The best open source eCommerce platforms for 2019 – Coding Ninjas
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The best open source eCommerce platforms for 2019

Andrey ZagorodniyAndrey Zagorodniy

The challenge of choosing the top open source eCommerce platform for 2019

 

Long ago, in a galaxy far far away, businesses willing to sell their products to customers had to use custom, on-premise eCommerce solutions. Companies needed to not only purchase rather costly software for different tasks (e.g., you might need Program A for adding items to cart, Program B for managing orders, Program C for maintaining communication with the customers, and so on), but also sustain a whole team of developers to customize, manage, and assemble them into a working platform.

 

Nowadays, eCommerce runs on software combining front-end and back-end functionality. Due to the simplistic design and user-friendliness, modern eCommerce platforms enable users possessing no special knowledge to supervise commercial operations and run the business in general. Since there are so many of them, we need to cover the most popular ones in an extensive open source eCommerce software review.

 

Why choose open source eCommerce platforms?

 

But first, let us also take a look at the so-called open source eCommerce platforms. What does it mean, “open source,” in the first place?

 

Unlike proprietary eCommerce platforms (Shopify, BluCommerce, Hybris) which are sold “as is,” open source solutions are flexible in terms of how you want them to look and work. The code on which they run is freely available. It makes open source eCommerce solutions cheap, easy to set up and adjust, and reliable.

 

Since the code can be viewed and tweaked by anyone, bug fixes and patches appear much faster than in the case of proprietary software. Whatever function or design solution you might need, you can easily implement it yourself or with the help of a freelance web developer. And besides, open source platforms are better optimized for search engines.  

 

In a nutshell, you need an open source platform when you are not content with just pre-built functionality, but want to have full control over what your website does and looks like.

 

Read further for our extensive open source eCommerce platforms comparison.

 

Magento

 

 

Magento is one of the top eCommerce platforms created in 2007. It provides users with all the functionality necessary to run an online store and is known for its flexibility in terms of customization. Magento is written in PHP and can be tweaked and modified to meet customers’ needs.

 

Magento Pros

 

 

Magento Cons

 

 

Magento Prices

 

Magento Community Edition (CE) is free to use.

Magento Enterprise Edition (EE) costs start from $22,000 annually.

 

OpenCart

 

 

OpenCart is an open source eCommerce store management system. Powering over 340,000 online stores, OpenCart is a popular B2B eCommerce solution utilizing fraud management software such as FraudLabs and is responsible for more 6,42% of the global eCommerce volumes.

 

OpenCart Pros

 

 

OpenCart Cons

 

 

OpenCart Prices

 

You can run a fully functional OpenCart-based website for free. Advanced features can be purchased as extensions.

 

WooCommerce

 

 

WooCommerce is not a standalone eCommerce solution. It is a free plugin for WordPress, allowing users to sell whatever they want directly from their WordPress-based websites. It is currently one of the most popular eCommerce solutions across the entire Internet, powering more than 30% of all online stores and being one of the best online store platforms 2019.   

 

WooCommerce Pros

 

 

WooCommerce Cons

 

 

WooCommerce Prices

 

Hosting costs start at $3.95 for single sites and end up with $5,000 for enterprise websites. Along with this, you will need to pay $20-100 for themes annually; there are free themes as well, but they are too dull and do not differ much). The most useful communication, security, and SEO extensions must be paid for as well.

 

PrestaShop

 

 

PrestaShop powers over 270,000 online stores in 195 countries. Like many other open source eCommerce solutions, PrestaShop is freemium software, meaning that the initial startup and basic functionality are free. Although it is a nice and easy-to-start option for a small business, it might be not suitable for bigger online companies.  

 

PrestaShop Pros

 

 

PrestaShop Cons

 

 

PrestaShop Prices

 

PrestaShop is a freemium software, meaning that its basic functionality is available for free. However, like any other company, PrestaShop needs to gain revenues. They have two sources for this: strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as Google or PayPal, and paid functionality modules, some of which may be rather expensive.

 

 

 

CS-Cart

 

 

CS-Cart is an open source software for eCommerce written in PHP and utilizing MySQL database management system. It is suitable for either small businesses or large multi-vendor online stores and is known for its flexibility and versatility. CS-Cart comes in a variety of versions (CS-Cart, CS-Cart Ultimate, Multi-Vendor, Multi-Vendor Plus, Multi-Vendor Enterprise).

 

CS-Cart Pros

 

 

CS-Cart Cons

 

 

CS-Cart Prices

 

Each of the editions costs differently. CS-Cart (the most basic edition) costs $385; its Ultimate version comes at the price of $895. Multi-Vendor edition will cost you $1,450, and its Plus version is $3,500. For more information on the features coming with each of the editions visit CS-Cart pricing page.

