If you plan to start your own webshop it doesn’t mean that it will be a big investment. On the internet are many free to download open source software. The great thing is that the OS developed by anyone and everyone. Some things you think about before you download a free OS software for a webshop. A disadvantage of open source packages is that you do not receive direct support. You are depending on the forums and the community. You can always build a shop / install based on an open source package. This doesn’t need to be expensive and if you are not satisfied with your supplier, you can easily switch to another. If you want to install an OS system, it’s better to have some knowledge of scripting languages like PHP.
I made a list of some open source software for webshops:
OScommerce is a package that has been a number of years very popular. It is the most popular open source e-commerce solution in the world. The main advantage of OScommerce is the many capabilities that the package provides and has many users forums, tips and information about this package business. The big disadvantage of this package is that it is not easy for you to adjust the layout. Often the merchants made OScommerce very similar. It is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database.
osCommerce is a complete online store package where the webmaster can create categories, products which can manage frequently used options such as thumbnails, price, description and an online checkout stand installed.
a few years ago I had a shop and I used Zen-Cart as software, it is easy to use but you must you need the knowledge about PHP scripting. Zen-Cart is an online store solution that is based on osCommerce. Zen Cart has long been able to update more than osCommerce, and small security are often regulated quickly solved by Zen-Cart . Zen-Cart is clearly less popular than osCommerce and has a smaller design and users.
Zen-Cart is in terms of functions not directly distinguished from osCommerce or Virtuemart. That does not mean that it is not a complete package, with Zen-Cart you can post an entire store including images, admin, stock, coupons, affiliates and other information.
Another one is VirtueMart, this package is one of the better self and was previously known as the Mambo. The package is actually an extension of the open source Joomla CMS package. There are special Joomla and Mambo Ecommerce versions with standard Virtuemart installed. It has a very clear management area and for using templates (standard designs available) you can make your store quickly and easily an attractive appearance. The advantage is that, besides an e-shop itself you can add other types of pages like a blog or static website pages. The disadvantage is that Virtuemart may be too large for the smaller simpler sites . Sites which have no inventory, coupons, promotions or other extras will probably don’t like the extended package. The main disadvantage of VirtueMart is the fact that there is no free module available for PayPal payment system. Well there are companies that offer a solution for a reasonable rate.
Magento is also an open source software for online stores. It was developed in 2007 with osCommerce, another known variant of open-source shopping cart software, as a basis and starting point. One year later, end of March 2008 Magento was launched, Magento Enterprise Edition, the paid version of the software is mainly for larger companies. Magento focuses mostly on SEO, search engine optimization. It is search engine friendly by a Google sitemap, full control of displayed URLs, meta-information for products and categories, an automatically generated sitemap and an automatically generated page with the most popular searches. Furthermore, you can run multiple websites and online stores managed from one admin area, it provides support for localization and multiple currencies and languages, you can specify various user rights to individual users and there are APIs for integration between Magento and external parties, such as another content management system. Also you can change the design using templates to suit your taste. You can start small and easily and when your business grows, you can also expand your software using various modules. Disadvantages of Magento is regarded by some as “too complex” labeled, especially for the small businessman.
Ubercart is an open source e-commerce shopping cart that fully integrates your online store with Drupal, the leading open source content management system. This is a killer combination for anyone looking to build a community around a product, sell access to premium content, offer paid file downloads, and much much more! Ubercart is fully Drupal Compatibility.
nopCommerce is a very comprehensive package that allows you to set up a free web shop. The software also includes a blog, forum and contact functionality to provide support and information for visitors.
Also in the field of marketing nopCommerce provides extensive support for example the ability to hand out discount coupons, gift certificates and to sell affiliate programs to set up. Features are links with iDeal, PayPal, Google Checkout and other payment options are available, ability to send products COD. Visitors have the opportunity to register without placing an order. SSL support
more information and download on the website
OpenCart is a free e-commerce solution. After installation of OpenCart on your own server space, you have a complete shop. The default installation of OpenCart is in English, but you can install a module for another language. The software is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database.
PrestaShop is an open source shopping cart application. With the help of CSS and themodular construction, the wishes can be complete all the way of the user his shop. PrestaShop is a lightweight program that has limited disk space. Very suitable for developing an international online store with support for multiple languages, currencies, tax rates, time zones, etc.
TomatoCart is the new generation of open source shopping cart solution. It is branched from osCommerce 3 as a separate project. The goal is to make TomatoCart one of the best online shopping cart solutions.