*Magento Go is shutting down on February 1st, 2015. For more information read our post on what to do now that Magento Go is shutting down.
Whether you are just beginning down the eCommerce path or upgrading to a more robust platform, Magento is bound to be on your list of eCommerce solutions. Thats no surprise considering their success in the market:
- A survey conducted by Alexa (an Amazon-owned company) in February 2013 found that 26% of the 34,864 eCommerce sites detected use Magento. This represents an almost 11% increase since October 2012.
- The Magento platform has over 200,000 users and a vast community of designers and ISVs.
But it can be difficult to compare Magentos three offerings and determine which version is the right fit for your company. There are some tools on the web to help you, such as this Prezi presentation by Guido Jansen on Magento Community versus Magento Enterprise and Magentos side-by-side comparison, but lets look beyond feature/function and evaluate them at a business level.
Magento Comparison Chart
Price/Cost of Magento
The first sticking point of figuring out total cost of Magento is this free open source thing. If youre not familiar with open source, the price point can be deceiving. Magentos version of open source is its Community Edition (CE). And, yes, the code is available at no charge but its much like being given a blank canvas you still have to paint the picture. This is done through a combination of services and add-on technology, none of which is free. The benefit is that you can design your web store to look and operate exactly as you want, but you must pay for the customization services or do it yourself. In some cases the total cost of ownership may equal or be greater than the cost of Magento Enterprise. However, if your implementation is relatively simple, CE may be the best choice.
Magentos hosted solution, Go, is billed monthly while Magentos Enterprise Edition (EE) requires an annual fee. While Go does have fewer features than EE, its depth and breadth of features is staggering when compared to competing solutions.
- Magneto Go Hosted service with monthly fees varying from $15 to $125 per month based on the number of SKUs, admins, and languages; the level of support; and amount of storage and bandwidth
- Magento Enterprise Edition Annual fees start at $15,550 while the premium version starts at $49,990 annually
- Magento Community Edition Free open source code; pay for services and add-ons
Its important to note that there are thousands of add-ons available for CE and that almost anything can be accomplished using these solutions. However, it is up to the user to determine their quality, how well they will interact with other add-ons and how they will be supported.
Magento assigns user types to each of their offerings:
- Magneto Go small businesses
- Magento Enterprise Edition mid-large size businesses
- Magento Community Edition developers and tech-savvy merchants
In addition to these guidelines, we also provide some statistical estimates to help you narrow your choice. These are not necessarily restrictions, but recommendations based on our experience.
- Magneto Go small businesses with under 10,000 SKUs and simple items (no matrix pricing)
- Magento Enterprise Edition mid-large size businesses with revenue in excess of $15M in online sales and over 25,000 unique visitors per month
- Magento Community Edition developers and tech-savvy merchants with generally under $50M in online sales and fewer than 50,000 unique visitors per month
For CE, Magento offers no technical support, warranties or indemnification. Magento Go customers do receive support but the level varies by the plan they choose. EE users are fully supported, warranted and indemnified and also have the added benefit of having code-level access.
- Magneto Go support level varies by plan
- Magento Enterprise Edition full support
- Magento Community Edition no support
B2C vs. B2B
If you sell to consumers, any of the three Magento packages will meet your needs. If you sell to other businesses, however, there are limits. Go offers only limited capabilities for B2B while EE enables full B2B support natively. With CE, you can transact with other businesses but only using 3rd party add-ons.
- Magneto Go B2C, limited capabilities for B2B
- Magento Enterprise Edition B2C, full capabilities for B2B
- Magento Community Edition B2C, requires 3rd party add-ons for B2B
Compare: Hosted/On-premises Comparison
The final point to consider when finding the best Magento solution for your business is that Magento Go is the only one of the three solutions that is hosted. The benefits of this deployment model are that there is no support required on the part of the user and they pay a monthly fee to access the service. For some businesses, taking on an operating expense is easier than funding a capital investment. However, some weigh the superior features of EE to the capital costs and find it a worthwhile investment.
- Magneto Go Hosted by Magento for monthly fee
- Magento Enterprise Edition On-premises
- Magento Community Edition On-premises
All of the solutions Magento offers are valuable eCommerce platforms. The key is to carefully evaluate your current needs and long-term plans to find the right solution for you.
Once you make that selection, the next step is to determine how you will manage the data flow between Magento, your other sales channels and your back-end systems. nChannels multi-channel management platform ensures that items and inventory are synchronized between Magento and that the order-to-cash process is streamlined to give your customers the best shopping experience possible.