How Much Does a Magento Website Cost: General Pricing Guidelines and What to Look For

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How much does a Magento website cost?

— Last Update March 6th, 2015

It has been almost two years since we posted this article on Magento website cost. A lot has changed since then. Besides the Magento Enterprise Premium Edition released in 2013, in December of 2014 Magento released the Magento 2.0 Developer Beta as an incomplete release, and since last month Magento Go is no longer supported by Magento.

This update includes a detailed description of what Magento Enterprise entails, a comparison chart between Magento Enterprise and Magento Community edition, Magento license cost, Magento hosting cost, and what we believe, from our experience, the rates are for a Magento website.

The number one question we get asked from new clients who are looking to develop a Magento store is “How much does a Magento website Cost?”. While Magento is a very powerful, feature rich eCommerce application, there are a number of expenses associated with setting up a Magento store. Most of these expenses occur when your requirements go beyond the out of box Magento Community or Magento Enterprise edition functionality, for the Magento Enterprise license, development, design and customizations.

In short, as of March 2015 the Magento licensing costs as posted by Magento it self are:

Magento Community (CE) – Free to download and use, small-medium size businesses
Magento Enterprise (EE) – $18,000 per year (enterprise business solution), large size businesses
Magento Hosting – Shared and dedicated hosting
Some Facts and Reality Check

If you don’t feel like reading the whole article, click on the version of the Magento above and you’ll be taken to that section of the article. Yet I recommend reading it all as I will also go over some the differences between Magento versions and some advice on choosing somebody to work with.

The price of a Magento store can vary as much as the price of setting up a physical store, which often depends on what is the square footage, how many stories, what equipment/furniture is being used, who is the company building it, what is their experience, etc. Therefore, coming up with a price tag is not that easy. The final price of a Magento eCommerce website varies greatly and depends on what your goals are and how will you know when the expected results are achieved. Doing extensive research and preferably putting together an RFP prior to contacting a Magento provider is highly recommended.

Lets first start with the different versions of Magento that will significantly affect the final cost of a Magento store:

FREE CONSULTATION!

Need help setting up your Magento website? Contact us today to talk about how we can help you. We have a variety of solutions to fit MOST budgets! Fill out our contact form by clicking here and you will receive a response, typically within hours!

Magento Community

Magento Community is the most popular version of Magento. It is open source and free to download. To set up a store merchants need to contract a Magento developing company or a single developer. Businesses using Magento CE to run their stores don’t have access to technical support for this software. Answers to many technical questions are available on the Magento user forum.

Provided that you have found a Magento developer or a Magento agency, there are endless possibilities of customizing the store with additional features and functionality by installing extensions from the Magento Connect marketplace or other third party companies who specialize in Magento Extension development.

Magento EE vs Magento CE Comparison Chart

Free Download

Open-source software for

developers & tec-savvy merchants

License Fees from $18.000/YR

Enterprise-class features, performance & support

Code-level Access
Web services Api
Mobile HTML Theme Pre-integrated
Extensions
API Integrations
Themes
Mobile Commerce
Mutiple Stores
Multiple Store Views
Advanced Administrator Roles
Persistent Shopping Cart
Flexible Pricing Rules
Analytics and Reporting
Layered Navigation
International Commerce and Multiple Languages
Shipping Rules, Payment Configurations and Gateways
Product Configurations
Up-sells, Cross-sells and Related Products
SEO
Flexible Couponing and Promotions
Customer Accounts Management
Order Management
Advanced Customer Segmentation and Targeting
Private Sales, Event, Invitations
Gift Registry and Gifting Options
Reward Points
Advanced Return Management Authorization
Staging, Merging and Rollback of Content
Store Credits
Enhanced Catalog and Content Management System
Price and Promotion Permission
Full-page Caching
Minimum Advertised Price
Call Center with Assisted Shopping
Solr Search
Technical Support
Built-in Security

Magento Enterprise

Whereas Magento CE does not come with professional support, only a message board, the Magento EE version offers professional reports for businesses and their tech support team to ensure everything runs smoothly. This option is for businesses who make most of their revenue through eCommerce. The biggest reason, however, is the customization Magento Enterprise allows. This will help your eCommerce store be much different than any other store in your industry. If you have a large catalog that has special requirements or you wish to accept gift card payments or even offer private sales, it can all be done with Magento Enterprise. In addition to that, the Enterprise platform allows for multiple admin levels and an easy to manage CMS. This option creates a seamless process from order to accounting to shipping.

Due to Enterprise’s strong commitment to creating a platform where customers can purchase goods fluidly and seamlessly, regardless of which device he or she is using, as well as it’s plethora of options to give the business owner the greatest dynamic with their website, Enterprise is the height of Magento’s possibilities.

Enterprise allows the business owner to optimize complete control over everything that the customer could ask for. Automatic functions that are standard in the field, such as email notifications, are complemented by even more specific tasks. These functions include:
recommended products
automatic additions to wish lists/shopping carts
reminders

Customer segments are created to help the business owner distinguish between a demographic area, first time, and repeat visitors. Customer shopping carts and buying histories are also recorded to show where their interests lie. Segments also help match special content, promotions, and pricing. These segments can be used to suggest similar products, increasing order values as it does so.

Allows product reviews to be written, which increases attention and interest of customers. With easy searching and navigation, and with more filters to choose from, customers can find exactly what they’re looking for with little to no hassle.

A one page checkout option, along with multiple payment/shipping choices, enables greater ease and comfort for customers who want to buy products without a mess of computer nonsense to sort through first. Wish-lists and payment plans can also be implemented to make things even easier.

There are also several incentives that can be managed to help bring more customers back such as special VIP sections where only certain prices are revealed to specific customers with valid codes.

Gifts have never been made easier. Whether its a gift from you to your customer in the form of a gift registry, or a gift card purchase by your customer directly, any type of gifting is made accessible to all parties. Store credit can also be offered in lieu of any product returns. Coupons can also be created to target specific customer segments, products, categories, dates, and times. Unique codes can be added to emails, newsletters, or promotions in order to track coupon effectiveness.

