Magento Open Source vs Magento Commerce

Posted by Screen Pages on 24/05/18
Over the last decade, Magento has built up a formidable reputation as the most popular eCommerce platform in the world. In 2017, 31.4% of the top 100,000 websites ran on Magento. Roughly 300,000 companies worldwide run their sites on Magento.
Magento has become the go-to option for flexible, affordable eCommerce deployments, and is dominating the platform market not only in sales but with leader status in both the Gartner Magic Quadrant and the newly-formed Forrester mid-size B2B report.

As a solution partner operating a dedicated Magento practice none of this comes as a surprise to Screen Pages. We’ve been developing Magento sites with high conversion ratios since 2009 for leading brands such as Loake Shoes, Micro Scooters and the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

Magento is currently available to merchants in three ways:

  • Open Source Edition (formerly Community): a free version of the platform that offers access to a huge ecosystem of feature extensions.
  • Commerce Edition (formerly split into Enterprise): a licensed version allowing larger businesses access to a wider range of built in features and functions which is highly scalable and easy to deploy.
  • Cloud Edition: Magento Commerce hosted by Magento at Amazon Web Services
    With Magento Version 2.2.4 launched just last week, we asked ourselves: What are the key differences and how do you know which is the right one for your business?

Magento Open Source Edition

Previously known as Magento Community, Magento Open Source Edition is the free open source Magento platform that started life back in 2008. Magento supported and invested in this version until November 2015, when Magento 2 was launched. Version 2 was completely re-engineered from the ground up. Available for everyone to download, install and extend, users are free to make configuration adjustments to the software to meet their specific needs, unlike a SaaS model that locks you into a given software roadmap.

For a developing business or a startup, the Open Source Edition’s ease of use and straightforward management provides a great introduction and allows merchants to spin up an eCommerce web store quickly.

The vast community of developers who work with Magento Open Source is consistently developing new extensions that add new functionality to an already impressive base feature set.

Magento Commerce Edition
Commerce refers to both an instance-based Enterprise-level platform which can be hosted on prem or in the cloud and Magento’s own Cloud Commerce offering.

The Commerce Edition is much more than simply a licensed edition of Magento OpenSource. Although built on the same code stack, the Magento Commerce platform is generally used by larger companies with higher throughputs of customer traffic / larger product catalogs / wider global presence / greater business complexity.

With a set of handy configurable features to ensure an optimal customer experience, some of the additional benefits of Commerce are:

  • Magento Technical Support
  • Magento Dedicated Account Management

*Note: Screen Pages Managed Service and dedicated Account Management are available for both Editions.

Features Open Source Commerce
License Costs Free Revenue based license cost (tiered)
Responsive Ecomm website (Global capability)
Promotions Engine / Product & Catalog Mgt
Checkout, Payment & Shipping
Site management (admin)
ElasticSearch
Bluefoot CMS in 2.2
Content Staging & Preview
OOTB B2B Functionality (in v2.2)
Full Page Caching
Customer Segmentation
Abandoned Cart Emails
Rewards Programs
Return and Exchange Rules
Gift Wrapping
Wishlist and Gift Registry
Gift Cards
Store Credit
Magento Shipping
Magento Social
Amazon Pay
Klarna Payments
Vertex Sales Tax Calculator
Dotmailer for Automated Email Marketing
Instant Purchase Checkout
Signifyd Fraud Protection
At a fundamental level the codebase for both Editions is the same, however certain features are only available in the Commerce edition (Note: the above are some of the key features, but please contact Screen Pages for a more comprehensive list).
Conclusion

The decision as to whether to use Magento Open Source or Commerce boils down to the specifics of your business and your overall digital strategy. Every merchant has their own wishlist and requirements when it comes to their brand, and the key to choosing the right platform depends on a number of factors. Screen Pages can help you make the right decision based on your current and future requirements.

We understand that a broader feature set and scalability are extremely important to get the most out of your online presence, but equally we understand that the ability to put a cost-effective Opensource solution live extremely quickly brings major benefits of its own.

Indeed, the power of Magento lies in the great inherent flexibility of the platform; flexibility that means that Magento is capable of doing just about anything you can think of – and that experts such as Screen Pages can leverage to produce a solution unique to your needs. Having delivered solutions for our clients using both Opensource and Commerce, we have found that either can be used to build an effective eCommerce platform.

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