Should I use an Open Source eCommerce shopping cart?
The answer in short is I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t. So take a look at the reasons why you should.
If you were a mechanic and had a choice to buy a big box of tools which was created by 5 tool makers or a big box of tools that was created using the collaboration and development of 5000 tool makers using a state of the art collaboration system and using the most recent and up to date technologies and technical advancements. Which would you choose? Bear in mind the second box is free and you can upgrade it at no extra cost when ever you like. But the first one you would have to pay for it and if any new tools became available you would be forced into paying for them too or else they would take the whole tool box back off you. I think I know which tool box I would choose. No need to explain that analogy.
Because there is no ownership of open source shopping, there is nobody trying to hide any possible security vulnerabilities. Due to the vast amount of developers working on open source shopping carts it makes it virtually impossible for security vulnerabilities to last very long. Their are more people working on bugs. Their are more eyes on project. The results of vulnerability checks are open to the public.
Oh yes complete freedom. You can set up your website with practically any host you like. You are not tied into a hosting package as well. What happens if your cart or site starts to become sluggish or unresponsive. Your clients are complaining and dropping off before they make the purchase. Not happy with the host? That’s not a problem you can move and take your cart with you to another host.
You might not need too much customisation starting off but as your business and cart grow you might need to get a bit of customisation done. You might want to add some features that a commercial cart company would duly charge you an arm and a leg for. Why? Because they already have you by the short ones. Well guess what? With open source eCommerce shopping carts that’s not a problem. Hire a programmer from a freelance site. You would be surprised how much customisation you could get done for $200.
5. Open Source Innovation.
I personally am in favour of opens source for all software tools. Why? Because what’s great about open source is the community of developers worldwide that contribute to open source projects for free is probably in the millions. Every super bright upcoming developer can apply his skills to open source and get recognition on a global platform. This is why open source is so innovative. So if you are using open source chances are you are using a shopping cart that was built with the newest technologies available and brightest developers around.
6. Trial it first for free.
OK lots of shopping carts offer a free trial period but its usually for about 2 weeks or one month max. But is that really enough time to properly trial out a new very important arm of your business. You need to really wait a bit more than a month before you start getting enough traffic to really get a feel for any possible problems with it first. You can easily try out 5 or 6 open source shopping carts out before and not have to talk to you customer service representative, pesky sales representative or IT representative.
With most eCommerce shopping carts for Free, Yes I am stating the obvious but running a business is very costly. This could mean anything from a saving of up to $150 per month. That’s $1,800 per year. That’s a tidy saving you could put towards your family dream holiday in the Maldives next winter.
Support for open source shopping carts is massive. This is again due to the massive open source communities. This is not just support for developers of the carts but also the end user support. So if you are having a problem configuring the tax on wooCommerce for example you just simply have to google “configuring the tax on wooCommerce”. Go ahead try it. I just tried it there and I got 92,000 results.