Retail Management

6 Best Free Open Source eCommerce Software Options

Published by in eCommerce

Open source eCommerce software—like other business software—can make or break you.

free ecomm header copy

It brings up a lot of questions right out of the gate, such as: Is it a good choice for my small business? Is it powerful enough to meet my needs? Which solution is right for me?

While I can’t answer the last question for you,I have collected a list of options and basic information about each to help you decide.

1. Magento Open Source

If you know anything about eCommerce software, you’ve likely heard of Magento. It’s one of the biggest names in eCommerce software, in general, not just open source.


Screenshot of Magento’s dashboard

Magento gives it open source users all the basic tools they need, saving some of the more powerful, optional tools for paid versions.

  • You can make landing pages and content for your products, manage your shipping and fulfillment in almost any manner you see fit, and generate a host of useful reports (including sales tax, stock, and on-site search terms).
  • Magento works on a core system with add-ons; its extensions marketplace is full of options to add sales tax integrations, custom stock systems, and live customer chat integrations, to name a few. Prices range from free to more than $5,000 per extension.
  • Users can buy pre-made themes to dress their sites up. There are a few free theme options, or you can pay up to around $500 for a responsive Argento theme—which isn’t all that much compared to how much a web developer charges per hour.

Magento Open Source is flexible, capable, and,in the hands of the right person/team, can create a beautiful, functional website for all manner of retailers.

All this power comes with a caveat: Magento is intended for experienced coders.

While Magento Open Source is free, you will need to purchase a payment processor, domain name, and security certificate in order to get your store online and keep it safe.

For businesses with less technological experience / resources, Magento offers a paid, non-open source solution—Magento Commerce Starter—with pricing starting at $2,000 per month. Curious about comparable software solutions? These Magento Commerce alternatives might be what you are looking for.

2. OpenCart

Screenshot of OpenCart’s admin dashboard.

OpenCart comes as a basic package that you can extend to fit your business needs.

  • OpenCart doesn’t require a whole lot for installation; if you have a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack on a server, you’re off to the races. This setup is typical for most web servers, so you’re likely already set. You can always check with your service provider if you’re not sure.
  • Customers can visit OpenCart’s marketplace to find add-ons that extend its functionality, including free basic integrations (such as Square payments or Facebook plugins). The marketplace also offers more powerful tools (SEO insights or Excel tie-ins for product management), costing up to $2,000 for something like a Microsoft Dynamics integration.

OpenCart is noted for having a sleek administrative dashboard and a general out-of-the-box ease of use. Larger or more complex stores may need to expand the core functionality, but smaller stores should be fine with the basic system.

OpenCart also offers a cloud version with a starting price point around $35 per month for businesses without in-house tech support. If you are looking for products with similar features, these OpenCart alternatives are a great place to start.

3. osCommerce


The basics of osCommerce.

osCommerce is one of the oldest names in eCommerce software, which means a lot of add-ons have been developed for it. There are more than 7,000 free integrations for the software, and a huge active community working on and providing support for it.

Its age also means that there are a lot of “heritage” pieces hanging on to today’s product, which is a nice way of saying “it looks a little dated.” Merchant Maverick—a great resource for online retailers—has been unimpressed with the ease of development, saying “[A] big chunk of professionals creating stores with osCommerce have experienced several hair-pulling hiccups along the way.”

That said, osCommerce does have a lot to offer.

  • osCommerce integrates with all types of third parties through its Apps Marketplace. You can integrate with Sage Pay and Facebook, and present your site in multiple languages.
  • osCommerce isn’t an overly complex program, making it a solid contender for early entrants into eCommerce software.
  • If you have trouble making it do exactly what you want it to do, you can turn to the OsCommerce community’s years of growth and experience working with the software. While support from the company comes at a fee, the user community is an excellent resource for finding aid among other retailers and developers.

osCommerce has partnered with a hosting company, allowing you to use a hosted version of the platform without needing any bonus technical knowledge. Pricing for the hosted version starts at $8 per month. Interested in software with similar features? These osCommerce alternatives could be what you are looking for.

4. PrestaShop


Screenshot of PrestaShop’s dashboard

PrestaShop follows the standard core-with-extensions eCommerce solutions formula. Its core is built on PHP (a common web development language), which makes it an easy fit for most websites.

The company is split between Europe and the U.S., giving it a platform that supports sales and legal requirements in both areas.

  • PrestaShop offers over 1,500 templates, 500 of which are premium.Add-ons allowing integration with Stripe, Google Merchant Center, and Amazon Marketplace—among other offerings—can make your life a lot easier and tighten your operational ties.
  • PrestaShop supports international stores and multiple stores within one back end. If you’ve got separate U.S. and Canadian storefronts, you can take care of both in one place.
  • PrestaShop also has reporting capabilities, such as unique Intelligent Merchant KPI feature and forecast ability.