Enterprise also generates SEO-friendly URLs, a Google site map, customized meta keywords, and descriptions. New content, videos, and rich media can all be easily entered into the system creating the place for dynamic widgets that can showcase specials and promotions.

It’s also designed specifically to allow seamless computer to mobile device transitions. With swipe and zoom technology throughout the mobile device, customers can drag and drop products into their shopping cart. The HTML5 interface supports multiple devices and browsers, but you can also create a branded native storefront for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

Enterprise is built to manage tens of thousands of transactions every hour. It features full-page caching and persistent bandwidth for fast loading times. All transactions are configurable for multiple currencies and tax rates. You can use it to maintain a list of accepted countries, site registrations, shipping destinations, billing addresses, and more. A strong data encryption for secure transactions is set in place to protect not only you, but your customers’ information.

The business owner can also manage multiple stores from one account if they have more than one business they want to keep track of. Hundreds of applications and extensions are available to make your site entirely unique and customizable. These can include: CRM, ERP, accounting, payment processing, shipping, call centers, and much more.

There is also a secure testing area where you can test your site before going live with it. You can test the site, modules, customizations, back up systems, databases, and media prior to ever revealing it to the public. With this feature, there is no concern for excess downtime or undue burdens placed upon customers who wish to purchase your featured products.

Since we went over a simple overview of what each option of Magento does, here is a simple functionality guide that you should be looking for when getting a quote for a Magento website. The proposal must address such issues and discuss if not all, most of the features with each associated package.

If you need help with your Magento store, call 845-656-3000 or Contact us here »

Magento Hosting

While Magento comes with a ton of prebuilt eCommerce features, it is a well known fact that Magento is a resource hog when it comes to the hosting environment needed to run the application at optimum performance. Everyone who uses Magento CE can host their website at their preferred host. Before 2014 Magento would offer hosting under the EE annual license fee. They don’t do that anymore and when using Magento EE you’ll need at the very least a dedicated server.

Hosting is a cost that many people do not take into consideration when putting together a budget. Finding the right Magento hosting company is then paramount to your project’s long term success. Usually, our customers pay around $150 for shared Magento hosting and up to $4500 for multiple dedicated servers or cluster hosting environments.

There are a number of companies in the market that claim to specialize in Magento hosting. We have worked with most of them at one time or another. One of our favorite hosting companies, however, is Nexcess.net. They offer great product, super fast customer support and have very knowledgable and personable stuff.

Some questions you need to ask your self when choosing a Magento hosting company are:
– Will you need shared hosting, dedicated or multi-server environment?
– Where is your target market located Geographically?
– How many unique visits / day do you expect?
– How many concurrent Magento customers do you expect?
– How large will your catalog be (SKU count)?
– Will you be using SOLR search within Magento?
– Will you be using the Magento Payment Bridge?
– Will you be using a service to monitor your websites performance (e.g Pingdom, New Relics)?
– Will you need a content delivery network (CDN)?

Basic Magento Website Cost: $20,000.00- $42,000.00

This option is for companies who are moving from a hosted platform or starting up from scratch. There are two ways that you can get a basic Magento website started. The first is by choosing a prebuilt theme, which is cheaper but some time limiting as to how much customization can be done on the theme. We will not get into details here because this can be its own article. The second option is converting a PSD design into a Magento store which doesn’t limit you on how your website should look and functionality wise. Nonetheless, both options require a good deal of time to set up, configure, customize and test. Hence the above cost.

– Under 6000 SKU’s
– Install the Latest Community Magento Edition
– Integrate/Install a chosen Theme into the latest stable version of Magento
– Simple Design Implementation
– Set up Transactional Emails with Logo
– Inventory System or POS Integration
– Integrate Payment Processor such as Authorize.net and alternative payment methods from PayPal, Amazon, Google etc.
– SSL Set Up
– Product and Category Setup and Configuration
– No Integration with Back Office Systems
– Testing
– Basic Shipping & Tax Configuration Set Up
– Internal quality assurance (QA) to ensure cross-browser compatibility and functioning of all features

Custom Magento Website Cost: $42,000.00 – $100,000.00 and Up

This option is for bigger, established retailers who do most of their business online and are either moving from a different eCommerce platform or are upgrading their existing Magento websites. It provides a complete solution to online selling and with a business continuity plan in place for growth.

– More than 6000 SKU’s
– SEO Advanced Package
– SEO Starter Package
– Inventory System or POS Integration
– Multilingual Store Front
– Advanced 301 Redirects
– Custom Home Page Design, Check Out Page, Product Landing Page Etc
– Custom Banner/Graphics
– Different Pricing for Wholesale, Partners, and Retail Customers
– One Page Checkout
– Address Validation at Checkout
– Advanced Reviews
– Auto-Complete Search
– Gift Registry
– WordPress Blog Integration
– Social Media Sharing Option
– Facebook Login
– Connection With Back office Accounting Systems, Sales Force, Rewards Program, and Other Affiliate Marketing Systems
– Testing/ QA
– Code Documentation
– Warranty and Support
– Data Migration
– Advanced Shipping Configuration

FREE CONSULTATION!

Need help setting up your Magento website? Contact us today to talk about how we can help you. We have a variety of solutions to fit MOST budgets! Fill out our contact form by clicking here and you will receive a response, typically within hours!

Magento Enterprise Cost $100,000-$250,000 and Up

Along all the features included above in the Custom Magento website cost, Magento EE comes with the following additional features:

– Mobile Commerce
– Multiple Stores
– Full Page Caching
– Free Professional Customer Support
– Built in Modules
– Large Amount of SKU’s
– Private Sales, Wholesale, Gift Registries
– Hosted By Magento
– Search Engine Optimization
– Customer Segmentation
– Targeted Promotions & Merchandising
– Custom Coupons
– Return Management Authorization

Here is a fact check on Magento pricing:

1) Designing, building and configuring a Magento website requires time and advanced PHP development knowledge. If somebody tells you they can do it in a week, it probably won’t happen.

