6 best open source e-commerce solutions

6 best open source e-commerce solutions

Once you determine the products or services to sell online, then you must select the method to reach the customer and collect the payment. As an online marketer you can choose to sell on one of the community based web portals like eBay or the Yahoo store. However, if you decide to use your own domain, so you can build branding and loyalty to the company, you will require a website and shopping cart with an integrated payment gateway.

The open source community offers small business owners with a wide variety of products to choose from. Today, open source shopping carts provide the same functionality and capability as commercial products, features, and community development support and theme availability platform.

 Here is my short list of the 6 best open source e-commerce solutions:

1. OsCommerce
2. Zen Cart
3. Drupal Commerce
4. VirtueMart
5. PrestaShop
6. Magento Commerce


OsCommerce is the ‘old parent’ of open source shopping carts. OsCommerce provides the source code base for Zen Cart and CRE for the loaded shopping cart.

OsCommerce is easy to install on hosted Windows and Linux servers. OsCommerce can run in a shared hosting environment.

Version 3.0 has been released on March 31, 2011 and is one of the main re-scripts of the program to incorporate an object-oriented backend, a template system to allow easy design changes, and the inclusion of a username of administration of the area, and definition of the password during the installation.

Zen Cart

Zen Cart is derived from osCommerce as a standalone project in 2003. The release of the Zen Carton 1.3.x series is further differentiated by moving the template system from its historic design tables based on an approach that is largely based on CSS.

Advantages: Easy to install, many contributions osCommerce already installed

Disadvantages: Not all osCommerce contributions will work without modification, not updated.


VirtueMart is written in PHP and requires the MySQL database environment for storage. It is best suited for low-level traffic to medium-sized websites.

VirtueMart supports an unlimited number of products and categories, with products that can be assigned to various categories. It also allows the sale of downloadable products, and offers a catalog mode in which the cart function is turned off. VirtueMart supports multiple prices for a single product, around buyer groups or a range of quantity, and allows the use of a variety of different payment gateways.

Advantages: Easy to install, tons of extensions, seamless integration with Joomla

Disadvantages: Lack of shopping cart features

Drupal Commerce 

Drupal Commerce is an open source e-commerce software that enhances the Drupal content management system.  Walks with customers through the process of purchase, tracking invoices, receipts, orders and payments, facilitates shipping and payment, and performs other functions that online merchants need.

Like Drupal, Drupal Commerce can be extended by using modules that add functionality and themes that define visual presentation. There are over 300 modules specific to Drupal Commerce.

Advantages: Easy to install, tons of extensions, seamless integration with Drupal

Disadvantages: Lack of shopping cart features


PrestaShop is free open source software as an e-commerce solution. It supports payment gateways like DirecPayDirecPay, Google Checkout, Authorize.net, Skill, PayPal and PayPal Payments Pro (Direct) through their respective APIs. Additional payment modules are offered commercially.

The software, which is written in PHP and based on the Smarty template engine, is currently used by 150,000 stores worldwide. MySQL is the default database engine. PrestaShop is the winner of the Best Open Source Enterprise Application Awards 2010 and 2011.

The PrestaShop group was founded in Paris, with a second office that opened in Miami in 2011.

The software makes extensive use of AJAX in the administration panel, while module blocks can be easily added to the store to provide greater functionality, which are usually provided free of charge by independent developers.

The PrestaShop manufacturers have an official price market for modules and themes called PrestaShop Addons .

There are a number of volunteers who support and contribute to their own PrestaShop add-ons. Collaborators often program additional functions for the software, above the 310 available features by default.

Advantages: Easy to install, the growing development community, many extensions.

Disadvantages: Some of the most useful extensions are not free.


Magento is an open source ecommerce web application, which was released on March 31, 2008. It was developed by Varian (now Magento Inc. ) with the help of open source community programmers but is exclusively owned by Magento Inc. . Was built using the Zend Framework. The entity-attribute-value (EAV) database model is used to store data.