Hosting Tutorial & Guide

OpenCart Review – Does Open Source Contribute to eCommerce?

updated on Sep 14, 2014
OpenCart Review – Does Open Source Contribute to eCommerce? OpenCart is a shopping cart solution that is widely used to start eCommerce. Recognized as one of the 3 best eCommerce software, it comes with a lot advantages in multi-store management, backend administration, online security, payment and shipping management, and statistics reports.

Furthermore, being open source makes OpenCart highly extensible and customizable. Below are details about the aspects that are carefully reviewed, including cost, ease of use, eCommerce management, and customizability.

Cost – Free of Charge

As OpenCart is a free open source application, it is free to download and use. There is no fee charged for license. Besides, no hosting is available by default, which means that before you find a place to get the software installed, no cost needs to absorb, absolutely.

At this time, you need to realize that if you want to get an online store started, you need to purchase an OpenCart hosting package at first which offers disk space, bandwidth, and a lot of other things that are required to obtain web presence. When searching for a reliable provider, pay special attention to the control panel (cPanel is recommended most), security features like SSH and SSL, and OpenCart installer.

Ease of Use

This part of ease of use is reviewed in 2 main aspects: installation and backend administration. In terms of installation, the process of installing and configuring the common settings are quite easy, especially with the use of auto installers offered by most web hosting providers nowadays. In the case that you have completely no idea about how to install OpenCart, follow the link to refer to the common steps.

As for backend administration, the software is developed with a rich-featured and easy-to-manage UI which includes the tools for managing catalog, extensions, sales, reports, and system. The icon-based dashboard makes it easy to locate the feature you want, and the Overview part gives a direct impression on the total sales, orders, customers, etc.

eCommerce Management

eCommerce Management OpenCart comes with a large number of eCommerce features and management tools that really help. For example, the multi-store ability enables you to build and administer multiple online stores from a single interface. Therefore, you can easily manage separate stores with different types of products, themes, taxes, currencies, default language, and all other things.

In addition, the guest checkout feature allows consumers to complete their order without singing up for a permanent account but just fill in some basic required information. This is quite attractive for people who are always confused and frustrated about the large amount of usernames and passwords.

Besides the ones mentioned above, all of the following features are packed with the software.
  • Unlimited categories, products & manufacturers.
  • 18 languages available, including English, French, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.
  • Multiple tax rates management which determines the tax depending on the country that the goods are sold to.
  • 19 built-in payment gateways including 2Checkout, Authorize.NET, PayPal, SagePay, Bank Transfer and Cheque.
  • 6 built-in shipping methods including Citylink, flat rate, free shipping, UPS, and weight-based shipping.
  • 3 types of sales reports: sales report, products viewed and products purchased.

Customizability & Add-ons

Customizability & Add-ons Since OpenCart is a module-based shopping cart system, it comes with 11 modules by default, which include Bestsellers, Cart, Category, Featured, Latest, Specials, and so on. If you have additional needs on some other advanced features, the extensions section on the official site has more than 10,000 modules for language, payment gateway, shipping method, order, product feeds, and reports.

For the look and feel of online store, there are also a huge number of themes available in the market. But you should know that whether you own a small store or a large one, a responsive theme that costs dozens of USD is certainly worth buying because it not only makes your site look professional, but also brings visits and sales from mobile devices.

Conclusion – Is OpenCart a Good Shopping Cart Solution?

If you plan to start an easy-to-manage online store from scratch or want to manage several stores from one place, OpenCart is the right solution because it has almost everything you need prepared. Using the software, you are able to build a fully functional site with ease. However, OpenCart might not be powerful enough for enterprise-level business, according to our investigation into the user experience.

In the case that you have made your decision to use this application, the web hosts listed below are recommended for hosting your store as they offer stable and fast environment optimized for OpenCart.