For small-to-medium-sized businesses, establishing an online presence to sell products or services is an absolute must to stay competitive in today’s marketplace.
The premier ecommerce solution might appear to come with a substantial monthly or yearly expense. Fortunately, there are huge number of open source ecommerce platforms that are free! and at the same time offers supreme features like customizability, scalability, and community support that aren’t always found in enterprise solutions.
Of course, picking a free open source ecommerce platform to manage you online store might be an easy decision for your business but choosing the best open source ecommerce platform, however, will prove to be far more challenging and baffling. After all, they all have their numerous strengths and weaknesses. Don’t worry!! as in this article, we’ll introduce you to top 7 open source ecommerce platforms that stand out from the rest, both in terms of popularity and utility:
Magento is an E-commerce platform which is free and built on open source technology. Magento is content management system which provides online merchants with a flexible shopping cart system or E-commerce website for selling merchandise. Magento is completely Open source and scalable designed, Magento Enterprise Edition (EE) provides absolute or exclusive features both in backend and frontend to analytical techniques and improve administration option.
Why Magento (Pros) ?
- Easy to install and provide more and additional layouts and plugins.
- Open source and scalable ecommerce solution so you can easily download it.
- Provide thousands of extensions to added it to your store.
- Magento offers marketing, Promotions and Conversion Tools, Search Engine Optimization, Site Management, Catalog Management, Checkout, Payment and Shipping, Customer Service etc.
- Magento enables you to support more than one store on a single place.
Why not (Cons) ?
- Magento has more than 200 database, so it’s not easy to select one of them so you need an expert to select one from the wide base offering.
- Structure of shared hosting makes user involvement slow for visitors.
- Some tools like data migration or many other are still in development
- Magento provides lot of extension in Magento1 but not all extension are available for Magento2.
- If you have want to use extension in Magento2 you may have to purchase your extension.
- Magento Community Edition (CE) will continue to free but if you choose to Enterprise Edition (EE) you will face quite a steep price tag.
- Framework of magento is complex to work with.
OpenCart is the free, open-source, easy to use and PHP-based ecommerce platform for online merchants. OpenCart is just an effective and customisable platform for your small ecommerce store. Simply installation than choose your template, add products and you’re ready to start your e-commerce business and start accepting orders. OpenCart is perfect for ecommerce stores of any size, any industry, any budget. It’s very simple, without a lot of the other functionalities. OpenCart provides a professional and reliable foundation from which to build a successful online store. One of the other great things about OpenCart’s simplicity is the fact that it doesn’t pulling on your server. You can slow everything down by adding a ton of plugins, of course, but for most people this should be one of the faster options. OpenCart has a very devoted (loyal) and active community for user support, as well as a list of commercial partners for professional installation and customization. OpenCart provide over 40 payment gateways and more than 10 shipping methods in the default downloads, with approximately hundreds of additional gateways and shipping integration in its extension directory. OpenCart is module based system comes with 11 modules that are quick and easy to configure. OpenCart, with a huge range of features included out-of-the-box and over 14,000 additional extensions available to download, that being said, you can still do a lot with OpenCart, though to really open this program up you’ll need a programmer to help you get around some of the code. If you’re an online retailer, you’ll likely need shopping functionality on your website, and OpenCart is one option to help you and your customers complete the shopping tasks easily. Whether you are a small fashion boutique seller in Delhi or or a large ecommerce shoe seller in Bangalore, OpenCart can fulfill your online sales needs.
Why OpenCart (Pros) ?
- OpenCart provides huge numbers of plugins.
- Provide online store for customers. Clients can easily view the status of orders and history.
- Provide Multicurrency Payment system by which user can easily pay the amount according to his state currency.
- Simplicity and easy to understand is the beauty of OpenCart.
- It can easily run in slow internet connection
- It’s has a huge community.
Why not (Cons) ?
- If you work with purchasing plugins in your OpenCart and then updating the script code to a newer version of that plugin, some features and functionality will not work properly and show errors.
- Your forum is activate but your query take some time to be answered.
