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What is the Real Price of a Magento Site?

  • 16 min read

About Magento Pricing 

In an ideal world, eating bacon would be healthy and the cost of running your eCommerce website would be transparent.

Sadly, we don’t live in an ideal world.

Sometimes, you end up paying a lot more than you had planned for important business services like your company’s eCommerce software.

Also, bacon can cause heart problems.

Luckily, you don’t need to live in an ideal world to get upfront pricing about something as important as your eCommerce platform. I can’t do anything about bacon, but I can definitely help you understand the price of Magento before you decide to make the switch.  

Market Scale

The Price of Magento - Broken Down by Platform 

Before you can start leveraging the power of Magento’s eCommerce platform, you need to decide which of the three versions is right for your business.

This may include a number of different factors, but cost is definitely going to be one of them. That includes understanding not just your initial implementation costs but also what you’ll need to spend to maintain your eCommerce site year-after-year.

In the sections that follow, I’m going to give you a good idea of what each of the three different Magento 2 platforms cost. It’s impossible to say exactly what each version will cost because the price of a license depends on a number of different factors unique to your company (e.g. its monthly revenue). Even, Magento Open Source, which is free, will come with added costs if you need help customizing it.

To get a price quote from Magento/Adobe, contact us so we can connect you with an Adobe rep.

Alright, without further ado, here’s what each version costs and what you’ll get in return.

The Cost of a Magento Open Source License

This one’s easy.

Magento Open Source is completely free.

Fortunately, “free” doesn’t mean that Open Source is limited – not in the least. With a Magento Open Source license, you’ll enjoy all of the following features without spending a dime:

  • App Marketplace Access                                          
  • Architecture and Security                                        
  • Basic Analytics and Reporting                                
  • Basic Site Search                                          
  • Catalog Browsing                                         
  • Catalog Management                                
  • Customer Accounts                                    
  • Customer Service                                        
  • Flexible Couponing and Promotions                                    
  • Full Page Caching System                                        
  • Instant Purchase                                         
  • Integrated Checkout, Payment, and Shipping                                  
  • Inventory Browsing                                    
  • Layout and Theming                                  
  • Magento Community Forums
  • Mobile Optimized Shopping                                   
  • Multiple Languages                                    
  • Multiple Store Views                                 
  • Order Management 
  • Product Configurations                             
  • Promotions and Pricing                             
  • Search Engine Optimization                                    
  • Site Management                                       
  • Support for Global Sites                           

That said, many eCommerce companies need more than what the free version can offer. Their online business either has unique requirements or they’re looking for a competitive edge that will set them apart.

In that case, it makes sense to consider what Magento’s paid versions bring to the table. 

The Cost of Magento Commerce On-Premise

Formerly known as Magento Enterprise, Magento Commerce On-Premise comes with all of the Open-Source features listed above, plus those included in this section.

The price of Magento Commerce is tiered based on your company’s Gross Merchandise Value (GMV). It starts at $X,XXX/month but increases once your GMV exceeds $1 million/month. As the name suggests, your company covers the cost of hosting.

However, for countless companies across every eCommerce industry, the extra costs associated with Magento Commerce On-Premise have proven to be a worthwhile investment, not a burdensome expense.

I’ll list all the features that come with a Magento Commerce On-Premise license at the end of this section, but, before I do, let me highlight a few that have made it so popular with so many eCommerce companies.

Page Builder

With Magento’s Page Builder, you can create one-of-a-kind web pages unique to your company and design them with your specific customers in mind.

This means controlling everything from the content on each page (including images, videos, and banners) to how that content is laid out to the products featured and much, much more.

Best of all, no front-end developers are necessary, so you can build the pages your store needs to convert more customers and build these important pages whenever you want – no more costly bottlenecks.

The Magento B2B Module

Magento’s B2B module was designed with the unique demands of B2B eCommerce companies in mind.

For example, these B2B modules support payments on account. Let customers apply charges to their preexisting accounts and watch your conversions increase.

You can even integrate the module with external systems to check a customer’s credit before letting them charge payments like this. 

Another way the Magento B2B module makes a big difference is by supporting quote management and negotiations. Obviously, offering quotes and negotiating deals are two essential factors to B2B success. With Magento Commerce, you can have a website designed to accommodate both.

And, once more, the result is greater conversions.

Content Staging and Preview

Reach new levels of productivity by creating, previewing, and scheduling any content updates your Magento website needs. You can preview these changes by store view or by the date on which they’ll appear.

Then, just schedule their deployment on a timeline dashboard.

With this helpful feature, you can create promo pages for sales that won’t happen for months, edit product copy to reflect a new release, and much more. Make these changes when they’re convenient, schedule them to go live whenever you want, and give your customers a flawless shopping experience.

