Complete Guide to
Magento (Adobe Commerce)
What is Magento?
Most know and recognize the platform as Magento—a market-leading player in
eCommerce for quite some time. Although still powered by Magento, Adobe acquired the company in
2018, becoming its parent company. As of April 2021, merging Magento Commerce and Adobe Commerce
Cloud, the enterprise edition of the platform is known as Adobe Commerce. We’ll interchangeably
refer to it as Magento and Adobe Commerce throughout the following overview.
Adobe Commerce is a highly advanced eCommerce development platform with rich and
customizable out-of-the-box features and integrations, helping B2C and B2B businesses of all sizes
build and manage their online stores, expand their growth, and deliver seamless customer buying
experiences, enabling successful online sales.
This article will provide a comprehensive overview of what Adobe Commerce
(Magento) is and how it works; helpful whether you’re a business owner considering using Adobe
Commerce for your online store or a merchant already managing a store built on the platform. Learn
about its features with an insight into Adobe’s free product, Magento Open Source, Adobe Commerce
pros and cons, and how it compares to other eCommerce platforms on the market.
Why do merchants use Magento?
Each year Adobe Commerce continues to be a popular choice among online merchants
to build, launch, and manage their online stores. In October 2022, more than 250,000 active
eCommerce sites worldwide were powered by Magento/Adobe Commerce.
There are multiple reasons eCommerce businesses go with this platform over
others on the market, and companies considering it are on the right track.
Adobe Commerce offers flexibility and customization, allowing
merchants to tailor the platform to their specific needs. This includes the ability to create custom
themes and templates, as well as to extend the platform’s functionality through the use of
extensions and integrations.
The many out-of-the-box features, including inventory and order
management, integrated checkout, payment and shipping solutions, CMS page builders, product
recommendations, analytics, marketing tools, and more, help merchants deliver optimal shopping
Adobe Commerce is also designed to scale with the business
regardless of the industry and can handle high traffic levels and large product catalogs.
Who should use Magento?
Magento (Adobe Commerce) is so versatile and customizable that eCommerce
companies of different sizes, from small retailers to medium and large
enterprises, find its features and functionalities ideal for running their online
Magento Open Source is free, fully customizable, and has a
plethora of extensions available on the Magento (Adobe Commerce) Marketplace. Smaller companies and
those who are just entering the eCommerce field find it a great advantage that the platform is free,
allowing them to start developing their store with no upfront platform costs. If they need to add
more features and functionalities, they can easily do so by using extensions from the marketplace,
many of which are also free. And because Magento Open Source can easily be expanded with new
features, medium-sized companies also consider it an ideal platform for their needs.
Adobe Commerce is the enterprise edition of Magento Open
Source—a fully featured, subscription-based eCommerce solution from Adobe. It comes with advanced
features out of the box, but it is also fully customizable and easily integrates with third-party
extensions. Large businesses that require those advanced capabilities, value 24/7 customer support,
and want the option for cloud infrastructure opt for Adobe Commerce. The platform is robust,
scalable, secure, and allows eCommerce companies to manage multiple brands, currencies, and
geographies from a single platform. Adobe Commerce supports both B2C and B2B business models.
Who should use Magento (Adobe Commerce)? Small, medium, and large eCommerce
enterprises will all find Magento (Adobe Commerce) a suitable platform for their online stores.
But this is just an overview of who should use Magento (Adobe Commerce). Let’s
dig in deeper into the differences between Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce and the advantages
Magento Open Source vs Adobe Commerce
Magento Open Source
Magento Open Source is a self-hosted platform that comes with all the basic
eCommerce features needed to launch an online store. Because the platform is open-source and widely used
in the eCommerce world, it has a very active and dynamic community that helps develop it. Developers
from around the world work together to introduce new features, fix bugs, and optimize it.
Merchants who opt for Magento Open Source need to set up their own server and
hosting. They can use the default Magento theme, customize it, or purchase a third-party theme from the
Magento (Adobe Commerce) Marketplace. They can add new features by installing either free or paid
extensions from the marketplace. So while the platform itself is free, using it entails costs related to
customizations, extensions, hosting, and the like.
