With the invention & advancement of Open Sources like WordPress, Opencart & Magento, not only CMS website development has been made easier but also eCommerce websites can be built easily now. In this blog, I am going to share a few pros and cons of 3 major open sources for developing an online store.
Woocommerce is not a standalone eCommerce system but it is a system that works within WordPress.In other words, Woocommerce is one of the great plugins available in the WordPress directory which you can incorporate into your existing WordPress website and convert into a professional eCommerce website.
Born in the year 2011, Woocommerce is pretty younger when we compare it with Opencart & Magento. But if you talk about its popularity, it has been increasingly demanding for WordPress users who find it easy to manage their online store without leaving the comfort zone of WordPress’s easy-to-use backend. eCommerce website development was never so easier until the birth of WooCommerce.
As we all know that WordPress is one of the best CMS which is very easy to use even for a layman, Woocommerce has added another feather to the cap. Even a newbie can develop an eCommerce using Woocommerce. All you need to do is attend a short WordPress training and you will be able to set up an online store and customize it as per your requirements. With so many free & paid themes available today, you can customize the design of your online store in the way you want. Let’s take a look at the pros & cons of using Woocommerce:
- Free to download
- Easy to Use.
- Can turn a WordPress website or blog into a robust eCommerce website.
- The default plugin provides only eCommerce basic features. There could be a need to buy some premium plugins.
- Not useful for websites that are not built on WordPress already.
Born in the year 2008, OpenCart is an easy-to-use open source that is available free of cost to download and install to set up an eCommerce store.OpenCart comes with several features that can fulfill the needs and requirements of basic and advanced stores as well. It also comes with good documentation to enable you to understand its flow and working structure just in case you get confused.
There are several themes and extensions available for OpenCart (developed exclusively for OpenCart) which are both free and paid but can help you to enhance your online store.
The backend of OpenCart is also pretty easy to understand & manage in order to run an eCommerce business. With basic training on the backend operation, one can handle the store easily. When it comes to performance, OpenCart lacks the cache & SEO plugins however with few customizations in the core files of OpenCart, this can be achieved as well. All you will need to do is to hire an eCommerce developer to help you out.
- Several themes & extensions are available.
- Easy-to-use interface for both users (frontend) and webmasters (backend).
- Helpful documentation
- Lacks Cache & SEO plugins.
- Need web developers to customize the extensions and themes.
Magento is no more a new name in the industry of eCommerce website development. Magento comes with both a Premium license and free to download version as well. Of course, the free version doesn’t come up with advanced features and therefore we can say that Magento is not a free CMS for businesses to set up their online store.
On the positive side, Magento has several advanced features for a high-end eCommerce website that are unbeatable by any other open source. In other words, Magento is suitable for high-end eCommerce businesses that want advanced features and has the budget to spend as well.
The plugins available for Magento are also on the higher side which may range from $100 to $1000.Other than this, you will need an eCommerce web developer to customize or make any changes in the theme or plugins of Magento because its framework is not really easy-to-learn for a layman or a newbie web developer.
In my past experience, I have noticed that many small & medium size businesses would also want Magento just because of its popularity and without knowing its ins and outs. One must consider that apart from the development cost of Magento, there are a few secondary overheads as well.
For eg., a Magento website will require VPS or higher specs server because it can’t run successfully on a shared server. So, Magento is definitely not a cup of tea for small and medium-sized businesses.
- Advanced eCommerce features.
- Highly scalable and customizable
- Expensive paid plugins
- Requires high specifications server
- Steep learning curve