Magento 2 Open Source, Commerce, or Commerce Cloud: Which One’s Best for You?

With an increasing number of businesses selling their products and services online, choosing the right e-commerce platform has become a crucial aspect of a sound business strategy. Magento continues its successful run as one of the most preferred e-commerce platforms. It has further solidified its position in the market by offering Magento 2 Open Source, Commerce, and Commerce Cloud. Businesses need to leverage the opportunities presented by these platforms and take their e-commerce ventures to new heights.


As an e-commerce business owner, you may be curious to know about Magento’s offerings before investing in them. In your quest to pick the best platform for your business, you may have often wondered, what’s the difference between Magento 2 Open Source, Commerce, and Commerce Cloud?

As the name suggests, Open Source offers several features for free; Commerce offers even more features at a certain price. In contrast, Commerce Cloud offers all Magento 2 Commerce features on cloud infrastructure. However, there is more to this than meets the eye.

Let’s get a closer look at each of these Magento platforms:

Magento 2 Open Source

This free version of Magento was originally known as Magento Community Edition. With Magento rebranding its product range in 2017, Open Source came into being as a free-to-download platform.

It is a popular choice among small and medium business owners interested in building their website on a platform that offers many features and is competent enough to help businesses compete online with the big league.

That said, Open Source boasts of several big-ticket clients as well. This is due to its simplicity and ease of use. Further, the complexities involved in acquiring newer licensing structures make Open Source attractive for high-volume retailers.

Global brand Christian Louboutin has built its website on this platform and has been developing customized solutions ever since while enjoying its benefits.

Despite being smaller than Magento’s other offerings, Open Source can take them on without difficulty, provided it functions with the right infrastructure and development team.

If you had compared Open Source with Magento Commerce in the past, the difference would have been minimal in terms of functionality. However, with Magento making significant improvements to Commerce, things are not the same anymore. Features of Open Source include:

  • Integrated checkout, payment, and shipping
  • Mobile-optimized shopping
  • Global selling
  • Catalog management
  • Extended functionality via Magento Marketplace
  • Instant purchasing
  • Site searching

With Open Source, users have left longing for crucial features such as page builder, visual merchandising, content staging and preview, and the new B2B suite.

All said and done, Magento Open Source is a unique and competent platform suitable for small and medium businesses and global enterprises. However, its high development and maintenance costs may hinder companies that need to stick to a set budget.

Magento 2 Commerce

Erstwhile Magento Enterprise, Magento Commerce is directed towards bigger corporations that demand superior support levels and a wider range of functionality. As opposed to Open Source, which is free for use, Magento Commerce attracts a fixed licensing fee on a yearly basis.

Currently, it is being offered as either an on-premise solution or a PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) hosted solution referred to as Magento Commerce Cloud. Both platforms share a common codebase, although the Cloud platform stands to receive platform updates automatically from time to time.

The on-premise variant of Magento Commerce was previously priced based on its tiered model, but that has changed with Magento announcing that on-premise licensing will cost almost as much as Commerce Cloud. This can prove to be a hindrance for clients who do not need the hosted version of the platform.

Magento developers have enhanced Commerce significantly over the last couple of years, especially with the addition of native features, which have made the platform more useful for retailers. Magento comes armed with business intelligence dashboards, B2B functionality, advanced marketing tools, content staging and preview, customer loyalty tools, page builder, and visual merchandising, along with Magento shipping, a range of pre-installed modules, and more.
Magento Commerce includes the following core features:

  • Pricing and promotions
  • Search engine optimization
  • Site and content management
  • Catalog browsing and management
  • Product browsing
  • Checkout, payment, and shipping support
  • Order management
  • Customer services and support
  • Advanced analytics and reporting
  • Layout and themes

Along with,

  • Optimized cloud commerce for Magento
  • Global availability
  • Cloud availability SLA up to 99.99%
  • Fast page loading with CDN
  • Performance monitoring tools
  • Enhanced security with Fastly WAF and DDoS services
  • PCI compliance
  • Easy deployment
  • Streamlined updates and testing

Magento 2 Commerce Cloud

Formerly known as Enterprise Cloud Edition, Magento 2 Commerce Cloud is a PaaS solution built on an Amazon Web Services-based cloud hosting ecosystem. It can be customized, scaled, and integrated with third-party systems with ease. It comes with several tiers, with Cloud Started and Cloud Essentials being the most popular among these.
Quite clearly, the cloud version is an amalgamation of the features of Magento 2 Commerce and a cloud ecosystem with a few differences and additional features such as Git integration and environments for development, staging, and production. Users can code, test, and deploy across the Integration, the Staging, and finally, the Production environment to enable the unceasing incorporation of your e-store.

Apart from offering all the features of the on-premises version, Magento Commerce Cloud is equipped with first-rate DevOps and release and cloud management tools. However, it does not support the split database performance solution.
Magento 2 Commerce Cloud boasts of the following advanced and advantageous technologies:

  • Fastly for CDN and caching
  • Blackfire Profiler for performance testing
  • New Relic APM for performance testing
  • GitHub for Git repo
  • Bitbucket for Git repo

With Magento Commerce Cloud, users need not worry about aspects such as server configuration with particular software, PHP, or even database software compatibility. The only thing to be careful about is the accurate configuration of access to folders and documents. If required, additional tools can be preinstalled to streamline server administration.
Users can look forward to an integrated source control management system that provides features such as automated patching and image optimization and support for eight different environments to develop, test, and launch the e-commerce store.

Users of Magento 2 Commerce Cloud can look forward to the following features:

  • Ece-tools package to install and manage e-stores
  • Rabbit MQ job queue framework
  • Unified production deployment and configuration workflow
  • Improved speed of production deployments
  • Streamlined build/deploy process management
  • Performance enhancement
  • Local development template to simplify cloud deployments
  • 100% increase in accessible memory
  • Heightened security through Fastly Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  • Page speed developments through Fastly image optimization
  • Adherence to PCI compliances


There is no doubt that Magento is one of the most powerful e-commerce platforms out there. Despite its (few) limitations, it is spreading its wings through the business arena while continuing its reign in the online market space. Whether you finally go for Open Source, Commerce, or Commerce Cloud, the final decision should be based on factors such as your unique e-commerce needs, pricing, licenses, the availability of the required features, cultural fit, and if you want to move/expand to the cloud. After all, nobody understands the scope of your business as well as you do. Hopefully, the above comparisons and considerations will help you arrive at the right decision and take your e-commerce plans to the next level.