Which is the Right Choice for My Business? The Magento Community vs. Magento Enterprise Smack down

Posted Under: Magento

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Magento Community vs. Magento Enterprise
I know the title sounds like a head-to-head comparison of the Community and Enterprise editions of Magento, but it actually isn’t. I don’t want to turn this into a good vs. evil kind of discussion where either the community edition emerges as the bad boy (it’s always the older versions that turn out evil), and the enterprise edition emerges as the hero.
The fact of the matter is that if you want to choose a particular Magento edition for your business than you want your requirements to the choosing for you. It’s your needs and your objectives that go a long way in determining, which one amongst the two is the right fit for your business.
So, let’s get started. But, before I start, a word of warning, yes it’s a smack down, but it doesn’t have all the blood and gore that we associate with professional wrestling.
Who is it for?
This is the real question isn’t it? Every edition is developed with a particular target audience in mind. If you are a part of that particular target audience, you know whether you need to go for such a solution or not. So, first things first, the community edition can be downloaded for free. No money involved here!! Great Right!! Yes, it is, but you need a band of developers to ensure its code can be modified and you are able to add all those extensions available at the Magento marketplace that your business sorely needs.
As far as Magento Enterprise is concerned, you need to pay for it and it’s a comprehensive Ecommerce solution that allows businesses to optimize their use of their online presence and rake in the moolah. But, the catch here is that the immense range of features and functionalities that it has an offer, are typically meant for use by large businesses, meaning enterprise level businesses. So, if your business is large in scale and scope, the enterprise edition it is; if you come in the small or medium sized bracket, than you need to seriously start thinking about using the community edition.
Remember – go for the community edition, if and only if, you are backed by a solid group of Magento developers or you have some sort of Magento development background. But you don’t need to be an expert programmer to be able to use Community as you will have plenty of help in the form of numerous documents and forums that will help you tide over any problem that you might face while using the Magento Community edition.
Features – What Do you Need?
I repeat, Magento Enterprise is for the big players, or the smaller players wanting to compete with the big boys on their own turf. So, if you want to offer reward points to your customers, this isn’t possible with Community, but is very possible with Enterprise as it offers these features. If as a business you want to categorize your customers into different segments and then target them, this is again something that is offered by Enterprise and not by Community.
As a merchant, you need to know what you want, in order to choose the right platform. So, if you just want access to the various Magento extensions, themes, and API integration than just close your eyes and choose the Community edition; but if you want to go deeper into the ‘sales vortex’ and use a whole plethora of ways and means for customer engagement, then the Enterprise solution is the best bet for you. So, all in all, if you want a richer merchandising suite for your online business, go for it, but if you have no such need, go for Community.
You Actually Know Best
You might not realize it, but you are the only person who can make the right choice; you can take all the suggestions you want, you can read up heaps of material telling you why you must choose a particular edition and not consider another, but finally it’s your call. You know what will work for your business and what wont. All I want you to do is make an informed decision regarding your choice of platform. Don’t, just zero in on a platform, because somebody says it will be the right fit.
Choose it because, you know it will work wonders for your business.

Posted by : Abhishek Agarwal Date : January 23, 2013

Abhishek Agarwal is Co-founder and CEO of Rightway Solution and Leads Business Development and Marketing Initiatives.

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