When it comes to maintenance, companies should either have a development team of
their own or get a third-party Magento development
agency to keep everything in order. The Magento platform regularly gets updated and merchants
need to keep up if they want their stores always performing at their best.
We discuss in more detail the features and advantages of Magento Open Source in Adobe Commerce vs Magento
Adobe Commerce is an enterprise-level eCommerce solution that has more advanced
ready-to-use features in addition to all those available to Magento Open Source.
Adobe Commerce on cloud infrastructure is a fully managed platform with automated
hosting and additional exclusive features. eCommerce companies choose it mainly because of lower
maintenance costs, improved scalability, and enhanced security, among other benefits. Adobe Commerce on
cloud infrastructure is offered as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) hosted on AWS. Nevertheless, merchants
can choose to set up their own server environment, which Adobe refers to as an on-premise installation
of the Magento (Adobe Commerce) software.
Adobe Experience Cloud is a collection of applications and services, which Adobe
Commerce is a part of, designed to help businesses deliver personalized customer experiences and make
informed business decisions based on data. Other solutions from the Adobe Experience Cloud can easily
integrate with Adobe Commerce. And through the platform, marchants can take advantage of the business
intelligence services offered by Adobe, along with the personalization and other capabilities powered by
Adobe Sensei is what brings the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine
learning (ML) to the services included in Adobe Experience Cloud.
Learn more about Adobe commerce from Adobe Commerce vs Magento
Now, let’s talk about the most important features of
Magento (Adobe Commerce) that you should know about.
- Ease of use
- Support and extensions
- Themes and templates
- Marketing and SEO tools
- Customer support
- Inventory management
Ease of use
For an eCommerce company with a developer working on its team, installing Magento
(Adobe Commerce) is fairly straightforward.
For Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce, any hosting service can be used as long
as the server meets the Adobe system requirements. For Adobe Commerce on cloud infrastructure, Adobe
provides an automated hosting platform with an infrastructure that already has the prerequisite software
installed, including PHP, MySQL, RabbitMQ, and Redis, among others.
Developers can then proceed to set up the store, using a default Magento theme, a
customized one, a third-party theme from the marketplace, or one that is created from scratch.
Because Magento is so widely used by merchants around the world, there is no lack of
resources available online on how to use it. For example, scandiweb has published a series of articles
detailing the steps developers need to follow in order to accomplish specific Magento tasks or
explaining how certain Magento configurations work. Here are two interesting articles from the
series—Magento Series: Creating CMS
Content Programmatically and and Magento Series:
Working with Store Configs.
The Magento community is very active and developers from all over collaborate and
share information on tackling everything from the most common to the most challenging issues they face.
Adobe also provides many resources that developers can refer to when working with Magento.
All these resources available on Magento makes it easy for even new Magento
developers to work with the platform and resolve the most common issues. Add to that that developers
generally find the Magento interface easy to understand and use.
In terms of actually using the platform to manage content and products on an
eCommerce platform, Magento has many integrated features that make things easy for users. For example,
Page Builder lets users create content with drag-and-drop tools. No coding required. There are inventory
and order management tools that allow for real-time product inventory visibility. Business intelligence
tools make monitoring business performance a cinch. Adobe Target gives marketers the ability to
personalize and experiment with content and user experiences.
Support and extensions
We’ve already mentioned that Magento has an active community of users and developers
that share their knowledge and experience in using the platform. Developers who find themselves stumped
by issues that crop up during their work with Magento can always turn to that community for support and
guidance. Adobe offers support for Adobe Commerce users (see Customer Support for more details).
Third-party extensions and plugins can be used for a variety of purposes, like
adding new functionality, improving store performance, enhancing customer experience, and increasing
Extensions and plugins also make way for more advanced Magento functionality and
integrations with other systems and services. Magento easily integrates with ERP, CRM, PIM, and
accounting software, for example.
The Magento (Adobe Commerce) Marketplace is the go-to place for developers looking
for extensions for their Magento projects. Both free and paid extensions can be found there, covering
all the bases in any Magento project—from content and localization to accounting and finance, marketing,
SEO, customer services, shipping and fulfillment, etc.
Themes and templates
A design theme is what gives a Magento store its unique look and feel. It uses a
combination of styles, layouts, images, and templates. Frontend developers are the ones in charge of
implementing the theme in a Magento store development project.
