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Magento Open Source vs. Commerce: What to Choose in 2024

Magento Open Source vs. Commerce

Planning to launch an online store on Magento or migrate from your current CMS? Whatever the reason, we totally understand your decision. The Magento platform (currently owned by Adobe) is among the most popular solutions for building an online store.

It's perfect for large and medium-sized businesses, allowing for endless customizations, integrations with third-party solutions, and code and design optimizations. In short, you can take any path to create and grow your eCommerce business.

As far as this platform offers an open-source edition, you can get to the bottom of its codebase and apply any changes.

Nevertheless, when searching for the best option for the future eCommerce Magento website, the store owners come to a crossroads: Which Magento edition to choose? The thing is that Magento comes with three options:

  • Magento Open Source (formerly known as Magento Community Edition (CE));
  • Adobe Commerce (previously Magento Enterprise Edition (EE), or  Magento Commerce);
  • Adobe Commerce Cloud (Magento Commerce Cloud).

If you, like many others, hesitate about which edition will most fully satisfy your needs, you're at the right place. In this Magento Community vs. Enterprise comparison, we'll help determine the winner of this battle for your particular business. We'll also overview the Adobe Commerce Cloud edition and why you may need it.

Magento Community Editions: Eliminating the Confusion

When reading articles about Magento alternatives online, you may come across different terms denoting one and the same core features and edition. Magento Community (CE), Magento Enterprise (EE), Adobe Commerce, Magento Open Source…

This puts many of Magento's potential customers at a standstill. What are all these names, and what version do you need? Yet, the clarification is easy: 

  • Magento Open Source = the Magento Community Edition; 
  • Magento Commerce = Magento Enterprise Edition.

Also, let's remind you that, currently, Magento is part of the Adobe ecosystem. Thus, the company gave its own names to the Magento versions. Therefore, we can classify Magento Editions as follows:

  •         Magento Open Source (a free version with basic features);
  •         Adobe Commerce (a paid version with additional features);
  •         Adobe Commerce Cloud (same as the paid version, plus the ability to develop a cloud-based online store).

In this blog post, we'll provide the latest comparison of these solutions, introduce their pros and cons, and define what businesses need what version.

Magento Commerce Cloud vs. Community vs. Enterprise Edition: 2023 Definitions

Before delving into the Magento Community and Enterprise features overview, let's first review the Magento version history.

Magento Community Edition

Magento Community (Magento CE) is a free version that provides all the tools needed for Magento developers to create an eCommerce website. Magento CE can be called a naked version of Magento EE, devoid of all the extra stuff. For a comprehensive comparison of features and costs between Magento Open Source and Commerce, you can refer to this detailed .

It's the most popular choice among the three offers for , especially for small businesses. Store owners can download this open-source eCommerce platform for free and then decide on what additional features to purchase/develop to power up the store.

For example, you'll have to find your own hosting provider, as it's not a SaaS solution. It is a virtually pure core, which can integrate with numerous third-party modules to expand the platform's functionality.

As such, if you’re a startup or a small business just beginning your eCommerce store journey, this version provides a reliable platform for building a store without a hefty price tag. Just remember that you’ll need to have technical expertise and resources to install the software, add more functionality, and optimize it for search engines.

Magento Enterprise Edition

That's where you get the real benefit of Magento. But you have to pay. How much, we'll describe further in the article, but now all we need to know is that Magento EE, or the Enterprise Edition, offers outstanding features compared to the Community (Magento CE) version. So, it’s perfect for larger businesses that require a high level of customization, performance, and security.

We'll investigate the Magento Enterprise in detail below. Note that you still need to purchase hosting, a domain name, an SSL certificate, and other things.

Magento Commerce Cloud Edition

This edition includes the Magento Enterprise suite, as well as cloud hosting. To compare Open Source and Magento Commerce, the former offers flexibility and customization, but the latter provides enhanced scalability, security patches, and official support. It means more opportunities for growth and fewer headaches when scaling the company up and down.

Cloud hosting enables you to pay only for the used resources, rapidly allocating more space on the server if your Magento store expands. This fact makes this paid version an ideal option for small businesses with ambitious plans to enter international markets as well as renowned stores with robust online presence.

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Adobe Commerce vs. Magento Community Edition: Comparison of the In-Built Features

Magento is a PHP-based CMS. It stands out from other eCommerce platforms thanks to its flexibility, and it can be adapted to any business type and size, be it a B2B or B2C eCommerce company. But how can you decide between Magento Enterprise vs. Community? Let us help you and explain each point of both editions thoroughly, starting with similarities.