2) These numbers refer to what the industry prices for a Magento website run on average. Take in to consideration that proper web design companies have overhead and full-time intelligent people with salaries who will work on your project.

3) If the price of a Magento website sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember the saying “You get what you pay for”.

4) A college student or just a PHP developer alone can not build a Magento website. Such a project requires multiple people with different technical skills such as SEO, Analytics Expert, Web Design, Graphic Artist, Front and Back End Development.

5) Offshore developers can certainly create your website for much cheaper. When will the website be completed and will it be completed as promised is a matter of hit or miss.

6) Come up with a budget and a project scope or RFP before requesting a quote. Submit it to multiple companies and then compare apples-to-apples.

7) Building a Magento website and thinking that it will magically layout golden eggs is not a norm. As in the real world, selling on the web is very competitive. You need to constantly update and put a tremendous amount of work on the website in order to get a return on your investment.

8) You need a serious company that will stand behind what they do and become your long-term partner.

9) Hourly rate for Magento development can range from $95 – $250.

Due to the size and changes that happen in Magento project scope, it is difficult to predict and estimate the exact cost of a Magento website. Most companies will give out an average price estimate and will bill actuals. That’s a bit of a gray area for both parties involved. The client wants to know what their Magento website will cost, while the provider can not commit to it, then not deliver and go bankrupt. The solution is to try and have them give you a high and not low end estimate.

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  • AK

    These prices are out of touch, and you know it.

    • sherodesigns

      AK, thanks for your comment! Why are these prices out of touch, can you elaborate?
      Best,
      Gentian

  • AK

    Unless your prices are in rupees they are crazy. Can you explain the cost structure of a site that costs $60,000 or $200,000? Why would a developer cost $200 an hour? What are they doing?

    • sherodesigns

      AK, your point is well taken and I will try to explain. These prices refer to what the industry standard is and what companies/agencies are charging in the US, not what a single developer’s hourly rate is.

      To be totally honest, our hourly rate ranges from $125-$150 / hr. There are companies that charge a minimum of $150 and up to $250 / hr.

      Why does a Magento website costs $60K-200K? That price depends on whether someone choses Magento Community or Enterprise Edition. Enterprise is on the higher end of course. Depending on the size of the project, designing, developing, configuring, and deploying a reliable eCommerce platform like Magento can take 5-6 months, a year, or even more some times. This includes advanced functionality like setting up thousands of products, complex domestic and international shipping, design work, POS integration, promotions, multi-language websites, etc etc.

      In order to get such a system up and running it takes a team of people with multiple skill sets and not a single developer. This may include, a POS expert, shipping expert, multiple Magento back end developers, designers, graphic artists, and front end developers. All of these people have salaries that start at a minimum of 40K a year and go up to 80K or more. This includes their benefits, paid vacation, continuing education and more.

      Therefore, from our experience, in order to stay in business, expand and innovate, a company must charge at least that. Yes, there are others who charge less or outsource the work abroad, but they are in the experimenting mode, the job never gets done right and in the end the client doesn’t gets what they were promised. Hope this answers your question.

      Best,

      Gentian

      • AK

        Hello Gentian:
        Thank you for the information/clarification. I am looking for an ecommerce solution and obviously I need to look somewhere else. I was impressed by magento’s capabilities but I may need to wait a few years.
        Have a profitable day.
        Aime.

        • Aime,

          Magento is used by businesses of all sizes – it has to be since it powers roughly 25% of all online transactions completed in the world. Some of these businesses generate enormous returns on their investments of time an money they put into their Magento systems.

          But the failure rate of all businesses (online and offline in US) is somewhere between 80%-90% in the first two years and increases sharply after that, so you have to assume that MOST businesses do not generate more than a modest return on their investments and a large portion lose money on their investments, no matter how much they spend.

          You don’t see this talked about much in online forums where we’re discussing the products and services we sell since reminding potential clients of this fact is not usually the best way to close a sale 🙂

          My key takeaway from this is that most people in general have no idea how to build, operate and grow a successful business, whether online or offline. If we all did, the failure rate would not be as high as it is.

          It takes time, money, and experienced teams to build and grow a business. Magento nor any other software will not alter that fundamental truth, no matter expensive or powerful it may be.

          We want everyone of our clients to succeed with all of their projects and be able to continue to invest in growing their businesses. I have no problem saying that this is partly for the purely selfish reason that if they succeed with our assistance they’ll be more likely to continue to be our clients. So we do our best to share our own experiences and be honest and direct about what we’ve seen work and fail in the past.

          Making few thousand off of a project that has little chance to succeed is a poor investment of our team’s limited time compared to choosing one that will succeed. There are people who disagree with this perspective posting here on this thread as they appear to be saying they do it all the time.

          Just remember that 80% – 90% failure rate I mentioned earlier. Which group do you think the people who disagree with the perspective that Shero and I are advocating fall into – the 10-20% that succeed or the vast majority who fail? I’m sure you won’t need to think too hard on that question.

          I can’t speak for Shero but I know that we’d rather be honest and direct with clients when we see that they have not considered the full scope of the challenges and costs they will face on their project. In the long run, I’ve found that results in stronger relationships since they will be based on openness and trust.

          I want only success for everyone who walks through our doors and if I think a potential client would be best served by taking their money and investing it somewhere else besides a project with us, I will always tell them so. I don’t know enough about your particulars to make that assessment now.

          I can tell you that no matter what they are or if you choose Magento or any other solution, you should seek out a service provider who you can trust – a provider who has the technical skills to accomplish your objectives AND the experience in BOTH failed projects and successful ones to help you through not just your launch but through the entire process of building and growing your business.