Magento Business Intelligence 

Every business needs analytics, especially companies that serve numerous unique clients – maybe even numerous unique markets.

With Magento Business Intelligence, your website will constantly deliver advanced analytics and reporting through a detailed, user-friendly dashboard.

All of the information you need about the shoppers who visit your website and the customers who actually buy from it will be at your fingertips (literally).

The result?

A better site, more effective marketing, and higher conversions.

Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA)

Returns.

No business owner likes them, but they still happen.

The only thing worse than accepting a return is trying to do so through an eCommerce website that makes it next to impossible.

With Magento Commerce, you can grant Return Merchandize Authorization (RMA) to any customer who wants to return a purchase. It doesn’t matter if they want a refund or just need to exchange their purchase for another item. You can even issue returns for bundled, configurable, and grouped product types.

Best of all, it’s incredibly simple to honor these requests.

Once your customer notifies you that they’d like to make a return, decide if you want to approve the request, and, if so, assign each of their returned items a unique RMA number.

Effortless returns improve customer satisfaction and increase the likelihood of positive-word-of-mouth marketing, even from someone who has sent a product back.

The Complete List of Magento Commerce On-Premise Features

As promised, here’s a full list of the many features you’ll be able to take advantage of with Magento Commerce On-Premise:

  • Access to Quick Design-Build Express Packages                              
  • Adobe Sensei AI-Powered Product Recommendations      
  • Advanced Content Management                                         
  • Advanced Site Search                                 
  • Banners                                                                              
  • Customer Attributes                                   
  • Customer Segmentation                                                      
  • Database Scalability                                               
  • Database Sharing                                                    
  • Extended Admin Permissions & Logs                                    
  • Gift Cards                                                   
  • Integrated B2B                             
  • Magento Account Manager                                    
  • Magento Technical Support                                                
  • Message Queue                           
  • Private Sales with Viral “Invite-a-Friend” Emails                             
  • Reward Points                              
  • Rules-Based Related Products                               
  • Rules-based Upsells & Cross-sells                                                     
  • Visual Merchandising                                

Magento offers an interactive tour of their Commerce platform if you’re interested in trying it out before deciding. 

Now, maybe you don’t want to go through the added work of having an on-premise server to host your eCommerce website.

In that case, consider letting Magento do it for you…

The Cost of Magento Commerce Cloud

This is another version of Magento 2 that has undergone a name change. Previously, it was known as Magento Enterprise – Cloud Edition. These days, it’s just called Magento Commerce Cloud.

As with the On-Premise version, the cost of Magento Commerce Cloud is tiered and depends on your site’s GMV. It starts at around $XX,XXX but does include the price of hosting.

Another similarity: thousands of companies across practically every industry deem the investment to be invaluable.

Why?

Well, aside from offering all of the features I just covered for the On-Premise version, Magento Commerce Cloud includes others that put this platform in a league all its own. Again, I’ll list all of them at the end of this section.

For now, here are three of the features that have helped make Magento Commerce Cloud one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the world.

Cloud Hosting

The big, obvious benefit of Magento Commerce Cloud is right there in the name. You get all the advantages unique to a cloud environment.

But it’s so much more than that.

This version also comes with a pre-provisioned infrastructure that incorporates MySQUL, PHP, Redis, Elasticsearch, and RabbitMQ technologies. It’s git-based workflow offers automatic build-and-deploy, which supports Continuous deployment and Rapid development every single time you push code changes in a PaaS (Platform as a Service) environment.

There’s more.

With Magento’s team of dedicated developers and the power of AWS (Amazon Web Services), you’ll also enjoy peace-of-mind knowing that downtime will be minimal. So, that nightmare scenario – when your site goes down because of too much unexpected traffic – never becomes reality. Bring on the traffic. The pros at Magento will keep your site up-and-running (and converting).

The Ece-Tools Package

Magento Commerce Cloud comes with the ece-tools package, which is a set of tools and scripts for managing and deploying your Magento Commerce Cloud projects.

The ece-tool package promises to simplify many of your most important cloud processes, including launching a Docker environment, verifying project configurations, managing crons, and applying Magento and custom patches.

These streamlined tools make it easier to manage your cloud environment, which, in turn, makes it easier to take full advantage of everything the cloud has to offer. Ultimately, this translates into a more user-friendly experience for your customers – one that encourages greater conversions.

Enhanced Page Speed

One of the most important ways eCommerce companies can improve their conversion rates is by including high-quality photos and videos in their product descriptions. Settling for anything less means settling for fewer sales, too.

