For those of you who want customizable software for your e-commerce company, you might consider open source software. Open source software means that the internal code is accessible so a user can make modifications to the functionality of the software by changing its base code. Keep in mind that being open source does not necessarily mean the software is free either. It simply means you have access to the source code.
The following are some examples of open source software used for e-commerce.
OSCommerce is an open source shopping cart. It’s written in PHP, which is an easier programming language for inexperienced people to learn. This shopping cart has the basic features most merchants starting out look for and is one that is free. There is a large development community behind it as well, so it’s easy to find plugins that have been developed already, reducing what you may need to pay for customization.
Magento is another open source shopping cart and is also written in PHP. It has both a free “Community Edition” and other paid editions that include more features, which may be good as a merchant grows. This cart is popular right now as well and has a large development community behind it, so there is no shortage of plugins already written.
Believe it or not, this blogging platform has several plugins that make it function as a shopping cart. WordPress itself is free, although you may need to purchase themes or have one developed. Once again it’s written in php and has a large development community, so finding a developer to help you customize it should be easy. WooThemes WooCommerce plugin is one package that converts WordPress to a shopping cart.
These are just a few of the open source e-commerce solutions out there. They can be easily found with a little time searching on Google. These solutions can help you save money and have the ability to customize the solution to what you want and need. What open source solutions have you looked at and/or used?
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This post was originally featured on February 27, 2013.