          That combination of technical skill and business experience is extremely rare, but if it was MY money being invested, I’d rather take the time to find it and feel like every penny was being spent with someone who has actually seen what works and doesn’t and can guide me a long the way. Don’t repeat the same mistakes made every year by so many and become just another rounding error on the statistics of failed vs. successful ventures.

      • HLTGRP

        “Why does a Magento website cost $60K-200K? That price depends on whether someone choses Magento Community or Enterprise Edition.”

        Because you’re ripping people off. Plain and simple. Community edition is FREE. And developers just as smart and competent as you can be found for 1/4th the hourly price. Sorry. The internet levels the playing field. No more monopoloy on US citizens.

        • HLTGRP thank for your three consecutive comments!

          The prices on this blog post are what an agency in the US will charge. We do NOT outsource. All our work is done in-house by local (US) employees. Based on NY living standards, the minimum salary for a Magento developer at our company starts at 45K annually and goes up to 90K. If we were paying $2 a day for an employee, the $40/hr would be great. Good luck with your business! I am sure it will be a great success.

          – Gentian

          • Miguel

            Hi there,
            here in switzerland you would pay the same for a agency. Its not just the setting up (3 min work with images…), its all around what makes the shop well converting. Just as an example, how much here do A/B testing?? How much here have different categorie pictures and/or backgrounds on every categorie (with unique text)?

            If you need something to sell online, you will get something… But if you need a well performing and structured shop with automated feed exchanges/conversions, API’s, customer loyalty and so on, you will start choosing an agency.

            On the hard way (the cheap one), everyone will pay a lot more, but nobody cares because noone knows it….

          • Leo

            The problem with such pricing is for companies launching into ecommerce is..

            1) Why not go with Shopify?
            2) or WooCommerce?

          • The easy answer is that anyone who would consider these numbers outlandish actually SHOULD consider Shopify or WooCommerce. These numbers are targeted towards businesses that either plan to immediately at launch or ALREADY do a minimum of $3-5 million USD in online sales. Probably the top 5-10% of any geographic regions businesses.

            Most small to medium businesses in the US make less $2-$3 million / year in offline revenues much less in their online operations. Most of my career (~12 years) was spent in the SMB area and I originally shared your view and that of many others.

            After spending 5+ years in the Medium-Large Enterprise space my view completely changed. It’s not that one is better than the other, I don’t think. It’s just that there are two very separate markets. They happen to use the same basic tool set (Magento) but the level of investment and the level of return on their investments are vastly different.

            If you can take a $250k – %500k investment and turn that into a 20 – 50% increase in sales that generates and extra $5 – $10 million in revenues in a year then you’re looking at a solid return on your investment.

            I think that the most important thing I’ve taken away from this discussion is that there ARE business that are really successful and some that do ok but wouldn’t meet my personal definition of success:

            Do we the ability to generate enough revenues and profits at the end of each year AND
            – to distribute some profits back to owners & employees
            – invest in our employee’s development so they feel they are valued and respected members of the organization
            – put enough aside after the above and below in our reserves to guarantee that we can operate the business for 6 months with no revenue in case of unplanned catastrophes
            – continue to invest the rest of profits in all parts of the business to that a minimum of 15% year over year growth can be maintained.

            This is my own view and I get no one else will share them exactly. And that’s ok. But if we all step back just a bit we should be able to say something like “well, maybe this seems out of whack for ME but I can see that there might be even some small group of others where this might make sense…”

            I feel like doing that opened my own perspective to opportunities i never previously even thought were possible. Perhaps that might occur for others as well.

          • Leo

            But going with Magento? Nah. It breaks previous extensions and is a chore to work with. If you’re generating that much of revenue? Go for enterprise level solutions like Demandware and/or Hybris.

            Magento is a SMB solution that devs try to disguise as enterprise level, without the infrastructure. 🙂 In short, Magento is like Hyundai. They try to be like the Rolls Royce, but fall far short.

          • Not sure I agree 100% there. I have seen the same issues you describe when I worked for ATG Professional Services and even before when I worked with IBM’s WebSphere. Magento CE exhibits some of those issues at least as often as every other “enterprise” system I’ve worked on, but I wouldn’t say more…

            And Magento EE even less. In fact I think the comments we’re seeing here indicate that the reason it takes so much effort, time, and money to implement Magento correctly is that it’s actually one of the few open source system that was designed to be ready for the enterprise down to the small business.

            The reason everyone here is complaining about it is precisely because it is NOT an SMB solution, and they expected it to be since it’s Open Source / Free….and why they mistakenly assume you can spend a SMB project budget and get positive outcomes. It’s not impossible, I suppose, just haven’t seen it myself. We run clients on it who generate from $500 million per year in revenue down to a few $ per month. We use it ourselves across several retail ecommerce brands we operate, though we are a SMB.

            Car analogies are an interesting perspective because every single manufacturer actually produces cars in every single price point, though they brand them with different names to avoid confusion…think Ford > Aston Martin / Jaguar or Toyota > Lexus > Land Cruiser

            The difference I think is that Magento requires you to spend a LOT (time or money) in customization to get the CE version closely aligned with the business needs for the larger SMB’s who go that route and less upfront but more over time for the EE version which has a lot of the base functionality implemented.

            The honest truth – in 20 years I’ve worked with ATG Commerce, WebSphere, Magento and pretty much everything in between (and I think Hybris is a great system, btw and rather solid given its shorter history compared to ATG or WebSphere) but none of them are clearly superior to the others…there are only so many concepts you have to implement to do commerce and all of them cover most in some way or another. All have their strengths and weaknesses and given the platforms they run on unique advantages in specific situations over others.

            I used to be a bit of a snob when I was at an IBM Var, then Dell / ATG / Oracle when it came to Magento but I’ve spent the last two years working with it every day and my biggest complaint is that for simple sites, dealing with the Enterprise Features is actually a bit of a pain rather than a help. So yeah, I guess I pretty much completely disagree with you, though I do think you make a good point that Devs in general should not be trusted when planning major business investments. Unless they’ve transitioned from Devs to Business Mamangers / Executives (I’m CTO but still commit to the repos almost every day 😀 ) by definition they lack the perspective that anyone who has been successful in business world at all will have. They can advise on features and the tech portion, but in my view that’s less than half of what’s required for ecommerce -all the rest are Business Planning concerns.

