In this post, we will discuss Open Source eCommerce Platforms and learn about open source solutions. Open source software is free and when something is free it comes with a lot of confusing at the same time.
After all, it brings up a lot of questions like:
- What does it mean?
- Is open-source free?
- Is it a right choice for my small business?
- Is it powerful enough to manage my large eCommerce business?
- Which solution is right for my business?
We will try to answer most of those questions for you, but we can’t answer the last one for you – only you can have the answer for the same.
What does open-source mean?
Open source software is software whose source code has been made available for anyone to modify or update according to their needs, it’s a ready stack developed by an individual or group of developers for the masses.
Is open source is free?
It relies on your capability of coding and the level of customization you are looking to suit your requirement. In case you are a fabulous coder, then the only thing you need is time. (and as you know time is money, is it not?) If you don’t know anything about coding, you will probably need to pay somebody to set your site up for you and potentially keep up to date with you. You should also make sure that the cost of the developer is cheaper over time than the expense of a hosted eCommerce solution.
Is it a right choice for my small store?
Setting up an open source eCommerce online store is likely to take up a lot of time and money, depending on what you need and who you know. In general, we would say, unless you or your best friend is a tech savvy, overall you should probably avoid open source. We have found one or two options that you might be able to set up without knowing bucket loads about code, but even those can be difficult.
Is it powerful enough to create a store for my very large chain?
The answer is simply yes. If you have a creative tech team, you can do anything with open source e-commerce solutions. In fact, most of the time, you can do more than what your expect.
Please be noted that some solutions will work far better than others for certain retailers, depending on your requirement.
If you know anything about eCommerce, you must have heard about Magento for sure. Magento is one of the most used open source eCommerce platform worldwide.
Magento is incredibly flexible, customizable and capable of handling large inventory. However, Magento is not a user-friendly solution for non-techies. If you have a strong technical team or hand, it can create a beautiful website for even the largest of retailers. As said earlier, all that power comes with a price: Magento is more a developer platform. You will need to get a hosting, payment gateway, domain name, and security certificate as Magento does not come with built-in security.
osCommerce is one of the oldest names in open source eCommerce solutions. osCommerce has more than 7000+ free modules for extend your store features and huge active community of developers working on same and helping the entire community. Overall, as reviewers say that this system is outdated to work, so it takes more skill to develop a professional online store using OsCommerce. However, much like Magento, if you can figure out how to work with OsCommerce, the world is open to you. There is not much this solution can’t build. You should keep in mind, though, that while osCommerce does have security features, but they’re very weak, so unless you can bolster them, you should probably invest in security software on the server side to prevent hackers.
Open Cart is a new age e-commerce solution; it’s available since 2007. It’s simple, light and user-friendly solution. Site speed is one of the key points that affects customer’s shopping experience. OpenCart shopping cart is lightweight e-Commerce solution that uses AJAX technology to reduce load time and thus increase store speed. OpenCart admin panel is simple to use doesn’t require too much time to get through learning. As a result managing store is as simple as pie. On the other hand, shopping cart provides a possibility to use numerous features to increase usability for clients: one-page checkout, smart site structure that simplifies shop navigation, search, etc. Overall, Open Cart is noted for having a sleek administrative dashboard and its general out-of-the-box ease of use. To make a fancy store, you will have to devote some time to the coding, but small stores could potentially use this solution because it does function surprisingly well out of the box.
4) WordPress + WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a unique solution on this list because it’s not a fully open source eCommerce solution. WooCommerce is an open source WordPress shopping cart plugin, which releases on WordPress core functionalities. WordPress is one of the most popular content management solutions on the web. Almost 30% of the websites are built with WordPress including blogs and websites. WooCommerce is the open source plugin that those sites can use to turn their site into a store. Of course, if you don’t already have a site, you can still use WooCommerce, you just have to download WordPress first.
PrestaShop is a unique open source eCommerce solution; PrestaShop source code is available for free download, same as any other solution. However, PrestaShop has an entire shop of add-on integrations and modules, some of which are free, and some of which are a one-time fee. It’s interesting to note that many of the paid modules are created and sold by community members. Also, PrestaShop offers its services as a developer. That way, you don’t need to go hunt down a developer who knows how to work with PrestaShop – you can just pay them to set up the shop for you. Over the lifetime of your store, as well, you can continually go back to them, not just community support, for training and help.
Finding the Best Open Source eCommerce Platform for You
And lastly, its tough to say which is the “best” platform, as your specific needs will determine which eCommerce platform will suit you best. If you’re looking to launch basic eCommerce, and you don’t need a scalable or customizable option, then one of the easier, simpler eCommerce platforms could be perfect for you.
Or, if you need a lot of customization (or you’re willing to pay for a developer), then one of the most popular and highly customizable platform is more likely to suit your requirement.
You’re the only one who can decide which open source e-commerce platform is best for your business. Just remember, though, that people will judge your entire business based on your storefront.
Which open source e-commerce platform do you like the most? Leave us a comment below.