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The Best 5 Free Open Source E-Commerce Platforms

Updated on April 6, 2014

In 2012, online businesses grew 21.1% to top $1 trillion for the first time of its trend. This year sales are supposed to grow 18.3% to $1.298 trillion worldwide. It’s also forecast that there will be 175 million people shopping online by 2016.

The growth in online sales is amazing, and now financial records for 8% of total retail sales.

Some platforms are best preferred for particular site and may not so good for another one, so it can be very difficult finding the perfect solution. Creating an online shopping Cart takes really long. That’s why it is advisable to ask the expert before going for your online store.

Well, in this article I will try to make you to look at the top 5 Ecommerce technologies which are different in use and different in performance.

1. Magento

More than 150,000 businesses around the word choose Magento as their ecommerce platform. Magento is powerful, flexible and cost effective ecommerce solution. Magento was launched on March 31, 2008 and developed by Varien, the now renamed Magento Inc. Magento was built using the Zend Framework. More than 30000 merchants used Magento as the fastest growing ecommerce platform. Companies such as Nike, Lindt, Samsung, Olympus, OfficeMax, The North Face, Stussy and Nespresso all make their ecommerce website by using Magento to boost their online business. So we have to look on Magento usage and recognized what an excellence solution of open source ecommerce. Magento can be compared to WordPress in that they both revolutionized and dominated the space they targeted Magento in e-commerce, WordPress in blogging and content management. The premium, Magento Enterprise Edition solution is accessible based on an annual subscription but the Magento Community Edition is available as a free download ( alpha-now-available/) under the open source OSL 3.0 license.

Why we choose Magento as an ecommerce platform?

  • Magento built in stable and reliable structure.
  • Open source platform
  • Magento allow us to adjust existing features and add new ones.
  • Magento contains all excellence features to enhanced your online business such as the shopping cart, catalog management, search, checkout and administration functions

My opinion about who choose Magento:

Maintenance cost of Magento is high as compared to other open source platform but Magento site is more SEO friendly as compared to rest of all. I recommend that small business does not choose it because of low investment; maintenance of the site becomes very hard.

2. OsCommerce

OsCommerce is one of the oldest open source platforms available in the market. It was started in 2000 in Germany and developed by Harald Ponce de Leon. Open source commerce is an online store management software program. In August 2008, more than 14,000 'live' websites using the OsCommerce program. This admired open source e-commerce solution is utilized by nearly 13,000 websites. In the period of 12 years, OsCommerce has produced a vast community approximately it consisting of 270,000+ members, so you'll be able to lean on thousands of OsCommerce experts and web developers specializing in the e-commerce platform if you're ever in need of support.

OsCommerce is another most important option when it goes to free and open source e-commerce platforms. The features, as well as the benefit and limitation, are similar Magento's community edition. With OsCommerce you can utilize your choice of web hosts, but you'll require making sure that it is in a secure hosting environment. The community of users is another big benefit of OsCommerce, as there are over 7,000 add-ons from the community that can be downloaded and used for free. On the backend, OsCommerce uses PHP for server-side programming and MySQL for its relational database management system (RDMS).

Features of OsCommerce

  • Free to download
  • Open source
  • Can be hosted anywhere
  • Free templates available
  • Premium templates available
  • Add-ons available from community members
  • Customer and order management from the admin dashboard
  • May require the assistance of a designer/developer

My opinion about who choose OsCommerce

OsCommerce was the most excellent shopping cart available for a long time, and you had very little other feasible options. But, at the moment, it's gradually being replaced by its rivals. As someone who often wants to provide very rapid and low-cost solutions for customers, OsCommerce is not my opinion if they're a small business owner who needs something that's seo-friendly, user-friendly and easy to modify.

3. OpenCart

OpenCart is an incomparable open source shopping cart system. It is a protected e-commerce platform for online stores which provides you to establish your own online business and lope your e-commerce economically and smoothly. It can be utilized on any web server with PHP and MySQL running on it. Open Cart is accessible as free software as it's specified in the GNU General Public License released in 2009.Although OpenCart is the new discover platform among these five e-commerce platforms , it has already proved itself as a peak choice. The success of OpenCart is in its straightforwardness and excellent usability for online merchants as well as their customers. You can create an unlimited number of categories, sell an unlimited number of products, various currencies and use various languages and supplementary option of payment and shipping method. Because of these multiple choice it gives high rank in search engine. Opencart has best order management which is the main feature of it. Opencart also gives multiple choice of tax payment in different country.

My opinion about who choose OpenCart

OpenCart is new and well-built ecommerce solution. It is easy to use especially for beginner. It is also perfect solution for a company which wants to manage multiple stores using one admin interface. Consequently when any beginner choose OpenCart to set up their online store, they should hire OpenCart developer rather than by own hand.

