What’s Cheaper and Faster: Extension-Stuffed Magento CE or Readymade Magento EE (Comparison with Prices)

August 16, 2022 | Blog
Magento is one of the leading eCommerce platforms. It’s popular among retailers that value scalability, customization, and flexibility. Magento is a powerful platform for building large online stores. Who usually chooses it?   Many renowned brands opt for this solution to create unique customer experiences. For example, these are customers from different spheres, from food and beverage to electronics and apparel. The top names include Nike, Hermes, Coca-Cola, Samsung, and others. But what makes Magento development so desirable?  
  1. It’s powerful with the ability to handle more than 80,000 orders per hour and 500,000 products on one site.
  2. It comes with numerous built-in SEO features.
  3. It supports headless commerce and PWA development in particular.
  4. It may be free (open source) to a certain extent.
  5. Developers can customize the CMS according to the business needs.
  Magento falls under three versions with their own features and concurrent costs: Community Edition (CE), Enterprise Edition (EE), and Commerce Cloud. Which one is the best option for a business? Let’s get acquainted with them and decide what to choose.   Magento CE vs. Magento EE  

Magento: Three Ways to Manage the Store

The platform constantly improves, releasing updates to offer users more features, security, and capabilities. Take Magento 2 update as an example. The previous Magento 1 version doesn’t receive any patches or extensions now. M2, in turn, helps the store to achieve better positions in search, protects it with recent security solutions, and streamlines store optimization.   For example, it becomes easier to convert the website into a progressive web app and enhance the user experience. With this in mind, Magento 1 to 2 migration is a beneficial step for merchants with long-term goals.   Before beginning the Magento CE vs. EE comparison, let’s overview these options. Currently, Magento belongs to the Adobe group. It has three versions.  
  • Magento Open Source (formerly known as Community Edition/CE). It’s an open-source version, so developers don’t have to pay to install it. However, store owners should still purchase hosting services.
  It contains the minimal pack of Magento features but is highly customizable. The best part is that it’s possible to acquire free or paid extensions to boost the store. This version is best suited for smaller eCommerce businesses. They can access the needed functionality to launch and manage the website without paying for anything extra.  
  • Adobe Commerce (Enterprise Edition/EE as previous terms). It’s a premium solution with more powerful features to assist enterprise-level businesses. This version comes with all the CE capabilities and more.
  It’s geared towards greater flexibility, scalability, and innovation. So if the store has a significant revenue (from $5 million to $25 million and more), Magento EE costs will pay off. It doesn’t provide hosting, so overall costs depend on the chosen provider.  
  • Adobe Commerce Hosted Cloud (or Magento Commerce Cloud in the past). It’s an Adobe Commerce version with hosting provided by the company. It goes as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution. It’s the most expensive option due to hosting availability.

Magento CE vs. Magento EE Comparison

  What are the differences between these Magento suits? As there are variations in the name, let’s stick to Magento CE and EE as terms for this article. It will help us remain consistent and avoid ambiguity. Below is the comparison based on the most common criteria: price, features, security, and scalability. Note that this article doesn’t consider the hosted version as it’s basically the EE version with hosting possibilities.  

1. How Much Each of Them Costs

The first notable difference is the price of the two versions. As mentioned before, Magento CE doesn’t require a license fee. It makes the solution the most popular among Magento customers. This fact is especially relevant for eCommerce start-ups that can’t afford exorbitant license fees at the beginning.    Magento Enterprise is a paid version. The price starts from $22,000 and depends on the annual Gross Sales Revenue (GSR). So the more the store grows, the more merchants have to pay for the platform. Below is the table with the price breakdown:  

Annual Gross Sales Revenue

Community Edition

Enterprise Edition

Up to $1 million


Up to $5 million $32,000.00
Up to $10 million $49,000.00
Up to $25 million $75,000.00
Up to $50 million $125,000.00
  These numbers apply to the cost of Magento alone. These versions lack hosting or domain services. So the total price will increase.    Why do some businesses opt for Enterprise Edition? Paying for Magento EE entails acquiring more advanced built-in features for various purposes, including marketing, B2B, and others. It’s also worth noting the time required to get the store up and running with Magento CE. Optimizing the store performance, enhancing marketing features, and crafting a highly converting website takes more time with an open-source suit.   When installing Community Edition, developers have to access Magento Marketplace, download additional extensions, and customize them to suit the store’s needs. All these development hours imply extra expenses.   EE may be easier to start as developers don’t have to invent things already present in the premium version. So it brings more value compared to the open source CE. Still, Magento EE gets more expensive with the online store growth.   What if a store doesn’t need complex features at this time? Then, Magento CE is a winner in this battle, especially for the companies with a low turnover. It may be harder for them to cover considerable expenditures.


