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 e-commerce solution might appear to come with a substantial monthly or yearly expense. Fortunately, there is a huge number of free open-source e-commerce platforms! 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 e-commerce platform to manage your online store might be an easy decision for your business but choosing the best open-source e-commerce 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 the top 7 open source e-commerce platforms that stand out from the rest, both in terms of popularity and utility:
Magento is an E-commerce platform that is free and built on open source technology. Magento is a content management system that provides online merchants with a flexible shopping cart system or an 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 options.
Why Magento (Pros) ?
- Easy to install and provide more and additional layouts and plugins.
- Open source and scalable e-commerce solution so you can easily download it.
- Provide thousands of extensions to add 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 in a single place.
Why not (Cons) ?
- Magento has more than 200 databases, so it’s not easy to select one of them so you need an expert to select one from the wide base offering.
- The structure of shared hosting makes user involvement slow for visitors.
- Some tools like data migration or many others are still in development.
- Magento provides a lot of extensions in Magento1 but not all extensions are available for Magento2
- If you have wanted to use an extension in Magento2 you may have to purchase your extension.
- Magento Community Edition (CE) will continue to be free but if you choose to Enterprise Edition (EE) you will face quite a steep price tag.
- The framework of Magento is complex to work with.
OpenCart is a free, open-source, easy to use and PHP-based e-commerce platform for online merchants. OpenCart is just an effective and customizable platform for your small e-commerce store. Simply install then choose your template, add products and you’re ready to start your e-commerce business and start accepting orders. OpenCart is perfect for e-commerce 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 pull 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 provides 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 a module-based system that 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 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 a large e-commerce shoe seller in Bangalore, OpenCart can fulfill your online sales needs.
Why OpenCart (Pros) ?
- OpenCart provides huge numbers of plugins.
- Provide an 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 activated but your query takes some time to be answered.
- If you have used a large number of products on your site then it seems possible that the loading time of the site may be a bit slow and needs tweaks so that website can load faster.
PrestaShop PrestaShop is an E-Commerce platform that is open source. It is based on PHP programming language and supports MySQL database management system. PrestaShop is used widely and is currently used by 250,000 shops worldwide. PrestaShop is available in more than 60 different languages. PrestaShop is fairly easy to use and provides an effectively responsive store interface and offers a sophisticated e-commerce option for anyone interested in selling digital or 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 hosting.
Why PrestaShop (Pros) ?
- Catalogue and site management:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Email follow-up automation
- Different Payments Gateways: PrestaShop provides different variety of payments gateway like payment extension, card option, etc.
- Responsive: PrestaShop is totally responsive with mobile or other devices. Even its back-end dashboard is responsive for on-the-go management.
- Language: PrestaShop cart is multilingual and available in more than 60 different languages.
- PrestaShop has a large community of developers and you can easily contact to PrestaShop from morning 9 am to evening 6 pm EST, and submit your message your query or suggestion via a contact form after hours.
- PrestaShop is very lightweight and flexible so users with the slow net can easily be deploying PrestaShop. The 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.
- PPrestaShop did not upgrade timely. It does not provide the latest upgrade files or other things and most of the upgrade failures. If you upgrade then modules don’t need to work with each other and upgrades always work smoothly.
- PrestaShop has a huge list of features but still doesn’t win due to fewer upgrades.
- PrestaShop is a better option for small, medium businesses but not suitable for larger businesses.
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 then you can easily modify the source code according to your requirement because the source code is completely customizable. If you open your store with Zen Cart you can easily manage your store and got many great features that make managing your store a breeze. Zen Cart has a built-in system for coupon and discount functionality and tax option and supports multiple payment processes. Zen Cart does not have heavy hosting requirements.
Why Zen Cart (Pros) ?
- It’s easy to install and more secure.
- Zen Cart is a scalable platform and easy to update.
- Zen Cart provides free bundled with Addons Accessible.
- Zen Cart is able to sort products into categories and sub-categories.
- Zen Cart provides multiple languages so you can easily show your site in their language.
Why not (Cons) ?
- There are average templates and no formal support.
- Upgrading is no easy task in Zen Cart.
- Less additional modules or contributions.
- Of course, Zen Cart tools are customizable but only for those who know PHP programming.
OsCommerce is a popular E-commerce platform that is open-source online store and based on Php and using MySQL database. OsCommerce is used on any web server. OsCommerce is easily available as free software under the GNU General Public License. OsCommerce support multiple languages. It can manage multiple currencies, and work with many payment gateways 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 uses PHP as a programming language with MySQL database. If your server support or is compatible with PHP script and you have access to MySQL database then you can get your OsCommerce based set easily.
- Multiple Payment Gateway like
- Provide Tools and options with OsCommerce platforms include templates, themes, layout along add-ons and updates.
Why not (Cons) ?
- Limited options for changing the layout.
- All Extensions 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 plugins which is freely available on http://wordpress.org/plugins/woocommerce/. It allows you to sell anything easily. WooCommerce is the best e-commerce solution in the world which provides complete control for both store owners and developers. You can easily sell a digital and physical product, manage inventory and shipping. WooCommerce provides secure payments and sorts tax automatically. WooCommerce plugin converts 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 a flexible plugin.
- It works very well or is familiar with WordPress and offers a smooth interface to the user who is already using this platform.
- WooCommerce features an excellent shopping cart that – secured and robust.
- Provide all things in one place, users have no needs to go further plugin for shipping cart.
- Provide secured and multiple payment gateways.
- Unlimited numbers of products and categories.
- The best thing about WooCommerce and its POS is that it is updated from time to time, so you no need to worry about security issues.
- As we know that WooCommerce is used in the 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 devices and virus attacks. But sometimes 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 used without WordPress.
- When you make updates to your site yourself through the visual tab then content doesn’t look right you expected it to when looking in the actual browser.
- We know that WooCommerce can easily be 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 a framework that is used to build e-commerce websites and applications of all sizes build on the Drupal 7 API, core, and contrib. Drupal Commerce is an open-source e-commerce software. Online retailers have got 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+ modules much like WordPress, which can increase website functionality and it also contains 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 makes extremely unique of Drupal Commerce that support and add to it.
- Drupal Commerce includes a lot of functionality like graphics modification tools, 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 its users to create and manage different types of content like video, user management, real-time status, etc.
- Drupal provides 7000+ plugins and extensions. And being an open-source platform, it also gives the opportunity of creating customized plugins for a 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 simple user friendly it’s developer-friendly.
- Drupal Content Management System (CMS) is not compatible with other software.
- Require a Fast Internet Connection because the website made in Drupal CMS is relatively heavy and takes 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 e-commerce, 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 to decide what’s best for your business. Just drop us your brief requirement and choose wisely.