Is Opencart Free?
It’s good to have a free solution in an age of subscription-based ecommerce systems and website builders. That’s exactly what you get when you use an open-source solution like OpenCart. It’s available for free download, you may host it yourself, and you can upgrade without paying anything. Many open-source platforms aim to entice you with yearly upgrades, so we appreciate it so much.
On the other hand, “packaged” options like Shopify and BigCommerce, where you pay a monthly subscription but don’t own your website, are available. OpenCart isn’t flawless, but it’s a good online store builder if you want to keep your expenditures down while increasing your customization options. In this OpenCart review, we’ll go through the best features and the ones we don’t care for. We can also look at things like any additional fees and customer service.
If you’re interested in giving OpenCart a try, I strongly advise you. Downloading it is entirely free. Development skills, on the other hand, are virtually always essential.
It also works similarly to WordPress in that you get the basic OpenCart product and then use extensions to enhance it. Many people prefer this model since it allows them to pick and choose whatever extensions they want to use. However, depending on how many extensions you require, you may spend a significant amount of money.
OpenCart Pros and Cons
OpenCart is a well-known platform for creating online stores. If you’re looking for a quick approach to establishing a captivating online image for your business, OpenCart might be the answer.
That isn’t to say that OpenCart is suitable for everyone. OpenCart, like any other important company software, has several advantages and disadvantages to consider. For example, while it’s free to download and has many adjustable features, it’s also a little difficult for novices. If you don’t know how to code, you can find it difficult.
- Downloading is completely free.
- UI that is simple to utilize (great for exploration)
- Open-source construction allows for a highly configurable environment.
- There are numerous integrations with industry-leading tools.
- There are no ongoing development costs (if you have the right skills)
- Multilingual and multi-currency capabilities
- There are numerous themes to pick from.
- Plugins, gateways, and other tools abound in this marketplace.
- Excellent client service and community.
- There are no limits to the number of items, categories, or manufacturers.
- Rating and review systems for products
- Compliant with PCI
- Developer abilities are required.
- Even though customer service is available, you’ll have to figure out a lot independently.
- You control development, maintenance, and other aspects of self-hosting.
- There aren’t a lot of marketing features.
- This isn’t the quickest option on the market.
- For full operation, add-ons and plugins are required.
- Some areas aren’t SEO-friendly.
OpenCart What We Like Most About It
When it comes to extensions, OpenCart outperforms the competition. You have a large range of add-ons to integrate with your store because so many developers are working on them. Thousands of themes and extensions for product feeds, reports, delivery methods, and payment gateways are available on the marketplace. The best feature of the marketplace is that the majority of extensions are designed for ecommerce, as opposed to a platform like WordPress, which has plugins for both conventional and ecommerce websites.
When you combine the extensions with powerful code access, you’ve got a great package for personalizing your website. In conclusion, developers will love working with OpenCart because it allows them to create any website they want with few restrictions. Furthermore, as opposed to keeping with a platform that only has a few themes, add-ons, and coding options, business owners may scale up their businesses faster.
We also like that the dashboard is simple enough for most consumers to understand. Although coding skills are advantageous when creating a site using OpenCart, anyone can navigate the dashboard and learn about its features without much training.
Finally, the most appealing aspect of OpenCart is its cost. It’s a completely free, open-source ecommerce platform, with a download option directly on the page, as previously stated. You are not required to provide your email address or any other information. Furthermore, there are no monthly or yearly costs for upgrades or maintenance with OpenCart. Paid extensions are a different story, but there isn’t much of an investment required for the actual product.
OpenCart What We Don’t Like
Although many people regard this as an advantage, some may find the extensions inconvenient. If you’re looking for a complete bundle right out of the box, this is likely the case. That package isn’t OpenCart. It’s quite light, which means you’ll have to either write in your customizations or figure out what combinations of extensions to use to get your site to work properly. As a result, you may be required to pay for multiple extensions along the route.
Another source of concern is that making OpenCart function for you often necessitates development knowledge. The good news is that there is lots of information on OpenCart on the internet if you want to learn it for yourself. Many simple extensions, blog posts, documentation, and webinars are also available to help you navigate the OpenCart world. The normal OpenCart user, on the other hand, will be familiar with PHP and other programming languages. As a result, a rookie or even intermediate developer may have difficulty quickly configuring and scaling up a website.
Finally, this is a self-hosted, open-source platform. Although you have more control over your site, many things must be completed by you. For example, you’ll be expected to acquire your hosting and manage your website over time. Furthermore, OpenCart doesn’t provide direct customer support, so you’ll have to do your research, dig through documentation, and converse with other customers in the forums.
OpenCart The Best Features
It’s simple to pick out some of OpenCart’s top features while browsing the admin area, storefront, and design module. We’re not talking about a long list of features because the main programme is light. On the other hand, that extension marketplace is where you’ll truly find the awesome things.
For now, let’s look at some of OpenCart’s best features:
- Options for web design from third-party companies – Templates can be found on sites such as Theme Forest. The OpenCart store also has a lot of themes and layouts.
- Multiple languages and currencies are supported.
- There is no limit to the number of goods you can create.
- Multiple store management options from a single admin.
- Backup and restoration options are available.
- Support for the sale of digital products.
- Filters will guide customers.
- A shipping calculation is available, as well as a guest checkout option.
- Membership dues are paid regularly.
- For your products, you can get feedback and ratings.
- Coupons and discounts are possible with this system.
- Search engine optimization is effective.
- Reports that detail everything from sales to consumer information.
- Over 1,000 payment gateways are supported. A few dozen are supplied with the software, but hundreds more are to choose from.
