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How Can Open Source be Used to Create a World Class eCommerce Website

How can open source be used to create a world class ecommerce website

Open source software powers some big name brands but can offer world class solutions at low costs to small businesses too.

When it comes to open source software (OSS) and eCommerce websites, the partnership is a match made in heaven. Offering low costs, huge opportunities for customisation, security, flexibility and scalability, more than half of all the top online stores are powered by OSS.

In this feature, we take a look at the stats behind this claim and give you some of the reasons why an open source eCommerce site can be world-class.

Market Share & Stats: Open Source eCommerce Website Platforms

According to data compiled by the web technology firm, BuiltWith covering over one million eCommerce websites for 2018, the market share is dominated by open source solutions:

  • WooCommerce – 22% (OSS)
  • Shopify – 19% (Commercial)
  • Magento – 12% (OSS)
  • PrestaShop – 3% (OSS)
  • Big Commerce – 4% (OSS)
  • Other – 40% (includes OSS platforms such as ZenCart, osCommerce and Drupal Commerce)

The WordPress based platform, WooCommerce, is the leading choice for millions of online stores and, along with other open source technologies, is free.

Wait, but you don’t get something for nothing, right?

Wrong. That is exactly what many OSS providers give you; something for absolutely nothing. You can download Magento, WooCommerce and PrestaShop for free, customise it to your heart’s content and extend it using any of the huge range of add-ons and features without it costing you a penny.

Of course, most plugins and extensions come with premium versions which do attract a subscription fee plus you will need to pay for your eCommerce site to be hosted.

It’s easy to try and correlate this with the old adage ‘cheap isn’t always better’ but the simple fact is that open source platforms turn this idea on its head.

Why Choose Open Source for Your eCommerce Website

Open source platforms offer significant benefits over traditional software, including lower software and hardware costs. This flexibility when it comes to cost means that scalability is more affordable.

The fact that there is no vendor lock-in means that customers are totally free to use the software as they like. It also means that you are not tied in to updates on your software at the whim (and ransom) of a developer.

However, one of most significant benefits is the abundant number of additional features which are developed by their respective communities. Offering a range of diverse and high-quality functionality, open source platforms offer incredible opportunities for customisation. Tailoring your eCommerce site with an open source system is usually pretty easy if you have standard requirements but bespoke tailoring is also available.

It is the culture of collaboration within this community of developers, peers and users which creates higher quality software and can help increase security. Lastly, most open source offerings (WooCommerce and Magento in particular) are easy to use and offer many clients a simple and fast way to launch their sites. The benefits of quick access to market are essential for many small businesses. Combined with all of the above reasons and when you consider how much support is available for development, it is little wonder why open source platforms are so popular.

World class open source ecommerce website

Can an open source eCommerce solution be world class?

As for whether they offer a ‘world class’ solution…check out some of these big names businesses that trust OSS to power their online stores:

  • Helly Hansen
  • Seat
  • Canon
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not
  • Jack Daniel’s
  • JCB
  • New Zealand All Blacks Official Store
  • HP Inc

There are thousands of specialist retailers with a vested interest in selecting a platform that can enhance and protect their precious online brands. You can’t argue with that!

Opace and Open Source eCommerce Web Design

Opace is a specialist eCommerce solutions provider and offers an accredited agency developing websites for customers using open source technology or via a bespoke build. Not only do we support two of the biggest platforms (WooCommerce and Magento) but we also develop sites using Joomla and VirtueMart.

To find out more about developing a world-class eCommerce website through Opace, contact one of our team today.


Image credits: Mohamed_Hassan/Pixabay, WooCommerce and MaxPixel.

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