10 Opensource and free e-commerce solutions

A lot of businesses need an e-commerce platform on the internet to showcase goods and services to customers.

It used to be a daunting task for web developers putting together an e-commerce platform until the arrival of a lot of Content Management Systems (CMS); majority of which are free or open source. This is another great reason to us Linux as it offers a much stable platform for system administrators of various kinds.

Here is our top 10 E-commerce Solution for building a commercial website

  1. WordPress/WooCommerce

WordPress is by far the best content management system on the planet for over two decades now.

This of a near complete web development solution for any platform b it Windows, Linux or Apple Mac, WordPress is your best option. It must be said that WordPress websites are also the most attacked websites by bots, viruses and trojan horses online.

Now, WooCommerce is a super plugin that turns your wordpress website to a complete e-commerce solution. It is so extensible and very unique when managed properly.

2. Open Cart

OpenCart is a popular PHP-based eCommerce platform. It is also open source and has a lot of extensions to help modify the platform and suit your needs.

This CMS also supports a lot of payment gateways by default and offers even more support for newer ones.

You may find it that it isn’t super actively maintained – but it’s still there and being utilized by a lot of web developers. You get support for a lot of extensions while having most of the essential features baked right into it.

For some, it may not be the best “modern” eCommerce platform but if you want a good open-source PHP-based alternative, it is worth a try. In most of the web hosting platforms with one-click app installation support, OpenCart should be available to setup.

3. PrestaShop

I personally like using this great solution which offers similar features to WordPress and Joomla.

PrestaShop is yet another open-source eCommerce platform that you can utilize.

An actively maintained open-source solution with an official marketplace for themes and extensions. Unlike OpenCart, you may not find it available as a one-click app on hosting services – but you can download it from its official website and it is quite easy to set it up. You can also refer to their installation guide if you need help.

It features a lot of options while being easy to use at the same time. I find a lot of users trying out PrestaShop – you should take a look as well!

4. Zen Cart

Not too fancy, not as easy to use for newbies but Zen Cart has been around for ages now. It is also very stable and secure. It sure has its very own fan-base

This may not be a modern eCommerce platform but one of the best open-source solutions. If you’re a fan of old school templates (HTML-based primarily) and do not need a whole lot of extensions but just the basics, you can try it out.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this for a new project – but just because it is still an active platform, feel free to experiment on it if you like it.

You can find the project on SourceForge as well.

5. Magento

Surprisingly, closed source software giant Adobe owns this solution but it is part of its open source offerings.

An Adobe-owned open-source eCommerce platform that is potentially better than WordPress (depending on your preferences obviously).

Magento is completely tailored for e-commerce applications – so you will find a lot of essential features easy to use while offering advanced customizations as well.

However, when utilizing the open-source edition, you might miss some of the features available in their hosted offering. You can refer to their comparison guide for details. Of course, you can self-host it but if you want a managed hosting support, that’s available as well.

6. Drupal

Drupal is another powerful open-source CMS platform that is suitable for creating an eCommerce website.

I’ve never used it – so I’m not really sure of its flexibility but looking at its list of modules (Extensions) and themes available on its official site, it looks like you can do almost everything you need for an eCommerce platform easily.

You should be able to install it easily on any web server just like you install WordPress – so give it a try and see how it goes. You can even download the latest releases and check out the project on their download page.

7. Joomla

Personally, i’ll rate this my number two web development tool or CMS but for the sake of an e-commerce website, i chose to list it as follows.

It can handle an e-commerce website project easily with it’s extensions and vast theme collection.

Joomla! is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) for publishing web content. Over the years Joomla! has won several awards. It is built on a model–view–controller web application framework that can be used independently of the CMS that allows you to build powerful online applications.

Joomla! is one of the most popular website softwares, thanks to its global community of developers and volunteers, who make sure the platform is user friendly, extendable, multilingual, accessible, responsive, search engine optimized and so much more.

8. Odoo eCommerce

If you like controlling your e-commerce solutions offline and online with need for a superb point of sale technology then Odoo is the solution

In case you didn’t know, Odoo offers a suite of open source business apps. They also offer open source accounting software and CRM solutions that we’ve covered in a separate list.

For the eCommerce portal, you can utilize its online drag and drop builder to customize your site as per your requirements. You also have options to promote the website. In addition to the easy theme installation and customization options, you get to utilize HTML/CSS to manually customize the look and feel to some extent.

9. Bagisto

This solution is not very popular but worth mentioning as it hs got ll the basic tools and features of a good CMS for building and managing an e-commerce website.

Bagisto is an interesting open-source eCommerce framework built on top of Laravel.

It offers a clean user experience and offers a lot of options baked right in without needing any extensions. Of course, to extend the functionality of your site, you can explore its extension marketplace.

10. Microweber

This is an open source web development solution with capabilities of turning your website to just about any project you desire.

This website builder and content management system is born from the real needs of the users and clients.

Microweber is an open-source content management system and website builder. It is based on the PHP programming language and the Laravel 5 web application framework, using drag and drop and allowing users to quickly create content, while scheduling and managing multiple displays.

there are lots of other CMS out there but i chose these ten as my favorite so you can do some research as the days go buy for newer ones or better updates for existing ones.

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