OpenCart is a comprehensive open source e-commerce solution that lets you launch your online store, add and manage products and let your customers use a shopping cart to buy them. OpenCart delivers all the standard online store functionality you might need.
OpenCart is better suited for businesses that have some web experience and know their way around basic website setup and development tasks or have web developers on their staff.
OpenCart is actually quite simple to learn, and the interfaces are really user-friendly. Right off the bat, you get all the functionality required to get you up and running. However, installing new extensions in OpenCart can become quite expensive.
OpenCart does not come with any particular design templates. You get a basic modern-looking and mobile responsive store design template when you install the platform. If you need a custom-made template that will reflect your brand, you will have to design it yourself or hire a website designer. If building an e-commerce platform around your brand is not really of great importance, you can get various templates from a site like ThemeForest.
Some of the main features in OpenCart include:
- Unlimited categories.
- Unlimited products and manufacturers.
- Sell digital products.
- Multi-currency supported.
- Product reviews and product ratings.
- Can be extended with templates (designs).
- More than 20 payment gateways.
- More than 8 shipping methods.
- PCI compliant.
- Multiple tax rates.
- Shipping calculations (weight and size).
- Discount coupon system.
- Backup and restore tools.
- Printable invoices.
- Sales reports.
Pros of OpenCart
It is quite easy to set up Open, and the fact you can quickly bolt on new themes or plugins to change the appearance or the feature-set of your site means it is straightforward for the non-technically minded.
Plenty of Themes: There are tons of themes available, both free and paid, for giving your store a slick, attractive, sales-worthy look. You’ll never be short of options, regardless of the types of products you sell.
Low Running Costs: On an ongoing basis, it doesn’t require any ongoing development costs to keep OpenCart ticking over. For the small to medium-sized online store, this makes it a great option for keeping a lid on costs.
Cons of OpenCart
More Difficult to Customize: Compared with osCommerce, it is much harder to customize OpenCart, and to a large extent you are confined to the product as-is. However, there are a lot of pre-made modifications available which you can use to add to the site, short of hiring a developer and going totally custom.
SEO: By default, OpenCart is not SEO ready as it should be. This means you will need to approach this issue separately to get the right results in search engines.
Can Be Slow: The script can run at a reasonably slow pace, especially on larger sites, which can make for a frustrating shopping experience after a while.
For some requirements, you might want to consider a paid solution. While there are free software applications and scripts you can use, many people choose to power their online stores through paid options. Paid options tend to have more features available out of the box, and are generally better supported than free software.