Now the e-commerce industry standard, Magento 2.0 is a big leap forward from earlier versions. In fact, the back-end structural changes are so significant that backwards compatibility with 1.x versions is no longer feasible. Moving to 2.0 is becoming more imperative as Magento inches closer to discontinuing support and patches for 1.x versions.

Those preparing for this can either go with Magento 2.0 Commerce (formerly Enterprise) or Open Source (formerly Community). We outline key differences between them to help business owners choose the platform that best suits their needs and goals. (FYI, the name changes are rolling out during the second half of 2017).

Magento 2.0: Major Improvements in Store Performance

Magento Open Source 2.0, the free edition, includes the performance and features needed to build a robust store from the ground up.
Magento Commerce 2.0, the world’s most flexible commerce platform, is the premium edition, including everything Open Source offers plus additional flexibility and features.

Built-in features of Magento 2.0 and subsequent updates include:

  • Faster Website Loading – As compared to Magento 1.x, the new platform is about 20% faster. Improving the speed of a Magento store begets more sales and better SEO results.
  • Full-Page Caching – By default, Magento 2.0 comes with full-page caching. While non-caching pages generally require about 5-10 seconds to load, the cached pages of Magento 2.0 stores will load in about 1-2 seconds if the store is properly optimized. This also allows it to handle multiple catalogs without affecting the performance of the store, and is important for those who want to scale their business and offer more products. Faster indexing and fewer data conflicts means stores work faster.
  • Easy Checkout – The new, streamlined checkout process makes it easier and quicker for customers to complete orders. By reducing the time required for checkout, stores experience substantial improvements in conversion rates and fewer abandoned carts. Better options out of the gate, meaning fewer customizations are needed to make the checkout process as desired.
  • Mobile Friendly – Magento 2.0 excels in mobile responsiveness. As more people shop and buy from their smartphones, it’s crucial for sites to have a responsive design with SEO-friendly themes, easier checkout, and integrated video capabilities.
  • New Theme – The default theme is more attractive and cleaner than earlier versions. It comes with updated typography, file structure, and responsive images options. In addition, the back-end administrative tool is easier to use.
  • Enhanced Flexibility – The improved structure of 2.0 gives developers and administrators new flexibility regarding proved CMS, CRM, checkout, sales, and other critical functions.
  • Better Testing – The improved testing framework makes it easier for developers to automatically test generated functionality.
  • Key Integrations – To improve functionality of stores, 2.0 allows integration with popular payment extensions such as Braintree and PayPal, Moreover, the platform can also be integrated with Cybersource and Worldpay, to enhance the security of transactions.
  • Improved Admin Interface  Stores are now easier to manage. The admin panel can be easily customized to make key information readily accessible. In addition, thoroughly improved product import facilities make for quicker creation of products.

Which is Better for Your Business, Open Source or Commerce?

Factors to consider: business size, budget, goals, and technical resources.

In our experience, Magento Open Source 2.0 (formerly Community) provides everything a business needs to build a successful store. It enables modifying the store and adding Magento extensions to create a custom store. In fact, quite a bit of customization is possible, making this platform practical and effective for businesses of all sizes who have programmers and administrators who can handle development. While Open Source is free of cost to obtain, it’s reasonable to expect there will be costs associated with customizing the store.

Magento Commerce 2.0 (formerly Enterprise) is designed for large companies looking to become larger. Advanced tools make sites easier, more engaging, and more intuitive to use and manage. Commerce offers everything Open Source has plus additional built-in tools to help increase conversions and create a better shopping experience. It also comes with 24/7 support for developers to tap into as they work on creating special features.

Features exclusive to Commerce include:

  • Separate checkout, order management and product databases for superior scalability
  • Advanced marketing segmentation and targeting tools
  • Rewards points, gift registries, gift cards, returns, and store credit capabilities
  • Better product, customer, and data import and export functions
  • Content staging venues

While users of Magento 1.X may feel pressured into updating to 2.0, the good news is that doing so will result in a vastly improved site for customers, administrators and business owners. More sales and a growing business ahead!

To learn more about our experience with Magento, see Magento Website Development, Magento Open Source 2.0 and Magento Commerce 2.0.