Last updated - November 29, 2023
Magento is one of the most popular choice of content management systems (CMS) for eCommerce businesses. According to Built With, Magento powers about 267,000 active websites. There are three editions of Magento:
- Magento Open Source.
- Magento Commerce offers official Magento support
- Magento Commerce Cloud, hosted by Amazon Web Services.
Choosing one of these iterations might be challenging for merchants. This article provides a comparison of Magento Commerce Cloud and Magento Open Source, explores the main features, advantages, and limitations of both platforms, and explains which option will work best for various kinds of businesses.
Magento Commerce Cloud: Overview
Magento 2 Commerce Cloud Edition is a controlled and automated hosting platform. It may be referred to as the Magento self-hosted edition and was developed for cloud solutions. The architecture of Magento Commerce Cloud is distinctive. It offers benefits like Adobe commerce price flexibility, maintains the platform’s efficiency and security, and helps your Magento website speed up through the use of five functional layers:
- Cloud infrastructure: Magento Commerce Cloud is supported by Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services cloud servers. It aids in the provision of networking, storage, and robust computing servers.
- Platform as a Service: Magento Commerce Cloud manages and distributes code for Magento websites using Git and Composer.
- Magento Commerce features: The Magento Commerce software provides all commerce-related features, including advanced business intelligence and B2B solutions.
- Performance tools: New Relic is accessible through the Magento Commerce Cloud. It aids in infrastructure tracking and solving issues in development and system administration.
- Edge cloud platform: All Magento Commerce Cloud shops leverage the content delivery network Fastly CDN for safe and effective content delivery.
Benefits of Magento Commerce Cloud
Here are some more reasons to turn your attention to Magento Commerce Cloud:
- Better page speed: The architecture of Magento Commerce Cloud is created to increase page speed. As a result, you get higher conversion rates and a better user experience.
- Much memory available: When Magento migrated to M4 cloud servers, memory storage for merchants increased by 100%.
- Managed service infrastructure: Since Magento works as a managed Magento hosting platform, the host is responsible for the platform’s security, upkeep, and hosting server.
- PCI certification: Being a Level 1 Solution Provider, Magento Commerce Cloud has received PCI certification. Hence, businesses with rigorous PCI compliance guidelines may be sure that their website complies with these standards.
Drawbacks of Magento Commerce Cloud
Despite all the pluses, consider that there are some limitations:
- Restricted server access: Git push is used for deployment on the Magento Commerce Cloud. The majority of the file system is thus read-only. This impacts some of the third-party integrations you could utilize. You can designate particular read-only zones on the server, although doing so can complicate your development procedure.
- Flawed support system: Wait times might be rather considerable (on the order of weeks) if your site is not yet operational and you encounter a problem that needs some help.
Magento Open Source: Overview
Magento Open Source is a free and open-source eCommerce software. It provides features like product management, checkout procedures, and simple SEO tools right out of the box. Although the platform is free, it is scalable, develops with your business, and can manage more traffic and a wider range of products as your operations grow.
Benefits of Magento Open Source
This edition has fewer special features than Commerce Cloud, yet its nature often ensures many benefits:
- Community support: The most prominent feature of Magento is its large and active community, including developers, designers, and other eCommerce experts who are constantly contributing, improving, and updating the platform. With so many knowledgeable users and experts around the world, it’s easier to find solutions to common problems and get assistance with troubleshooting. The community often contributes to the platform’s growth by identifying bugs, suggesting improvements, and even providing patches or updates.
- Flexibility: Since it is an open-source platform, it gives companies the freedom to design an eCommerce experience that is customized to meet their unique requirements.
- Cost-Efficiency: Magento Open Source is free to download and use. This means businesses can establish a robust online store without the initial cost of purchasing software.
Drawbacks of Magento Open Source
The drawbacks of Magento Open Source are mostly associated with its zero price and lack of an official support system:
- Technical Complexity: Magento can be complex and might not be user-friendly for beginners or those without technical knowledge. For customizations and troubleshooting, a good understanding of the platform and possibly the assistance of a developer is often required.
- Performance: Magento, especially when not optimized correctly, can be quite resource-intensive, which might lead to slower loading times and require more robust hosting. Optimization (like caching, image optimization, etc.) is necessary to get the most out of its performance capabilities.