If you want to explore software solutions with comparable features, these PrestaShop alternatives are a good starting point.

5. Spree Commerce

Spree Commerce is unique because it’s built with Ruby—not PHP. If you’re familiar with Ruby and the Rails environment and looking to shift away from PHP, this is software to consider. If you’re not familiar with Ruby, though, you’re facing a steep learning curve.

Screenshot of Spree Commerce’s shipping page.

If the development side isn’t a concern, there’s a lot to like about Spree.

  • Spree is a lightweight system, due in large part to its coding. Users say that it runs quickly and doesn’t take up a lot of online resources. If your host charges you for activity, Spree can really help in that area.
  • Unlike a lot of other options, Spree doesn’t work on the core-extension model. There are a handful of well-developed extensions for Spree, but nothing like the huge set offered for other software options. This means that there are fewer moving parts to concern yourself with, but also limits your options for easy expansion. It’s also worth noting that all of Spree’s extensions are free.
  • Spree’s core functionality allows you to manage orders, products, payments, and shipping right out of the box. The software is in almost constant development and expands functionality all the time.

Looking for comparable products? These Spree alternatives could be what you need for your eCommerce software solutions.

6. WooCommerce


WooCommerce orders summary.

WooCommerce is not actually a full open source eCommerce solution on its own but rather an open source WordPress shopping cart plugin.

WordPress—easily confused with, but different from,—is the most popular, content management solutions out there. WooCommerce is an open source plugin that businesses using WordPress can use to turn their sites into a store. If you don’t already have a site, you can still use WooCommerce just download WordPress (also free) first.

  • If you’re used to working with WordPress already, adding WooCommerce is a breeze. It’s fully functional out of the gate and requires minimal customization. If you’re not as experienced with WordPress, the good news is that help is only a quick Google away. There are a lot of resources out there on how to tackle WordPress’s learning curve.
  • One of WooCommerce’s most popular features is its one-page checkout process, which allows users to easily pay for the items you’re selling.

Interested in software solutions with similar features? These WooCommerce alternatives could be what you are looking for.

Moving to a new eCommerce platform

One of the most time-consuming parts of choosing a new platform is moving all the digital nonsense you’ve accumulated—by which I mean valuable product and client data—from your old system to the new.

PrestaShop turned me onto Cart2Cart, a tool that allows you to transfer all of your data from one platform to another.

Let’s say you’re moving 500 products, 10,000 orders, and 5,000 customers from Shopify to Magento. Cart2Cart can take care of the heavy lifting for $200 and get it done in about two hours.

Pretty cool.

What’s your favorite open source eCommerce solution?

What other open source eCommerce software should we add to our list? Have you had success with any in the past that we left out? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for eCommerce software? Check out Capterra's list of the best eCommerce software solutions.

About the Author

Andrew Marder

Andrew Marder

Andrew Marder is a former Capterra analyst.


Comment by Ashish Gupta on

Try MulteCart ecommerce (Yii2 Php) – Full Open Source – Fast and Secure – Supports Digital and Physical Products with unlimited functionalities

Comment by Eugeune P on

Is this a top or just a list? I mean if this a top why OpenCart only at the second place? I used it for 5 years and I`m still sure in my choise. Large support community, many different plugins for any needs etc. My company created 100+ different online stores using only free OpenCart CMS and this plugin : Though I hope it`s just a list))

Comment by Lazar Jovovic on

You missed one – Zen Cart. How come? Zen Cart is a popular ecommerce solution that has a large support community (over 150,000 members).


Comment by Martin Kane on

This is very new open source e-commerce app that is very easy to install!


Comment by Sid Ray on

I had a tough time to choose an e-commerce open source for my client’s store. After all the research, I went on with Spree e-commerce as it has many extensions. I loved it and I would recommend it to others also. In case you are not aware of the extensions Spree provides, you can check it here.

Comment by Moldavian florist on

I have been managing flower shops for over 15 years. And during this time I tried many different open source systems. Unfortunately, no one of the free cms is able to fully meet the needs. The ideal option – to order a good programmer to write a store specifically for you, taking into account all the functions you need. But it will cost about $ 1000. I have been using OpenCart for the last 5 years, in my opinion this is the easiest to manage system with a very large community.

Comment by John Smith on

For small-to-medium-sized businesses, establishing an online presence to sell products or services is an absolute must to stay competitive in today’s marketplace.

At first glance, the premier e-commerce platforms might appear to be a hefty monthly or yearly expense. Fortunately, there are a vast number of open source eCommerce platforms that not only have an attractive price tag (many are free!), but they also offer customizability, scalability, and community support that isn’t always found in enterprise solutions.

Comment by kuttappan on

What about the XYZ Shopping cart script from ? Is it good? There is a free version of this script available.