OpenCart’s pricing, in my perspective, is reasonable. It’s easy to be duped into believing that open-source software is free, but there are always some hidden costs. When it comes to OpenCart, it performs an excellent job of eliminating any download or upgrade fees. You’re also not obligated to pay for customer support (even though it’s limited).
Because you’re self-hosting your online business, you’ll have to obtain your hosting, SSL certificate, and domain name. These are not free, but they are required to operate OpenCart.
Some OpenCart extensions are free, but most of them have a price tag. The Stripe Payment Gateway plugin, for example, is currently priced at around $60.
Note: There is a newer cloud-based ecommerce solution from OpenCart (similar to Shopify or BigCommerce). As a result, you can pay a monthly charge and get similar benefits to what you’d get with a local download. A 14-day free trial, direct support, themes, extensions, and included hosting are all included in the cloud version. On the other hand, the monthly fee starts at roughly $33 and goes up to $200. Because these costs are displayed in British Pounds, they may fluctuate.
OpenCart Design and templates
OpenCart is a complete eCommerce solution that enables business owners to set up an online store. You can efficiently add and manage products, create your shopping cart, and process orders fast and easily. OpenCart provides all of the usual shop features that a company could require.
OpenCart gives you complete control over how you create your website because it is an open-source platform. You get all of the typical features with this tool, but there’s also lots of space for expansion and customization.
Let’s take a look at OpenCart from the standpoint of design and templates, for example. For example, Template Monster and Theme Forest have themes available right now. The entire collection is available on the OpenCart extension page.
With OpenCart, you can pick from various professional-looking themes and then tweak the design to make it more personal to your company. For example, in the administrator design panel, you can add and rearrange modules. You’ll need to dive into the coding if you want to make major changes to the way your site feels and looks.
Regrettably, not all firms will have the necessary skills and knowledge in-house to manage the code aspects. OpenCart, like other open-source solutions, does not come with any unique design templates. Instead, you receive a basic solution with a modern-looking, mobile-responsive experience when you install the platform.
You’ll need to create it yourself, with the help of an expert, if you want something truly unique for your brand.
OpenCart Ease of Use
The best approach to making sure you’re comfortable with a solution like OpenCart is downloading it and giving it a try. Downloading and exploring the service is free. Instead, you can utilize a demo if you don’t want to go through all of that extra labour.
To view the OpenCart demos, you do not need to provide any information. The solution will employ a helpful wizard to walk you through all you need to know about the service from the minute you log in.
OpenCart is a well-organized and tidy platform. It looks a lot like many of the other competitive tools on the market, so you shouldn’t have a hard time figuring out how to use it. It takes some time to figure out where everything is located. You’ll have to put in some effort to find helpful information, such as where to enter a product’s price.
It’s also worth noting that the free version of OpenCart is only a demo, so you won’t be able to use the full features. However, you may be able to use the information to create a demo product page. You won’t be able to save your information or see your page as it would look on the storefront.
With OpenCart, you have a few options for controlling sales and reports. Flat-rate coupons and percentage-based discounts are also possible. You can also choose whether your discounts apply to entire categories or specific products.
Unfortunately, the sales figures may not be as impressive as expected. Typically, report pages include a graph or chart that displays your top products, sales data that have fallen and risen, and so on. OpenCart does provide insights, but they’re a lot more confused and disorganized than those provided by Magento.
On the plus side, when it comes to operating your store, OpenCart is quite user-friendly. The admin interface makes it simple to keep track of orders, items, and other details. The dashboard includes several useful statistics that allow you to see how your business is doing at a glance.
It’s also simple to add new product listings. Although you’ll need to learn how to use the various attribute tabs and other features, you should be able to do so fast. OpenCart also works with a wide range of payment gateways.
Many integrations available make it easy to create the solution that’s right for you. However, you must pay for your integrations to utilize them.
OpenCart is pre-loaded with a variety of payment options. Authorize.Net, PayPal, and SagePay are just a few gateways you can use. It’s not a problem if you don’t want to use one of the more than 30 current connectors. Integrations provide access to hundreds of additional payment gateways.
Changing a payment method is simple as long as you have an account with the correct transaction processing provider. After you’ve added a payment method, go to the Checkout page and make it a choice for consumers.
Direct customer assistance is excellent if you’re thinking about using OpenCart in the cloud. Customer assistance for the regular OpenCart download, on the other hand, is far from satisfactory. Don’t get me wrong: there’s a lot of information about OpenCart on the internet. There’s also a lot of documentation, video tutorials, a forum, and a blog on the OpenCart website.
The OpenCart forums are active, so you can talk to individuals who know what they’re talking about. The only issue is that newer users may struggle to fit in because they are most likely learning rather than contributing.
OpenCart does not have a large direct support crew because it is still a small firm (and the software is free). However, the organization does provide a phone number and a web ticketing system for attempting to resolve your issues.
A monthly cost of $99 is available if you want to guarantee dedicated help. If it’s something you’ll need once, a $99 one-time remedy is also an option. The $99 a month bundle seemed a bit pricy to me, but the $99 one-time fee isn’t bad if you don’t expect to have many issues.
Who Should Consider OpenCart as Their Ecommerce Platform?
OpenCart excels in several areas. It offers an easy-to-use design and a clean dashboard, and users don’t have to pay a lot of money to get started.
Furthermore, there are numerous customization choices.
However, I can’t envision anyone other than a seasoned developer endorsing OpenCart. The cloud version should be simpler than the local software, but this isn’t a given.
Otherwise, if you’re a PHP developer, OpenCart appears to be an excellent platform. In the forums, you can discuss topics with other developers, and you have full access to customized tools that aren’t available anywhere else.
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