Magento Community vs. Enterprise: What Do They Have in Common?

To answer the question, first, take a look at the following list:

  • Common Core 
    Both the Magento Community edition and Magento EE have a common engine and a set of core functions. Thus, if you decide to run the business on the Magento Community Edition, you build it on the reliable and functional Magento EE hardware. This solution can come in handy further.
  • APIs Integrability 
    Magento 2 Community and Magento 2 Enterprise Editions enable the use of API web services for integrating with various databases.
  • Mobile-Optimized Shopping
    Magento Community and the Enterprise edition propose the possibility of building mobile-friendly stores with a product catalog fully adapted to mobile gadgets.
  • Integrated Checkout, Payment, and Shipping 
    Both Editions are equipped with modules to take orders from the shopping cart, pay for products, and deliver them from parcel services.
  • Global Selling 
    This point denotes the opportunity for online stores to cooperate with worldwide shipping services, set currencies, and switch through multilingual versions.
  • Catalog and Product Management
    Pre-installed parameters of product segmentation ensure the selling of simple, configurable, bundled, and customer-personalized products.
  • Extended Functionality via App Marketplace
    Both Editions can use Magento Marketplace (a store of Magento extensions), integrate with applications to improve functionality, and support the development of advanced custom features.
  • Progressive Web Applications
    Merchants can transform their websites into a cutting-edge solution called a progressive web app. Magento lets you rebuild the store's architecture to create a headless commerce solution. Once you're done with the technicalities, you can go further and enhance the store's shopping experience via custom UI/UX design to deploy a PWA. It'll be a website but look and feel like a native app.

Magento Community vs. Enterprise: Differences

The two key distinctions between Magento Community vs. Commerce and Cloud are cost and functionalities. So, let's examine each of these components one at a time.

Exclusive Magento Enterprise Features

Here are the advanced features online merchants seek when purchasing the Magento Enterprise Edition that can't be found in the Community version.

Business Intelligence Dashboards

Ready-to-use reports are built into the dashboard for faster and more convenient utilization.

B2B Functionality 

Wholesale customers can access capabilities to form a list of companies with which they collaborate and manage company accounts and customer databases for more efficient B2B workflows.

Advanced Marketing Tools

More opportunities to take marketing on your site under control just from the dashboard. For example, the Enterprise Edition comes with customer segmentation, flexible pricing, and targeting opportunities, allowing you to automatically display related products to various customer segments.

It also seamlessly integrates with tools like Google Tag Manager to manage your marketing tags and measure the campaign return on investment (ROI) by connecting with Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics. So you can create personalized shopping experiences and automate other sales-generating tasks.

Content Staging and Preview

All changes in content are visible, and you, as a Magento Enterprise developer, can always rewind to the proper stage. In addition, there is an opportunity to schedule the content, appointing some widgets and themes to the exact time in the calendar.

Customer Loyalty Tools

Enabling reward points, gift registries, wish lists, and exclusive private sales events. With their help, you can manage customer invitations based on how you want to treat the most valuable shoppers. Another powerful feature that promotes sales and loyalty is Store Credits. You can add them to customer accounts and offer these credits when a customer purchases products on the website.

WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Page Builder

CMS management with drag-and-drop capabilities.

Visual Merchandising

Organizing products on catalog pages so that they will be united and shown to the definite customer group.

Support

The Magento Community Edition has no technical support from the manufacturer. However, you can get Magento Community support on sources like forums, documentation, and technical blogs of companies providing or contact freelancing developers. Plus, third-party development firms, Magento partners, can provide the maintenance. In contrast, the Magento Enterprise Edition has native technical support directly from the Magento company.

Return Management Authorization

Enterprise version store owners can leverage the built-in Magento 2 Enterprise RMA capability to manage returns from the Admin panel. You won't find this among the Magento Community Edition features, but you can install suitable extensions.

Stronger Security

The Magento Community version isn't PCI compliant, jeopardizing credit card security. The Enterprise Edition, in turn, protects customer purchases thanks to credit card tokenization, bug bounty programs, external penetration testing, and advanced payment security. Thanks to the Magento advanced permission feature, you can limit access to certain sections.

Configurable Order Tracking Widget

This feature comes into play when you want to give your customers more transparency regarding order tracking. Buyers can check their order status in real time, improving communication and trust.

Magento Commerce Cloud vs. Magento Community vs. Enterprise Edition Comparison: License Costs

We've already covered this topic in full in our . There, we help you choose between the Community Edition, Enterprise Edition, and Cloud version. Let's touch upon general ideas.