Unfortunately, high-quality imagery can come with a price: slow loading times. Shoppers don’t just hate slow-loading pages. Google does, too. This means that many companies must choose between top-notch media and organic traffic.

But not companies that use Magento Commerce Cloud.

That’s because Magento Commerce Cloud is powered with Fastly Image Optimization. This technology “provides real-time image manipulation and optimization to speed up image delivery and simplify maintenance of image source sets for responsive web applications.”

In other words, showing off doesn’t have to mean slowing down.

So, Google is happy.

You get more traffic.

And that means more conversions.

The Complete List of Magento Commerce Cloud Features

Aside from the benefits I just listed and on top of those I outlined in the last section, Magento Commerce Cloud will also give you:

  • Cloud Availability SLA Up to 99.99%                                                
  • Easy Deployment                                                    
  • Increased Security with Fastly WAF and DDoS Services                               
  • Fast Page Loading Times with Content Delivery Network (CDN)                              
  • Global Availability                                                   
  • Hosting and Performance                                        
  • Optimized Cloud Commerce for Magento                                        
  • PCI Compliant                               
  • Performance Monitoring Tools                              
  • Streamlined Updates and Testing

As with Magento Commerce On-Premise, you can schedule a demo of Magento Cloud to see for yourself why so many companies rely on this platform for their eCommerce success.

Choosing Between Magento Commerce and Open Source

If the cost of the Magento Commerce platform is a bit out of your price range, don’t worry. The Open-Source Edition is very feature-rich and can be customized to include a lot of the functionality you’d otherwise get from the Commerce version. For example, Olark live chat or our One Page Checkout extension can add this kind of functionality to your eCommerce website without taking on the same kind of overhead (ours is actually free).

On the other hand, if you are a larger organization and your budget allows, Magento Commerce is worth taking a serious look at.

If you decide to choose Magento Open Source over Commerce, you’ll miss out on the following great features:

  • Page Builder
  • Content Staging and Previews
  • Integrated B2B Functionality
  • Drag-and-Drop Visual Merchandising
  • Automated Upselling and Cross-Selling
  • Advanced Segmentation
  • Magento Business Intelligence
  • Magento-Certified Cloud Infrastructure
  • Full Database Scalability

That’s not all.

You’ll also go without Magento’s customer support team, which has received numerous accolades over the years for providing outstanding service.

Without Magento’s support team, you’ll be responsible for:

  • Resolving all of your own technical issues
  • Onboarding to the cloud and launching your site
  • Help using Magento from a dedicated Account Manager
  • Defending against 3rd party claims related to patent or copyright infringement regarding Magento’s core software

This kind of help, alone, will make a huge difference to your company’s eCommerce bottom line.

Trying to handle these kinds of essential tasks in-house could also bend your budget just as much as a Commerce license would – maybe even more.

Then there are the costly mistakes you may make without the help of a Magento expert to provide assistance. For many business owners, that’s enough reason to find room in their budget for the price of Magento Commerce.

Additional Costs for Your Magento Site

As comprehensive as Magento is as an eCommerce platform, most companies decide they need custom logic done in order to meet all of their unique goals. These kinds of requirements come with extra costs.

Though Magento offers standard shipping, custom shipping is a very common example of the type of advanced feature most eCommerce companies now want for their sites. At IWD, we recommend ShipperHQ if you’d like to offer custom shipping on your Magento store.

Installation, theme adjustment, and modification of Magento extensions to best fit your needs are a few others. If you are switching over from a different host or a competitor’s platform, data important is another essential service.

Yet another big one we’ve been seeing in recent years is Inventory System or POS integration, which is super important if you have a brick and mortar location in conjunction with your online store.

Then there are other non-Magento costs related to running your eCommerce site that you should consider. Content creation is a great example. Unless you’re experienced with content marketing, you’ll want to hire someone to help with this important task.

Some of the best places to find these types of professionals include:

I’ve actually had a lot of success hiring freelancers on some of these sites, but I can’t stress enough that you absolutely should not use them to hire someone who claims to be Magento-certified without first checking Magento’s certification directory to confirm this is really the case.

Site Hosting Costs (we have friends who can help)

The cost of hosting your Magento site is another one you’ll need to consider.

Site hosting largely depends on the size of your site and the amount of traffic it receives.

For both Magento Open Source and Commerce platforms, we have been working with Nexcess for many years and recommend them to all of our clients.

They are very experienced with optimizing server configurations, specifically for Magento websites. Pricing starts at $19.95/month for shared hosting and $539.95/month for dedicated servers. 

View the complete list of their pricing plans to get a better idea of which one would make the most sense for your budget.

There are a lot of other good hosting providers out there, but Nexcess is the primary company we rely on and feel the most confident recommending for your hosting needs.