4. Zen Cart

Zen Cart is an online store management system, developed by the Zen Cart Development Team in September 18, 2012 and specifies in GNU General Public License Zen Cart is same as to OsCommerce. In fact, Zen cart separated from OsCommerce as different project in 2003. The main difference between Zen Cart and OsCommerce comes from Zen Cart's structural changes and easier to change appearance as CSS based. It gives facility of online retailers with a larger amount of customer management and promotion tools like gift certificates, coupon codes, discount and sale rules, newsletter manager, automatic email order confirmation, and much more. Zen Cart is extremely simple to handle, modify and install. People who have less technical knowledge can also build an easy ecommerce website. It has several helpful adapter available to develop and manufacture your shop and admin area, although too many can make the user interface a little messy.

My opinion about who choose Zen Cart

A person who want simple store and doesn't care about the look and setup, or who are excellent with PHP Zen Cart could be a good choice for him. But you are not familiar with PHP, so you can hire Zen Cart developer from leading web Development Company.

5. WordPress

Wordpress was first launched on May 27, 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. As of September 2013, version 3.6 had been downloaded more than 6 million times. WordPress was originally designed as a blogging platform; it has then curved into a tremendously powerful and modifiable CMS system with a large range of plugins that can transfer your site into an online shop. on behalf of sincere online retailers, the open source Magento platform, which takes the same top position in ecommerce that WordPress has in the CMS world, is far better suited. One of the main reasons for choosing to use WordPress for your store in its place of Magento is that Magento can have relatively a high learning curve for someone who is firmly surrounded in the WordPress world. Peoples who have little or no knowledge of coding or who cannot hire developer, wordpress are the best ecommerce solution.
Wordpress have some plugins which help in converting our site into online store that can be rapidly downloaded, configured, and locate, without requiring much additional software outside of the need for a payment processing service.

WP E-commerce for WordPress

WP e-Commerce is one of the most popular and strong e-commerce plugin of WordPress. It is easy to download, install and takes very little time for updating. Adding a new product is very easy and you can add lots of products in website through this plugin. This plugin has lots of functionality and this is suitable to people who are beginner.

Woo Commerce for WordPress

Woo commerce was developed by Woo Themes on August 25, 2011 as a new ecommerce plugin. Most of woo commerce plugin and extensions are free to download from Woo Themes website. Woo Commerce plugin install easily like any other wordpress plugins. Woo commerce plugin is similar with WP ecommerce but it had some differences. One of the main difference is woo commerce cannot apply for a lot of themes. Consequently you have not high technical knowledge; it may be very difficult for you to build an online store and it also offers very little option of shipping method. The interface of woo commerce is very straightforward to use and familiar to users. It gives lots of menu such as Setting, reports, orders, coupons which make your online store customer friendly.

My opinion for both wordpress plugins: first you use both plugins and make decision which is best for your site.


I try to make comparison of these five free open source ecommerce platforms and share my experience with these ecommerce platforms and also give my opinion about which ecommerce platform is best for you. If you have had any experiences with these e-commerce platforms, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Feel free to contact us for these five open source ecommerce website development.

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    • profile image

      Mishan 2 years ago

      I truely recommend Magento which has good features and get free trail with hosting provider, many of my customers are using this.

    • naveenkrishnan profile image

      Navaneetha krishnan 2 years ago from Chennai

      Thanks for your post. Magento is the best for Ecommerce platform...

    • profile image

      JustSell 3 years ago

      I would suggest Abantecart over zencart or oscommerce. We switch to support Abantecart over a year ago.

    • profile image

      Shalini atharv 3 years ago

      All platforms are best for ecommerce website development . we have been using Magento & Wp since two years. Really very Good experience.

      please visit

    • profile image

      Alex 3 years ago

      Has anyone looked into MozuCommerce?

    • profile image

      Amin Lalani 3 years ago

      Check this detail page on how to setup Wordpress + WooCommerce Store

    • profile image

      Mar D. 3 years ago

      is anyone can recommend what software to use to build something like this?

    • profile image

      Matt Rhys-Davies 3 years ago

      Ah, no sign of Drupal? I think 2015/2016 will be when Drupal is taken as a serious contender to the open source ecommerce SME market. And ready to take a bit out of Magento's share.

    • profile image

      Peter 3 years ago

      I think this post is to average people and not CEOs.

      So if you are not a a CEO with millions at your background you shuoldnt use Magento as it will be very very very slow.

      So Magento is shit.

      Even if its true that Nike use magento they use Magento Enterprise then.

    • profile image

      worldmart 3 years ago

      Developing Amazing Things with Passion since 2009.

      WorldMart is a global e-commerce and website platform that

      allows anyone to create a online store in minutes. Built for

      ease of use but geared for advanced customisations, allowing

      companies to start simple and grow without having to change platforms

      as their business becomes more complex.

      Across World, more and more people are connecting with local businesses online.

      Make sure they connect with yours with a best professional ecommerce website.

      Help customers find you easily and be where they are.It's easy. Really fast.

      And absolutely hassel free. So get your business online and

      start selling in next 5 minutes.

    • profile image

      Sanjay 3 years ago

      Apart from these platform, have a list of best eCommerce platform to create online store with reviews, comparison, features and more. You can check it at

    • profile image

      Elisa 3 years ago

      Those are not the only Wordpress plugins available. I've been using Jigoshop and it's great.

