Magento 2 has been a leading platform in the eCommerce realm for years and still keeps up with the new-generation trends. It became the key solution for thousands of users around the globe who wanted to give a fresh start to their business ideas.
As you know, there are Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce editions. Each edition has its specifics and can be used for different business needs. But what is the difference between them? Which one is better and what to choose?
In this article, you'll learn what different Magento editions are about and which is the most beneficial for your store.
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What is Magento Open Source?
Magento Open Source (CE) is a free Magento edition with a vast array of built-in options. The open-source nature of the platform, through its name, allows you to customize and adjust anything to meet your needs. Moreover, Magento CE is relatively easy to install and manage.
Formerly known as Community, this edition has all the basic needs covered and is perfect for small businesses. In fact, more than 80% of Magento websites are managed on Open Source.
Apart from the default functionality, you can implement Magento 2 extensions in your store for a more diverse performance. Moreover, Magento Open Source has a great community of strong supporters with multiple development solutions available online and countless forums to give you a hand when needed.
Sure, you'll need to invest in the hosting and general maintenance of the platform, but it's a promising beginning of successful results.
What is Adobe Commerce?
Adobe Commerce can be split into two branches — Commerce (EE) and Commerce on Cloud (ECE). Both are paid and provide vital additional functionality. Using these editions, you get the B2B functional, business intelligence dashboards, advanced catalogue and customer management tools, etc. On top of that, Magento Commerce on Cloud comes with cloud infrastructure hosting that ensures scalability and enhanced security.
Adobe Commerce and Commerce on Cloud are the most suitable for larger businesses, enterprises, and complex structures. Together with the store management tools, there are plenty of mechanisms to monitor your business and receive meaningful insights.
Magento Open Source vs. Adobe Commerce
The basics of Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce are now clear and the difference between these two editions is pretty straightforward. But let's dig into the key features to have a better picture.
The first thing that catches an eye is the cost of various Magento editions. As we mentioned above, Magento Open Source is free to download and use. The only thing you need to cover in this case is hosting.
At the same time, Adobe Commerce is paid — the annual price for both Commerce editions ranges from $22,000 for Commerce and $40,000 for Commerce on Cloud. Besides, the latter is also based on the gross value which means —the higher their average order value, the higher the cost.
The pricing variants for CE, EE, and ECE are justified by the fact that they provide a different set of options, some more profound than others. Thus, the value you get in return may be worth every cent you spend.
Nonetheless, everything depends on the scale of your business and the budget you operate at a particular stage.
Another key difference is that Magento Open Source is self-hosted. It means that you are responsible for finding the hosting provider. You can also choose a hosting provider that covers all server-side responsibilities, which makes things much easier for you.
Adobe Commerce also offers the possibility of self-hosting. However, the Commerce on Cloud edition has cloud-based hosting on AWS. That's partially why ECE is higher in price.
Again, the hosting will also be determined by the size of your business and the data you operate.
Another significant difference can be observed in the scalability of Magento Open Source and Adove Commerce.
Magento Open Source is rather limited in this regard. It only allows you to operate a single database system. So, if your business is growing fast, you might simply outgrow the platform. Besides, database limitations and big number of websites and storefronts don't work well together. This results in a diminished performance. Keep it in mind.
Adobe Commerce, on the other hand, is built for scalability. It offers three databases to manage different areas of your store. That said, such an environment is more flexible and more likely to handle the pace of your development.
In terms of the features Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce provide, the former has a lesser number of available options. Still, it is mobile-optimized, and has an integrated site search, instant purchase, related options and multiple other tools. Besides it allows you to set up a multi-language website and configure a lot of SEO features.
Moreover, all the extensions out there with the most diverse additional options make up for all the missing options. Together with them, you can make good use of the guides and manuals on the web to configure all the default features Magento Open Source comes with.
Adobe Commerce has a bit more profound set of features. We've already mentioned the B2B functionality, advanced catalogue and inventory management. But there are also advanced marketing tools, gift cards, business intelligence, and much more.
On top of that, the Commerce on Cloud edition also integrates powerful AI tools, such as Adobe Sensei and Adobe Target, that bring personalization to an entirely new level.
Furthermore, it offers the live search functionality. That is, you get a chance to set rules in the admin panel to decide what search results your customers are going to get.
Security is always the foremost priority of every store owner. That said, Magento Open Source has some built-in solutions to protect your store's security. However, you also need to configure additional tools for better protection. Yet, Magento CE is not PCI-compliant. This is quite a hitch, particularly when you handle online payments.
This gap is bridged in Adobe Commerce. Except for PCI compliance, it provides thorough data encryption, WAF/DDoS/CDN protection, regular check-ups, around-the-clock support, and more. Thus, your transactions and customer data have an additional security layer.
The mentioned check-ups are also intended to spot and prevent any fraud or attack attempts.
It's not too hard to guess what edition, Magento Open Source or Magento Commerce, is easier to maintain.
Even though Magento Open Source is free, its maintenance still requires your investments. You need to pay for the hosting services, customization, development, as well as additional extensions. We should also mention the upgrading services, for both Magento extensions and higher Magento versions you'll need.
Given the fact that Adobe Commerce is paid and has more built-in features, the maintenance cost is somewhat reduced. Of course, you need to pay for the subscription. But the number of perks it comes with makes up for this. Besides, Adobe Commerce offers around-the-clock technical and cloud account support you can reach out to.
What Magento Edition to Choose?
So, what Magento edition is the one — Magento Open Source or Magento Commerce? Everything depends on the type of business you run and the aspects you want to cover. What also matters is your strategy, budget, and the general goal you're aiming at.
Thus, you need to carefully consider the specifics of both editions and analyze your requirements and assets to see which edition aligns with them.
You can start with the CE edition to just get into the flow and see how things work and update later on. Check out this guide on how to create your Magento 2 store and unlock all the options it offers.