In an earlier article, I listed some of the best open-source CMS options available out there. These CMS software, as the name suggests, are more suitable for content focused websites.
But what if you want to build your own online shopping website? Thankfully, we have some good open source eCommerce solutions that you can deploy on your own Linux server.
These eCommerce software are tailored for the sole purpose of giving you a shopping website. So they have essential features like inventory management, product listings, cart, checkout, wishlisting and option to integrate a payment solution.
Please note that this is not an in-depth review article. So, I insist that you should try the platforms mentioned in this list to know more about them.
Best Open Source eCommerce Platforms
There are many open source eCommerce software available. I have filtered the ones which are actively maintained so that your shopping website doesn’t suffer because of obsolete or unmaintained software stack.
It is also worth noting that the list here is in no particular order of ranking.
nopCommerce is a free and open-source eCommerce platform based on ASP.NET Core. If you were looking for a PHP-based solution – you can skip to the next option on the list.
The user interface of its admin panel is clean and easy to use. If you’ve used OpenCart – you might feel the similarity (but I’m not complaining). By default, it has got all the essential features while offering a responsive design for mobile users as well.
You get access to an official marketplace where you can get supported themes and extensions. You can opt for premium support or manage it yourself for free.
To get started, you can download the package with its source code from its official download page if you want to customize it and deploy it. In either case, you can also download the complete package to get it installed on a web server quickly. You can check out their GitHub page and the official website to learn more.
OpenCart is a quite popular PHP-based eCommerce platform. Personally, I’ve worked on it for a project and the experience was good enough – if not excellent.
You may find it that it isn’t super actively maintained – but it’s still there and being utilized by a lot of web developers. You get support for a lot of extensions while having most of the essential features baked right into it.
For some, it may not be the best “modern” eCommerce platform but if you want a good open-source PHP-based alternative, it is worth a try. In most of the web hosting platforms with one-click app installation support, OpenCart should be available to setup. To learn more about it, you can head to its official website and check out the GitHub page.
PrestaShop is yet another open-source eCommerce platform that you can utilize.
An actively maintained open-source solution with an official marketplace for themes and extensions. Unlike OpenCart, you may not find it available as a one-click app on hosting services – but you can download it from its official website and it is quite easy to set it up. You can also refer to their installation guide if you need help.
It features a lot of options while being easy to use at the same time. I find a lot of users trying out PrestaShop – you should take a look as well!
You can also take a look at their GitHub page to learn more.
If you want to utilize WordPress for your eCommerce website, WooCommerce will help you out.
Technically, you’re using WordPress as the platform and WooCommerce as a plugin/extension to enable the features needed for an eCommerce website. Potentially, a lot of people (web devs) know how to use WordPress – so it will be easier to learn/create using WooCommerce, I think.
You shouldn’t have a problem using WordPress, being one of the best open source website builder out there. It’s easy to use, reliable and supports a ton of extensions and integrations for your online store.
The best part about using WooCommerce is its flexibility. You get tons of choices for the design and extensions of your online store. It’s worth checking out! You can also head to its GitHub page.
5. Zen Cart
This may not be a modern eCommerce platform but one of the best open-source solutions. If you’re a fan of old school templates (HTML-based primarily) and do not need a whole lot of extensions but just the basics, you can try it out.
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this for a new project – but just because it is still an active platform, feel free to experiment on it if you like it.
You can find the project on SourceForge as well.
An Adobe-owned open-source eCommerce platform that is potentially better than WordPress (depending on your preferences obviously).
Magento is completely tailored for e-commerce applications – so you will find a lot of essential features easy to use while offering advanced customizations as well.
However, when utilizing the open-source edition, you might miss some of the features available in their hosted offering. You can refer to their comparison guide for details. Of course, you can self-host it but if you want a managed hosting support, that’s available as well.
You can also take a look at their GitHub page to learn more.
Drupal is another open-source CMS platform that is suitable for creating an eCommerce website.
I’ve never used it – so I’m not really sure of its flexibility but looking at its list of modules (Extensions) and themes available on its official site, it looks like you can do almost everything you need for an eCommerce platform easily.
You should be able to install it easily on any web server just like you install WordPress – so give it a try and see how it goes. You can even download the latest releases and check out the project on their download page.
8. Odoo eCommerce
In case you didn’t know, Odoo offers a suite of open source business apps. They also offer open source accounting software and CRM solutions that we’ve covered in a separate list.
For the eCommerce portal, you can utilize its online drag and drop builder to customize your site as per your requirements. You also have options to promote the website. In addition to the easy theme installation and customization options, you get to utilize HTML/CSS to manually customize the look and feel to some extent.
You may also check out its GitHub page to explore more about it.
I’m sure there are a few more open-source eCommerce platforms out there – however, I haven’t come across anything that’s better than what I’ve listed above (yet).
If you think that I missed one of your favorites that deserves a mention, let me know in the comments. Also, feel free to share your experience and thoughts about the open-source eCommcerce platforms available in the comments section below.