 

Drupal Commerce

 

 

There is a popular Drupal content management system, and there is a plugin turning it into a full-scale eCommerce solution. Drupal Commerce is an open source software allowing users to organize and maintain online stores, keep track of orders and payments, ship products to different locations, and so on.

 

Drupal Commerce Pros

 

 

Drupal Commerce Cons

 

 

Drupal Commerce Prices

 

Drupal Commerce is absolutely free to use.

 

VirtueMart

 

 

VirtueMart was designed as an open source eCommerce solution for Joomla CMS, which makes it similar to WooCommerce and Drupal Commerce. Currently, there are over 269,000 retailers running VirtueMart-powered online stores. It can be used in two forms: as a shopping cart, or as a catalog for showcasing products (without the customers being able to purchase them).

 

VirtueMart Pros

 

 

VirtueMart Cons

 

 

VirtueMart Prices

 

VirtueMart is free to download and install. However, many useful (and sometimes even basic) functions are available only as paid add-ons, most of which cost around €10-127.

 

BigCommerce

 

 

BigCommerce is an eCommerce software solution distributed via the SaaS model, which means that you need to pay a regular fee in order to use it. The company reported of having had processed $16 billion in total sales and is currently powering numerous brands known worldwide, such as Toyota or Gibson.

 

BigCommerce Pros

 

 

BigCommerce Cons

 

 

BigCommerce Prices

 

There are four subscription plans available for BigCommerce customers:

 

Standard:  %29,95 per month

Plus: $79,95 per month

Pro: $249,95 per month.

 

There is also a free 15-days trial for those willing to check BigCommerce out before making the final decision.

 

Zen Cart

 

 

Zen Cart is a PHP-based system for managing online stores, utilizing HTML elements and relying on MySQL database management system. Its out-of-the-box appearance may not look appealing, but due to powerful customization possibilities and continuous support of Zen Cart’s devoted community, it remains a competitive option even among newer eCommerce platforms.  

 

Zen Cart Pros

 

 

Zen Cart Cons

 

 

Zen Cart Prices

 

There are none. Zen Cart is entirely free to use.

 

X-Cart

 

 

X-Cart is a relatively new competitor on the market of eCommerce platforms, which has already gained popularity among the merchants in 111 сountries. Currently, more than 35,000 online stores are powered by X-Cart, and this number is growing. X-Cart is different from its competitors due to the unique distribution model and possesses several novelty features which make it stand out.

 

X-Cart Pros

 

 

X-Cart Cons

 

 

X-Cart Prices

 

X-Cart 5 downloadable version is free. X-Cart hosted version is available via purchasing a lifetime license. It grants merchants with functionality depending on the chosen subscription plan, and one year of free access to software upgrades. After this, X-Cart charges an annual fee for upgrading and updating software.

 

Subscription plans look as follows:

 

Gold: $195

Gold Plus: $495

Platinum:  $1795

 

eCommerce platforms comparison

 

For a more comprehensive and brief open source eCommerce software comparison check out the table below.

 

 

How to choose the right eCommerce platform for you?

 

“What is the best eCommerce platform 2019?” If this is the question bugging you, we have some clues that might help you find a solution. To choose the best open source eCommerce software, we advise you to make your decision based on the following criteria:

 

 

All of the open source eCommerce solutions listed above share almost the same functionality. Therefore, you should instead choose based on the aforementioned criteria and subjective factors such as convenience. You can also check out our comparative analysis article on Shopify vs. WooCommerce.

 

Anyways, if you are thinking “Open source eCommerce platforms vs. open source eCommerce website builder,” we would recommend you opt for the former. They mainly include everything you need to start a full-scale online store, and their potential is often almost unlimited.

 

Let us help you

 

Since running an online store on requires technical skills and knowledge, you might need a developer to set up, adjust, and maintain an eCommerce platform for you. Whereas there is often no need to hire an in-house professional for this purpose, a regularly available freelance web developer would be of great help when dealing with upgrades, settings, and troubleshooting.

 

Here at Coding Ninjas, we employ highly skilled experts able to help you set up and run an online store on any of the aforementioned eCommerce platforms. We carefully test each of them for their proficiency and expertise, so that you get to work only with the best pros available on the market. Our vetting process is tough but fair, and generally looks like this:

 

 

If you need any help – consultation, maintenance, whatnot – contact Coding Ninjas now, and we will quickly find you a solution to your problems.

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