2. What Features Are Available

The core and a set of essential functions are the same for both Magento Editions. The screenshot below illustrates Magento CE and EE features.   Magento CE vs. Magento EE   The website on Magento CE shares the solid and effective foundation of the Enterprise solution with the ability to migrate to this version in the future. CE saves clients’ money and provides them with extensions to enhance the store. These features are available thanks to the developer community operating worldwide.   But if merchants need more value out of the store, they can purchase the EE version. Among the advanced EE features are the following ones:   Magento CE vs. Magento EE   Let’s define some of these capabilities.  
  • Customer segmentation
  This functionality allows for dividing shoppers into categories based on similar characteristics and providing relevant offers to these groups. For instance, online merchants can leverage demographics, location, browsing history, shopping cart contents, and other data. It helps them sell products with the greatest chances of attracting customers’ attention.  
  • Customer loyalty tools
  They assist in building campaigns to retain clients and encourage them to purchase products and earn reward points, gifts, or access to exclusive private sales events.  
  • Content staging and preview
  It provides advanced content management capabilities. It lets online merchants go back and see how the information has changed at any point. Additionally, it is possible to schedule content and add certain widgets and a theme to a specific period in the calendar.  

3. Which One Is More Secure

Magento EE outperforms Magento CE in terms of security. A major Magento CE drawback is the absence of advanced payment protection and credit card tokenization, which are necessary for secure transactions. The free version’s main flaw is its failure to adhere to PCI DSS security. It puts cardholder data at risk.   You can install some extensions to strengthen the store’s security. For example, Astra, Watchlog, Amasty’s Magento Extension, and others can help you reduce risks and damage.   The EE version provides more reliable security measures, namely:
  • PCI compliance;
  • recurring scanning procedure;
  • bug bounty schemes;
  • external penetration testing.
  It’s also connected to the Magento Secure Payment Bridge to handle card processing. The store gets access to various secured payment gateways, including PayPal, Braintree, WorldPay, etc.   Security measures save the store from possible litigations and reputational damages. That’s why Magento EE is the best solution for companies, particularly the world-known ones.


4. Which Option Is Faster to Scale

Speed is a decisive factor in an online store’s success. Merchants need to be ahead of the competition and introduce features to improve the user experience. Here comes another Magneto EE benefit. It has ready-to-use features without the need to purchase them from the Marketplace. It gives companies a leg up in the overcrowded eCommerce market.   Enterprise Edition serves fast-growing businesses. For example, it’s excellent for stores entering new markets, launching products, or linking numerous brands to one solution. Rapidly evolving stores may not have time to craft, test, and upgrade new functionality. And EE helps them focus only on what really matters.   It can handle thousands of orders, products, and visitors. Therefore, Magento EE will be the best option for big eCommerce websites with considerable traffic. But when it comes to SMBs, Magento CE will be more cost-effective.


To Sum Up

  All things considered, there is no winner between Magento CE and EE. Each has pros and cons depending on the size of the business it serves.   An open-source option is ideal if the merchant needs a platform as a starting point for a small and mid-sized business. It’s a straightforward solution with low required investment, customization freedom, and a basic feature set. Magento CE can support an online business successfully.   But what if the store is large or plans to grow rapidly? Then, the Magento EE is better. It contains the essential marketing and promotion features to create a great website. It supports multiple currencies and languages, compatibility with different payment methods, and security solutions like PCI.   Still, both versions support extensions from the Magento Marketplace. They let retailers add other website features and go beyond pre-installed ones.   This article covered major differences between Magento Community and Enterprise Editions. Hopefully, this information will help online store owners pick the best version to meet their needs.