Tuesday, 5 January 2016

What makes OpenCart the best eCommerce Platform for a New Business?

All new businesses need to have an online presence – and this is not limited to a company website. The act of buying and selling on the web has grown exponentially in the last few years. Due to this, any new business looking to grow must be able to sell efficiently on the web. OpenCart is a popular choice for newcomers in the eCommerce world. This article covers the pros & cons of the platform for considering it for your organization.

Advantages

  • Easy to Manage : A simple, neat and easy to use admin panel is one of the greatest benefits of OpenCart. This is what makes it ideal for those new to the platform.
  • Wide Variety of Plugins: OpenCart's free version may not be as feature rich as PrestaShop or Magento. However, it makes up for this by offering around 1600 free and 4000 paid plugins. In addition, when businesses need to download/purchase advanced client report plugins, there are about a dozen to pick from.
  • Large Community of Users: Discussion boards on technical issues and other forums provide much need help when needed. While the community support is not as exhaustive as that of Magento's, it is substantial to meet your organization needs.
  • Code Modifications: The MVC model used by OpenCart makes it easy to work around with the code and modify it from a developer/programmer perspective. This is especially true for those developers who have used MVC in the past. In addition, OpenCart also has a clear structure of graphics templates so OpenCart website development shouldn't be a problem.
  • Optimal use of Infrastructure: OpenCart doesn't have a number of built-in functionalities like Magento or PrestaShop. However, that's what leads to it being less demanding on server resources/ RAM. But including too many plugins may slow it down and make it less efficient.


Disadvantages

  • Plugins and Updates: Custom updates and plugins may be an issue with OpenCart. When you buy a plugin for OpenCart and update the script, some of the functionality may get lost or get errors. Better to check with plugin authors about release updates.
  • JavaScript and CSS: The very basic and poorly optimized version of OpenCart script makes clients download 500KB of just JavaScript and CSS code while accessing the store. The amount is same for Magento but since it's a larger platform, it can handle the load.
  • Limited Functionality : OpenCart doesn't come with a large variety of core functionality. It lacks features like reporting and analytics. Large organizations must check whether OpenCart provides everything they need. It may also be a good idea to check out their paid and free addons. 
In conclusion, OpenCart is a great alternative for businesses looking for a 'no-frills' shopping cart. It works well with a sizable number of products, has many free add-ons, provides fair community support and is ideal for beginners/new business owners. 

Have you used OpenCart in your organization? Tell us about your experience with it in the comments section below.


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