The Cost of Optimizing and Maintaining the Performance of Your Magento Site

Let’s fast forward to the not-so-distant future.

Your eCommerce business is now operating on Magento. Things are going great, thanks in part to your good friends at IWD.

That being said, your site still needs ongoing maintenance to continue operating at its best. You may require other eCommerce services to optimize that performance, as well. This kind of work may include things like:

  • Site Updates
  • Security Patches
  • Training
  • Design Work
  • Extension Installation
  • SEO
  • Holiday Promotions

The cost of maintaining and optimizing your Magento site will depend entirely on the company you hire for these services.

However, expect to pay around $150/hour for them. You can also assume that most companies will require that you sign up for a minimum of monthly hours. Usually, this is at least 40 hours a month.

Again, some companies may charge more. You’ll have to review what that higher price tag gets you before deciding if it’s worth the extra room in your budget.

On the other hand, there are plenty of companies that will charge less. Just remember that you always get what you pay for. Skimp on your Magento site and there’s a good chance your results will come up short, too.

What Does a New Build Cost for a Magento Store?

If your company’s website is already built on Magento, but it isn’t performing to your standards, then you may be in the market for a new build. Instead of looking for a team that can help you transition to Magento, you need one that can take your current Magento site, keep what’s working, and completely overhaul the rest.

In that case, you’ll need to budget for the initial new build before you start paying for optimization and maintenance.

As I said earlier, the exact cost will depend on the company you pick for your new build but expect to pay around $135 for this preliminary work. Once it’s complete, you’ll then return to paying for ongoing maintenance and optimization.

Depending on the unique requirements you have for your Magento site, plan to budget for 200 hours.

The Most Important Aspect of Finding the Right Implementation Partner

Once you’ve decided which version of Magento is best for your eCommerce site, the next step is partnering with an agency that can implement your choice effectively.

Given Magento’s popularity, you won’t lack for options.

However, it is vital that you only work with an agency that is Magento Certified – like ours 😊 

The reason this is so important is because of the complex and ever-changing nature of Magento. 

One of the best things about it is that it’s open source. It’s one of the main reasons Magento has become so popular with so many companies across so many different industries. Being open source means it’s flexible enough that every business owner can get a unique website that meets their unique needs. Magento is constantly updating their eCommerce platform.

At the same time, this also means that Magento is always changing. It’s being updated and improved. It evolves along with - or even ahead of - the rest of eCommerce. Having qualified Magento experts on your side is essential for staying on top of these changes and taking full advantage of them.

While you might be able to take your car to a repair shop that isn’t dealer-certified, a custom-designed software program is a lot more complicated and delicate than your Subaru. If you hire an agency that takes a one-size-fits-all approach to implementing Magento, you’ll wind up with a site that is fraught with technical – and extremely costly – problems.

We regularly have to redo eCommerce websites because of seriously flawed implementations carried out by agencies that aren’t Magento-certified. Just because developers seem competent – or even have experience with other platforms – that does not mean they know how to work with Magento!

Considering Agency Size: Is Bigger Better? 

As we are a boutique firm with a smaller, nimbler team, our approach to Magento implementation is more streamlined than what you’ll find with other firms. As a result, we can offer far more competitive pricing to eCommerce companies, including large businesses that need equally sizable storefronts.

Look over our Magento services for a better idea of how we can help or check out our case studies to see how these services have already served other clients.

Getting the Most from Your Magento Budget

You now have a better idea of what it will cost you to have a Magento site.

Before I wrap things up, I want to leave you with some final thoughts to help ensure your success with finding the right team to launch your new site.

  • Before you go shopping around for an agency that can handle implementation, get very clear about your budget and the scope of the project. In short, what do you want your site to do and what can you afford to spend on it?
  • When shopping around for an agency, you may learn that your budget falls below industry standards. In that case, I recommend you rethink either what you can spend or what you’re hoping to get in return. You might find someone who claims they can get the job done for far less than the average agency, but remember what they say about something being too good to be true.
  • Whether you need implementation or replatforming, expect that the process is going to take time. If someone promises to have it done by the end of the week, keep looking.
  • Unless you have experienced professionals on staff, look for an agency that can build your Magento site and offer other important services like SEO, PPC, email marketing, social media, UI/UX, web design, front- and backend development, quality insurance, etc. The more you can keep all of these necessary services under one roof, the better.
  • Don’t rush this important decision. It can be very frustrating to switch from one agency to another because work has stalled or your Magento site is “finished” but hardly effective.

That’s it.

You’re now ready to go out and find the agency your company needs for its new Magento website.

If you have any questions about what we just covered, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re not just Magento experts. We’re eCommerce experts who love helping companies reach their full online potential.

 

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