Magento comes with a Blank theme (to be used as basis for custom theme creation) and
the Luma theme as its default theme. But developers need not be restricted by what Magento provides out
of the box. There are a good deal of themes available on the Magento (Adobe Commerce) Marketplace, some
are free and others are paid. So, merchants using Magento as their eCommerce platform can have a theme
created from scratch, use the default theme, or download/purchase a theme from the marketplace.
Templates determine how content blocks appear on a page. For example, where a side
bar is displayed (left or right) and how the hero banner is positioned are all defined in the page
With Magento, both themes and templates can be customized. Creating a theme from
such programming languages. Templates can be PHTML or HTML files.
When customizing themes and templates, developers are strongly advised not to change
the default files. If edits are made on the default Magento themes/templates, there is a good chance
that the changes will be overwritten by the new version of the default files later, i.e., during an
update. The best practice is to create a new theme and then add the modified templates there.
The Luma theme is the default theme of Magento 2. It was first released in 2015 and
has been updated since to adopt all the major features and functionality of the latest version of the
platform. The Luma theme is free to use, without any restrictions when used for a live store. It is
tile-based, has a responsive design that renders well on a variety of devices, and with endless
The category pages in the Luma theme have list- and grid-based view options, star
ratings, and CTAs that appear on mouse hover, among other features. The product pages are presented with
a clean design, featuring large and high-quality product images. The cart and checkout pages are easy to
The default Magento 2 Luma theme can be a great choice for eCommerce merchants who
are just starting out or want to minimize costs on web development.
Hyvä is claimed to be the frontend theme for Magento by its creators—the entire
frontend rebuilt from the ground up and simplified. But not only that, “it is also a toolset, extension
ecosystem, and supporting community.”
Compared to the standard Magento theme that loads over 200 JS/CSS resources, Hyvä
loads only 2 JS/CSS resources, which translates to less complexity while working with it and faster page
load time. Out of the box, the theme scores 100/100 in Google PageSpeed Insights—passing the Core Web
Vitals assessment on all metrics. It is also fully responsive and displays well on different devices.
Hyvä offers flexibility, customizability, ease of maintenance, community support,
and great performance. The theme is based on the PHP framework of Magento, with a simple-to-use
interface that is developer-friendly. It simplifies frontend development and reduces time-to-market.
A license must be purchased to use Hyvä themes—unlimited updates and access to
third-party compatibility modules are included, among other benefits of the license.
ScandiPWA is the first open-source Magento PWA theme. It is a
Magento-first solution installed on top of any Magento project (version 2.3 and later) and requires no
middleware or infrastructure changes. The theme supports conventional extensions from the Magento (Adobe
Commerce) Marketplace, A/B testing, and over 350 Magento features.
The ScandiPWA theme is ready-to-use, fully customizable, and the fastest way to set
up a Magento store as PWA. In just 15 minutes, development and production environments can be made
available on readymage.com.
Marketing and SEO tools
SEO is a common worry among Magento users, but getting to the top of search engine
rankings is crucial for sales conversion in eCommerce. Luckily, Magento supports store owners in
managing SEO and leveraging best practices. To improve the visibility and search engine ranking of their
Magento store, merchants can use the built-in SEO functions:
- Meta tags: meta title, description, keywords for products, categories, CMS
pages, and homepage
- Categories path for product URLs
- Canonical tag for products and categories
- URL rewrites and redirects
- XML sitemap setup
- Robots.txt file modifying
- Image alt text
- Pagination optimization
Magento SEO extensions
Although Magento is already SEO-friendly, some areas can be improved. To overcome
certain limitations these default functions have, merchants can use third-party plugins and extensions
to enhance their Magento store’s SEO performance.
SEO Suite or Mirasvit SEO Suite to
help with rich snippets for products and categories and leverage other SEO opportunities, Magento 2 Dynamic HTML
Sitemap to solve the HTML sitemap issue, and Amasty SEO Toolkit, just to name a
Many consider Magento not only to be one of the SEO-friendliest eCommerce platforms
but also great for launching efficient online marketing campaigns. There’s a variety of marketing tools,
built-in and third-party, that can help Magento merchants to understand their customer base and promote
products to targeted groups, thus increasing conversion rates and sales.
