Review of the best Open Source online e-commerce applications

Review of the best Open Source online e-commerce applications
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If you are looking for the best way of creating a budget-friendly online store, then Open Source online e-commerce applications are the best option. With an online community network working on modifications to improve the open source software designs and functionality, you are sure to get something that is in line with your needs and requirements.

What is a Shopping Cart?

A shopping cart is a type of software that enables you to create a website easily so you can start selling right away. You will not only be able to create your online store, you will also be able to display the items you are selling on your storefront where customers can view and add them to the cart for purchase. You will receive payments through payment processors like PayPal or debit/credit cards, checks or other electronic payment methods.

Magento (Community Edition is free)

Magento is the fastest growing open source ecommerce platform in the world and it uses the most recent technologies available on the Web. It has a wide range of features, supports multi-language and multi-stores type of retailing. It allows more control and flexibility over the content, structure and capability of the online store. It has more add-ons and extensions than other e-commerce platforms in the market and this improves efficiency of this ecommerce application.

It is great for websites that receive large flow of traffic and many transactions. However, the site requires proper development and management or a developer who knows Magento well in order to be able to tap its potential.
MMagento is supported by a broad support network that has developed an intuitive admin interface. If you need the Enterprise Edition you will pay for it.


osCommerce is a free, extremely popular and widely used open source shopping cart application that is powerful and among the oldest. It is easy to use and run, so it appeals to many users. It is rich in features which are configured and enabled without hassles. The functions and features are automatically enabled so you can start using the software immediately after downloading it. Installing osCommerce is easy and straight-forward especially since the pre-designed templates can be customized.

You will be able to add any number of physical or digital products or categories without limitation, set prices, discounts, special offers and promotions. You can link the products on display to sections of the store that have similar products. However, the downside is that, your store will be similar to many others and if you want an outstanding store you will have to pay for the add-ons. osCommerce enables you to accept payments from various sources i.e. PayPal, 2Check-out, credit/debit cards, checks etc. The built-in tax and shipping capability calculates charges accordingly.

Cube Cart

Cube Cart is a powerful shopping cart solution which can be free or paid. If you need a professionally-looking site this is a great choice. You can use it to setup your ecommerce website as long as the hosting company supports PHP and MySQL. To set up the software, you need to be tech savvy and be able to understand PHP, MySQL and GD. You can easily download this software and integrate it onto any type of site. Cube Cart looks quite professional when viewed by the customer which makes it appealing. You can also connect your site to several payment gateways using Cube Cart. The control panel is easy to use. However, configuring it to the server is difficult for some users.


ZenCart is a free and straight-forward PHP/MySQL open source platform that is being developed by a team of experienced designers, programmers, consultants and store owners who are like-minded with in-depth knowledge of e-commerce needs and requirements. It is easy to install, configure and navigate even for those with no programming knowledge. All you need to do is download the software and start using it.
This is the best solution for users who want to customize their online store without hassles since the ZenCart interface is easy to navigate and it comes with the basic as well as advanced features and several add-ons. The only downside is that there are too many add-ons which make it cluttered. Furthermore, if you are not willing to spend time and money customizing it, then look elsewhere.


Prestashop is a free and powerful open source shopping cart solution that enables you to manage every aspect of your business in real time i.e. meeting orders, inventory control, customers, shipping etc. This open source platform is easy to use and straight-forward especially if you don’t require a lot of functionality. You can have your online shop within minutes and you can modify the tools to match your requirements at no fee. There may be no cost incurred in setting up your online store or the cost may be minimal which usually involves your development time. Prestashop has a growing network of users that modifies it regularly to make it better.


This PHP/MySQL open source shopping cart solution is powerful and user-friendly. It looks simple but is rich in features enabling users to sell unlimited products and setup unlimited categories. You will be able to use multi-languages, multi-currencies and make a choice among multiple payment and shipping methods. Reviewing the products and buying them is simplified for customers and it is straight-forward.

OpenCart helps your site rise in Google rankings with its search-engine-friendly capability and your customers can rate and review the products/services you sell.

Open Source may not be as popular as osCommerce but it is also a popular shopping cart system although help may not be as forthcoming like with other systems.


This open source platform is quite flexible. You can easily expand its functionality making it appealing to users. The rich features enable you to almost search for anything that you want which helps you locate the data easily. The shopping cart on the storefront and the administrative panel load fast making AbanteCart convenient.


This shopping cart application makes it possible for you to integrate your online store into any existing site which you may already have. This is very convenient because you can launch your e-business right away using Avactis tools. This is possible whether the company is selling physical goods such as footwear, clothes, gadgets, appliances, books etc, or virtual goods i.e. downloadable software, e-books, music, gaming videos or other digital goods.


This is a Joomla shopping cart that was known as php-Shop previously. It is known as a Joomla CMS component although it’s an independent open source shopping cart solution which can be installed with the Joomla hosting packages. The shopping cart is neat and appealing to most customers who are able to create accounts, add their addresses and view their previous orders. Virtuemart supports multi-languages, multi-products, unlimited products and categories. It can be used successfully in PHP and MySQL environments.


Other open source apps include CS-Cart, Ubercart, Afcommece, Satchmo, Store Sprite, Digistore, TomatoCart, Freeway, Spree Commerce and Substruct among many others.

Last modified onFriday, 05 April 2013 03:31
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