Open Source Shopping Carts

While there are many paid shopping cart platforms to choose from, there is also a handful of what is called “Open Source Shopping Carts“.

These platforms are FREE to download and do not have a monthly fee to keep them running.

What are the benefits of using an Open Source Shopping Cart?

Well, basically it is free software, so there are no monthly fees associated with it. You also have complete access to modify and customize the source code (assuming you have the technical knowledge). No monthly bandwidth limits; these will be imposed only by your hosting company. No limit on number of products; this will only be imposed by your hosting storage plan.

What is the real cost of an Open Source Shopping Cart?

The real cost of running your online store using free software is that you will need to troubleshoot anything that goes wrong with the platform. A free shopping cart will not entitle you to any support from the developer other than online communities and knowledge base forums. Unless you know how to properly upload and install the software into your own server, you will need to hire someone to do it for you. Then of course you will need the technical knowledge to integrate Payment Gateways, SSL Certificates, and make sure that you can stick to a PCI audit to make your online store safe. You will also be missing on “redundant architecture” where if the main server where your store is hosted goes down, then a second or third server kicks in to keep your store live on the web.

As one of the leaders on Open Source eCommerce platforms puts it: “this platform is recommended for expert developers and highly technical enthusiasts and hobbyists in non-mission critical environments. As this edition is unsupported it is intended to be used by those happy to spend time and resource solving issues independently“.

It can be an exciting project for ecommerce developers and enthusiasts but not quite a good business foundation for serious online retailers as you will probably spend more time working on the platform than actually promoting or selling your products.

Nonetheless; we have compiled a good list of Open Source Shopping Carts if you want to go into deeper research:

Magento

OsCommerce

Tomato Cart

ZenCart

UberCart

OpenCart

Do you run your eCommerce on an Open Source Platform?
Share your experience here!

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