Here are some of the tools and features merchants can use on their Adobe Commerce
- Email marketing to create and send promotional emails, newsletters, abandoned
cart reminders, etc.
- Customer segmentation to group the customer base by specific criteria, like
location, lifestyle characteristics, purchase history, and customer loyalty, and target each group
with tailored messaging.
- Promotions and discounts to create and manage different promotions that drive
- Product recommendations to promote cross-selling and upselling with
suggestions on related products to customers based on their browsing and purchase history and
- Customer reviews to create social proof and build trust with prospects.
Magento Open Source customer support
Magento Open Source being a free software doesn’t come with any kind of customer
support. Developers working with the platform, however, can seek help from fellow developers in solving
issues they are facing. The Magento community is very active and a lot of information is shared online
that can be used as reference by those looking for Magento support. Github, Stack Overflow, and Magento
forums are places developers can turn to for some level of technical support, although there is no
guarantee that they would find actual solutions to their issues.
Merchants working with a Magento development
agency or have contracted out Magento support should have access to the expertise of a team of
experienced Magento developers and programmers and can expect answers based on the SLA (service level
agreement) with their service providers. For example, scandiweb offers Magento 24/7 support so merchants can be assured
that they have support they can count on round the clock.
Adobe Commerce customer support
Meanwhile, qualifying Adobe Commerce customers have access to the Adobe Commerce
Help Center, the support portal for Adobe Commerce, and can submit support tickets there. Merchants
using Adobe Commerce products and services can request for technical support, view the status of their
existing requests, contact the support team, and view the Adobe solutions library for possible solutions
to their issues.
Adobe Commerce on Managed Services includes additional support or expert resources,
i.e., Customer Success Engineer (CSE) and Advanced Support Engineer (ASE).
The CSE provides support throughout onboarding, platform setup, upgrade, and event
management. During upgrades, they work with Adobe Commerce customers to reduce risks and minimize
downtime, especially in large environments. They also provide advisory services on integrations and
The ASE is part of the 24/7 global incident management response team of Adobe for
Adobe Commerce on Managed Services.
Security has always been among the top concerns for eCommerce store owners. That’s
why Magento’s out-of-the-box security features are among the main benefits of using this platform for
eCommerce stores; if other platforms require adding the security layer after, for Adobe Commerce, it’s
built into the core.
Adobe regularly releases security patches and updates to secure eCommerce websites
against potential threats and vulnerabilities. Platform feature upgrades are also frequently coupled
with security patches. These patches greatly reduce the chance of a compromise and ensure that your
website has all of the most recent bug fixes required to protect your online store, its visitors, and
SSL and TLS
Magento supports the installation of SSL and TLS certificates to encrypt the data
transmitted between the customer’s browser and the merchant’s server.
To avoid severe penalties from payment industry regulators, all eCommerce websites
must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS). Adobe Commerce meets
industry standards for secure payment processing and makes it easy for merchants with built-in payment
gateways that enable secure customer credit card data transmission. This means no sensitive data gets
stored on the Adobe application server, providing customers with a seamless and secure checkout experience.
Adobe Commerce default features ensure real-time product inventory availability and
visibility for smaller online stores as well as large enterprises to fulfill orders with ease. With
Adobe Commerce inventory and order management system, even eCommerce businesses with various sites,
stores, brands, and warehouses can create seamless customer experiences across all sales channels and
locations. There’s a way to easily create, organize, and edit products, set prices, and have control
over stock within the platform, always meeting customer demand.
Adobe Commerce also has a flexible product management system to create various
product types (simple, configurable, and grouped products) and manage products with different
variations, such as size and color.
Whether the customer wants the item to be shipped to their address or to buy online
and pick up in-store (BOPIS), with flexible algorithms and fulfillment methods, Magento merchants are
informed about the best way to complete each order and satisfy customer expectations.
For US-based Adobe Commerce merchants, Adobe offers an advanced omnichannel Store Fulfillment
solution by Walmart Commerce Technologies. This extension enables merchants to deliver a superior BOPIS
customer experience through Android or iOS mobile devices.
The cost of using Magento (Adobe Commerce) will depend on the organization, its
size, needs, resources, and priorities.
