Magento Community vs Magento Enterprise Edition
Whether to go with the free Community Edition of Magento, or set up store with the full-feature Enterprise edition of Magento is one of the most difficult choices an online retailer can make. From using Magento to sell clothes and art prints to event tickets and car parts, you’ll want to know if free is really better, or whether it’s worth shelling out the asking price for all the features.
To delve into this question in more detail, let’s first look at basic differences between the two packages.
Magento Community (Magento Open Source)
Recently rebranded ‘Magento Open Source’ (we’ll call it Magento Community in this article – this is still the name most developers use) this Magento release is, as the name suggests, open source and can therefore be downloaded for free. Packed with features such as integrated checkout, instant search, table-optimised templates and instant purchase, it allows users to get a taste of what Magento can do, before making an outright purchase.
Magento Enterprise (Magento Commerce)
Originally called Magento Enterprise and now branded Magento Commerce (again, we’ll use the original name in this piece for the same reasons as before) this platform is somewhat different. Although based on the same core code as the free version, it contains out-of-the-box functionality that would be possible in Magento Community only with a lot of extensions plus a great deal of money and time installing them. This is generally the preferred choice for medium to large business looking for streamlined performance and scalability.
Similarities Between Magento Community and Enterprise Edition
The main similarity between the two Magento platforms is that they are both open source and share many of the same core features. This means you can see whether or not Magento Enterprise is right for you by installing Magento Community which is free and can be downloaded here.
Some of the shared feature include: —
- APIs integration
This enables a single web API to run With Magento 2. Amongst the primary features are support for SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and REST (Representation State Transfer). No matter which version of Magento you are running, integrating with third-party apps to run with the platform should be hassle free.
- Catalog management
This controls the display of your inventory on your ecommerce site. Via the backend settings, you can control how many products are listed per page, while also allowing you to determine the onsite catalog search settings and the catalog price scope.
- Layered Navigation
Eliminating the amount of on-page clutter, Layered Navigation is a form of Catalog Navigation which makes it easy to find products based on product type, such as price, material and colour. The manual method lets you specify a division limit for price intervals, while using the tool automatically, you can set a threshold for a number of products within a particular attribute, and Magento will do the rest.
- Mobile Commerce
Both versions of Magento allow you to design ecommerce sites on mobile platforms. In practice, this means the underlying code of both systems will operate on devices like smart phones and tablets. For instance, you can set the browser to automatically respond to the width of the browser window so your online retail store fills the whole screen.
- Magento Connect
Featuring hundreds of extensions for nearly every conceivable application, Magento Connect is Magento’s original marketplace for extensions. These enhance Magento’s already comprehensive set of features. Extension are created by community members. At 247 Commerce, we have our own extension too. See our own extensions page.
Differences at a Glance: Magento CE and EE
|Community vs Enterprise Comparison||Community Edition||Enterprise Edition|
|Advanced Customer Segmentation and Targeting||No||Yes|
|Advanced Return Management Authorisation||No||Yes|
|Private Sales, Event, Invitations||No||Yes|
|Price and Promotion Permission||No||Yes|
|Minimum Advertised Price||No||Yes|
|Enhanced Catalog and Content Management System||No||Yes|
|Staging, Merging and Rollback of Content||No||Yes|
|Gift Registry and Gifting Options||No||Yes|
|Call Centre with Assisted Shopping||No||Yes|
Benefits of Enterprise over Community
Read further to learn more about the differences and decide for yourself on what you need.
Although Magento Community and Enterprise edition share the same core code, the paid version offers more advanced features. The most important of these are advanced customer segmentation and targeting, advanced return management authorisation, advanced customer segmentation and targeting and advanced return management authorisation. In a nutshell, by using these tools, you can quickly identify your most valuable customers, group them together using a range of variables, thereby delivering a customised shopping experience.
Performance here is directly tied to use: Magento Community edition gives a faster performance to small website owners who have fewer resources on their website. On the other hand, Enterprise works quicker on websites with high volumes of traffic or products listed. Therefore, if you are a large scale retailer, Magento Enterprise will offer the best speed performance. Some of the perks of Enterprise include, split data for products, order management, and checkout across three master databases for superior scalability, as well as support for checkout and order management database clustering via MySQL Cluster.
Multiple languages, Multiple Currencies
Unlike with the Community Edition, Enterprise comes with a multiple language pack straight out of the box. This gives you access to around 80 languages in total. In addition, EE integrates with multiple payment gateways, including PayPal, Authorize.net, CyberSource and WorldPay. This makes it incredibly easily to receive and manage international orders – spreading your customer-base as far and wide as it can go.
Unlike Magento Community, Magento Enterprise provides a PCI compliant secure payment bridge. This enables the storage and collection of credit card data. Magento EE allows integrated payment gateways which in turn allow merchants to securely transmit credit card data via direct post API methods. In addition, you can transact with hosted payment forms – provided by the payment gateway – which integrate with your checkout page.
Gift registry /Gifting Options
This is an advanced feature which promotes sales via a gifting strategy. It allows the customer to create a ‘gift list’. When this is done, an email is then sent to the customer with a link which can then be shared with their family and friends. Alternatively, as a merchant, you have the option to send notifications to the customer’s gifting nominees on their behalf. EE also supplies you with predefined templates to make the process much smoother.
With the Enterprise Edition you have far greater flexibility and control over the design interface. You can now easily drag content into rows and columns, as well as swap content positions with a single drag or click. Unlike before, content now remains fully responsive after being resized; even when using Magento 2’s reference theme – Luma – or any other theme which Magento or one of its third-party vendors provides.
In addition to the Magento Stack Exchange, and the self-help resources online, with Magento EE you have access to special technical support. Store owners can ask for general advice or open a case where you have a specific issue. Magento’s analysts will audit your problem and, where possible replicate and isolate it. According to Magento’s site “all currently licensed Magento Enterprise Edition Merchants or Partners can reach Magento Enterprise Edition Customer Support via our online portals, or telephone, based on the level of support plan purchased by the customer.”
…What About Magento Cloud?
For those looking to migration, integration, or start out with Magento, there is third option important to mention: Magento Commerce Cloud. Previously known a Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition, it provides all the same core features as Magento Enterprise with the addition of managed hosting. This gives you access to Magento’s own hosting plan so you don’t have to worry about installing and running Magento on your own dedicated server.
In practical terms, you are less likely to experience downtime due to traffic spites or server attacks with this packaged, since your installation will be networked over a number of different servers at once – if one goes down, the other picks up the slack. If you are thinking of going with the paid version of Magento, this is definitely a package to consider. It could save you a lot of time in the long run.
Having gone through the main differences between the paid and free version of Magento, you hopefully now have a much better idea of which package is right for you. If in doubt however, try to keep in mind such factors as site traffic, product sales, and your future development. If you are listing or hoping to list over 6000 SKUs, and looking to expand your customer base in the future with steady growth, then you’ll almost certainly need Magento Enterprise – rebranded Magento Commerce. For anything else, Magento Community (now Magento Open Source) should be more than capable of setting your business in motion.
Want to find out more about Magento? Please see our Complete Magento Ecommerce Guide for more details.