5 Best Open Source Shopping Cart eCommerce platforms
There’s a lot of discussion going on in the eCommerce world on which is the best shopping cart platform.
While, it’s a fact that the right choice will be dictated by the position the business is in, we can still rate a few Open Source platforms which will be able to have you covered at all the stages.
While one is identifying the right platform, here are some aspects that should be taken into account:
Security – Is the platform secure?
Control – Do I get the source code so that everything is always in my control?
Customizability – Can the platform be customized to suit some special needs of your business?
Extensiveness – Does the shopping cart offer enough extra features off the shelf which otherwise, would’ve needed to be custom built?
Usability – Is the software easy to use and navigate for the customer?
Performance – In traffic conditions, does the platform work smooth and fast? Does it keep crashing time to time?
Maintainability – Is the platform easy and less costly to maintain?
Here are 5 best Open Source platforms which qualify under all the above criteria :
#5 – Prestashop
French brand PrestaShop offers a very thorough shopping cart software. PrestaShop allows you to select from one of many professional themes to make your store look the part. It also offers a global SSL secure selling experience, and a variety of languages through translation add-ons, paid though.
When it comes to the shopping cart itself, the software is also very extensive, with summary pages, confirmation pages and a variety of payment options.
Built with PHP programming language, Prestashop scores decent on control and maintainability. But lags a little bit behind on security and customization aspects due to lack of a standard development framework.
#4 – Magento
Magento is one of highest used Open Source platforms all across the world. Magento is an old platform which has kept evolving with time and technology evolution.
Magento core is developed using PHP and it provides a robust process to add readymade or custom plugins. There is a huge marketplace where you will get every plugin covering a great deal of requirements.
As the platform is built using a strong MVC framework, it scores high on the security aspect.
But when it comes to customization, Magento makes it pretty tough to do that.
While the platform works decently in the initial stages of business, as the traffic increases, the performance starts becoming a pain.
#3 – Oscar
Django Oscar is the best Python based shopping portal platform that is available.
With Python programming language at it’s core and a fantastic development framework like Django, Oscar scores the highest on security, customizability and performance aspects.
The biggest strength of Oscar lies in it’s programming language, Python. Python is currently the worlds’ most favored language when it comes to anything cuttent edge. You will easily get packages for AI/ML, IoT or even BlockChain in Python. If your business is moving towards something from these, Oscar is THE platform for you.
But it’s not a very widely used platform and also lacks a little in community support. Because of these points, you don’t get a lot of ready extensions and packages available when you want to quickly add new features and facilities to the platform.
Also, Python developers are relatively costlier than PHP resources. This makes the maintenance costlier as well.
#2 – WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a free self hosted WordPress plugin that adds a shopping cart and eCommerce functionality to your store. The brand is well known for being one of the market leaders in its sector, and claims to have 28% of the world’s stores using its plugin. Most of the entry level businesses choose WooCommerce as the first platform.
Being a plugin of WordPress, it’s highly SEO friendly. But it can be challenging to use if you are unfamiliar with WordPress. However, WooCommerce does offer support via email and forums, that can guide you through issues.
Built with PHP, WooCommerce is pretty strong at security. But customization is something that most of the developers would love to avoid because of it’s pretty basic development framework.
As it primarily works as a part of WordPress setup, it obviously has challenges when it comes to performance. Especially, when there’s a higher traffic, WooCommerce tends to become slow / non-responsive or even crash.
#1 – OpenCart
Hong Kong based OpenCart offers a free shopping cart option, which you can modify to suit your needs. OpenCart has multiple language functionalities, but despite that the default language used is English. The brand is ideal for smaller businesses due to the initial cost being free. However, if you plan to build a business, OpenCart provides you a LOT of extensions to suit your needs.
A PHP based platform, OpenCart scores high on security and performance aspects. With a nice MVC development framework being used, OpenCart makes it very easy for customization. The same framework also makes the maintainability very easy and cost effective as well.
With these fantastic features and specifications, OpenCart becomes the top Open Source platform in our list.