Evaluating your options requires an understanding of your shop size, feature expectations and ability to support website development. For each of the systems below, we note the advantages and limitations that you should consider before choosing one.
The bottom line?
While many of these options offer a free, basic package, they will actually cost you to customize. You may find yourself paying for a business or enterprise option because it saves you money over the long term.
- Developer’s Time
- Software Support
Each of the best open source Ecommerce platforms will require some additional work or integrations to get the customized features you require. Keep reading below to see which platform will work best for you.
Boasting 260,000 merchant users, Magento offers an open source Ecommerce platform with several useful tools. Magento frequently makes the top twenty list for shopping software because it offers the essential features. The platform allows customization but, you’ll need someone with development experience to set it up properly. To summarize, Magento covers everything you need to set up a shop and is the best open source ecommerce solution.
Advantages Of Magento
- Stable and Reliable Shopping Cart Solution
- Easy Order Management
- Easy Product Management
- Mobile Commerce Part Of The Solution
- Search engine optimization Features
- Analytics and Reporting
Essentially, Magento gives you absolute control of your online channel. It integrates with eBay. Other functionality and tools are available at different price points.
Limitations Of Magento
Most users find three main issues with the Magento platform that limit its capabilities.
- Slow Speed – Need a lot of effort and investment in making online store faster. Magento created a powerful tool but, some users complain about the speed of the software.
- Difficult Development – Not many people are adept at Magento Development. Even small changes to the site might need a developer support.
- Search Functionality is not accurate
If you are searching for the best open source shopping cart solutions, OpenCart offers deep customization and works well with plugins. This allows store owners, with the assistance of a developer, to scale their website over time. However, the SEO and customization will need additional work to achieve the desired results. To summarize, OpenCart can do everything, as long as you know how to code.
Advantages Of OpenCart
With a focus on flair and usability, OpenCart includes the core features needed for an online store. Few of the notable features are
- Complete Shopping Cart Solution
- Simple Order Management
- Easy Product Management
- Printable Invoices
- Detailed Sales Reports
- Unlimited Categories
- Unlimited Products and Manufacturers
- Product Reviews and Product Ratings
- More than 20 Payment Gateways
- More than 8 Shipping Methods
- Multiple Tax Rates
- Shipping Calculations
- PCI Compliant
- Discount Coupon System
For those looking to change the skin, you can extend OpenCart with other design templates for marketplaces like Themeforest.
Limitations Of OpenCart
Although this platform offers a wide range of features, there are a few limitations that make it difficult to use.
- Slow Speed – Need additional efforts from your end to optimize speed. A speed plugin installation might not be enough.
- Unwieldy Customization – You might need to hire a developer even for smallest of changes.
- Lacks Search Engine Optimization – OpenCart SEO performs poorly compared to other solutions. You will need to use other plugins and tools to get a good SERP ranking.
Serving 260,000 online stores, osCommerce creates a viable solution for starting a shop. The platform includes the necessary features to start and maintain your store. However, it lacks the ability to scale compared to other platforms. So, this is the best choice for a business that wants to stay small or is willing to perform a migration at a later date.
Advantages Of OsCommerce
A true open source and free solution, osCommerce includes the necessary features for your online store.
- Product Catalog Management
- Unlimited Number of Products
- Unlimited Product Categories
- Unlimited Product Attributes
- Special Offers
- Product Reviews
- Customer Management
- Orders Processing
- Sales Reports
Beyond these features, plugins, integrations, and extensions allow you to customize. You’ll likely want to consult a developer to ensure the process works well.
Limitations Of OsCommerce
osCommerce creates several issues that shop owners want to consider.
Glitches and Bugs – As a free option, you will need to fix the code yourself or work with a developer to fix issues.
Difficult to Customize – you may struggle to customize and update the platform. The software requires a hands-on approach to ensure the website works properly.
Does not Scale – Finally, the store doesn’t scale well. If you plan to grow, we suggest using another platform to avoid a migration.
PrestaShop serves businesses of all sizes with one of the best open source Ecommerce solutions. Their platform features the necessary functions as well as perks like SEO. However, the expenses for development can add up if you want to customize this product. So, outline your functionality expectations before you download it.
Advantages Of PrestaShop
PrestaShop offers the core functions you need to set up an online store, including:
- Shopping Cart
- Order Management
- Product Management
- Unlimited listings
- Bulk Import and Export
- Inventory Management
- Search Engine Optimization
- Real-time Analytics
- Abandoned Cart Information
- Customized Promotions
- Automated Follow up Emails
Limitations Of PrestaShop
Although PrestaShop is a completely free platform, some of the expenses for add-ons and development add up quickly. Most users notice the same key issues.
- Software Glitches
- Integration Expenses
- Difficult to Customize
Like many free options, this platform requires some technical knowledge to create a store. First, the software glitches. Some of the modules conflict and need manual adjustments. Also, the upgrades can create bugs that require additional support. Second, integration creates additional expenses. For example, you should plan to pay for web design and web hosting. Finally, the platform is difficult to customize and will likely require assistance from a developer.
For store owners who want to use WordPress, WooCommerce remains the top choice. Initially, you can easily install and implement the platform. However, you will likely need a developer’s help to customize your shop or connect with other systems. Additionally, the numerous plugins and glitching updates often cause some unexpected stress. While many store owners love this easy solution, they need to keep a watchful eye to ensure their site continues to work well.
Advantages Of WooCommerce
Like most online shops, WooCommerce features the normal, necessary processes.
– Built-in Blogging
– Categories, Tags, and Attributes
– Product Ratings and Reviews
– Product Sorting and Filtering
-Unlimited Images and Galleries
If you desire to host with WordPress, this Ecommerce solution is both a popular and natural fit.
Pick Either WooCommerce Or Magento
Picking the best open source Ecommerce solution requires an evaluation of your shop size, feature expectations and ability to troubleshoot development issues. Every requirement is different. But Magento and WooCommerce are leaders of the pack for a reason. The range of functionality, stability and a wide range of adoption make it a cut above the rest.
Which ecommerce platform are you currently using? How has your experience been so far? Share it in the comments section below?