Let’s Talk About Open Source eCommerce Platforms
eCommerce platforms come in all types of shapes, sizes, colors, and well, development models. If you don’t know what that last one is, and most people probably don’t, it is referring to the way the software (in this case eCommerce platforms) is created and modified. In most cases software is made by companies, behind closed doors in order to keep their code hidden from the public. But in the case of Open Source, the code is completely open to the public. Anyone can modify, fix, or just play around with the code for their website. eCommerce has it’s fair share of different open source software platforms, some of the most well known being: PrestaShop, OpenCart, and Magento Community Edition.
Started in 2005, PrestaShop is one of the most popular open source eCommerce platforms. It’s arguably the most modern and full featured too. PrestaShop also has a very lively community for support, which is important because with open source eCommerce you do not get a dedicated support system like you do with eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, Volusion, and Bigcommerce. PrestaShop is completely customizable and almost anything can be done with it because you have complete access to customize the code of your website.
Magento Community Edition
Magento Community Edition is the free open source version of Magento, which also features an active community like the PrestaShop community. This community is important, especially for those who want to setup and maintain their site themselves. For those who are new to the world of tech and code, it can be tough learning all the information that is needed to effectively run your store. If this is the case for you, Magento also has a community of designers and developers that can help you get your store up and running.
Formed in 1999, OpenCart is the oldest on the list. OpenCart 2.0 released in 2014 modernized the whole platform and brought with it a redesigned interface, responsive designs, and currently supports thousands of themes. It works with many payment gateways and shipping integrations. OpenCart also offers commercial support for a fee.
Our Open Source Suggestion
Any of these platforms are a great choice, and it often comes down to the needs of your business. The open source eCommerce world is perfect for anyone wanting to get their store working, looking, and functioning exactly as they have in mind. This being said, it is important to keep in mind that with these open source platforms, you will not have built-in support like you would with other more turnkey platforms such as Shopify, Bigcommerce, or Volusion.
Need help selecting an open source platform, or have questions for the Border7 Team? Contact us and receive a free consultation!