Magento Open Source or Magento Commerce? Which One Is Right For Your Project?

May 30, 2022
Photo by Zyro on Unsplash

Magento has started to gain immense popularity over the years, with thousands of companies utilizing its features to grow their business, the eCommerce platform boasts impressive performance and perhaps an even more impressive community behind it. Calling it one of the best content management systems on the market would be a well-deserved statement.

For the business guys & Magento ecommerce development folks that are considering e-com industry as their next platform, you should know that there are primarily two major options to choose from – 

Magento Open source and Magento Commerce. 

Though having the same basic code, Both are completely different in terms of the size and scope of the business they can optimally support, This article will highlight the major differences between both and which one benefits which type of project the most. We hope by the end of this article you can make the decision that is right for your business.

Understanding The differences

Magento Commerce 

Magento community edition is completely free, you can just download and initiate a Magento store but Magento enterprise edition starts from $22,000. In Magento community edition ,building the store and making it live would incorporate an amount of domain, designing and development, hosting which would cost $15,000 on calculation. The Magento enterprise edition release supports a ton of fancy odds and ends. This platform is suitable for businesses that have reached a fairly large sum of sales volume and profit generation.

Loaded with a large variety of business intelligence tools, intelligence, a dedicated support team for 24/7 tech maintenance/support, and even international hosting services. The security protocols are also buffed to ensure safe transactions. To put it another way, only large businesses or rapidly scaling ones will truly benefit from all the power that Magento commerce has to offer.

Magento also has the option of cloud services, in case you don’t want to host your servers, which can reduce a huge load off of companies that perhaps don’t have a competent dev in-house. According to Magento itself, approximately 60 percent of its users prefer cloud over on-sight, and though there were reliability issues in the past, their cloud service has improved significantly over the years

Pros:

Comes bundled with a Comprehensive B2B functionality and advanced marketing feature like customer segmentation, gift registry, abandoned cart emails, and the like

Handy and intuitive page builder

Advanced scalability for Large businesses with high traffic

Official customer support from Magento’s team

Cons:

Large yearly fees of $ 24,000

Technical base of knowledge required 

Magento Open Source

The free open source version of Magento is one of the best free platforms that gives SMB merchants the power to compete with bigger companies as well. Being “free” is a downgrade in terms of what you get(without the modules bundled with commerce, or the support from the parent company). But being open source also means that companies can bring in their technician and add on top it to fulfill their personal needs of the project, potentially competing with the paid version offerings as well.

Pros:

Open Source with Zero licensing fees – ensures you spend no money on extensions and tools you would have no use for

High functionality and amazing features – All features needed by the store are either natively present or can be built upon the existing platform. This means if over time the native open-source environment was inadequate, you could add extensions of your choice. A simple way of thinking is buying and adding another Lego piece to complete your figure in case your existing pieces weren’t enough

Scalability – Excellent for small and large businesses alike. Again, building on the last point, two different e-commerce stores could be utilizing Open Source and yet have two completely different setups, based on the way they built it

Large Voluntary community – Many users of the platform offer free advice and help in internet subgroups. You can find everyone from designers, software engineers, and coders to end-users. Most queries will have subgroups already dedicated to them.

Advanced marketing tools – such as intelligent attribute-based customer acquisition, targeted content, CCS and so are a native part of it as well. Though not cutting edge, they are free and Smart the usage of these tools massively affects website ranking as well

Cons:

Limited Customer service from Magento 

Larger or upscaling businesses may have to eventually spend on additional features and add-ons so may end up costing more in the long term.

Not a great platform for people without coding knowledge.

Despite offering some, Open source essentially has Limited inbuilt marketing tools, and most businesses’ have to add more comprehensive extensions over time, adding to cost.

So Which one is the best choice for your Business?

On comparing the two Magento versions, we can see some similarities but many stark differences. To put it simply – the Magento Commerce version provides more of a compressive set of functions off the bat, something a large-scale business would require. While Magento commerce is more of a buy-what-you-need platform, where you customize and use only the extensions you need, saving cost and the expense of potential time and head-scratching, something more practical for the smaller businesses. Both are useful in their own right.

To figure out where your business stands and which platform you need, you have to keep these things into consideration –

  • Target audience buying power
  • Yearly Budget
  • Availability of Technical staff
  • Traffic Volume
  • Business Size

Cross-referencing with your data will help you find which Magento edition fits your enterprise.

Summary 

Most Stores tend to build their website on Magento due to its robust power, functionality, and flexibility. The option of Magento Open source is largely preferred by smaller businesses (less than 200,000 products on average) due to its low starting cost and high customization options. 

While larger companies tend to go for Magento Commerce or they look up to Magento website maintenance services cause these are “ready-set-go” setup and unlimited tech support. Money is not a limiting factor for these entities and all they are looking for is optimizing and up-scaling their already successful model. 

Either way, knowing where you stand and what you need will help you decide what suits you. 

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