
  • Stores with a large number of categories can cause the search page to take several minutes to load in IE
  • Control panel users automatically logged out for inactivity in design mode template browser even when active.
  • If a store has email marketing “remove” rules but no “add” rules for new orders, the “remove” action will not trigger
  • Improved the MailChimp module to check if an unconfirmed subscriber exists before trying to remove
  • Improved control panel “View Categories” page
  • Improved category selection control, so that doesn’t preload all categories (inefficient in stores with large amount of categories)
  • Improved Database indexing in customers table
  • Improved database query when viewing orders in the “My Account” section
  • Improve the performance of the google base exporter
  • New USPS API version
  • Order export process may skip orders when a specific set of order records are selected for export
  • Cannot ship an ebay order until the order is edited and a shipping method selected
  • Cannot edit ebay orders without selecting a payment method
  • Variations for ebay orders are not received properly
  • An eBay store operator is unable to list with a Good ’til Cancelled (GTC) listing duration
  • Various security fixes

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Split Testing With BigCommerce & Visual Website Optimizer

From the Visual Website Optimizer blog:

“We’re big fans of BigCommerce, a hosted shopping store solution that makes creating and running online stores a really simple job. In fact, just like our motto “World’s easiest A/B testing tool“, their motto is “Easiest way to sell online“. That is why we decided to produce a step by step tutorial on how to integrate Visual Website Optimizer with BigCommerce.”

Click here to read the complete post

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Our Final Batch of 143 Limited Edition BigCommerce T-Shirts: Get Yours FREE!

As you may know, we’re giving away free limited edition t-shirts. And we’re giving them away in batches of 50, 100 or 200. So far we’ve given away 857 t-shirts, and the average batch of t-shirts is claimed in a crazy 12 minutes.

The links to claim the final 143 t-shirts are shown below. First in, best dressed (literally). Limit of one t-shirt per person.

Please note: If you click a link, fill in the form and see an error or are asked for a coupon then that t-shirt has already been claimed so you should click on another link.

(Links removed – all t-shirts have been claimed)

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Designers/Developers/Marketers – Join Our New oDesk Group & Get More Clients

I’m happy to announce that as of this week we’ve finalized a partnership with oDesk, the leading freelance marketplace for businesses who need help with design, development and/or marketing. The new BigCommerce group on oDesk is up and running and at the moment we’re calling on designers, developers and marketers who  have experience with BigCommerce to join the group.

Why join our oDesk group?

  1. You can bid on design, development and marketing jobs from our 10,000+ clients
  2. We’re planning to promote the group heavily (we already link to it on our design services page)
  3. It’s one of only two places where we feature 3rd party designers, developers and marketers


Join the BigCommerce group on oDesk (here’s how).

Benefits for BigCommerce clients

If you’re a BigCommerce client and need help with any aspects of BigCommerce such as design, custom development, SEO, SEM, marketing, etc, then you now have two options.

The first is our design partners. They’re experts at working with BigCommerce and can complete your design project from start to finish.

The second of course is our new oDesk group. If you have a small job or want help with search engine optimization, marketing, copywriting, etc then you can post a job request and freelancers will apply to complete the work for you. You can check their work history, skills, reviews and more. It’s a great way to pay by the hour for talented freelancers who are located all over the world.

Why oDesk?

We chose to partner with oDesk because we use them ourselves (and have for a few years). In 2011 there’s no reason to hire a huge army of staff if you don’t need to, and the beauty of oDesk is that you bring on people only when you need them. You can do pay by the hour or even set a fixed price on a job.

Think about all of the talent you can find to help with your search engine optimization, store and banner ad design, customer service reps, cold-calling sales people, Google Analytics and more. The possibilities really are endless.

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6 BigCommerce Stores Strut Their Stuff

If you know a little HTML, CSS and Photoshop you can really work wonders on your BigCommerce template. You can start with one of our 100 built-in templates and customize it as required or you can even build a template from scratch too. Everything you need to know is included in our design guide.

Here are some beautifully customized BigCommerce stores to marvel at:

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Request For Comment: We Need Your Feedback on Our API

Update: We forgot to set the right permissions on the Google form in the link below. If you were getting an error when you click then link then that’s now been fixed. Apologies for the confusion.

We’re currently in the early stages of planning a full-on expansion of the BigCommerce API which lets you programatically integrate BigCommerce with 3rd party applications such as order management or accounting software so they can share data with each other. Of course we currently have an API, however we’ll be expanding its functionality and scope significantly this year.

If any of these sound like you:

  • You want to integrate your store with a 3rd party application via API
  • You’re a developer who wants to integrate with BigCommerce via our API
  • You can’t use BigCommerce because it doesn’t integrate with your favorite 3rd party application via API
  • You’re stuck on a competing platform because you can’t easily import your stuff via API

… then please fill in this form to tell us how you’d use our API in an ideal world. All feedback is read and we really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Listening to our clients is one way we improve BigCommerce so please take this chance to share your thoughts.

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