            Magento, even CE is a strong competitor to the enterprise commerce systems, which is why when combined Magento EE & CE does actually lead all the competitors we’ve both mentioned so far in marketshare and in some cases actual transaction volume processed.: https://www.datanyze.com/market-share/Magento

            Oddly, I read that WooCommerce is starting to begin chomping at it’s heels from unexpected corners, namely sites that do $100 million or so in sales…They are built on WordPress…love its ease of use but that is DEFINITELY not enterprise ready….yet.

          • Leo

            Hmm, in what way is WooCommerce not ready for enterprise yet? With Automattic now owning WC, i’m sure they’ll be keen to improve the performance and fix errors

          • I’d say it’s really more like WordPress isn’t ready. The first thing that comes to mind is that there is not currently ANY database driver for it that is shipped with the installer based on any PHP data access standard. Not PDO or any other available one. Mostly because they don’t want to break backwards compatibility, which I get….and don’t get me wrong, we love WordPress and WooCommerce…

            We are running it on a highly available cluster of auto-scaling nodes with load balancing, shared storage, multi-region tenancy using Zend Server in several AWS regions, and the process we had to endure to get it to run well enough for our hosting business was challenging. Not really because it is “bad” – in fact, quote the opposite, I think.

            It was SPECIFICALLY designed so that it would be easy to produce content and easy for as many hosting providers as possible to include it in even their lowest margin plans and get users up and running quickly. But the users who care about those two points are ANYTHING but enterprise…but they are a large portion of the WP userbase. By making those criteria the initial focus, they achieved massive market penetration but any significant re-write to their underlying architecture would require breaking functionality (most notably plugins) that are being used by the swaths of users who are the least likely to actually be able to perform the changes required to keep their systems updated.

            Automattic is an awesome company, but there are only a few firms besides them in the world that even TRY to offer enterprise hosting for WP. And it’s not because the system is Bad, it’s because it wasn’t designed for enterprise needs. Again, when I say enterprise, I’m talking minimum of $500 million in revenue per year. Technically, that’s really more like large SMB’s but WooCommerce didn’t even register for those companies until a month ago when Automattic bought them and publically stated they were comitted to ecommerce for the high end as well as the low end. We run many WooCommerce systems for clients. Our biggest challenge to date has been

            1. No support for Multi-site installations. This has been resolved recently but kept it something we tried to discourge because we can’t leverage all of the automation we have built to manage our shared enterprise Multi-site systems when we have to run the sites seperately.

            2. Massive performance problems as soon as you to to the top-end of small catalogs, say around 1000+ items. Start making those items configurable or use dynamic options like sizes or composite products or medium complexity pricing and promotional logic and the limits are more like 5-600 items.

            I still like WooCommerce, it’s just I’m not going to pitch it when I meet with a $400-500 million manufacturer who runs 19 branded online stores and generates $50-100 million a year in sales across multiple retail, wholesale channels. I’ll recommend it to my mom or someone I know who is dipping their toes into the waters and doesn’t have any enterprise requirements because they won’t notice any of WC’s issues I do, plus they’re probably already familiar with WordPress or has a child or friend who is…

            Again, love the product when it is a good fit for the client. We pretty much exclusively launch WordPress for non-commerce, WP + WooCommerce for Small Clients ($500k and lower in online sales) Magento CE or EE as the clients needs grow. I don’t have anything against it – saying it’s enterprise ready isn’t really an opinion in my view. It either has the features enterprises need and supports critical workloads that can’t fail without financial loss or it doesn’t. Or it might take so much work to get running that for all reasonable definitions of the term”enterprise” it doesn’t qualify. Magento does and has for a while. Woo Commerce doesn’t….yet.

          • Leo

            As for more than 1000+ items, it is due to WooCommerce counting the items in the product category sidebar via ajax. If you disable that, load time drops drastically 🙂 A store with 100k of items went from 1 minute to 3 seconds. It has been brought up to the WooCommerce team’s attention though

            2) For the scalability of WordPress, perhaps working with hosts like WPEngine helps, as they run large scale WordPress sites on their servers, with load balancers and all. Perhaps you were running some resource intensive plugin or setting that trashed the server? 🙂

  • Jonathan Dusza

    I see Magento Enterprise (not Enterprise Premium) being described as “$15,000+” …. if I have resources to implement a custom design, integration, data migration etc. is that the flat fee ($15K) and is that a 1-time fee or annual? By the way, what is the difference between Enterprise and Enterprise Premium? I am currently waiting on a Magento sales rep to contact me which is why I am submitting questions here. Thanks.

    • sherodesigns

      Hi Jonathan,

      Thank you for your comment! There is no definitive answer on how much Magento Enterprise Premium cost. Magento will give you a quote based on your needs, which rarely happen to be the same for everyone. Hence, they require you to contact them directly. It is safe to assume that it will be more than the cost of Magento Enterprise. The $15K cost for the EE edition is an annual reoccurring fee.

      Comparing Magento Enterprise and Magento Enterprise Premium can be a blogpost in it self. The Premium Edition comes with multiple licenses, premium, dedicated support, expert consulting and on-going training. As a reference for other people that happen to read this, please check this link that goes over what Magento Enterprise Premium offers https://www.magentocommerce.com/product/enterprise-premium-package.

      Regards,

      Gentian

  • Steve Jones

    Half the EE features you listed are in CE aren’t they? e.g. Multiple stores? Isnt only the support the difference? Please can you list the actual difference, and not include what comes with CE? Thanks!

  • ashfordhenry

    Really true a lot of this.

    I have to say I went into a Magento project head on and discovered I was dealing with something that was beyond my capabilities. You really need an expert for each part of development, and then someone to train and help the sales team run the store.

