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The Key Differences Between Magento Commerce and Magento Open Source

September 20, 2018 by Brent W Peterson

The Key Differences Between Magento Commerce and Magento Open Source

This entry was posted on September 20, 2018 by Brent W Peterson


Magento is the most popular e-commerce platform in the world, and it utilized by thousands of companies, ranging from small businesses to enterprises. These companies use the platform to take advantage of its customizability, its cloud solutions, and its community of over 300,000 developers. Lauded for its strong community, high performance, and its scalability, Magento is one of the best content management systems for e-commerce, and it is no surprise that it is used by several Fortune 500 companies and large enterprises.

Merchants who want to take advantage of the tools and resources available on Magento can choose between two versions of the platform: Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce. Because Magento Open Source is free and easy to use, many companies are inclined to lean toward using this edition of the platform. However, Magento Commerce makes up for its cost with exclusive built-in features and cloud solutions, making it the version of choice for many large companies and enterprises like Burger King. While companies that use Magento will benefit from either option, they both have distinct differences that can make a big difference in an online company’s performance. Before you make a decision about which version of Magento is right for your company, it is important for you to know and consider the main differences between Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce.


Both Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce have features that will help your online business grow. These two versions of Magento have most of the e-commerce features necessary for daily operation, including mobile optimized shopping, catalog and product browsing, layouts and theming, and search engine optimization. With Magento Open Source, these built-in features are free, and any additional features that a company might need can often be found and added using extensions.

A key difference between these two Magento options is that with Magento Commerce, merchants have more features available, and they do not need to use extensions to access these features. Magento Commerce offers tools like rewards points, gift registry, and store credits to help with building customer loyalty. Magento Commerce also has features that maximize a company’s potential for personalization. While Magento Open Source allows users to create customer groups, Magento Commerce goes further by enabling users to utilize custom customer traits for customer segmentation, allowing for targeted marketing and promotions.

Other important tools unique to Magento Commerce are B2B functionality, visual merchandising, and content staging and preview. These additional features can revolutionize both the merchant and the customer experience, and should be a main point of consideration when you are deciding which version of Magento to choose for your company. If you have a small online business with low turnover, the free, open source edition might be right for your company. However, if your company is large or it has significant growth potential, it would be beneficial to think about how the features offered through Magento Commerce could help your e-commerce business.

Cloud Solutions

One of the most significant differences between Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce is that the latter offers cloud hosting and cloud solutions. With these capabilities, your company can take advantage of fast loading using a content delivery network and global availability. Customers will have less down or waiting time on your website, which will help them have a more positive experience browsing your site. The cloud also makes for easy global deployment, so you are able to sell your products quickly and have worldwide reach. Your website will be more secure with cloud enhanced updates, data, and security upgrades and patching. Cloud hosting opens limitless possibilities for developers to create and customize features, so it is easier to find developers to help enhance your website. While it is not necessary for every business, there are countless benefits to having an e-commerce platform with cloud hosting capabilities, and Magento Commerce is the version of Magento that offers cloud solutions. Evaluate the size and scope of your business and determine whether cloud hosting is a feature that your company needs in order to be successful.

Security and Scalability

Magento Commerce provides reliability and security to merchants so that they do not need to worry about the infrastructure of their websites. Magento Commerce comes with performance and scalability features including multiple master servers, order archiving, scalable backend product management, and MySQL customer support. These tools will allow you to focus on the day-to-day operations of your online business in a way that is not possible with Magento Open-Source, and they will allow your company to stay secure while it becomes increasingly scalable.

Data Management

Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce allow users to consolidate data and use that information to drive sales. However, there is a notable difference in the power of each version’s data capabilities. Magento Commerce utilizes cloud technology to allow users to view and analyze their data instantly no matter where they are located. This edition also allows for custom data visualizations, which provides business owners the opportunity to tailor their reports and dashboards so that they are getting the specific data they need presented in a way that is most helpful for their company. Additional data features are provided by Magento Business Intelligence, a data management system that is automatically included with Magento Commerce. If you want to have an easy way to track and analyze data for your e-commerce business, Magento Commerce is probably a good fit for you.

The Cost

Another difference between Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce is cost. Magento Open Source is free, and it has many useful features that are easy to implement with an e-commerce website. Magento has a well-developed marketplace that offers additional free and paid features that can be used with Magento Open Source. When deciding between the two versions, make sure to factor in the long-term costs of purchasing, installing, and maintaining extensions over time if you select Magento Open Source. If you know you will need several extensions over the years to help your website function as needed, it might be wise to consider purchasing Magento Commerce.

Magento Commerce costs more upfront, and your total costs will vary depending on your online company’s revenue. With Magento Commerce, higher revenue means an increase in annual fees. If your company is small, the combination of over $1,000 per month in upfront costs and annual fees might make Magento Open Source a better option for your business. However, if you have a large company with high turnover, it might be more cost-effective to start out with Magento Commerce.

Whether you decide to use Magento Open Source or Magento Commerce, it is clear that Magento is a top e-commerce platform that can significantly help your online business. For help creating and managing a website using Magento, contact Wagento today!