Magento Commerce vs. Magento Open Source: 3 Factors to Consider

Amanda Mulquiney-Birbeck
Amanda Mulquiney-BirbeckDigital Marketing Manager
24 Apr 2019


Considering moving to Magento 2? You're probably wondering which version is right for your business - Magento Commerce or Magento Open Source. Is it really worth the additional spend and what are you missing out on?





What is Magento Open Source?

Magento Open Source (previously known as Magento Community Edition) is a free, downloadable, open-source Ecommerce platform. You can get up and running with an online store fast and with minimal up-front costs.

Of course, you’ll have to sort out your domain name, hosting and preferably work with an agency, or employ a qualified Magento developer in-house. Due to its limited scalability and functionality, typically Magento Open Source is perfect for small businesses looking to experiment and learn how to build an Ecommerce operation. To discover the biggest drawbacks of Magento Open Source, download the full report here.

What is Magento Commerce (Enterprise Edition)?

As the old name would suggest, Magento Enterprise Edition is the premium version of Magento. Now named Magento Commerce – it is often chosen where the open-source version doesn’t quite cut it. Whether you need more advanced revenue-boosting features, increased scalability or customised features, Magento Commerce is typically used by larger online organisations. As such the Enterprise Edition is the paid-for version of Magento.

Unlike Magento Open Source, Magento Commerce is fully supported by the Magento team with 24/7 support by phone or email. In addition, you get access their global network of expert help, peer support and other resources.

Magento Commerce is trusted the world over by some of the world’s biggest brands down to independent boutiques.

Mind the Gap

We often get asked, “can’t I bridge the gap between Open Source and Commerce using 3rd Party Extensions?” when proposing Magento Commerce 2. It is a well-known fact that Magento 1 Community (Open Source) is the biggest competitor for Magento 1 Commerce (Enterprise). With ample Extensions available in the Marketplace, there is sometimes little between the two platforms when comparing bespoke functionality.

However, with Magento 2, the out-of-the-box differences are vast. 

For an in-depth comparison of built-in functionality download our latest report, "Magento: Commerce vs Open Source".

3 Compelling Factors to Consider

1. Total Cost of Customisation / Total Cost of Ownership

Free is good, right? Very few companies want to pay north of £17K annually if they don’t have to. However, according to Forrester Research as many as 43% of companies underestimate the cost of their Ecommerce platform.

If you go down the open-source route, any customisations and add-ons will require technical expertise and will naturally add additional budget to the project.

It's worth noting that developers of 3rd Party Extensions for Magento Open Source are not obligated to maintain their modules when updates to Magento are released, nor are they expected to ensure that their extension works with other 3rd party code. This opens up the potential for vulnerabilities and incompatibilities which can cause serious problems in the long term. It also means you might be left high and dry if you’re using an Extension which becomes unsupported and you need to update Magento to the latest release.

Would it be more cost-effective for you to implement Magento Commerce, where many of these customisations come as standard?

2.  What would downtime cost your online business?

It’s worth considering the cost of downtime to your online business. What would the financial impact be on your bottom-line if your site went down?

Is it worth taking the risk of your Ecommerce operation grinding to a halt, leaving shoppers to turn to your competitors? With Magento Commerce, you get dedicated account management and technical and security support 24/7 guaranteed. This means you can spend less time trouble-shooting and more time making the most out of your Ecommerce solution.

You’ll also be working with partners who are certified to build solutions on Magento Commerce must meet a level of competency and customer satisfaction in order to receive their certification. This gives you peace of mind that the people implementing your site know what they’re doing and are working according to Magento’s best practice guidelines.

3.  Access to the full Magento Suite

If you choose to go down the open-source route, keep in mind that you could be overloading the solution with 3rd party Extensions which could have a negative impact on performance and security. This could have a knock-on effect on your user experience, reputation and online revenue.

If you opt for Magento Commerce, you’ll benefit from the full Magento suite and product roadmap enabling your team to exercise their creativity to build one-of-a-kind shopping experiences. Business Intelligence, Order Management, and other tools help you to accelerate your sales and realise your commerce potential.

New functionality becomes available in every iteration of Magento Commerce, and this can be used by you at no additional cost. Creating the same new functionality in Open Source could cost tens of thousands of pounds - and take many months to implement.

For an in-depth comparison of built-in functionality download our latest report, "Magento: Commerce vs Open Source".



About Maginus

For retailers – big and small – for whom success depends on growing online, we provide what it takes to sell better online. We do this by delivering class-leading Ecommerce websites that drive online growth and sales fulfilment solutions that facilitate next day delivery and customer service excellence.

We are independent and technology-agnostic but with close partnerships to several leading technology companies so we can always recommend the most appropriate platform for our customers' needs.

With a 20-year heritage in technology implementations, we take pride in helping our customers achieve long term benefits from the solutions we provide. We can do this, because we've done it before, for people just like you.





Still unsure? With a quick phone call and a few simple questions, we can help you make the best decision for your business needs. To discuss a potential project call 0161 946 0000 or Contact Us.