Magento enterprise vs community: which one is right for your business?

For many, the name Magento goes hand in hand with eCommerce and it is even among the three most popular eCommerce platforms at present. A lot of the top companies are using Magento Platform to shape their websites. Retailers can go one step further and turn Magento into an omnichannel ecosystem, which helps them run and scale the business without limits. Currently, Magento has two versions which are Magento Community vs Enterprise Editions. So Magento enterprise vs community, which one is right for your business? This article will help you to find out.

Cost

The Community Edition of Magento is free to download, however, there are still a number of costs involved. The first kind of fee included is hosting, since Magento does not involve this. You will also need a developer, an in-house IT team, or an agency to manage the build. Magento has an extremely extensive setup which leads to high costs to complete the builds. According to Magento partners, even a basic store on Magento Open Source can cost $20,000 to $45,000. 

Things are quite similar with Magento Enterprise, besides the hosting fee, you will also need to pay a license fee for the software. A development team is necessary for addition. You will still have many of the costs above. The development cost will be higher for larger enterprises because of customization and integration. Overall, it will cost enterprises at least $60,000 to create a store.

Security

On Magento Community, you will be the one charged with staying on top of your site security updates. As a matter of fact, it will take lots of work to keep up with the security patches and version updates. It’s also work that’s best handled by Magento developers. Merchants wanting to stay on the most current version would have had to install six different security patches over 2019 and an additional three patches by the end of April 2020.  

When it comes to Magento Enterprise, Magento operates with a shared responsibility model. Magento is responsible for the Magento Commerce Cloud environment, but the user is responsible for the security of their customized instance. Magento Commerce provides merchants with patches (which includes maintenance), updates and upgrades to newer versions. However, it is on the merchant to install and manage these updates. 

Hosting

Using the free version of Magento Community means that you will be doing the hosting of the platform. You can do this with your own servers on-premise where you will be entirely responsible for the hardware upkeep and maintenance. On the other hand, if you wish, you can also choose to use a third-party hosting service, but make sure to pick a strong one, so as not to have issues with outages and unreliability issues.

Magento Enterprise does provide an on-premise option, though it is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) model delivered on the cloud. Be aware that PaaS is not the same thing as SaaS. While hosting is managed for you, you still need to make updates and apply security patches yourself.

Flexibility

Magento is flexible and this is one of the biggest selling points. The platform is also equipped with a number of Magento extensions. Merchants with needs for extreme customization are often quick to see Magento as the only option, but that flexibility comes with some downsides. On Magento when you modify the source code, it becomes more difficult to install patches and updates as they may break customization that you’ve done to your store. Additionally, Magento Commerce Open Source does not have PCI Compliance

The same issues with Magento Open Source extend to Magento Enterprise when it comes to flexibility. The difference is Magento CC is PCI Compliant. If your customizations don’t make any changes to the underlying source code. By exercising the flexibility of the platform, you risk complicating your security situation.

Scalability

With the free version of Magento, you may find yourself limited as you continue to grow and expand. Magento Community lacks some features you may want later including B2B functionality like price lists or an easy-to-use page builder. 

Working with Magento Enterprise, your costs are going to be a major factor in how much you can scale. When you have hosting through Magento, it doesn’t come with unlimited bandwidth. That is something that gets factored into the cost of your store, but you may experience overage fees. That said, Magento Enterprise should be able to scale with your needs, as long as you’re willing to pay for it.

Conclusion

This article managed to outline some differences based on criteria that merchants look for when deciding on which is right for their business. Hopefully, you now have a clearer idea of what the pros and cons are, so you can decide for yourself.


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