Comment by Adeel on is a free fully customizable ecommerce platform built in pakistan, a content management system. It offers a complete product administration system, shopping cart, and checkout form.


Comment by Ajil Reji Issac on

ShopKnekt is a very nice ecommerce platform. Which is completely free. No setupfee, No Maintenance Fee. Checkout

Comment by Leslie Stanford on

I enjoyed the article. However, I noticed you mentioned about the security features of only half the items on the list.

Comment by Mr Leo88 on

Abantecart is a great choice. I see the stability, sure. Evidence a lot of people recently used and appreciated. I do not think wordpress is an e-commerce expert.

Comment by Steve on

For memberships or digital goods, aMember works well. I use it at


Comment by Tom Rowan on

I’ve just spent 3 days trying import a simple csv file to PrestaShop. After reading comments from the Presta forums I am now convinced that this is almost impossible. Which is more tedious, trying for days to figure out Presta’s csv import coding or just entering the information on 500 products manually? I’m pretty sure the manual option is the only option.

Comment by Oliver on is one of the best options

Comment by Alexandra on

I would also add nopCommerce. It is a very robust solution, the code is clean and easy to follow. Plus they have a good community support.

Comment by Rajendrankumar on

It is Good Megento And Best ecommerce Solution in india

Comment by Bakhtiyor on provides a good overview of the most popular open-source e-commerce platforms in various programming languages and frameworks.

Comment by Lionel Y on

I’ve had the opportunity to evaluate several systems.

1) Magento
Tends to run very slowly due to huge drain on system resource. The Zend Framework is much bulkier so you might want to stay away if you are not running a very large site.

2. Prestashop
Quick on the launch, but for programmers like myself the french style coding is rather confusing. This will lead to higher costs if you need to debug and its not as popular.

3. Woo Commerce
Rather light on the plugins and payments. I think it’s a nice upgrade to an ecommerce after a wordpress site, but it really lacks robustness and clean coding for a full ecommerce site.

4. Opencart
Currently my choice solution. Reasonable amount of plugin and features. Nice and fast.
As a programmer, I like the background template interface that lets me do some editing and plugins. This is a key point.
Check it out at

Comment by s mande on

Hi Cara,
I have chosen option 6 (Prestashop) above all. find it great with multi store option what i wanted. the webservice part in it also very useful and handy. Other Themes however are a bit tricky to implement and most modules are paid ones though most free ones work good for me.

Comment by Mike on

What about Virtuemart? Is it ok?

Comment by Mark on

The way I would pick the open source shopping cart, is by checking how active the development/release cycles are. This will indicate if you can trust that in the future you will be having updates. eCommerce industry actively changes and you do not want end up with outdated software that is barely supported

I would not put oscommerce, or as mentioned by others zencart. Both are very old and based on our customers not requested any longer. I would add abantecart though. It is a new gig and we get many inquiries for development with abantecart

Comment by Glen Arason on

All those interested in an eCommerce solution should be warned about Magento 2.
Magento 2, released in Nov. 2015 is a cluster fuck of permission issues and near impossible to install even if you are a developer or experienced coder.

Magento Inc should be embarrassed.
Read their bug list/reports…
Many magento users have already abandoned them in favor or more stable solutions.

You have been warned.

Comment by Dominic Dambrogia on

-1 for having an HTML based shopping cart (Simple Cart). Storing financial values in the user-changeable Document Object Model is one of the worst things you can do when using a shopping cart along-side storing plain text credit cards/passwords/other sensitive information. There’s a reason that it has a Window’s 95 looking web browser in the picture. Definitely stay away from that one.

I would have liked to see more open source shopping cart’s in here rather than open source frameworks that have paid shopping cart plugins/applications.

+1 for Prestacart.


Comment by Maya on

I start using this plugin it do it all for free give it a try 🙂


Comment by Berk Koç on

I am using Woocommerce but it is extremely slow and you need to pay for some features. You need to install plugins to make your shop better functional, they make it more slower. I am in search of other software to change it.


Comment by Lukas Cerny on

Also good choice will be such platforms as and

Comment by ZAHRA on

Magento is such an awful framework that I’ve seen till now. I’ve used it for one year but I think creating a website from A to Z is more convenient than using Magento. I’ve faced with too many strange problems that solving them is too way difficult (if was not impossible!). Customizing Magento is an ardious work because its scripts are too complicated while its documentation is too weak.
Now I’m searching for a good alternative. I hope other framework would be more applicable.


Comment by Erik on

Nice Article, but am definitely missing Zen Cart in this.

Zen Cart has a default option for setting the store to catalogue mode


Comment by Billy Ross on

Hi Cara,
When we heard about best free open source ecommerce website platform, these software solutions will comes first in mind because they all have their unique factors and special features which makes them popular among their web developers and users.
You have explained all the six platforms in a very neat and clear way.
Thanks for this great and informative article.