    • profile image

      Ray 3 years ago

      I would recommend, it's a pretty good ecommerce platform as well.

    • profile image

      vinit singh 3 years ago

      In the specification of Magento there is one spell mistake i.e word in place of world

    • profile image

      Nuthan 3 years ago

      Personally I choose opencart for all my solutions. This is powerful yet faster compare to all other platforms. I used opencart for few projects and they work better. But only the problem lies with purchasing the extensions even for small feature. provides better opencart website solutions.

    • profile image

      veerakumar 3 years ago

      Great posting, Really very useful sharing. I Am working in a href="" CMS In Chennai.Here providing very low cost price, CMS and responsive webdesign. Just send your mail, this is mail id You have Any Information Let me now.....044-42127512

    • profile image

      veerakumar.A 3 years ago

      Nice sharing. very valuable posting. im working in cms in chennai

    • profile image

      veerakumar 3 years ago

      Nice article i am using all these features in my website. good job. im working a href="" webdesign company in chennai

    • profile image

      veerakumar 3 years ago

      Nice posting. very useful information. im working in a href="" cms in chennai

    • profile image

      Sukhi Infrastructure 3 years ago

      Water proofing service in bhopal

    • magentdesigners profile image

      Narendra Yadav 3 years ago from Mumbai

      All The Platforms are best to development of eCommerce Websites on the right way. Magento is the best one among those.

      Thank you So much.

    • profile image

      mrs fields 4 years ago

      Nice article and good selection with those 5 choices if you want an online store and want to find a shopping cart that was reasonable price,easy to use and well design go for Opencart it builds nice looking, fast stores for small to medium sized sellers.

    • profile image

      Tom King 4 years ago

      Keep up the good work , I read few blog posts on this site and I think that your weblog is really interesting and has got circles of good information.

    • profile image

      eFusionWorld 4 years ago

      Excellent Article. Open Source E commerce platform uses a different type of technologies which helps to make online profit for your business and gain more customers and attract attention.

      Thanks for sharing it.

    • profile image

      Erik 4 years ago

      I've been using WP E-commerce for a year and it's fairly easy to set up and get going but if you want special solutions it requires good knowledge in php.

    • profile image

      Domenico 4 years ago

      Where's nopCommerce? Not only non Microsoft technology platforms are open source...

    • profile image

      Wordpress 4 years ago

      I think wordpress is a pretty easy learning ecommerce online platfrom to get online in few hrs..

      many wordpress themes are here for ecommerce -

    • profile image

      gim 4 years ago

      Prestashop is a nightmare for backing up large folders let me tell you first. If you run a big store and your store have tons and tons of images to backup and you're on time constraint then my advise is choose other carts. Apart from it's free paypal express checkout module (that is if you don't want use ssl for customers payment) , I got nothing positive to say about prestashop.

    • profile image

      Mr Tham 4 years ago

      Hi, I am the user of opencart now, i used magento and oscommerce before and i changed to opencart finally because i think opencart is easy to use and it's running cost is very low. It is really good for me to start up my business

    • profile image

      Steven H 4 years ago

      But Megento is none of these things; "Magento is powerful, flexible and cost effective ecommerce solution"!

    • sameerakhan926 profile image

      Sameera Khan 4 years ago from Chandigarh, India

      Hello thefas-solutions

      If you are looking for a user friendly platform for your website then you must try FATshoppe eCommerce System . If you need any help regarding this, feel free to discuss with us here:-

    • profile image

      Ryan 4 years ago

      I would like to recommend Yovigo!... Has free (pay-as-you-go) options.

    • profile image

      thefas-solutions 4 years ago

      anyone have any recommendations on what user friendly platform to use to create a site where users can upload their own stuff to sell (like Kijiji or craig’s list)?

    • profile image

      wutyee 4 years ago

      Hi, i am very first ecommerce beginner. i would like to know something that if i use opencart open source or wordpress ecommerce, paypal payment method is already include? or i need to buy the extension?


    • profile image

      Danyal 4 years ago

      Yes, Where is the Prestashop and Cubecart ? I recommend to go with Magento which best currently.

    • profile image

      Anything Graphic 4 years ago

      Nice post. I have used CoreCommerce back in the day, and it is pretty nice. However, with the advancements in WordPress and the contributions in the Plugin community, I have used WP for the last 3 years for everything including e-commerce websites. I recently wrote a post on the Top 5 WordPress E-commerce Plugins if anyone is interested.

    • profile image

      jennytaufel 4 years ago

      @Userakos Yes, Everyone knows that WordPress is not an eCommerce Platform and the article clearly says "WordPress was originally designed as a blogging platform; it has then curved into a tremendously powerful and modifiable CMS system with a large range of plugins that can transfer your site into an online shop" Did you even read the article? Please read before commenting stupid things like this. Thanks

    • profile image

      Userakos 4 years ago

      The first four CMSs are for ecommerce. The last one is not. It is for general purpose. It makes me thing that you are not so good to judge CMSs.

    • profile image

      Hedi 4 years ago

      Where is prestashop?


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