7 Best Open Source Ecommerce Platforms
Looking for an excellent open source e-commerce platform?
WooCommerce, Magento, OpenCart, PrestaShop, Drupal, Joomla… There is a wide variety of open source e-commerce solutions. What is the best open source ecommerce software for your business?
Choosing a suitable open source e-commerce platform is quite a complex and even difficult task. Modern user-friendly platforms enable retailers to run their business properly, even without technology experience. However, when choosing open source software, you should consider the main features, pros and cons, benefits and opportunities.
Therefore, in this article we will learn the main features of an open source platform and explore its advantages and benefits for e-commerce. We will also cover the top 10 open source e-commerce platforms and outline their main pros and cons.
As a result, you will be able to identify the best open source solution for a successful and profitable business.
What is an open source platform?
Why should you choose open source e-commerce platforms?
7 best open source e-commerce platforms
What is an Open Source Platform?
What is open source software? What opportunities does it offer for e-commerce businesses? An open-source platform means that the source code is available to its users. They can run this code, modify it, and distribute as many versions as they want.
There are no license fees or other limitations on open source software. That is, it is possible to use it for any purpose.
Examples of open source software are Firefox, Linux, Android, etc. The opposite of open source software is closed source (example – Microsoft Windows), it has a license that limits the users and takes the source code from them.
What is the difference between open source and free software?
Open source software is freely available. It is focused on more pragmatic causes and the practical benefits that make it more suitable for businesses. However, free software is focused on ethics and morals and can be controlled and modified by the user.
Otherwise, it focuses on user freedoms. Therefore, both open source and free software have the same software type but different messages.
There are numerous licenses used by open source platforms. The main license types are: popular and widely used or strong communities, international, special purpose, reusable, superseded, uncategorized licenses, etc.
Why should you choose open source e-commerce platforms?
First of all, open source platforms are flexible in design and functionality. The source code is freely available. Therefore, open source software is inexpensive, reliable, and easy to install.
You can easily install open source software for any function or design by yourself or with developer help. Also, open source platforms have better SEO.
Open source e-commerce advantages
What are the main advantages of open source software? Let’s examine them in detail.
- Community. Open source e-commerce platforms often have thriving communities that support and develop software.
- Community power. The collective power of a community provides new ideas for solving various problems.
- Transparency. Open source code means the code base, how the community develops features and fixes bugs. Thus, you are protected against locking risks.
- Reliability. Open source code reliability is excellent. With a worldwide community supporting the codebase, the code is developed and expert-led in online forums.
- Advanced Security. The code has a higher level of security as it is analyzed and reviewed by the community.
- Merit based. With open source code, the aim is to produce the best and most useful product. By choosing technology for your business, ensure that its agenda aligns with your interests.
- Faster time to market. Having free, open source platforms allows you to consider options and get solutions very quickly.
- Cost effective. No license fees are required for open source software, so they are cost-effective to use.
- Freedom of lockdown. It is essential that businesses use valid open source software.
- to be popular. Many large businesses are choosing open source platforms to empower communities and support open source solutions.
With the help of ever-evolving supportive communities, open source software remains cutting-edge technology that meets the needs and requirements of businesses.
Top 7 open source e-commerce platforms
There is a wide variety of e-commerce platforms. They all have various benefits, pros and cons for the business. Let’s identify the top 10 open source e-commerce platforms and compare their main features.
Which open source e-commerce should you choose? Let’s find the best solution for you.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. It is free to download and install. In addition, there are various payment options and multiple opportunities to customize your store.
You can also find a suitable theme on the official WooCommerce store or on a third-party website like Themeforest. It also has multiple marketing features (coupons and discounts) and an integrated user-based review system.
The geolocation option allows flexible shipping and accurate tax calculation. Also, WooCommerce is integrated into WordPress, providing CMS opportunities and eCommerce functionality. Finally, WooCommerce has excellent customer support.
It has some disadvantages. Although it is free to install, WooCommerce has some additional costs: WooCommerce theme, extensions, hosting, domain name, etc.
Also, this platform is complex: setup, security, SEO, hosting, etc. needs professional help to improve your website.
PrestaShop is a user-friendly platform with many e-commerce opportunities. Installing the plugin and creating your web store is easy. It is possible to use PrestaShop’s live demo before registration. It has a user-friendly interface with easy stock management and store maintenance.
