Open source shopping carts provide access to all the coding for the software, with options to edit and customize the shopping cart to meet their exact needs. Open source e-commerce platforms not only have an attractive price tag (many are free!), but they also offer customizability, scalability, and community support. Ultimately, it’s impossible to say what the “best” platform is, as your specific needs will determine which features will benefit you 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 e-commerce platforms could be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you need a lot of versatility (or you’re willing to pay for a developer), then one of the more high-performance platforms is more likely to suit your needs.
- Zen Cart: Zen Cart is a free and user-friendly open source shopping cart software, which offers features like unlimited customization, payment gateway integration, ready to use systems and more. It’s got a great product management system. Zen Cart is easy to use and you’ve got total control, right at your fingertips. However, the system does tend to slow down if you’re adding new products, so it may not be great for businesses that curtail a large workload. Drawbacks to Zen Cart: It looks. You can primp it up with new templates, and a talented programmer can make it enticing, but if you want to simply install it and go, your storefront won’t exactly have the cosmetic appeal that alternatives offer.
- OpenCart: OpenCart is a simple shopping cart solution. Once installed, the user just needs to select a template and add products and they’re ready to accept orders. Opencart also has built-in order management and multiple payment gateways. They provide free lifetime support and software updates. OpenCart is especially popular with small businesses. OpenCart requires a programmer to help with the coding, but a lot of things can be done thereafter. You can also choose from different plugins to give your site more flexibility. It doesn’t drag on your server. You can slow things down by adding plugins. Downside: It is quite plain and simple, and it is reliant on plugins. There may be compatibility issues with different plugins, an update might be necessary.
- Magneto: Magento is a very popular open-source e-commerce software. It can be used as-is out of the box, or be customized as per the user’s requirement. It supports a wide variety of plugins and extensions developed by the Magento community. This cart has layered navigation that allows for advanced product filtering. Additionally, it is possible to customize different offers for your customers. You can use one admin to create and manage more than one storefront. It simplifies the backend of an e-commerce operation. Magento features multi-currency capability, as well as multiple languages.
- Ubercart: Ubercart is an open source e-commerce solution fully integrated with Drupal – which is one of the leading open source content management system. It offers easy customizations to be developed according to the user’s needs.
- osCommerce: osCommerce or Open Source Commerce is an e-commerce and online store-management software program that can be used on any web server that has PHP and MySQL installed. It’s available for free and is easy to customize based on the user’s needs. With more than 7,000 community-created add-ons available for the platform, you’ll enjoy a wide range of customizability in designing and enhancing the appearance and functionality of your storefront. osCommerce offers a vast support network, which serves as an excellent resource when things go astray. If you’re having problems with your software, it’s virtually guaranteed that someone else has experienced and solved that very same issue. Downside: As it’s old, osCommerce’s doesn’t quite as much horsepower as newer options. It’s also not as scalable.