In this section, we’ll talk about the costs related to building and maintaining
these Magento platforms:
- Magento Open Source
- Adobe Commerce
- Adobe Commerce On-premise Software
- Adobe Commerce on Cloud
- Adobe Commerce on Managed Services
And the costs we’ll be looking include the following segments:
- Infrastructure costs: hosting, web/app servers, databases,
domain name, SSL certificate, etc.
- Development costs: design, customizations, programming,
extensions, integrations, etc.
- Support & maintenance costs: technical staff, training,
troubleshooting, updates, patches, bug fixes, paid support, etc.
Magento Open Source pricing and costs
Infrastructure: Additional cost
Basic functionalities: Included
Advanced functionalities: Additional cost
The Magento Open Source software is free to install and use. However, getting it set
up and running entails costs related to all three segments: infrastructure, development, and support &
A merchant opting for Magento Open Source needs to pay for hosting, domain, SSL
certificate, design, customizations, integrations, support, and maintenance.
Hosting options for Magento Open Source include in-house, from a hosting provider,
or on the cloud.
- In-house hosting is risky and costly, but some industries make it necessary
- Shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting are all viable options depending on the
business size and needs, and could cost from $150 (shared hosting) to $5,000 (multiple dedicated
servers) per month.
- Cloud hosting can be as little as $10 and as much as $4,000 a month.
Magento Open Source comes with all the basic eCommerce features an online store
needs. However, extensions, integrations, and further development are usually necessary to make it
perform exactly as the business needs it to.
With extensions and third-party services, the possibilities of expanding the
platforms capabilities are almost endless. The catch is that the best and most reliable extensions are
often subscription-based, so there are ongoing costs associated with them. Magento extensions can costs
anywhere from $50 to $500.
And of course, developers are needed to make these extensions and integrations work.
Depending on the amount and complexity of work that’s required, a company might need to hire a team of
developers to get everything set up. An alternative is to get a Magento development agency whose
expertise is building Magento eCommerce stores. Either way, development work costs money.
Support & maintenance costs
Finally, support & maintenance costs will depend on whether or not the business has
its own development team to take care of bugs, patches, updates, and further development. At least one
developer familiar with the ins and outs of Magento needs to be looking after the eCommerce store.
Alternatively, there are agencies that offer 24/7 Magento support that merchants can turn to. And
getting a support agency may be more cost-effective when the SLTs and expertise are considered—there is
a whole team of Magento experts that could work together to solve an issue in the quickest time
Adobe Commerce pricing and costs
Licensing: Starts at $22,000/year
Infrastructure: Additional cost or included
Basic functionalities: Included
Advanced functionalities: Included
An Adobe Commerce license is based on the subscribing company’s Gross Merchandise
Value (GMV) and Average Order Value (AOV). And prices vary depending on the type of Adobe Commerce
offering subscribed to:
- Adobe Commerce On-premise Software
- Adobe Commerce on Cloud
- Adobe Commerce on Managed Services
Adobe Commerce is licensed per Base Package and licensing starts at $22,000 per year
for a company with up to $1M GMV for Adobe Commerce On-Premise Software, and $40,000 for Adobe Commerce
Pros and Cons
of Using Magento
As discussed in this overview, Magento (Adobe Commerce) offers many great things;
however, there can be some drawbacks. We have compiled a list of pros and cons to choosing Magento for
your eCommerce store.
Pros of using Magento
1. Feature-rich and flexible
One of the key benefits of using Magento for your eCommerce business is its wide
range of features. Merchants who opt for Magento acquire a robust eCommerce solution and the flexibility
to customize it according to their specific needs. Using Magento, eCommerce businesses have the
resources to provide an excellent online buying experience with relevant, tailored offerings to their
Get details about Magento features.
The eCommerce platform a merchant chooses must be able to manage the growing volume
of products and sales as the business expands. Magento is highly scalable and can handle a large number
of products and customers. In fact, Magento can manage tens of thousands of transactions per hour and up
to 500,000 products. It’s typically deployed on cloud infrastructure, allowing Adobe to handle all the
hosting, server, and platform support while the eCommerce core operations remain the merchant’s primary
focus. This architecture allows for extensive customization for businesses of all sizes.
