Best PHP Shopping Carts for Ecommerce Websites

by Taha Zafar  March 22, 2016

One of the most attractive ways to get into the digital age is by launching your own online business, specifically, online commerce. Ecommerce sales worldwide reached a staggering $1.672 trillion online in 2015 and 2016 will only take these values to a new height. The era of ecommerce has its claws deep in the market now. Many companies and stores are now going online. From physical to anything that is digital, everything is now being marketed and sold online.

Ecommerce Sales Forecast

Quite obviously, since ecommerce is a booming field, ecommerce software solutions too, are in high demand. Moreover, ecommerce trends have led the businesses to approach new customers through new and creative ways. A lot of ecommerce software solutions have reached the market that offer new and creative methods to sell products to the users.

best-php-shopping-carts

In this article, I will be discussing 4 of the best PHP ecommerce development solutions.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free to use WordPress plugin which seems to be doing a great job, as it consumes almost a 30% share of the market. It can be called a beginner level ecommerce software solution as it is easy to use and almost anyone can start using it in no time. It also gives both store owners and developers complete control over their online store.ecommerce technology distribution

Pros

  • You can categorize products and give sale prices with independent traits. WooCommerce stores are able to provide physical, virtual, downloadable and affiliate products.
  • There are over 2000+ different themes in WordPress. With which, users can change a pre-set CSS style and color themes.
  • Woocommerce has many tools to help you control detailed order tracking and customer engagement. Users can view open orders, update delivery statuses, apply the discount code, set-up taxes etc.

Cons

  • WooCommerce is not a complete ecommerce solution. Developers have to add multiple extensions in order to achieve complete functions.
  • It is not suitable to handle the complexities of a large ecommerce store.
  • The base plugin is not sufficient enough for a complete ecommerce store.

Magento

Magento is another ecommerce solution, which being open source provides its customers with flexible shopping cart system and control over content, functionality and visuals of their online store. It takes the third place with 6.71% of overall market share. However, we can say that it is an advanced level solution for ecommerce. It provides powerful SEO and catalog-management tools.

Pros

  • Magento can be used for large ecommerce projects with thousands of products to be managed.
    A huge number of extensions which allow users to easily customize your ecommerce store accordingly.
  • Totally customizable and can create truly unique stores.
  • It enables you to support multi-store.

Cons

  • Unless you’re a coder, bringing on talent to launch your store will cost you an arm and a leg.
  • Like other open source carts, you won’t find technical support beyond the forum.
  • It is heavy with slow load times and templates may be difficult to integrate.

PrestaShop

PrestaShop is an open source ecommerce solution that is written in the PHP programming language with support for MySQL. It is placed 5th in the global usage chart with a 5.29% of market share. This platform gives business flexibility and a low entry barrier, to build an online store.

Pros

  • PrestaShop is somewhat easy to install and customize with basic features. But if hosting provider integrates one-click installation, everything will be very simple for even a non-tech individual.
  • Have a relatively user-friendly interface. All needed information is available on Dashboard.
  • With more than 5,000 plugins and extensions of PrestaShop. It integrates some impressive features like email follow-up automation, SEO and site management.
  • Easy customization of your ecommerce store according to your needs.

Cons

  • Most of the fully functional modules are not cheap. For upgrading and expanding PrestaShop, you need to spare some budget to purchase modules, themes, extensions and technical support.
  • PrestaShop cannot handle large scale businesses.
  • Users have trouble in managing a site, as documentation for PrestaShop is limited and help can only be acquired on forums. Plus, PrestaShop does not have a live chat support system for user facilitation. It does offer a paid technical support for your ecommerce shop.

OpenCart

OpenCart would be last one in our list for the discussion. It is a simple ecommerce tool which manages the requirements of basic and advanced stores alike. It catches the eye as it covers 7.11% of the total market share for the ecommerce tools.

Pros

  • OpenCart is a lightweight tool which is easy to download and install.
  • Not much technical skills needed as the control panel is clear and convenient.
  • There is a considerable range of documentation which can be found online. It provides free support and software updates.

Cons

  • Do not expect a very high performance from OpenCart, unless you opt for additional plugins like SEO.
  • A store that is set up with OpenCart is not very easy to customize, and might act compressing for some businesses.
  • For caching, you can’t rely on OpenCart. You must add an extension for optimal performance.

[Also read: How to install OpenCart on Cloud]

Conclusion

The above list of pros and cons clearly show that each of these solutions would work well for a divergent group of users. It all depends on the needs that you have and the needs that your online store is willing to fulfill for its consumers. The choice also depends on your requirements, the current size and scaling needs of your organization.

This quick go-through of ecommerce solutions should help you in making an easy decision. Additionally, you can not have these online software solution providers without having them hosted on a reliable, managed ecommerce hosting platform.

Why Managed? Because you would not want to have to focus on managing your servers and making profits with your online store. With Managed Hosting on your site, you can easily focus on developing your store and marketing it, instead of managing the whole server side issue. That is where Cloudways as a Managed Ecommerce Cloud Hosting Platform comes into play. It allows you to host your ecommerce website on top of the best cloud infrastructures providers along with 24/7 online support.

Simplified Managed Cloud Hosting for Ecommerce Stores.

Convert traffic into buyers with managed Ecommerce Cloud hosting.

About Taha Zafar

Taha Zafar is a Digital Content Producer at Cloudways. He is an engineer and likes to follow the latest trends in technology, with concentration on mobile technology and open source. Along with being a passionate content developer, Taha loves playing digital games like World of Warcraft and DOTA 2.

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  • Carol Robertjoan

    Even though, Magento is a CMS it has various extensions and templates design to develop a
    rich and search engine friendly eCommerce store.