Open-source eCommerce platforms to watch in 2022

Open source eComemrce platforms

Open-source eCommerce platforms are an attractive option for entrepreneurs looking to launch their own online store or business venture, as they offer a low entry barrier and open up a world of possibilities for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Open-source eCommerce platforms are less expensive than other solutions on the market and they offer a lot of features that you might not get with paid solutions.

However, open source eCommerce platforms may not be a good choice for every business. Deciding to use one requires a thorough analysis of all the advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, I will help you to decide whether it is the best solution for your business by providing in-depth information starting with:

  • what does open-source mean,
  • advantages and disadvantages of open-source eCommerce solutions,
  • and some examples of the best open-source eCommerce platforms.

Let’s start with the definition of open-source software first.

What does open-source mean?

Open-source is a software development model that allows developers to access, modify and distribute the code. It is usually free to use, modify and distribute.

Open-source eCommerce platforms are software platforms that are developed with open-source technology.

“Source code” is the part of the software that users don’t see; it is the code that computer programmers may change to change the way a piece of software—an “application” or a “program”—works. Programmers with access to a computer software’s source code can change it by adding features or mending portions that don’t always work properly.

Read more about: Every question about eCommerce platforms answered.

Free and open-source software (FOSS)

FOSS stands for free and open-source software. “Free” doesn’t mean software is free of cost, but the source code is open for all and anyone to use, study and modify the code.

Open-source eCommerce platforms: advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of open source eCommerce platforms

1. Low cost

Open-source eCommerce platforms are usually much cheaper than the more popular and well-known ones. This is because there are no monthly fees and no licensing costs in most cases.

Open-source technologies, such as Reaction Commerce and OpenCart, are free shopping cart systems that enterprises may connect with their eCommerce websites. Open-source platforms allow enterprises to tailor eCommerce capabilities to their specific requirements, something a hosted solution may not provide.                                                                                                                                                                                           

2. Limitless customization

Another advantage of open-source eCommerce platforms is being able to customize the platform to suit your needs and specific requirements. This means you don’t have to settle for a “one-size-fits-all” solution that may not be right for your online business. 

Because open-source eCommerce platforms allow you to update and modify the code in any manner you want, there are almost limitless options to develop and build anything that comes to mind. Developers and company owners are free to construct whatever they want as long as they can write code.

3. Transparency

The purpose of open-source software is the openness of its code: what you see is what you get. Indeed, many other benefits of open-source arise from the publicly availability of its code.

Users of open-source eCommerce platforms are more likely to trust the software vendor since they can access the code. Furthermore, because the code is publicly available, it provides its users with a sense of stability: it may be used for long-term projects because the program will not be abandoned.

4. Security

One advantage is that open-source code is available for anyone to inspect, making it one of the most secure types of software. This is because the code is available to anyone to inspect and it has been checked by many people, so if there are any security flaws they can be found and fixed.

There are many eyes to check for the presence of problems and many pairs of hands to correct these faults as quickly as possible.

5. Flexibility

The flexibility of open-source eCommerce platforms is a key factor for enterprises who want to host their platforms on their own servers. They don’t need to spend money on licenses, and they can also customize the platform as per their needs. This gives them complete control over the data that is available on their website and how it is used.

Disadvantages of open-source eCommerce platforms

1. Vulnerability

Many individuals have access to open-source software source code, but not all of them may have noble motives. While many individuals use their access to find faults and enhance the application, others may use it to exploit the product’s weaknesses and develop bugs that can infect electronics, steal identities, or simply irritate other users.

2. No centralized support system

Those who prefer commercially developed software claim that it provides them with peace of mind. The cons of open-source eCommerce platforms is that they don’t come with technical support.

With the hosted solution, you don’t have to worry about any problems with the platform since the company that hosts it will take care of them for you.

3. Updates

The communities of open-source eCommerce projects are constantly making updates and improvements to the platforms, which provide better features for users and make it easier for them to build their own store. However, there is a “but”.

This is: some projects may receive less attention while others may receive more depending on who is working on them and how much time they can devote.

Open-source & source available eCommerce platforms

Uvodo

Uvodo is a source-available eCommerce platform built especially for developers and tech-savvy entrepreneurs to speed up their eCommerce development. It’s a white label platform that allows limitless customization.  