PrestaShop provides a beautiful interface for building websites and offers lots of money and multilingual deals (75 languages). Due to its lightweight, PrestaShop does not slow down your site.
Also, there are multiple PrestaShop themes (about 6,000), plugins and templates to customize your store and get professional website design.
More than 3,000 PrestaShop modules allow you to advance your store, increase traffic, improve conversions and build customer loyalty.
Finally, PrestaShop lets you run multiple stores. Still, PrestaShop offers limited scalability opportunities that make it more suitable for small or medium businesses.
OpenCart is a free, open-source e-commerce platform with no fees for upgrades or maintenance. It is free to download and has low initial costs.
User-friendly, OpenCart is perfect for beginners as it allows for low cost and easy store setup. The OpenCart marketplace offers multiple themes and extensions for product feeds, shipping and payment gateways. This platform offers multiple features and large catalog functionality for order processing. Also, OpenCart supports many payment ways and multi-store functionality.
However, OpenCart does not offer as many features as Magento. Also, you need many expensive OpenCart plugins to run your store properly. OpenCart offers less customization possibilities. Also, you need PHP skills and other programming languages.
Therefore, beginners may have difficulty building and scaling a website. OpenCart is an open-source, self-hosted platform. However, you have to solve many problems yourself, such as finding your own hosting and managing your website. Finally, OpenCart does not offer excellent customer support.
Wix is a famous cloud-based e-commerce platform. It offers intuitive drag and drop website builder to design a site without coding. The free plan is great for beginners, providing powerful tools for building and hosting a site.
Wix has simple SEO and free email marketing features, free apps, various site themes, and templates in the Wix App Market. Wix offers multiple payment gateways and secure payment support. In addition, you get secure web hosting, 24/7 customer support, automatic mobile optimization.
However, it has some disadvantages. The free plan comes with ads that make your web pages cluttered. Also, powerful site functionalities are provided by the Wix eCommerce plan for $16.50 per month. In addition, it is impossible to set up a completely provided free e-commerce website. You can start selling once you upgrade to the plan at $16.50.
Magento is a popular open source platform with a large community of developers. As a free solution, it offers a paid version to upgrade your business.
Magento has built-in SEO features that allow integration with Google Analytics and Checkout. You will also have full control over the design and functionality of your website.
With Magento advanced customization options, you can enhance your store with various Magento modules and themes selected in the Magento market.
It has multiple marketing features (coupons, discounts, sitemaps) and conversion tools (one-page checkout and order tracking).
It is possible to make separate multilingual sites. Magento simplifies maintenance, modification, and integration into third-party systems. However, Magento is a highly advanced e-commerce platform and requires good developer skills to run a web shop properly.
Drupal is one of the most common e-solutions for designing and scaling any type of website. It has a large community and offers helpful forums, social pages and blogs for support.
Drupal has a comprehensive help guide on its website and a video library. Built for developers, this platform is really powerful. The Drupal website has strict development standards to ensure high quality.
In addition, it has built-in caching that provides enhanced speed and performance. In addition, it has its own security system and is often updated.
Payment, shipping and fulfillment, analytics and reporting, marketing, order management, product customization, etc. There are multiple Drupal modules for However, there are some cons.
It is a fairly complex platform with a steep learning curve. It also has an advanced interface and limited development guidelines. So, you may need expensive professional help to run your store. Finally, Drupal hosting is quite expensive.
osCommerce is a popular e-platform with a large developer community and excellent online support. More than 7,000 free features make osCommerce one of the most cost-effective e-solutions.
Its main features are compatibility with all PHP 4 versions, technical support and customer service, payment processing, extensive integrations, etc. OsCommerce plugins and plugins (over 8,000) can help you customize your store, both free and paid.
There are various osCommerce templates for the best website design. While the theme selection is limited on its official site, additional themes are also available on third-party marketplaces like ThemeForest. However, they do have some drawbacks.
OsCommerce offers few opportunities for scalability and is not perfect for large businesses. It also needs more maintenance compared to other e-solutions. That is, you will need more time for updates, improving SEO and maintaining security.
As a result, open source e-commerce platforms offer multiple opportunities for successful business. They are available for free and have useful features and benefits for setting up a web shop.