Friday, 20 May 2016

WooCommmerce Vs OpenCart – Which Platform Is Better For Your New eCommerce Store?

Ecommerce is one uber buzzword. More and more businesses can be seen venturing into eCommerce solutions from brick-and-mortar stores. Retailers are making serious efforts to cater to their customers’ sophisticated demands. But creating a successful eCommerce store takes a lot from choosing the right platform to customizing it and delivering a unique customer experience.

If you’re a newly minted business searching for the right eCommerce solution, you may have come across various comparisons like OpenCart vs Shopify or PrestaShop vs OpenCart. But one must have a practical approach and understanding of tools and key skills required to kick-off their online venture. Putting it in a simple way, one needs to identify the best eCommerce platform that not only suits the business requirements but also includes all the features and functionalities that help to monetize the website. 

The eCommerce market offers a galore of platforms to choose from. But if you’re looking for something straight out-of-the-box, then here are two choices you must consider – WooCommerce vs OpenCart. Let us first understand the background of each platform before moving onto their comparison.

WooCommerce was launched by WooThemes in 2011. It is a plugin designed for WordPress (WP) websites. With WooCommerce, an existing WordPress website can be converted into a fully-functional online store. It is a highly successful plugin partly because of the reliable company’s support, and its robust set of features that helps to deliver an engaging shopping experience to the customers.

OpenCart, launched in 2008, is an open-source shopping cart solution designed to manage the requirements of any eCommerce store, regardless of its size. It is free, feature-rich and includes a wide variety of themes and extensions. It is a complete eCommerce system that supports servers like PHP5, Apache, and MySQL5.

Now, let’s compare the two platforms.

Ease of Installation:
OpenCart installation is easy. There are two ways to install it – one is manual and second is with one-click script installer. Manual installation is a little complicated and tiresome but has better customization options. The one-click installation is the fastest way to install OpenCart and can be done by using two installers: Softaculous and SimpleScripts. For WooCommerce installation, WordPress site is a prerequisite as WooCommerce is a WP plugin. Once the site is set up, you can download and install the plugin directly from WP dashboard. So, in terms of ease of installation, WooCommerce is the hands down winner.

Themes, Extensions, and Add-ons:
OpenCart offers over 2000 templates to choose from. It includes both free and paid themes ranging from $60 to $70. Also, add-ons are available at great deals. The Google Analytics, Facebook and Twitter integration is free but services like Amazon, eBay, and some others come at a price. It comes with some awesome shipping options and SEO specific add-ons. While WooCommerce does not include the basic functionalities like OpenCart. So, you need to pay for extensions and payment gateways you want to use. Further, it provides limited community support. There are both free and paid templates in WooCommerce and the price ranges from $39 to $79. Here, OpenCart wins as it has pretty out-of-the-box collections and options for your store.

The template structure in OpenCart is a bit difficult to access. The codes are stored in a database instead of HTML which makes customization tricky. Whereas, WooCommerce offers all the essential administrative tools to revamp the functioning and quality of your store. It provides a greater control while making modifications to the store design. Thus, WooCommerce has better and simpler customization capabilities.

Since both the platforms are professional, the choice of platform naturally depends on the requirements of your business. If you already have a WordPress website then WooCommerce is certainly a good fit. But if you’re looking to manage multiple sites having basic feature requirements, then go with OpenCart development services as it is highly customizable.

Which eCommerce platform seems to be a good fit for your business – WooCommerce or OpenCart? Let us know in the comments below.