- If you have used large number of products in your site than it seems to possible that loading time of site may be a bit slow and needs tweaks so that website can load faster.
PrestaShop is a E-Commerce platform which is open source. It is based on PHP programming language and support MySQL database management system. PrestaShop is used in widely and currently used by 250,000 shops worldwide. PrestaShop is available in more than 60 different languages. PrestaShop is fairly easy to use and provides effectively responsive store interface and offer a sophisticated e-commerce option for anyone interested in selling digital or a physical goods online. PrestaShop is totally free this is the major thing about PrestaShop. So you can easily download it and you may install it in your own hosting.
Why PrestaShop (Pros) ?
- Catalogue and site management:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Email follow-up automation
- Different Payments gateway: PrestaShop provides different variety of payments gateway like payment extension, card option etc.
- Responsive: PrestaShop is totally responsive with mobile or other devices. Even it’s back-end dashboard are responsive for on-the-go management
- Language: PrestaShop cart is multilingual and available in more than 60 different languages.
- PrestaShop has large community of developers and you can easily contact to PrestaShop from morning 9am to evening 6pm EST, and submit your message your query or suggestion via a contact form after hours.
- PrestaShop is very lightweight and flexible so user with slow net can easily deploying PrestaShop. Administrator can add or delete any integrated functionality through the admin panel.
Why not (Cons) ?
- If you want to use most out of PrestaShop template, themes you will need to purchase them.
- PrestaShop Is not user friendly with you unless you are a programmer so you can say that PrestaShop is not user friendly it’s developer friendly.
- PrestaShop not upgrade timely. It’s not provide latest upgrade files or other things and most of the upgrade failures. If you upgrade than it’s not necessary module work with each other and upgrades always work smoothly.
- PrestaShop has huge list of features but still doesn’t win due to less upgrade.
- PrestaShop is better option for small, medium business but not suitable for larger business.
4. Zen Cart
Zen Cart is PHP based online store management system using MySQL database and also html components. Zen Cart is freely available under the GNU General Public License. Zen Cart is an open source E-commerce platform. Zen Cart is free to use and if you are a good developer than you can easily modify the source code according to your requirement because source code is completely customizable. If you open your store with Zen Cart you can easily manage your store and got many great features which make managing your store a breeze. Zen Cart has a built-in system for coupon and discount functionality and tax option and support multiple payment process. Zen Cart does not heavy hosting requirement.
Why Zen Cart (Pros) ?
- It’s easy to installation and more secure.
- Zen Cart is a scalable platform and easy to update.
- Zen Cart provide free bundled with Addons Accessible.
- Zen Cart able to sort product into categories and sub-categories.
- Zen Cart provide multiple language so you can easily show your site in their language.
Why not (Cons) ?
- There is average templates and no formal support.
- Upgrading is not easy task in Zen Cart
- Less additional modules or contributions.
- Of-course Zen Cart tools are customizable but only for those who have a knowledge of php programing.
OsCommerce is popular E-commerce platform which is open source online store and based on Php and using MySQL database. OsCommerce is used any web server. OsCommerce is easily available as free software under the GNU General Public License. OsCommerce support multiple language. It can manage multiple currencies, and work with many payment gateway like PayPal, Authorize.net, SECPay, etc. OsCommerce also helped kickstart other companies and projects who have based their product on OsCommerce work.
Why OsCommerce (Pros) ?
- Easy to Set Up:- OsCommerce work very well with the server which is use PHP as a programming language with MySQL database. If your server support or compatible with PHP script and you have access MySQL database than you can get your OsCommerce based set easily.
- User can easily and conveniently upload unlimited number of products and arrange them according to himself.
- Multiple Payment Gateway like
- Provide Tools and option with OsCommerce platforms include template, themes, layout along with addons and updates.
Why not (Cons) ?
- Limited options for changing layout.
- All Extension must be added manually.
- In OsCommerce Shopping cart the main or biggest problem is lack of technical support.
- If any kind of customization is required, it can take time to change the code without the help of the developer. So if you work manually in OsCommerce it may be possible that you have to require a developer.