Comment by Andrejs on

Hello and thanks for sharing.

Could anyone suggest a free catalogue-ONLY-mode e-commerce system?
I’ve tried opencart and removing add to cart/login/registration fields via vqmod is painful.

While e-commerece systems are oriented towards selling things, I require to have a catalogue only system with pointing prices, but excluding the ability to register/buy or login.


Comment by Cara Wood on


You’re welcome to share this on your blog, just please attribute it to Capterra. 🙂 Additionally, if you’d like, I could write you something original for your blog!

And thanks for sharing your experiences! That’s so helpful!

Comment by Nadeem Bari on

Hey Cara, would you mind if i reshare this article on my blog The article is precise & informative.. I have been developing Ecommerce applications since 6 years and consult many companies in Germany and abroad through my company

The Magento framework and ecommerce solution is widely used & unbeatable, with vast community and plugins. the disadvantage is that it needs some tech savvy guy to handle the code, integrations, and down times due to anonymous SQL issues. However, opencart ,simplecart and prestashop are easy to use and requires no serious web development skills.

Trackback by Quora on

Where can I get the source code for E-commerce applications like E-bay, SnapDeal, Flipkart?

There are a lot of open source and free E-commerce platform available in the market. Use them to understand their software. Ebay, SnapDeal, Flipkarts are no different than these E-commerce platforms. Few of them are listed below 1. Magento eCommerce So…

Comment by Helen B on

Intersting article, Cara! I believe those platforms are more suitable for small online shops? For those who need something more advanced, I can’t recommend VirtoCommerce enough. It’s open source and they have cloud hosted solutions. Check it out:

Comment by Brian Sykes on

I have operated an online business since 2007 with arguably the best, and most widely used open source eCommerce store system in history – ZenCart ( It does seem like competitive open source web shopping cart systems close the gap with ZenCart the past few years, but there is absolutely no way ZC should not make any top X list for open source shopping cart systems…

Comment by ratnesh singh on

I think you have not mentioned ABANTEcart…….It’s amazing and has best UI of all….including almost all features….

Comment by Atif Naser on

Opencart is great if you don’t need help. Ask a question on the forum and you’ll receive heavy sarcasm for being stupid enough to ask the question in the first place. Complaints are dealt with in an innovative way also….they just delete your post!
Opencart looks great but is backed by a shit attitude

Comment by Imran on

How about VirtueMart, is it good or not ?

Comment by Nichole T on

Hi Cara,

Great overview.

I think oscommerce can slide down the list. Also, Abantecart is getting some buzz lately. Based on users review in captera and softaculous it is pretty decent.




Comment by Cara Wood on

Thanks – I’m really glad to hear you found this so helpful! You can also enter your email for monthly updates, that way you don’t have to worry about it.

Comment by aerobed on

Thanks for sharing helpful information, I really like your all post. I will bookmark your blog for future updates.


Comment by Cara Wood on

Thanks for your input, Mark! The list is really in no particular order, so being at the top doesn’t mean anything. 🙂

Comment by Mark Lee on

Great list, although I would not put Magento at the top as I found it quite cumbersome to use and also it has some performance issues in large projects.

I would suggest YesCart ( ) as an option on this list.


Comment by Cara Wood on

Thank you! I’ll keep them in mind for the update!

Comment by Gerrit Elbrink on

Hi Cara,

Thanks for the great article. As mentioned on the last line, I feel (eventhough being derived from osCommerce) Zen-Cart also deserves a place on this list 🙂

Best wishes,



Comment by Cara Wood on

Thank you! 🙂

Comment by R Madala on

Magento is one of the best open source ecommerce software solutions we use. Thanks for sharing different types of open source ecommerce software solutions. Very helpful for ecommerce website beginners!


Comment by Cara Wood on



Comment by Margaret Gilliland on

This is great. I am working on WordPress plugin. What I like the most is the real time communication in the WP environment is a good for me.

Comment by Roy on

please, don’t forget spreecommerce from


Comment by Cara Wood on

Thank you! So glad to hear it was helpful!!!

Comment by Ranga Achar on

Very informative and refined content, precisely what i’s hoping to find!! I enjoy horse rides as well!! Thanks a lot and good luck!!


Comment by Clouse R. Cindy on

OpenCart one of the best open source ecommerce software solution in order to build an online store for your business.


Comment by Cara Wood on

Travis – thanks for sharing!

Comment by Travis on

Hi. I am considering Prestashop. Thanks for the information. I was looking for a guide about how to install it and finally found one here:


Comment by Cara Wood on

Thanks so much, Bogac!


Comment by Bogac Erel on

Hi, an informative and nice article about opensource e-commerce systems. In our country most-used ones are Opencart, Prestashop and Magento.

Comment by Mathew Edwards on

Having a good shopping cart software is a great thing. It help us to optimize the user interaction..

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