- Costs Associated with Scaling: While Magento Open Source itself is free, as businesses grow and need more advanced features, they might have to invest in paid extensions and plugins, or even consider migrating to the Magento Commerce edition, which comes with licensing fees.
Magento Commerce Cloud vs. Magento Open Source: Main Differences
As you can see from the previous blocks, both editions have their pros and cons, and you probably still have questions about which one is more suitable for your particular case. Let’s dive deeper and compare them side by side in terms of performance, scalability, customization, security, support provided, marketing capabilities, and extensions.
Magento Open Source offers good performance but is less optimized than Commerce Cloud. In the case of Open Source, users are responsible for setting up and maintaining their own hosting environment, which could affect performance. Full Page Caching and advanced performance tools are not provided, though they can be added via third-party extensions.
Magento Commerce Cloud offers full-page caching and other advanced performance optimization features out of the box. It also has performance-monitoring tools that can alert you about any issues before they become critical. Apart from that, in comparison to the free edition, the architecture of Magento Commerce Cloud is created with the page speed in mind.
Magento Commerce Cloud is designed for scalability, providing Automatic scaling in cloud infrastructure. It makes handling large catalogs and high-traffic volumes easier.
Magento Open Source is usually referred to as a platform with good scalability, yet it generally requires more effort in terms of infrastructure and optimization than Commerce Cloud. Apart from that, it entails manual processes and no automatic cloud services.
As far as Magento Commerce Cloud is concerned, in addition to the cloud architecture, a content delivery network, web application firewall, and image optimization technologies are used to guarantee great speed and security. Apart from that, HTTP caching is offered by Fastly CDN. All online stores hosted on the Adobe Commerce cloud are PCI compliant and are shielded from known security flaws and threats by a WAF.
Magento Open Source users take responsibility for their store security, including compliance and patches. Yet, community updates and security fixes improve the platform’s security. Also, keep in mind that third-party extensions or manual coding for enhanced security are often required.
Here, we’re comparing premium 24/7 official support and community-based support. Community Cloud’s support comes along with dedicated account managers for enterprise clients. However, as we’ve already mentioned, the response time for the websites in development may be very long.
Also, consider that if you feel the necessity for official help within Open Source iteration, you can opt for third-party support at an additional cost.
Magento Open Source provides quite basic but sufficient SEO tools. At the product level, meta titles, meta descriptions, and other metadata may be configured; alternatively, templates can be used to update product metadata with placeholders automatically. Canonical URLs are also supported, which prevents search engines from crawling duplicate URLs. Structured data markups are included with every product by default.
Magento Commerce Cloud comes with advanced marketing features like customer segmentation, targeted promotions, and even some AI-driven options.
Extensions and Plugins
Magento Commerce Cloud often includes some premium extensions and has better support for high-quality, enterprise-level plugins. Magento Open Source supports a vast range of extensions and plugins, but quality may vary, and compatibility is not always guaranteed.
For individuals with coding expertise, the free-to-download and install Magento Open Source platform enables the establishment of inexpensive stores. Themes, extensions, hosting, and domains all come at an extra cost. An utterly functional company store may require professional support, which can bring the price up to about $15,000. Magento Commerce Cloud starts at $40,000.
Which Option is Right for Your Business?
For small businesses, price is often a stumbling block. Magento Open Source is the best solution for them, considering that the platform is powerful enough for young enterprises to solve most of their problems and answer their requirements.
The decision is a bit harder for businesses of medium size. It’s vital to determine how much money an enterprise is ready to spend on its website. Another thing to consider is the expansion prospects. If your online store is likely to require considerable scaling in the near future, Magento Community Cloud should be your first choice.
Large businesses can turn to Magento Commerce Cloud at once. Its performance, security, stability, slick interfaces, and security are exactly what they need.
You don’t have to select a solution when comparing Magento Open Source with Commerce Cloud. It’s acceptable to alter your mind and choose a different course of action. Most product information can be exported and imported easily between the two platforms. You may need to reformat CSV files or perform database-level migrations.
Your existing theme may need to be adapted or recreated to be compatible with the new edition. Evaluate which extensions you’ll continue using, bearing in mind that Magento Commerce Cloud comes with many built-in features that might replace your existing extensions.
Thoroughly test all functionalities to ensure everything works as expected. This includes payment processing, shipping options, and other critical functionalities. Make sure to set up 301 redirects for your existing URLs to maintain SEO rankings. Before going live, make sure to sync any data changes that occurred during the transition process.