Magento Community vs Enterprise Edition: What is the Difference?

  • December 17, 2019
  • 11 min
magento community vs enterprise

The chances are that you're already pretty familiar with Magento, but what not everybody realizes is that there are two main build types: Magento Community and Magento Enterprise. 

As a Magento development company, we're used to all of the tech arguments for Magento Community vs Enterprise. The truth is that there's a place for everything, whether we're debating about Magento Enterprise versus Community or whether you're using free Magento builds. The key is to know when to use each one. Let's look a little deeper.

How to Choose Between Magento Community and Enterprise Edition?

The primary difference between Magento Community and Magento Enterprise is that Community is distributed for free, while Magento Enterprise Edition (Magento EE) is a premium, paid-for option. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, which is why even though Magento EE is a paid solution, it often makes sense for small to medium-sized businesses.

Let's take a closer look at some of the different pros and cons of each option as we battle Magento Enterprise vs Community.

Magento Community Edition

magento community edition

Magento Community Edition (Magento CE) is what most people will talk about when asked: "what is Magento"? The clue is in the name: Magento Community is the open-source version of Magento, which is supported by a wider community of third-party applications and web developers.

That means that the Magento Community version is available 100% free of charge. When you set up a Magento 2 Community site, there's no need to pay hefty licensing fees. If you're worried about Magento ecommerce pricing, using the Magento Community version means that you'll only have to pay more if you hire a developer to make a custom build.

Who Needs Magento Community Edition?

One of the most significant benefits of picking Magento Community vs Magento Enterprise is that it's available for free. That makes Magento Community edition a solid choice when money is an issue, and it's particularly worth considering if you're a new brand or if you don't need much-advanced modification.

Magento Community is particularly popular amongst solitary web developers who are creating sites on mass. Magento Community Edition allows developers to build different websites for different clients without having to pay for multiple Magento license fees. With that said, Magento Community has a lot to offer to ecommerce store owners who have a budget behind them.

Magento Enterprise Edition

magento enterprise edition

As you can probably imagine from what we said about Magento Community Edition, Magento Enterprise is the paid version. Don't stress yourself out worrying about Magento Enterprise costs. Magento ecommerce pricing is amongst the most competitive on the market. And while it's true that the Magento Enterprise cost is higher than if you went with Magento Community Edition, it's often worthwhile because of the additional features that it includes.

We'll cover some of the features you can expect from Magento Community vs Enterprise later on in this article. Still, just for starters, Magento Enterprise Edition (Magento EE) includes heightened security, better performance, and enhanced scalability. That means that the Magento ecommerce price often pays for itself thanks to the extra features that it allows.

Who Needs Magento Enterprise Edition?

Magento Enterprise Edition (Magento EE) is explicitly designed for enterprise customers. Just check some of the top Magento websites. Can you imagine their sales volume? Crazy. Each of the Magento Enterprise features is aimed at large companies that are looking to deploy an ecommerce store at scale.

One of the easiest ways to tell when to use Magento Community vs Magento Enterprise is to ask yourself just how important your ecommerce site is. If it's just a necessity, but not a strategic tool, go with Magento Community Edition. On the other hand, if your ecommerce store is mission-critical, you're going to want to go with Magento Enterprise. 

Magento Community vs Enterprise Comparison

magento community vs enterprise comparison

Cost

One of the main things that Magento Community Edition has going for it is that it's free to use and that the only expense that you'll have to worry about it the developer's salary. You may also want to hire a designer who's used to working with Magento sites. 

When cost comparing Magento Community vs Enterprise, Magento Community comes out on top. That's because Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition starts at $22,000/year, putting it way out of the league of most small businesses and startup sites. If you can afford it, Magento Enterprise is fantastic. If not, you might have to turn to the Magento Community edition.

Security

It's not fair to compare Magento Community vs Enterprise when it comes to security, because one of the main reasons for choosing Magento Enterprise is that a whole heap of extra features is included. 

Magento Enterprise features are designed to augment security include everything from credit card tokenization and secured payment bridges to PCI compliance, secure payment gateways and regular virus scanning, bug bounty programs, built-in penetration testing, and more. 

Performance

It's also not fair to compare Magento Community vs Enterprise when it comes to performance, mainly because when you're spending a couple of hundred bucks per month on Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition, you expect a certain level of service as standard.

It's worth noting that Magento Community has pretty good performance, it's just that it will struggle to keep up if your website is processing huge amounts of traffic. Magento Enterprise is almost always the better choice when it comes to larger ecommerce stores that are processing hundreds or thousands of sales every day.

Scalability

When comparing Magento Community vs Enterprise, it helps to ask yourself whether you plan to grow your website at scale. If you're expecting to process a relatively low level of transactions and not to grow at a rapid rate, you'll probably be able to get away with Magento Community.

On the other hand, if you're a big company that's processing huge numbers of transactions every day, there's no competition when it comes to Magento Community Edition vs Enterprise. Magento Enterprise will always win out, mainly because it's in the cloud. Just be warned that if you do start to use more resources, you can expect to pay more for the privilege. 

Functionality

This is another case where there's no competition between Magento Community Edition vs Enterprise. Magento Community comes with enough features to get most basic ecommerce stores off the ground, but if you want something that goes above and beyond basic functionality, you're going to have to pay a little more, even if that's only by hiring a developer to help.

Magento Enterprise takes the functionality that's available in Magento Community and builds on it by bringing a little more to the table. For example, features that are unique to Magento Enterprise include return management authorization, promotion permission, call center integration, and more.

Marketing

Similar to when we compared Magento Community Edition vs Enterprise when it comes to functionality, it's not really a fair contest. Also, similarly, both builds come with at least a certain amount of basic functionality. Indeed, you won't struggle when it comes to marketing even if you go with Magento Community, because it will enable you to do most of the basics such as setting up alt tags, meta descriptions, and custom URLs.

With that said, Magento Enterprise does have the edge here, pulling together a few extra tools. Advanced staging sites, attribute-based customer segmentation, and automated emails that can be triggered based upon your visitors' behavior are among of them.

Which is a perfect choice?

how to choose between magento community and magento enterprise

Ultimately, the choice of whether to go with Magento Community or Magento Enterprise is something that you'll have to decide for yourself. Magento Community is the right choice if you're starting, and you're not expecting a lot of visitors. Magento Enterprise will always win out over Magento Community when it comes to medium-sized and enterprise-level companies.

The good news is that whether you choose Magento Community or Magento Enterprise, you'll find yourself with a distinct advantage over the competition. Even Magento Community, a free solution, is better than multiple competitors out there.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you, but don't just go for Magento Community because it's free, and you're trying to save some money. Instead, you'll want to weigh up the pros and cons of both Magento Community and Magento Enterprise and to make an educated decision on which one is right for you.

Author

Tatyana Topal
Tech Journalist

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