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Ecommerce is expanding rapidly, with sales expected to reach $5 TRILLION this year. From corporate giants to small shops, many ecommerce store owners are turning to open source ecommerce platforms to either save money or have greater control over their online presence.

If you are looking for some of the best open source e-commerce platforms, then you are at the right place. Below, we have complied some of the best open source eCommerce platforms for 2018.

WooCommerce (On WordPress)

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, so before getting start with it, you’ll have to install WordPress (open source) on your host, and then install the WooCommerce plugin onto your site. It automatically turns any WordPress website into a fully functional online store, with inventory management, coupons, and product pages. WooCommerce is the most effective and easily accessible for any WordPress user. So, it can be concluded that WooCommerce is the best for those who want to make their e-Commerce website feature rich and want to make a strong web presence.

Pros:

  • The plugin is free to download and install.
  • It connects to all major payment gateways.
  • With a WooCommerce theme, you hardly have to do any work besides adding content.
  • You can offer coupons and discounts, along with adding multiple other features with the help of the extension library.

Cons:

  • There are plenty of extra expenses such as a WooCommerce theme, extra extensions, hosting, and domain name.
  • WooCommerce has several moving parts. On the surface, it requires hosting + WordPress + the WooCommerce plugin. Beginners can get intimidated by this, especially with tasks like SEO, security, hosting, and caching.

Magento

Magento is one of the most popular open source ecommerce platforms, and for good reason. Do you seek complete control over the design and functionality of the site? If the answer is a yes, consider Magento Open Source. It’s very similar to that of WordPress, where the community is strong, you can choose from hundreds of thousands of themes, and there are plenty of extensions to get your hands on. Magneto is also crammed with many user-friendly features that can make your website more compelling.

Pros:

  • It's free, and there's a paid version if you want to upgrade.
  • You almost never need to look for an extension with Magento, since the feature list is overwhelming.
  • You can send out product alerts to customers for automated marketing.
  • The platform lets you make separate multi-lingual sites that load up depending on the user's location.

Cons:

  • Magento is packed with features, but that can also make it clunky and resource-hungry. Therefore, you might have to allocate a decent amount of money and time for optimization.
  • Although you can learn how to use Magento, the main reason you would consider it is if you had development skills. Larger companies are known to go with Magento because they have the access and money to get a developer who knows code.

X-Cart

X-Cart has helped to create over 35,000 online stores, and this has been growing over the past years. As with all of these ecommerce platforms on the list, it’s free, open source, and self-hosted.

X-Cart is often considered one of the fastest open source platforms on the market, and it also has an incredible number of features for you to sink your teeth into.

Pros:

  • It depends on the package you go with, but you can often get full multilingual and multi-currency support.
  • You can integrate your shopping cart with the most reputable payment gateways in the world.
  • You can also rest easy knowing that X-Cart is completely secure and PCI Compliant.

Cons:

  • You have no access to direct customer support unless you pay an extra fee.
  • You even have to pay for hosting if you opt for one of the paid plans.
  • Although the premium plan is only $495 for a lifetime, this still looks somewhat high compared to other options.

PrestaShop

PrestaShop is a somewhat new in the eCommerce platform game, but it’s made a name for itself with its ease of use and the beautiful interface. Another thing to consider is that it doesn’t take much experience to install the plugin. Therefore, beginners and intermediates will find it pretty easy to get started.

Pros:

  • This is a light-weighted e-commerce platform so your site will not go to slow down.
  • It provides a beautiful and enchanting interface for developing various websites.
  • It provides multi-vendor support

Cons:

  • PrestaShop isn't as robust as other options like Magento, so the scalability isn't quite there.
  • It's not required to install any extra modules for a regular online store, but more often than not it seems like you'll need to pay for some sort of extension. And they aren't cheap.

OpenCart

Compared to other open source platforms, OpenCart is actually pretty easy to use and lightweight. It’s free and there is decent community to turn to if you have problems when designing your store. It is recommended for startups since it doesn’t take too much time to customize the website from scratch.

Pros:

  • The startup costs are pretty low.
  • The features are solid, and the large catalog functionality works wonders for order processing.
  • The average person should be fine with setting up OpenCart. Not to mention, it doesn't suck down resources like Magento.

Cons:

  • When you look at the feature list of Magento compared to OpenCart, it's no comparison. Magento wins by a landslide.
  • Performance is not a strong suit with OpenCart, so sometimes you have to get an extra plugin for this.
  • You might consider OpenCart as one of the few open source ecommerce platforms that experienced developers would rather avoid.

Zen Cart

Zencart is created so that people can easily develop their e-commerce sites without having a professional development degree. It is more user-friendly than many of the other open source eCommerce platforms, so it might be worth looking into if you want to scale up quickly but you don’t have advanced skills.

Pros:

  • ZenCart is known as secure software, so you know that your site and customer information is protected.
  • ZenCart is also great for scaling up a store because of its wide range of features and full customization options.
  • With Zencart, You can directly send out HTML emails from your website.

Cons:

  • This platform doesn’t have many extensions or add-ons.
  • Sometimes you may find difficulties in upgrading your software.
  • Zencart doesn’t provide any dedicated support.

osCommerce

With osCommerce, you have access to a thriving community of developers and users, with a wonderful forum to check out solutions to your problems and talk with other people. About 300000 online stores are developed with this open source e-commerce platforms so you know there are plenty of companies that already find it suitable.

Pros:

  • The online support is simply outstanding. Though you can’t get direct support, Oscommerce forum is very active and you can find thousands of solutions for your problem.
  • There are many plugins and add-ons which are free for the developers to use. But you need to pay if you want to upgrade them.
  • You can open it up easily and customization's are also facile and simple. Thus, any novice or inexperienced developer can also handle this platform.

Cons:

  • This platform requires more maintenance as compared to the other platforms.
  • You can’t scale up this platform easily. So, it is ideal for medium and small businesses.

JigoShop

JigoShop often gets compared to WooCommerce because of its ease of use and clean interface. You can also expand the functionality of the site with a wide range of plugins and add-ons, making your website far easier to scale up.

Pros:

  • You can choose from a large selection of themes, many of which are some of the best-looking themes on the market.
  • It's fairly easy to edit the code for your site, and you shouldn't have any problems finding a developer who's comfortable with JigoShop.

Cons:

  • You don't get any options for customer support. You're left to the forums and blog posts online.
  • The initial feature set isn't all that plentiful so you are expected to install some add-ons. Some of them are free, while others are not.

Drupal Commerce

Drupal is one of the most common options to go with when designing any kind of website. It allows you to build your eCommerce site rapidly, and it’s one of the best solutions if you plan on scaling up quickly. Moreover, there’s a huge community of people behind Drupal, so you can turn to the forums, social pages, and blogs for support.

Pros:

  • Drupal is very powerful platform and thus, it can be only handled by professional developers.
  • This platform has built-in caching, so the overall speed and performance are much better than other platforms.
  • There is an online community which will help you to solve your problems.

Cons:

  • It's hard to learn and most of the discussion in the community is coming from more experienced developers.
  • Even if you're an experienced developer, you might find the interface to be complicated.
  • There's no chance of paying for a low price host with Drupal Commerce. You need high power and speed, preferably a VPS or dedicated server.

These are the some of the best open source e-commerce platforms you can utilize in 2018. Choose the one depending on your requirement and skills for designing your e-commerce site.

Even though open source eCommerce platforms have their advantages, you should seriously consider a non-open source solution like Shopify, BigCommerce, or Volusion. With these platforms you only pay a small monthly fee, you don’t have to maintain your site as much or look for hosting, and always get dedicated customer support.