Plus, Uvodo is a self-hosted platform. It’s a one-time pricing model with lifetime updates.

Not to mention, Uvodo is headless eCommerce platform.

Read more about: Why is PHP preferable programming language for eCommerce website development?

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source plugin to use WordPress as an eCommerce website.

WooCommerce is the most popular e-commerce platform on the web and it’s backed by an enthusiastic and large community of users and developers.

WooCommerce has a number of advantages, such as a large community, it’s free and easy to use, and the plugin itself has been around for a long time.

However, it also has some disadvantages such as lack of customization options for the backend and frontend, no native mobile app, and not being able to integrate with other platforms.

OpenCart

OpenCart is an open-source platform built on PHP. 

OpenCart has plenty of advantages: it’s free, open source, easy to install and customize, easy to use, allows you to create your own themes

There are several product features and tons of plugins to help you get started. As written in the r/ecommerce subreddit, OpenCart is good for a newbie to eCommerce, but if you want to have an efficient eCommerce presence look, you should look for other options.

Magento Open Source

Adobe’s Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform. 

Magento Open Source by Adobe Commerce is an open-source eCommerce platform, which is available for anyone to use.

It’s free to use, which means you don’t have to worry about hosting or maintenance costs, but it still offers a lot of professional features like SEO capabilities, fraud protection, mobile optimization, scalability and more.

The biggest advantage of Magento is its scalability. It can be used by everyone from small businesses to huge enterprises. Magento also has a wide range of plugins and extensions that can be easily integrated into the software to extend its functionality. The biggest disadvantage of Magento is that it’s not as simple to use as other eCommerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce.

PrestaShop

Unlike OpenCart, PrestaShop is not accessible as a one-click program on hosting services, but you may download it from its official website and set it up yourself. PrestaShop is free and self-hosted, which means that you can install it on your own server or host it with one of the many hosting providers.

Read more about: Hosted VS Self-hosted eCommerce solutions: which one to choose?

PrestaShop has a wide variety of features and advantages that make it a great choice for the companies looking for an affordable way to create their own store. There are lots of plugins but cause added costs. Limited scalability and unprofessional design can be counted as disadvantages.

Shopware

Shopware is an open source eCommerce solution that offers a wide range of features, including content management, product management, customer management, marketing tools, order processing and fulfillment. Shopware has been around since 2004, which means it has had time to mature as well as be tested in many different scenarios.

Shopware is not the most user-friendly eCommerce software out there. It is a bit complicated and confusing for those who are not tech savvy. So, you will have to hire a programmer to take care of the technical aspect of your website.

Solidus

It is one of the free and open-source eCommerce platforms developed for rapidly developing, digital, online enterprises and pragmatic developers. 

Solidus is preferable for creating MVPs and iterating rapidly. It offers an end-to-end solution for managing everything from product design to fulfillment.

Sylius

Sylius is an open source eCommerce platform, and it’s free. Sylius is a powerful tool for developing eCommerce projects. Sylius offers a wide variety of tools for managing your products, orders, shipments and customers in one place. 

Sylius also provides great flexibility for developers as it can be easily integrated with any existing system or technology stack you might use on your website or company.

There is also Sylius Plus, which is paid.

Spree Commerce

Spree is an open-source headless eCommerce platform for multi-store, marketplace, or B2B global brands. 

Spree offers a high degree of flexibility with customization tools and API access. The platform is built on top of PHP.

Is an open-source eCommerce solution right for you? 

Open-source eCommerce solutions are a great option for small to medium sized businesses that are looking for an affordable and scalable eCommerce platform.

It is important to keep in mind that open-source eCommerce solutions are not for everyone. They are best for those who want to be able to customize their website as much as possible, and who have a firm understanding of the technical aspects of eCommerce.

Open-source allows software developers and digital agencies to go into every line of code developed for a certain platform and modify however  they like. 

Here are a few short tips to help you decide if open-source is good for you and your eCommerce business.

  • You want to save money, open-source is the way to go.
  • You need to market a highly customizable or one-of-a-kind product.
  • Your online business requires third-party applications.
  • You want to add custom features 

At the end, the thing to remember is that the open-source solution has to be scalable and flexible enough so that it can grow with your business.

Narmina Balabayli
Narmina is a full-time head of content at Uvodo, lifetime artist, part-time cat lover. Love writing anything about digital. She has superpower to disappear.

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