With multiple built-in security features and regular releases of security patches
and updates, Magento is a highly secure platform for dealing with sensitive information and keeping
merchants’ and their customers’ data protected.
Read more about Magento security.
For an eCommerce store to succeed, a mobile-friendly configuration is essential, as
mobile devices are now the preferred method of online browsing. Magento’s responsive design strives to
provide customers with the best mobile experience. It allows eCommerce stores to look great on
smartphones and tablets, resulting in higher conversion rates, lower bounce rates, and more sales.
5. Supportive of multi-currency and languages
Magento has an array of features that allow merchants to manage several stores
across multiple locations, with different languages, pricing, and currencies, making it easy to sell to
customers around the world.
6. With great add-ons and extensions
Magento marketplace offers many practical extensions, built and deployed by the
members of the Magento community, that can be easily integrated into the website’s source code to expand
the store’s functionality. The extensions available in the market can enhance site management and
marketing functionality, themes, customer service operations, and more. Some of the Magento add-ons and
extensions are accessible to merchants for download without cost, while others are premium paid options.
Read more about Magento extensions.
7. Advanced analytics and reporting
Magento has excellent reporting capabilities with a wide range of in-depth analytics
and reporting tools accessible through the admin panel. The data merchants can access on Magento’s
built-in dashboards allows them to gather insights about their best-selling products, how their
customers interact with the site, and other data relevant to their eCommerce store. With these insights,
merchants can better understand their customers and make informed business decisions.
8. Large community
Magento has a large and active community of developers. Besides countless resources
and the ability to provide quick support and assistance, the community also contributes to developing
and sharing Magento extensions, plugins, and other tools that can introduce new functionality to
eCommerce stores using the platform.
Cons of using Magento
Although Magento Open Source is free, the enterprise version Adobe Commerce requires
a yearly payment. There are also additional costs associated with customization, add-ons, and other
features for both the community and enterprise versions of the platform.
Read the full breakdown of Magento costs and pricing.
2. Large resource requirements
Magento is resource-intensive and requires a considerable amount of memory and
processing power to run smoothly and encounter no downtime, possibly leading to additional costs.
Magento has a steeper learning curve than other eCommerce platforms. To ensure the
store is steady and secure and the user experience is seamless, merchants need to provide extensive
training for their in-house teams or get technical expertise and help from a Magento development agency.
Choosing the platform to power one’s eCommerce website is an important decision. It
impacts every aspect of the company’s online operations, from displaying the products, messaging, and
generating traffic to the whole customer experience. Is Magento the right choice?
Both platforms under Adobe’s wing—Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce—can help
businesses of all sizes create, launch, maintain, and customize their online stores however they desire.
Magento Open Source gives access to many possibilities but not technical know-how.
Although the Magento community is very active and usually offers support, they won’t solve all issues.
Merchants will need a highly skilled Magento developer or a team to set up and maintain the store. A
considerable learning curve is involved, so time and money will be invested in training and trial and
error. While the platform is free, extensions and third-party services entail costs in addition to
hosting and other technical requirements.
Adobe Commerce is expensive, so it’s best for larger eCommerce companies. There is
reliable support, well-organized resources, advanced tools, and easy integration with third-party
extensions. Adobe Commerce is highly flexible, scalable, mobile- and SEO-friendly, customizable, and
secure—these and many more reasons are why scandiweb believes Magento is an investment that’s
undoubtedly beneficial for any online merchant in the long run.
YOUR MAGENTO PARTNER
scandiweb has been creating industry-defining eCommerce experiences for big and
small enterprises in the past decade and a half. As the most certified Magento development team in the
world, we offer you our expertise to bring your Magento (Adobe Commerce) project to its peak form.
Unleash the full potential of your business by pushing the boundaries of the Magento
platform through innovation and creating digital customer experiences that will define you as a premier
As a full-service development company, scandiweb will ensure a holistic
approach to your Magento project. By making us your Magento partner, you will have access to entire
teams of expert Magento developers, business analysts, marketing and SEO specialists, CRO strategists,
creatives, and more. You can count on us for anything from business strategy development to platform
migration, store development, third-party integrations, content development, and marketing services.