    It’s a full time job that requires a partnership-like relationship with a client. Thats why the development prices are so high. But the system is a serious player.

  • my 2 cents

    I actually think the dollar values provided here a little low. I’ve never heard of these shero guys, I stumbled upon this post and just had to respond to your comment. I don’t think anyone is questioning whether one person can build a complete Magento website. I’m guessing what was meant behind that line was: one person cannot build a “high quality” or “successful” or “optimal” Magento site. I mean no offense to you, but I can tell just by the wording of your post that you are most likely young, smart, and resourceful; but have yet to ever deal with the business needs of a website with substantial revenue ($500k+). There’s always going to be an endless stream of poor souls thinking they can create million dollar upstarts overnight by simply paying a young kid or an offshore developer a couple grand on Odesk or Elance. The fact is, the failure rate for internet businesses is over 92% within the first 3 years (even higher after that). Do you think the successful ones are the ones who cut corners?

    You may think you are an expert in everything, but thus is the hubris of youth. To reach maximum potential sales and growth, you must invest in professionals for everything from branding, to UI/UX design, to copywriting, to customer paths & profiles, to database management, to analytics, to email marketing, to banner/text ad buying, to traditional advertising, to SEO, to A/B testing, etc etc etc. When something as simple as the design of a checkout form can affect sales by almost 50% (yes, I’ve seen it), you simply cannot afford to deal with amateurs.

    For ecommerce, your website is the heart and the face of your business. Would you trust your open-heart and/or plastic surgery to a self-taught “doctor” in Pakistan performing the operation with shoddy tools in a hut with no running water? Sure, the guy may be a hidden genius and it MIGHT work out. But on the other hand…

  • Mag

    Really helpful! The Magento site I am hoping to build based on the requirements will need core Magento functionality modified as well as 10-15 extensions. How do you find working with multiple vendors for extensions in terms of performance, support, etc. Also, how long do you think it would take do a highly customized project (integration with internal SSO, syncing with internal CRM systems, specialized product display and checkout experience, and customized reporting)

    • Hello Mag, thank you for your comment! We usually work and partner with the most popular Magento extension companies. There have been times where an extension was too problematic and support provided was not up-to-par. We never used them again. Just look at their online reputation and each extension reviews.

      Can not say for sure how long it would take to get your project done, but from what you are saying in your comment it would have to be at least 6 months. Good luck!

      Gentian

  • Jai Molloy

    it is a license fee to use that version

  • I’m shocked by the prices you mention. Here in Hungary we often work for one 50th of this money and it’s still considered as a good salary. There are no “premium clients” around who could afford enterprise, but not even go. And this is just software, not the programming.

    • HLTGRP

      Exactly. This is what you call “Charging fair prices” (what you are doing). Its absurd and downright stupid to say that making a magento online shop should cost $100,000 USD. Pure nonsense. I have been running a site for 8 years on Magento and have extremely competent developers who charge me $30 an hour. My site barely has cost me $1,500 to get completely online and running with all the bells and whistles. Dont feed these overpriced trolls.

      • Small timers

        Just wondering, for both of you, how much in sales did you or your clients do last year? Have you grown to the point where you need to do any hiring? No offense, but 99% of online shops out there are barely turning a profit or are failing. Of course the big pool of small time players would never pay 100k to build a website when the business itself barely generates enough money to pay the owner. But let’s say you’re doing 2mil+ in sales and growing fast, wouldn’t it make sense to pay for quality? Say the new store increases sales by 10-20% (not at all unheard of, I’ve worked on projects that saw 60% gains). That’s $200,000 to $400,000 in added revenue PER YEAR. For a one-time, tax-deductible 100k investment? I’d call that a killer ROI.

        I don’t doubt that you had your online shop built for $1,500. But if after 8 years you’re still working with $30/hr developers, I’d also be wiling to bet you don’t have any substantial sales. You ever wonder why that is?

      • Mammer

        Hahaha, a $1500 online store, please tell me how your front end design/code, seo ranks and overall quality stands up against a professional firm doing 100k solutions. Large companies will pay the money, get it over and done with instead of hiring individual developers and having your project turn into a huge mess with no designer or project manager or marketing staff. get a firm to do it all. Gawsh, people thinking they can just burst into the market with a cheapo solution… PLEASE NO

        • Rahul Chaurasia

          well its all about the cost of development not about marketing or seo/smo. Even i dont think its include graphic works. and 100k dollar is less if you are including marketing lol. if your competitor is a billion dollar company so what you can do against him even you spent $100k so it was all about development cost

      • Rzg

        Can you kindly refer us to any good offshore developers. We want to build an online grocery store based on Magento.. Or if any one reding this is interested, lease email rzglondon[at] gmail.com

    • Michael Newberry

      Magento and the other carts are not selling us a product. Instead they are getting a cut of the action. It’s no different than the Mafia forcing you to pay protection money. What a racket. And people ask what’s wrong with global Capitalism other than simply destroying the planet for a few bucks. Sheesh!

  • HLTGRP

    These prices are absolutely ludicrous. “Advanced PHP knowledge” – really? It costs $260 to get “certified developer plus” status with Magento Certification. There are thousands of people who have this certification around the world. And many of them charge what should be charged for PHP programming (the admin assistant of the development world): $40 an hour. I’ve got a Magento store online with about 60 products, and have $40 an hour quick, competent developers overseas who have fully set up the entire thing for barely $1,500 grand total. Connected to my merchant processor, shipping system, warehouse, and theme creation and customization. Only a complete idiot would pay $100,000 to get their store set up. Someone is ripping someone off here.