1. Magento Community Edition – Free Edition

To utilize this platform, simply download it from the Adobe website or another source. All further actions will concern the customization of the downloaded software.

2. Magento Enterprise Edition – Paid Version

The Magento Enterprise Edition ranges from $22,000.00 – $125,000.00 per year (pre-discount) based on expected annual gross sales revenue. Here, you can observe the table with Magento Enterprise prices regarding the annual turnover.

Sales Revenue

Magento 2 Enterprise

Edition (EE) Cost

Magento 2 Enterprise Cloud

Edition (ECE) Cost*

$0 - $1 million$22,000.00$40,000.00
$1 - $5 million$32,000.00$55,000.00
$5 - $10 million$49,000.00$80,000.00
$10 - $25 million$75,000.00$120,000.00
$25 - $50 million$125,000.00$190,000.00

* Combined cost of hosting and Enterprise licensing is negotiable.

3. Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition (Commerce Cloud) – Paid Version

Now, Magento 2 offers a cloud hosting called Enterprise Cloud Edition (ECE) that combines licensing and managed hosting based on AWS and ranges from $ 40,000.00 – $ 190,000.00 per year based on the expected annual revenue from gross sales.

More companies increasingly use cloud hosting, such as AWS. What makes this option good? First, it’s scalability and the inherent flexibility in the number of servers online. Secondly, you can better rely on these servers, because if one crushes, traffic can be rerouted to another.

Among other benefits are as follows:

  • the ability to reach global audiences faster as servers are located closer to the end user;
  • pay-as-you-go model (you pay only for what you use);
  • built-in security measures such as firewalls, DDoS protection, and regular patching;
    automated backup solutions, etc.

Magento 2 Enterprise Cloud Edition is a new offer for the release of the Magento 2 platform and combines both the Enterprise license and hosting in a single payment structure. Prices start at $ 40,000 annually for vendors that produce less than $ 1 million. For new customers, Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition offers monthly payments to allocate the current annual costs during the year.

Magento CE and Magento EE: For Whom?

Summing this up, we can say that Magento EE is the most suitable eCommerce platform for merchants in average revenue tiers — from the $5 to $25 million range. For them, using Magento Enterprise Edition is much easier because the spent sum of money is quite purposeful according to the challenges of the store. 
For those seeking alternatives to the Magento Enterprise version, consider Magento Community or Magento Commerce Cloud. The choice depends on your goals. If you’re generating less than $5 million in revenue, it seems tougher to cover the annual expenditures of Magento EE or ECE compared to Community Edition. In contrast to businesses generating less than $5 million in revenue, it seems tougher to cover annual expenditures of Magento EE or ECE compared to Community Edition.

Magento Community vs. Enterprise Edition: Conclusion

When comparing Magento Community with the Magento Enterprise version, store owners may take into account just their price differences. However, the question isn’t just, “Is this particular Magento good or bad?”.
The open-source and paid versions are designed for various purposes and businesses.

Small and medium Magento store owners frequently opt for the Community Edition and connect advanced features via third-party extensions. At the same time, the two Enterprise versions, the Magento Enterprise version and the Cloud one, provide large online stores with functional order management, customer segmentation, optimized performance, scalability, and customer attribute management. To fully leverage these advanced features, store owners should be able to afford to employ a Magento Enterprise developer, which costs money.

At Onilab, we meticulously analyze every client and help them settle on Magento 2 Community vs. Enterprise to gain maximum benefit from their platforms. We may also suggest other options like Salesforce Commerce Cloud if it better suits your business model. to find the best option for your company.

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Magento Community vs. Enterprise Edition Comparison: FAQ

What Are the Different Types of the Magento License?

Magento offers three editions, depending on your budget, functionality, and business requirements. These are Magento Open Source (free), Adobe Commerce (paid), and Adobe Commerce Cloud (paid+hosted in the cloud).

What Are the Key Differences Between Magento 2 Community vs. Enterprise?

Magento 2 Community and Enterprise versions differ notably. Enterprise offers advanced order management, Purchase Order payment methods, catalog management, and company credit functionality for efficient B2B operations. It enables business owners to create dynamic categories to enhance product organization. Meanwhile, the Community version is more basic, lacking these features.

Is the Enterprise Version Better Than the Community Edition?

Considering their key differences, the free Magento 2 Community option may seem less versatile and powerful than the Enterprise version. However, it offers all the needed tools and international support from the vast Magento community to manage the store.

This makes the Community Edition more accessible for smaller companies than the Enterprise one. Enterprise is specifically designed for larger businesses with a greater focus on performance, scalability, customer service, and user experience.

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