Earlier, The Official Merchant Services Blog began a series on free Open Source E-Commerce solutions that are available. We cited this article by Nova Scotian writer Vangie Beal, which lists her top 10 free online shopping carts. Today we finish up our review of Beal’s list.
Before We Get Back to the List
Before we pick up where we left off yesterday, we’d like to take a moment to look at some of the wealth of information on e-commerce that Host Merchant Services offers through this blog and its article archive.
- You can read the HMS Overview of E-Commerce here.
- You can learn about the HMSExpress Payment Gateway here, and read about why it’s useful for a budding online business in the September 20, 2011 blog here.
- This September 22, 2011 blog details 8 easy steps for starting an online business.
- You can learn about the customizable e-commerce and payment processing solutions that Host Merchant Services provides here.
- Our January 3 blog gives a review and preview of E-Commerce from 2011 to 2012.
- You can sign up for a merchant account with Host Merchant Services and get started with your online business here.
And now, back to Beal’s list. We left off yesterday with number five on the list, Magento. So let’s move on to number six …
Number Six: OpenCart
OpenCart arrives on Beal’s list as number six. This shopping cart, according to Beal, is quick and easy to install. Storeowners can select a template, add products and start taking orders online seamlessly after the download. The built-in template system lets merchants switch up quickly or migrate their site’s current design into OpenCart, giving added flexibility. Other features are a mutli-store capability to manage more than one store from one administrator interface, tax zones, shipping method controls, back-end store administration tools and support for a variety of payment gateways and languages.
OpenCart, says Beal, is a free open source software published under the GNU GPL License and its server requirements include Web Server — preferably Apache — PHP 5.2 or higher, MySQL, Curl and Fsock.
Number Seven: osCommerce Online Merchant
The osCommerce Online Merchant comes in at number seven on Beal’s list. This e-commerce solution is a free offering that comes with features and tools to help merchants manage the front-end catalog and back-end administration of an online store.
This software is released under the GNU General Public License and version 2.3.1 provides a basic template layout structure to customize the catalog. The Administration Tool, according to Beal, lets merchants configure the online store, insert products for sale, manage customers and process orders. The software is supported by a large community of more than 256,000 storeowners, developers, service providers and enthusiasts, as well as additional support from mailing lists and the osCommerce Newsletter. Server requirements for this software include PHP v4 or better — though 5 or higher is recommended — and MySQL v3 or higher.
Number Eight: PrestaShop
PrestaShop cracks Beal’s list at the number eight spot. This customizable, PCI compliant, e-commerce solution will handle everything from Web store set-up to managing customers and orders according to Beal. Storeowners create and manage the front-end catalog as well as marketing campaigns. They can customize orders and change shipping options. PrestaShop is available in English, French and Spanish — and also offers an additional 41 translations. This software is published under the Open Software License v3.0 and its server requirements include Linux, UNIX or Windows, Web Server — Apache 1.3 or later, IIS 6 or later — PHP 5.0 or later and MySQL 5 or later.
Number Nine: Zen Cart
Zen Cart makes it onto Beal’s list as the number nine entry. One of the draws of Zen Cart is this software is a free and open source shopping cart designed by a group of show owners, programmers, designers and consultants — essential it’s designed by the people that use it for the people that use it. It has the similar setup that a lot of the above mentioned carts have. It uses a template system to select a design and configure product categories, discounts, shipping options and payment options. The cart incorporates a WYSIWYG page editor for modifying non-database pages. Since it’s a bit of a community derived product itself, Zen Cart’s support is through its community contributed additions and documentation as well as its online forum found on its website.
Number Ten: ZeusCart
Rounding out Beal’s top 10 list of open source e-commerce solutions is ZeusCart, a web-based PHP/MySQL shopping cart that boasts a rich user interface and an easy-to-use shopping cart that meets the cutting edge of Web 2.0 evolution. ZeusCart, according to Beal, is targeted toward small and medium storeowners and offers inventory management, attribute-driven product catalog services, category management, built-in CMS and SEO-friendly URLs. It also comes with the standard features such as discounts, taxation, shipping options, integration with multiple payment gateways and e-mail templates. It is licensed under GPL 2 and can be installed on any server where a PHP interpreter, MySQL database server and a web server is present.
That’s Beal’s top 10 list. What other open source e-commerce shopping carts do you know of? Have you any experience with the ones on this list? Feel free to share you experiences in our comments section.