This is the second of two articles about open source ecommerce software that we hope will help web developers and system administrators in selecting what is best for their needs. The first article Top 10 Open Source eCommerce Software (Joomla and Drupal) reviewed: HikaShop, SimpleCaddy, OpenCart, redSHOP and RokQuickCart.
The following article details our own analysis of the last 5 vendors in our article series.
Founded in 2005, the company VirtueMart has developed a free and open source shopping cart software as an extension for Joomla. Formerly known as mambo-phpShop, VirtueMart is a popular Joomla extension written in PHP, within a MySQL database environment.
- Has an enormous amount of features and comes with a large number of options to choose from.
- Powerful extensions with great performance in the back-end.
- One of the most popular components used by Joomla users.
- Installation can be complex and its extension directly is not optimally organization for easy selection.
- Does not provide the SEO features that other comparable platforms offer.
- Unable to upload or download catalog of products using the basic version. Must pay for the full version to receive a lot of the advanced features.
- Documentation is not available and setup time can take more time in comparison to similar products.
With headquarters in Los Angeles, CA, Wazala is one of eight software applications offered by a group of programmers/engineers working at Boxador. Wazala provides the ability to be integrated into any existing website, and help to transform the site into a commerce site
- Great alternative as a low-budget application, for those who cannot afford the higher priced solutions.
- Once the buyer commits to purchase a product/service, Wazala does not leave the client’s website; unlike PayPal which brings up a new page.
- Mobile-optimized for users on smartphone devices.
- Configuration is very easy, and can be quickly integrated into any Drupal website.
- Not suitable for product catalogs greater than 25 items.
- Free version is very limited, not allowing for any inventory tracking.
- Very limited customization features.
- Cannot be fully integrated into an existing site, matching similar colors etc.
Started in 2006 by two employees of a restaurant equipment sales company in Louisville, KY, Ubercart was originally designed to work on Drupal only sites. The private company currently employees 5 individuals, who spend most of their time coding the new version of the application.
- Lots of functionality and add-on features available.
- One of the most powerful ecommerce software solutions in the market, providing options such as user roles, permissions etc.
- Excellent option for a small ecommerce site looking for superior usability.
- Quick and easy to install, required only a small amount of time to get things up and running.
- The software has a number of bugs that are not being addressed or fixed in the near term.
- Poor documentation structure that is not written in a simplistic step-by-step manner.
- Poor community assistance, with regards to any tips or tricks etc.
- Not recommended for large ecommerce sites that need an abundant amount of modules.
Based in New York, NY, Dioscouri Design is the developer a dozen open source PHP packages for Joomla. Founded in 2007, the privately held company also provides Joomla website development consultancy services for its large client base.
- A well laid out, and easy to follow, back-end that makes most configurations quick and easy.
- Very robust and very powerful for a simple tool, with a clean interface.
- Installation is straight forward, simple and quick.
- Documentation is well structured with a number of examples, making it very easy to follow.
- Form styling takes an enormous amount of time, and needs to be completed for each type (login, registration etc.)
- Customization is very complex, and recommend for advanced users only.
- Not an “out of the box” application, and requires an enormous effort to be integrated into an existing site.
- Does not provide several key options for some countries, i.e. Multiple taxes in Canada.
LiteCommerce is one of a number of online solutions developed by Qualiteam, a company formed in 2000, with its headquarters in Ulyanovsk, Russia. With its original name Creative Development, the company was one of the first providers of commercial open source shopping cart applications. The company has a number of well-known clients, including Siemens; a global company specializing in electronics and electronic engineering.
- Excellent technical support and quick to reply to any questions or comments.
- Well integrated with Drupal, making it a very good solution for this platform.
- Flexible and easy-to-use, with a large amount of add-ons available to suit any needs.
- A free 30 day trial is available for the fully functional version, providing a great opportunity to explore and test the application.
- Allows a fair amount of inventory products (5,000 – 10,000) and also a large number of categories (up to 10,000).
- Not recommended for large scale ecommerce sites exceeding annual sales of 1 million dollars.
- Technical support is not provided by telephone, and only web-based support is available.
- Does not allow the ability to include a number of optional features such as; Product Reviews, Wish List etc.
- Is not a multi-language or multi-currency capable solution.
The below graph and table shows a one year sites traffic comparison for all 10 of the Open Source eCommerce Software products that we reviewed.
We hope that web developers and online retailers have found our articles both interesting and useful in helping them select an open source ecommerce software vendor.
Monitis offers full page load testing and synthetic transactions monitoring services to ensure the online shops are operable 24/7. Without such monitoring, the investment in implementing an online shop will not only bring little revenue but may also affect the overall company’s brand image and reputation.
For more information on Monitis please visit our website: www.monitis.com.
More e-commerce articles are here - http://blog.monitis.com/index.php/category/articles/ecommerce/