The right eCommerce platform is crucial for the success of any online store. First launched in 2008, Magento is one of the most powerful e-commerce systems available today.
Currently there are two editions of Magento available, Magento Enterprise Edition and Magento Community Edition. Both Editions are valuable, but focus on very different audiences. While Community is a FREE open source platform, ideal for small merchants, Enterprise is a paid license solution for mid-large sized businesses.
Let us consider these editions and their differences in detail.
An ideal edition for small businesses, the Community was created as open source software. You can download this edition for free. Users are also free to make changes with it in order to meet their needs. The edition is also ideal for developers and tech-savvy merchants. Millions of users around the world have taken advantage of the features that the free edition provides.
To build your Ecommerce site, you need to pay only for domain name, web hosting, and reliable Magento development services. It can be customized and modified to any extent to create a very powerful e-commerce site that suits your needs. This edition is evolving rapidly, as it serves as a basic and powerful solution for small and middle businesses online. The free edition can be downloaded any time through the Discussion Forum.
This is the Edition for mid-large sized businesses. Though this platform shares the same base as the free version, it has more functions to satisfy the needs of users with different business requirements such as higher level of Ecommerce. Offered by subscription, it comes with a Service Level Agreement. The subscription also comes with additional special features and exclusive product enhancements.
With Magento Enterprise, it is easier to have a scalable website, with separate parts and pieces onto different servers. The code base of Magento Enterprise is specifically designed for busy online users who have lots of traffic, lots of SKUs / products, and lots of customers online. It can also speed up the process of checkout.
Key Differences between These Editions
Security – Often there is a misconception that the Community edition is lacking the PCI Payment Card Industry) compliance and it cannot be made to become compliant. Though it’s not PCI compliant, it can be made to become so. Community Edition does not have Payment bridges but there are other optimization methods to achieve PCI compliance.
At the same time, Enterprise Edition includes a PA-DSS payment bridge to assist secure payment, meeting the industry security standards. It complies with the PCI requirements.
Performance – Many Ecommerce platform users are not aware that the Magento free edition is actually faster than most alternative software available today. Its features can meet basic business needs. The edition might slow down though, if the number of products and other data are excessively huge. But again instant page loads can be achieved by adding extensions to the existing free version. Incorporating a FPC system or Varnish page-cache only can improve the performance, making it twice as fast. An expert Magento development service can assist you in optimizing this edition.
Businesses that need more modules should opt for the paid version. Some Enterprise features can be built into the community version. Even then, it is not recommended. Enterprise edition in spite of its multiple added features is faster than Community Edition and comes with FPC system.
Functionality – Magento Enterprise allows users to create new landing pages quickly and easily, but does not allow eliminating landing pages easily from the site hierarchy and search result. If properly equipped with custom modules and extensions it can stand at par with the Enterprise Edition. It is often mistaken that certain functionalities present in Enterprise Edition can be cost consuming to produce in this Edition. But currently with 5000+ extensions in the market, the Community edition can be equipped with any feature businesses require.
Related Read:7 Reasons Why Magento Is Excellent For E-Commerce
Some of the extra features possibly that make the Enterprise edition favorable includes – Loyalty system, Private Sales, Gift Registry and Reward Points.
However it is obvious that the free version is the most practical choice. It is crucial to take the business requirements and future plans into account. From there, business owners can determine which edition suits them best. For businesses that are planning to take operations to the next level, they should invest in premium platforms like the Magento Enterprise Edition.
Make sure you choose an ideal Magento development service to help you with the installation of your ecommerce site and integration of plugins. Make sure they have relevant experience in building Magento ecommerce sites and are capable of delivering a great return on investment.