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What is Magento (and Adobe Commerce)?

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Read Time: 7 min

Magento is an online store builder (eCommerce platform), built on PHP, which enables you to create a website for your business and sell your products online. It’s similar to other helpful online service providers like Shopify, WooCommerce, WordPress, and Wix, all of which give you a website to sell your products. 

magento from adobe commercemagento from adobe commercemagento from adobe commerce

Since 2007, when Magento published its first beta version, it’s been acquired by several companies, referred to by various names, and has offered different services to its users. These names and various side services (especially some of the services by its most recent custodian, Adobe Inc) bring many questions to the Magento users’ minds, like: 

  • What is Magento?
  • What is Magento Commerce?
  • What is Adobe Commerce?
  • What is Adobe Commerce Cloud?
  • What is the difference between Magento open-source and Magento Commerce?
  • What are Adobe Experience Cloud, Analytics Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Advertising Cloud, and how can these tools be helpful for a Magento website?
To add even more to the discussion, Adobe have recently consolidated their eCommerce products’ branding (more on this later).

In this explainer I will answer all these questions, so by the time you’ve finished reading you’ll know almost everything about Magento services and will be able to choose the best way for creating your Magento-based online store.

Ready? Let’s get started!

A Brief History of Magento From 2007 - 2021

The first public version of Magento was released by Varien on August 31, 2007. The newest version of this platform (Magento 2) was released in 2015, and its release heralded important changes.

Over the years it has changed hands several times, between companies like eBay and Permira, but finally, Adobe Inc bought Magento on June 19, 2018. Magento is now part of Adobe’s new program for building a comprehensive eCommerce platform.

Magento Platform and Adobe Experience Cloud; Not to Be Confused!

Currently Adobe offers three different services under the Magento eCommerce platform:

  1. Magento open-source
  2. Magento Commerce
  3. Adobe Commerce Cloud

On the other hand, there’s the Adobe Experience Cloud; a much bigger concept and one which provides several products and services for online businesses in various niches and fields:

  1. Content & Commerce
  2. Data & Audiences
  3. Customer Journeys
  4. Marketing Workflow
  5. Digital Enrollment

Rather than being a comprehensive website builder tool, Adobe Experience Cloud is a list of products that can help you manage, improve, and level up your website or online business.

Adobe Experience Cloud ProductsAdobe Experience Cloud ProductsAdobe Experience Cloud Products

Adobe Commerce Cloud (keep paying attention, I’m not done yet) is one of the services under the Magento platform umbrella and comprises some of the useful products from Adobe Experience Cloud to provide a better environment for Magento users. This is the only way that the Magento platform and Adobe Experience Cloud are connected.

So, since this article is about Magento, we shall speak no more about Experience Cloud and will go straight to the Magento Platform!

What is Magento Open-Source?

Magento open-source is the core of the Magento website builder. It is a free tool that is customizable and extendable for those who want to create an online store with a low budget. Download Magento open-source, then install it on your PHP host and build a free eCommerce website by following the installation process. In this sense it works much like WordPress. 

Magento admin dashboard Magento admin dashboard Magento admin dashboard

After the installation process, you can log in to a user-friendly dashboard (like the screenshot above) and create or manage all parts of your website.

What is Magento Commerce?

If you’re not an experienced programmer or web designer, you might prefer to use the Magento commerce service that Adobe provides to facilitate a Magento website’s installation and creation process. 

Unlike Magento open-source, Magento Commerce provides hosting space for your website, so you don’t have to purchase your own. In this sense it works similarly to Shopify.

Magento Commerce also offers support services, while the open-source Magento does not. Logically therefore, you need to pay for Magento Commerce and its side services, while the open-source version is completely free. 

What is Adobe Commerce Cloud?

Commerce Cloud is a complementary service for Magento Commerce. With it, you can integrate your Magento Commerce website with the Adobe Experience Cloud. In other words, Adobe Commerce Cloud allows you to take advantage of some products within Experience Cloud such as Marketing Cloud, Analytics Cloud, Advertising Cloud, and more.

What is Adobe Commerce?

With all these disparate products and services it’s easy to see where so much confusion lies.

The good news is that Adobe has decided to create an all-in-one solution for its services. According to latest news from the official Magento blog, Adobe is now offering a new service under its Adobe Experience Cloud called Adobe Commerce:

“We are now officially consolidating the branding of the licensed commerce product from Magento Commerce and Adobe Commerce Cloud to the single brand of Adobe Commerce. Magento Open Source branding and support remain unchanged.” — Magento blog

Henceforth you won’t need to consider Magento Commerce and Commerce Cloud as two separate services. Adobe Commerce offers you an installed and ready-to-use Magento website on their optimized hosting, and provides you strong support with a single product.

Official Magento blogOfficial Magento blogOfficial Magento blog

But as they mentioned above, Magento open-source will still be available for experienced developers. So, let’s assume Magento open-source is the free version, and Adobe Commerce is the paid (pro) version of Magento.

Amazon Integration for Adobe Commerce

The other good news is about integrating Adobe Commerce websites with the Amazon Marketplace! 

Amazon Integration extension for MagentoAmazon Integration extension for MagentoAmazon Integration extension for Magento

This will allow you to automatically upload your products from your Magento website to your seller account on Amazon. This is an excellent opportunity to attract more customers to your online business and boost your sales.

“Amazon Integration for Magento 2 enables you to easily create Amazon categories and its independent attributes on the Magento 2 store, thus leveraging easy product configuration and submission on”

They have created other integrations for Amazon, such as Magento Amazon FBA, Magento Amazon Fulfillment, Magento Amazon Feed, and more. Please take a look at their live demo to learn more about these helpful products.

Magento Structure and Its Benefits

Magento is a website builder, written in PHP, and works in three-parts:

This kind of structure is very common in website builders and CMS’s because it helps a platform grow by third-party companies and developers faster. Authors can create a single part of a Magento store like a theme or an extension and sell it in different ways.

A Magento theme is responsible for controlling and restructuring the website’s appearance, and an extension helps you add more functionality to your site (just like the Amazon Integration extension above that helps you connect your Magento store to an Amazon account).

Where to Find Magento Themes and Extensions

The opportunity for selling items to Magento users has led to the production and development of many themes and extensions that are available and downloadable from the biggest marketplaces on the internet: ThemeForest, Envato Elements, and CodeCanyon.

ThemeForest websiteThemeForest websiteThemeForest website

If you want to improve the appearance of your online store, or if you want to add extra capabilities to it, then take a look at the items available with simple licensing.

You can also browse the collections below for some of the best items from ThemeForest and Envato Elements for your Magento (Adobe Commerce) website.


In this explainer, we found out what the Magento platform is and learned about its branding and positioning by Adobe Inc. Now you know the differences between Adobe Commerce Cloud, Adobe Commerce, Magento Commerce, Magento Open-source, and Adobe Experience Cloud. Choose between Adobe Commerce and Magento open-source and start your way in the online business world with this wonderful platform.

If you want to learn more about Magento, please explore Envato Tuts+:

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