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WooCommerce VS OpenCart – Which Should Be Your Choice

updated on Oct 26, 2017
WooCommerce VS OpenCart – Which Should Be Your Choice There are hundreds of shopping cart options for building an eCommerce site, among which WooCommerce and OpenCart are 2 popular ones with thousands of fans. This WooCommerce VS OpenCart comparison is made to make clear of what they are, what they offer, and which one you should choose for your business.

To make things easy-to-understand, we have mainly compared the ease of installation, eCommerce features and extensions. Learn about details in the following parts.

About WooCommerce

Actually, WooCommerce is not an independent e-commerce or shopping cart option. It is a WordPress plugin that cannot work out without a WordPress powered website. It can be downloaded and installed from WordPress plugin directory or your admin panel directly.

Pros

  • The seamless integration with WordPress core, WordPress themes and other WordPress plugins.
  • The user-friendly interface ensures almost no learning curve for the first-time users.
  • All the e-commerce related features are included.
  • There are a lot of WooCommerce add-ons to extend the core functionalities.

Cons

  • It is tightly integrated with WordPress. Without WordPress, this tool cannot work.
  • Most of WooCommerce themes and add-ons are free, but some premium ones are still costly.

About OpenCart

Unlike WooCommerce, this one is an isolated shopping cart solution that is open source. You can download it from the official website and install it for free. However, to run an OpenCart website online, you should purchase a proper hosting solution.

Pros

  • There are plenty of e-commerce related features that can power an online store or a business portal of any kinds, niches and scales.
  • The interface is straightforward and simple, so experienced users can start easily.
  • There are a lot of documentation and user guides you can find online.
  • Most webmasters, especially the small store owners, can afford the charges easily.

Cons

  • Unless you install some extra tools, OpenCart does not perform as fast as WooCommerce.
  • The caching system is not ensured by default. In this case, if you need the performance improvement, you should opt for the extra extensions.
  • For new users, some learning curves are needed.
  • The customization options of OpenCart are unlimited, but are hard to carry out.

Prerequisites for Installation

WooCommerce is one of the best WordPress eCommerce plugins used by more than 10% of all eCommerce sites. It is free to use, but as it resides on WordPress, you need to download and install the required version of WordPress first before making use of this plugin. WooCommerce cannot run separately but is only available for integrating with WordPress sites.

OpenCart, on the other hand, is an independent open source shopping cart system. As one of the best eCommerce software in the market, it operates well as long as the server powering it meets the system requirements of the installed version. Usually, a server with PHP 5, MySQL 5 and Apache web server is good for OpenCart to run.

Ease of Installation

Ease of Installation As is mentioned above, WooCommerce relies on WordPress, so an installation of the CMS is a necessity. When a site is well-prepared, the plugin can be downloaded and installed directly through WordPress dashboard. Or you can go to WordPress.org, download WooCommerce plugin, and then upload the files to server. If there is any problem, follow the link to learn how to install WordPress plugins.

Installing OpenCart on your server is also quite simple. There are commonly 2 ways to get the job done – installing it manually, or using a 1-click script installer for a simplified process. The former way is a little bit more complex, but it gives you more possibilities of customization in the very beginning, while the latter is much more time-saving and better for beginners. Popular OpenCart installers are Softaculous and SimpleScripts.

eCommerce Features

Both of WooCommerce and OpenCart are designed with rich features which make it quite convenient to start and maintain an eCommerce site. They both allow creating an unlimited number of categories, adding unlimited products and selling digital goods. More information about their main features is as following.
eCommerce Features
  • Admin Panel. With WooCommerce, you are able to take advantage of the simplicity of the WordPress dashboard along with the editing and management tools. OpenCart, backed by a team of experts, offers a fully functional admin UI for the administration of everything.
  • Multi-Store & Multi-Language. Both of the 2 options support multiple languages, but WooCommerce does not come with the functionality of setting up multiple stores, which means that you need to have several WordPress installations if you are in need of separate online stores with WooCommerce. OpenCart does include this feature by default.
  • Payment Gateways. OpenCart has over 24 payment options in the default download which are much more than its competitor.
  • Shipping Methods. Both of them have a large number of shipping options including flat rate and free shipping. Moreover, additional methods can be added by installing extensions.
  • Reports. You can view everything about you WooCommerce store in the WordPress backend easily, and also, OpenCart provides detailed sales reports and product views in the admin panel.

Extensions

WooCommerce is supported in most of WordPress eCommerce themes and a large number of other themes. There are both free and premium options available. As for the enhancement of functionality, WooCommerce comes with hundreds of extensions for payment, widgets, report, marketing, shipping, and more.

Extensions The appearance of OpenCart websites can be improved by the utilization of affordable and responsive OpenCart templates, and the features can be extended with the needed extensions. In the Extension Directory on the official site, there are more than 13,000 items developed for people who want to build a much more power eCommerce site.

Some Other Differences

In addition to the main different points listed as below, we also have presented some others in the following.
  • Market share - WooCommerce leads in the top 10k websites due to the popularity of WordPress. OpenCart simply lags behind.
  • Main use - Both of them are suitable for a wide range of niches, such as business, industry, shopping, arts, entertainment, internet, marketing, advertising, telecom and many more. However, no matter in which niche, OpenCart fails to get the lead over WooCommerce.
  • Geography - WooCommerce is popular in almost all the countries, but OpenCart is mainly leading in US and Australia.

Which One Should You Choose?

Both are professional, so the answer depends. If you currently run a WordPress site and want to set up a site to sell goods, WooCommerce is certainly a good option as it adds the ability of selling on your existing site for easier management. However, if you do not have high requirements on content management features or would like to manage several sites from one place, OpenCart is the right solution because it is more customizable.

In case that you have not gotten one of the best eCommerce hosting package for WooCommerce or OpenCart, the services from the following companies are recommended,