6. WooCommerce (WordPress)
WooCommerce is one of the most popular ecommerce plugin which freely available on http://wordpress.org/plugins/woocommerce/ . It allows you to sell anything easily. WooCommerce is best ecommerce solution in the world which provides complete control both store owners and developers. You can easily sell digital and physical product, manage inventory and shipping. WooCommerce provides secure payments and sort tax automatically. WooCommerce plugin convert your WordPress Website into a very powerful online store.
Why WooCommerce (Pros) ?
- It’s free. You can easily download and use it.
- WooCommerce plugin is professional and standard and it can be easily customized with a different variety of themes. So we can say that WooCommerce is flexible plugin.
- It’s work very well or familiar with WordPress and offers a smooth interface to user who are already using this platform.
- WooCommerce features excellent shopping cart that – secured and robust.
- Provide all thing at one place, user have no needs to go further plugin for shipping cart.
- Provide secured and multiple payment gateway.
- Unlimited numbers of product and categories.
- The best thing about WooCommerce and it’s POS is that it is updated time to time, so you no need to worry about security issues.
- As we know that WooCommerce is used in WordPress platform and WordPress has a huge community, which is also enjoyed by WooCommerce.
Why not (Cons) ?
- Updates are required in order to keep the WordPress platform up to date with the current browsers and mobile devises and virus attacks. But some time the plugins aren’t as quick to adapt to the WordPress updates because WordPress updates their Software frequently.
- WooCommerce is strongly linked with WordPress and can’t be use without WordPress.
- When you make updates to your site yourself through the visual tab than content doesn’t look right you expected it to when looking in the actual browser.
- We know that WooCommerce can easily customized but customization of a theme is costly.
- Basic themes and plugins might be free but the premium ones might cost a lot more.
7. Drupal Commerce
Drupal Commerce is framework which is used to build ecommerce website and application of all sizes build on the Drupal 7 API, core and contrib. Drupal Commerce is an open source e-commerce software. Online retailers have get a powerful platform and the flexibility to integrate a rich commerce experience anywhere in Drupal Commerce environment. Drupal Commerce provides the structure. Drupal Commerce contains 1000+ module much like WordPress, which can increase website functionality and it’s also contain features like dynamic product pricing and display, an administrative back end powered by the Views and Rules contributed modules and a customizable shopping cart and checkout form. Every part of the front and back end can be customized.
Why Drupal (Pros) ?
- Drupal Commerce is Customizable and scalable.
- Community of people is makes extremely unique of Drupal Commerce that support and add to it.
- Drupal Commerce include a lot of functionality like graphics modification tool, advanced menu management, users management, polls management etc. These all functions are helped to make advanced websites, blogs, discussion boards, social networking pages, etc.
- Drupal provides Great building tools and Templates.
- Drupal gives flexibility to his users to create and manage different types of content like video, user management, real-time status etc.
- Drupal provides 7000+ plugins and extension. And being an open source platform, it also give the opportunity of creating customized plugins for website as per the requirements.
- Drupal is easy to manage and developer friendly.
- Drupal has Strong SEO Capabilities.
- Lack of plugins.
- Lack of themes.
Why not (Cons) ?
- Drupal requires developer expertise because Drupal is an advance CMS so Requires Great technical Expertise. So we can say that it’s not a simple user friendly it’s a developer friendly.
- Drupal Content Management System (CMS) is not compatible with other software.
- Require a Fast Internet Connection because website made in Drupal CMS are relatively heavy and take to load.
Eventually it’s impossible to say what is the “best” platform, it all depends on your specific prerequisites which will determine what all features will benefit you the most. If you’re trying to do basic ecommerce, and you don’t need a scalable or customizable option, then one of the smaller, simpler ecommerce platforms could be perfect for you.
On the other hand, if you need a lot of versatility, then one of the more high-performance platforms is more likely to suit your needs.
Still confused don’t worry we can give you a helping hand on to decide what’s best for your business. Just drop us your brief requirement and choose wisely.