When opening an online store, choosing the shopping cart software is the most important decision you’ll have to make. There are multitudes of shopping cart software out there and many are Opensource, but none comes even close to support, functionality, and ease of use of Opencart. The biggest mistake that many people make is that they try to use plugins for CMC software such as WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla to have a shopping cart, but CMS platforms like thee are neither secure, nor intuitive to use as a shopping cart.
CMS software such as above are not meant to be a shopping cart, so they lack even the simplest features that you can expect from a dedicated shopping cart software. Worst still, you’ll be at the mercy of the shopping cart plugin developer because every time the core software updates, there is a 99% chance that your shopping cart will stop working.
Benefits of Dedicated Shopping cart software:
Made to sell. It’s a shopping cart, not a blog, not a forum,…, it is designed to do one thing and one thing only, and do it well; sell.
Ease of use. A dedicated shopping cart software will have a learning curve like everything else, but once you know how to use it, it becomes second nature. CMC shopping cart plugins are not like that. They change a million times a year based on the mood of the developer.
Features. A dedicated shopping cart will have almost everything you need right out of the box, such as different payment gateways, comparison, wish list, gift card, multi language and multi currency capability, reports, affiliate manager, shipping modules,… whereas CMS plugins lack these important features.
Security. A dedicated shopping cart software will be more secure, and updates and security patches are taken more seriously than CMS plugins. Doing business online with a plugin that a 16 year old put together is recipe for disaster.
Cost. Most shopping cart plugins for CMS platforms are not free, and even then, they all suck big time. Opencart is free, secure, feature rich, and has been free and will stay free.
Scalability and support. A good shopping cart software should have a strong community of users and developers and of course, free extensions and modules to complement it. Opencart has a few thousands free extensions and many more paid extensions for under $20 to realistically solve any of your needs. Themes are plentiful and available for Opencart, and many good developers are around to take on custom work if that’s the route you’re taking.
I’ve been developing with Opencart for 3 years now and it’s been a great experience and I can certainly vouch for this gem of a software. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
The best web host for Opencart is Inmotion Hosting, as it has a one click install and hundreds of pages of DIY articles on this software as well. Inmotion is my absolute first choice if you want a smooth running shopping cart. Read the best and worst Web host review here.