eCommerce Platforms

I’m in the hunt for a e-commerce open source framework that is easy to use and easy to extend.  Wordpress is the perfect combination of easy to use and easy to extend.  It also has great community support.  Before WordPress I used ExponentCMS.  While that is a good CMS, it is nowhere near the level of WordPress.   I customized Exponent for a client and it did not turn out very well.   Research to find the best platform the first time around can save a lot of time, money, and headaches.  This post is from one day’s research.

 

Magento

Not Magneto, like I thought it said before I saw a YouTube video.  lol.  This open source eCommerce system is professional to say the least.  With all the options in the admin panel, it looks like you could create your ownl eBay/Amazon site.  Reviews have all been in line with it looking professional and being very flexible, but they have also said that it is overly complex and difficult to modify.  They have a lot of coding standards and very little support from the core developers on the forums.  Even experienced developers will have a hard time with it.   If the website is for a large client, this may be the one for you.  On a side note, Ebay has recently purchased Magento.

Scroll to the bottom of http://www.magentocommerce.com/demo and see the community demo.

 

Open Cart

This seems like it has almost as much features as Magento, but is praised by many as having an organized structure.  It follows the MVC (model view contoller) framework so it’s less complicated.  The ease of the framework lets it to be easier to extend.  Google insight shows that it is the most searched PHP open source eCommerce platform.

Demo here: http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route=demonstration/demonstration

 

BigCommerce ($24/month)

Upon looking at review sites I ran into some that included commercial products.  I decided to put this here because this was named the best eCommerce platform of 2011 by a couple websites.  They feature drag and drop customization of the layout and many many other features.   I haven’t done the free trial yet, but it  seems as though they got the usability and the depth right.

A video tour is available here: http://www.bigcommerce.com/ecommerce-solution-features.php

 

OsCommerce

I have heard some horrible things about this CMS including things like it’s out of date, table-based, and not modular.

 

ZenCart

I have heard that this shopping cart is based on osCommerce.  The performance and code is supposedly not very good.

 

LemonStand

From the demo, this PHP-based ecommerce solution looks easy to modify.  The templates seem like they are in a easy to understand structured format.  It does have some, although not that great, CMS capabilities.  The cost to use this is $300.   I have chosen to use LemonStand as my ecommerce solution. because of its simplicity in implementing custom themes.  They have great documentation that lets you jump in and start creating your online ecommerce solution.   I have some raw notes on lemonstand here.

 

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