    • Cblakely

      1500 grand total…….hmmmm

    • A small to medium sized business will pay from €1500 up to €5000 for a small to medium sized Magento store with just a bit more than the basics added like Organic and PPC SEO, Analytics, Web Design, Graphic Artist, Front and Back End Development. But that doesn’t include some important marketing, bespoke custom PHP modifications and other services like regular updating of content, banners, features and functions, maintenance, long term strategies and updates to UI/UX to constantly improve site interaction etc. A good developer with 20 years experience will know a good bit about all of those areas and be able to do them all but offer less services overall which make for a successful site but not a hugely successful site. A site becoming more successful over the months and years will invest more regular money into an ecommerce store anyway if they’re making money off it.

      Whereas large companies or big brand companies like Guinness, Danone, Cash and Carry Kitchens etc. will pay much more up front for a Magento store because they have the money to do the job properly and as best it can be, they’re getting every service you have to offer and constant help and support on how to expand on everything and be as successful as they can be. I’ve worked on both types of projects, small to medium sized projects in my own company on my own, with prices like those mentioned earlier and also with big brand names in a web marketing company a few years ago which does provide more services to the client with several people working on a project for €20,000 up to €75,000+. People working in those companies are specialists in their areas i find mostly. Those web design companies with 20+ employees have big overheads that need to be paid so setting up your own company and offering all their services, their prices can be undercut quite a bit by a good all round Web Designer/Developer by 5x to 10x times.
      Just all depends on the size of the company and the amount of services they want to invest in at the beginning. Although they usually have people looking at this strategically over a longer time period so that’s gonna cost much more and they don’t mind paying it if it makes them even more money. But you get what you pay for in the end… and the more you spend on an ecommerce site, the more you make back from it.

      http://www.digitaldomain.ie

  • That’s a slightly disingenuous article, it’s written to sound like a lot of functionality only ships with EE such as SEO friendly URLs and sitemaps (for just two) when they ship with CE as well.

    It’s certainly a comprehensive listings of functionality available, but it does blur the lines between what is available in EE & CE.

  • shop with best

    i have a magento website for sale, with all features, its having vendor module, map module,live chat module etc, selling price 6000 USD, please contact me shopwithbest@gmail.com

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  • thanks for the detail information, every customer needs are different so it all depends.. small shop to big
    Cheers

  • Rzg

    this post is very informative buty the costing is ridiculously blown oput of proportion to justify extortionate costs charged to clients in western countries. The writer has forgotten that there are many small startups that will never have talkless of pay that kind of money to a developer. The dig at off shore developers was unwarranted…. How come the same US and UK companies end up subbing out the work offshore ? A good article spoilt by the bias of an over charging western consultant….

  • Rzg

    The truth is that the $30 / hr guy is doing exactly what you are doing for $90/hr. As the people with the skill sets increase, the price is going to come down. The internet will expose you. the world is getting smaller thans for the technology leveler.. If you were so right, how come the big companies outsource to these same guy’s ?.

  • Mitch

    OK SO I am doing 200K a year in revenue on a site I built using Weebly. I’e pretty much proved my model and am investing in SEO and Adwords. I am trying to reduce the amount of entries (Weebly send us an email and we have no capabilities of building quotes or issuing POS or any integration to our QB Accounting software.

    I am leaning towards woocommerce but my developers are saying they can do woocommerce but the suggest Magento.

    Can anyone help me make the determnation and get a clear path towards implementing a solution that will automate part of our process and decrease our transaction processing times and increase orders and sales?

    • Mitch, normally I’d agree with your gut-feeling on preferring WooCommerce to Magento given the size of your business and assuming you plan to (at most) double or triple the volume of online sales in the next 12 months.

      If your developers are suggesting Magento (as my firm might) because they have a deeper background and more experience on that platform and WooCommerce has had less time to develop its ecosystem of 3rd party add-ons and extensions, that may be a good enough reason for you to consider Magento. At the end of the day, you’re going to have to adapt to a new system no matter which one you choose. If you have a good working relationship with the developers you are planning to use, I’d advise trusting their recommendation unless you have some other reason to prefer one over the other.

      WooCommerce is considered by many to be “easier” to learn for those with less experience in online commerce, though I’ve found that’s usually because the people who have less experience in this area aren’t aware of the all of the challenges and intricacies of online retail and WooCommerce doesn’t include as many features out of the box as Magento so it appears less daunting at first. But given the time you’ve already invested in your business, I’d wager that you have enough experience at least to understand the limitations of Weebly that you want to overcome.

      Fundamentally, the way you make e-commerce easier (whether you’re Weebly or the WooCommerce team) is you remove features from your product that most users don’t need when they startup and impose reasonable limitations on your users so they don’t have to deal with the complexity of those features until they’re ready. When you ARE ready, WooCommerce can be extended rather significantly with add-on modules to give it most, if not all, of the features that Magento CE supports out of the box and Magento CE can also be extended through a similar system of add-on modules to give it all of the features of Magento EE, though usually it’s cheaper in the long run to just pay for EE once you reach a certain size and volume of sales.

      The bottom line is that the base systems of either WooCommerce (with a few addons) or Magento CE will probably offer you all of the capabilities you need for the first phase of your re-platforming and expansion efforts. I’d argue that Magento may be better suited for you when you hit the $5 mm – $10 mm in annual sales, but that is probably not anything you should really be worried about now – you’d be better off focusing your considerations on what you need to do to be successful in the next 2-3 years and it’s probably a wash between the two options in that regard.

      One area you may want to spend some time considering outside of this specific request are the questions of what role does Quickbooks currently play in your business and how do you currently use it and how might you use it more effectively in relation to your other plans…

      I say this because depending on if you use a local installation of QuickBooks vs. the cloud hosted offerings from Intuit, you may be able to use that system and it’s available add-on modules for either managing your catalog from a central system and / or using add-on modules to handle the POS requirements or even perhaps some of the heavy-lifting of integration / synchronization of the data between your systems. I’ve worked with clients who preferred their QuickBooks system for entering and managing catalog data and others who preferred to do that in Magento or WooCommerce and those preferences drove my recommendations on how they should integrate their systems.

