If you’re building an e-commerce website or adding a store to an existing website, you have plenty of options to choose from. With so many shopping cart options and so much variety, there is no right or wrong solution – just different choices that work best in different situations.
You may want to choose an open-source option that you can learn in order to build enhanced features. Or your client may want to go with a hosted or licensed option that can be up and running quickly.
In this post we’ll look at more than 30 different options, provide some basic details for each one, and point you in the right direction for gathering more information to make an educated decision.
Recommended eCommerce Platforms:
Shopify is a hosted solution with prices that start at $24 per month. There are tons of features and ease of use is emphasized. They have a number of free templates that users can choose from, or you can purchase a template instead of getting a custom design.
(UPDATE: Highwire is no longer available.) Highwire is another hosted option. It also includes the ability to sell your products on Facebook and Ebay in addition to your own site. A free plan is available and paid plans start at $19.95.
Open Source eCommerce Options:
There are a number of open source options that are popular with developers.
Magento is a leading open source solution. It is a full-featured e-commerce platform with lots of options for users.
osCommerce is one of the most popular open source shopping carts. osCommerce was started in 2000 and has a community of over 200,000 users. Others like Zen Cart and CRE Loaded are based on osCommerce.
Zen Cart is a popular free, open source shopping cart.
PrestaShop is a free, open source shopping cart (PHP).
Free Shopping Carts:
In addition to the open source options, these shopping carts will keep costs to a minimum.
Websites and blogs powered by WordPress can download the e-commerce plugin. It doesn’t offer all of the features of a complete e-commerce solution (although it does have quite an impressive feature list for a plugin), but it may be ideal for smaller stores.
Hosted and Licensed eCommerce Options:
Many clients may not want to go with a free or open source option. Here are some of the leading choices for hosted and licensed e-commerce.
E-Junkie provides shopping carts and buy now buttons for selling downloads and tangible goods. They automate the transfer of files and codes if you are selling downloads. Prices start at $5 per month.
CubeCart is a feature-rich PHP and MySQL shopping cart. The price ranges from free to $180.
3DCart’s prices range from $20 to $100 per month for its hosted shopping cart.
Interspire costs $295, $995 or $1,795, depending on which edition you want.
X-Cart is a PHP and MySQL shopping cart. X-Cart gold costs $229 and X-Cart Pro costs $575.
FoxyCart is free during development and then $15 per month. It aims to make the process of designing and developing an e-commerce site easy.