      Us geeks don’t often talk about this that much, but there’s usually several ways to satisfy a request like yours and although we often make recommendations based on OUR ability to solve a problem, it is usually in your best interest to start with YOUR preferences and abilities and existing systems and then design the solution that serves yours needs first. Technically, most options wind up being pretty similar in the work we have to do even if some better align with our experience than others….but you’re going to have to work in these systems every day and if we can make that experience easier for you then you’ll generate a much higher return on your investment over the long run. In my opinion, that is worth a bit of extra technical effort on our end.

      I’d be happy to discuss this with you offline if you have more detailed questions. You can reach me via email at bj@comitdevelopers.com or on my cell at (337) 366-0726 – it sounds like you have a solid technical team ready to execute on your plan so if I can offer a bit of free advice to help you get moving more quickly and be successful, I’m happy to do so.

  • So true and yet sadly, by definition, not experienced…

    Even more frustrating is the fact that the only way to REALLY understand the significance of this point is through time and (hopefully) learning from one’s mistakes and failures…I guess that’s why George Bernard Shaw so famously quipped “Youth is wasted on the young” – we have so much of that energy and resourcefulness when young and none of the experience that is needed to translate that into professional success.

  • Dan, it’s difficult to give a simple answer to your first question because it depends on what features in the base Magento CE system you are using, what add-ons you have extended your system with and the quality of those add-on modules as well as the amount and quality of any other customizations that have been implemented to the theme and / or functionality of your existing system.

    Those add-ons may need to be replaced completely when migrating to EE (and any data migrated to whatever replacements are chosen) or they may need to be modified to work with EE. In general, if your customizations follow the recommended best practices for design and programming techniques it shouldn’t be “difficult” at all for any experienced developer to upgrade your system. But I’ve found that it’s rare that most developers even know that there is a set of best practices that have been developed and refined over the years and even rarer that they’ve had the time and experience needed to learn them and incorporate these practices into their own daily routines.

    Your second questions is a little easier: Recent versions of Magento EE support the exact same databases as CE: https://magento.com/resources/system-requirements (namely the official Oracle MySQL or the two officially supported forks of that project: Maria DB or Percona DB

    Older versions have a few other caveats (listed here: https://magento.com/resources/previous-magento-system-requirements) but basically the key requirement in whatever MySQL flavor you use is that you use the InnoDB storage engine – that’s the only supported storage engine that guarantees transactional integrity.

  • MagenTools

    No offense guys but the prices you mentioned are incredibly high. Even if you hire a core developer they will not charge this $$$$$$. We have worked on Magento Enterprise and believe me they are no different than Community as most of the code is same.

    Thanks for the article though.
    https://www.magext.com

  • Seems in alignment with what the agencies over here charge in Australia. Except some will only do 100k+ sites (AUD though) Thanks for your post! 🙂

  • Nate

    All these comments about the prices being “ridiculous” are coming from one side of the ocean (perspective) while all the people defending the prices are coming from the other side. (Quite literally)

    They are both correct, because they are both looking at two different things.

    The people defending this post UNDERSTAND what level of proffesional and what level of sales the person writing the post is referring to.
    While people calling it ludicrous are light years away from understanding it.

    There is absolutely no Magento site that revenues 10 million plus a year, that has built their site for a few grand. That would be an uneducated assumption… to say the least.

    In fact, a company pulling those numbers can easily spend that much each year maintaining and updating it’s site.

    I don’t want to go on a whole rant, but I’ll just say this. When your 5 thousand dollar site starts having issues, and you finally realize the need to hire a real proffesional ($100 an hour plus), they may not want to touch your site due to the garbage cheap devs dumped in there.
    This is usually where you are suggested to start from scratch, the right way.

    So have fun decided which route you want to go. But if you plan on shooting for the moon, be ready to pay for quality work. Because only quality work will get you there. Anything less and you might land on the Twin Towers on 9/10/2001. Fun flying 🙂

  • Mugur Amariei

    There is an obvious difference between a developer who goes freelance and will still shoot for the same money he made as an employee (see the way this is written: “it’s still considered as a good salary”).

    An entrepreneur on the other hand understands the cost structure of a project differently. This is also why serious companies have people dealing within various departments (ex: design, marketing, research maybe, programming, testing, PM etc.). No offense but I think a developer would only see the project just from his point of view failing to understand what are actually the role of the others (usually they have quite a “hero” egocentric personality that makes them feel that they are the only one doing a job and the rest do not deserve their salaries).

    Not to mention that some developers consider that they do “testing” without understanding that testing is also about UI / UX and not only about errors or bugs.

  • Marcell Gogan

    It’s really very hard to say specifically about how much professional Magento e-commerce development costs. It will depends vary according to your project requirements. But still, for your kind of information, Small projects can start with a few thousand dollars. Complex projects can be ten thousand dollars or more and there’s a variety in between. Keep up with the latest news info worldwide like: https://kultprosvet.net/blog/how-much-does-it-cost-develop-magento-website or https://www.whatech.com/ecommerce/blog/133229-how-much-does-it-cost-to-develop-a-magento-ecommerce-website

  • If you want to achieve success with your ecommerce project, you should be familiar with store development costs, but you also need to know some other aspects:
    10 Crucial Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing Your Magento eCommerce Development Company] https://aionhill.com/ecommerce-development-company

  • Rob

    The prices reflected in this article are absolutely ridiculous and not an accurate reflection of what Magento development costs should be! Totally inflated…

  • Rob

    Actually, Gap, Warby Parker, and other medium size businesses do in fact look for and pay overseas workers $30 an hour. I know because former college friends of mine work at a few of these companies. And by the way, if you are paying $100K+ for an ecommerce web app, you have no fucking idea what you are doing. We are doing $412k+ a year with an ecommerce site built on shopify! Some of you people are clueless…

  • SaiPrasad Akuthota

    Sir, I cannot effort for such big pricing, Can I get web3solution in magento for standad version for 3000dollers?

  • wow we are far too cheap then, we start from just $4000 for a full bespoke Magento site. I need to revise our prices.