When you decide to launch an eCommerce business, you have to choose a website platform fairly quickly.
You’ve probably heard about Magento – one of the leading eCommerce platforms around.
In this article, you’ll learn about 16 Magento alternatives, some of which are free and open-source.
Before diving into these alternatives, let’s look at why Magento may not be right for you.
Why you should consider a Magento alternative
Magento was one of the early eCommerce content management systems (CMSs) on the market, but it has a reputation for being rather complex in terms of usability.
While the user interface has gotten more user-friendly over the years, it lacks in areas where newer platforms excel. For example, although it’s open-source software, it’s not plug-and-play; you can expect to pay thousands of dollars to get a custom website developed and set up.
Here are some of the other reasons to consider a Magento alternative:
- Slow loading pages. If your site is large or needs a lot of features, you’ll need to add a handful of extensions, which will make your site load slowly. Unfortunately, slow sites don’t rank well in the search engines. Sometimes, there’s no way around this since Magento requires extensions to add advanced functionality, and each extension will create more lag.
- Lengthy launch time. When you’re pressed for time, you won’t launch fast with Magento. Unlike other platforms, you’ll need significant development to launch even a small portion of your site. The overall development of a Magento site will take longer, too.
- Technical knowledge is a must. Lastly, you need development skills to customize and maintain a Magento website. Although the user interface is considered intuitive, it’s not for beginners.
If you need an easy-to-manage eCommerce site, here are 16 alternatives to consider.
Open-source Magento alternatives
The following eCommerce solutions are free and open-source, which means you have full access to the code and can have a developer customize the platform however you wish.
1. Zen Cart
When you need a basic eCommerce solution, Zen Cart has everything covered. There are important built-in features like ‘call-for-quote’ pricing options, discounts, gift certificates, SEO tools, and a shipping estimator.
Zen Cart has a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, which makes it easy to create basic eCommerce websites without a developer. If you’d prefer to hire a developer, you can find plenty of Zen Cart developers for hire.
2. WooCommerce for WordPress
WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress because it’s exceptional. You can get a professional template for your storefront and free extensions to run a basic shop.
If you already have a WordPress website and you need to get started with eCommerce fast, WooCommerce is ideal. When you’re ready to expand or customize your store, it will be easy to find a WordPress developer to help.
When you need a powerful CMS, Prestashop is a great option, especially if you need to run an international store in multiple languages. It’s highly customizable with high-quality add-ons and will scale effortlessly as your business grows.
You can get the open-source version of Prestashop, or you can opt for a hosted cloud-based version – it’s up to you.
Bagisto is an eCommerce platform built on the Laravel framework and doesn’t require as many extensions as other platforms to function at a basic level. It’s also easy to change your shop’s design without having to hire a developer.
Unlike many other platforms, you can demo the front and back ends of Bagisto before you try it.
Drupal has been around for a long time and has an excellent selection of themes and extensions to get your eCommerce site up and running fast.
The downside to using Drupal is that developers often charge a premium simply because there are fewer available. They’re not hard to find, but there isn’t a large amount of competition as there is with, say, WordPress and Shopify.
OpenCart is a highly customizable eCommerce platform, but it can get a little complex if you’re not technically-minded. However, it does support running a multi-language shop and has plenty of design templates to choose from.
If you need additional features, there are thousands of extensions to add functionality to your store. For instance, you can add product ratings, allow customers to check out as a guest, offer digital downloads, and set up recurring payments.
OroCommerce is built for B2B commerce, like suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, suppliers, and retailers. It comes with a built-in customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
OroCommerce is highly customizable and flexible. This platform will help with all kinds of business transactions, including B2B, B2C, B2B2C, B2B2B, and more.
There is a free version, but also an enterprise version with more features.
WordPress powers a large number of eCommerce websites, mostly with WooCommerce, but there are other options. For instance, you can use the following plugins to run an eCommerce store on WordPress:
- Easy Digital Downloads
- Cart66 Cloud
- Ecwid eCommerce
- WP EasyCart
No matter which plugin you choose, it will be easy to find a developer to customize your shop. If you know your way around WordPress development, you’ll be able to easily edit and maintain your shop yourself.
The only thing you need to remember about using WordPress for eCommerce is that you’ll need to use the self-hosted version from WordPress.org.
You can’t run an eCommerce website on WordPress.com.
There is a learning curve with WordPress, but you can find tutorials and instructions just about everywhere online, including YouTube and WordPress-specific websites.
At some point, you’ll probably need to hire a developer, but since developers are abundant, they’re affordable.
Hosted Magento alternatives
The following eCommerce solutions are hosted, which means you’ll need to pay a monthly fee to use the software. Customizations are still possible, but you won’t have full access to the source code.
BigCommerce is one of the best hosted eCommerce platforms you’ll find. You can create and launch a store without any technical knowledge and the customer experience is smooth.
The only downsides are the cost and a lack of variety for templates. You can make some customizations, but not like you can with open-source software.
However, if you just need a simple shop that runs smoothly, BigCommerce is ideal.
10. Big Cartel
Shopify is probably the most well-known hosted eCommerce platform around, and for good reason. It’s powerful, easy-to use, and has wonderful third-party integrations. For instance, you can integrate your Shopify store with your Amazon storefront, Facebook Marketplace, and more.
If you don’t mind paying for extensions to add features, developing a Shopify store can meet even the most intricate of eCommerce needs.
Volusion is a great eCommerce platform if you’re looking to avoid transaction fees. It’s easy to use, and the learning curve isn’t as sharp as most platforms. However, there are some downsides. The biggest downside is that you’ll need to pay a higher fee as your traffic increases. You’ll also need to purchase an SSL certificate separately, and extensions cost money.
Wix is a great eCommerce solution if you just need a simple storefront and you’d like to manage your store without hiring a developer. You won’t be able to customize as much as you can with other platforms, but if you just need to launch your store and sell a few items, it’s perfect.
Squarespace is a highly intuitive, user-friendly eCommerce solution for just about any business. The monthly plans are simple and you won’t get overcharged for features you don’t need.
You’ll get access to beautiful design templates, analytics, inventory management, and more. The downside is that there aren’t as many add-ons as there are with other platforms, so if you have extensive needs you may need to choose a different platform.
Webflow is quickly becoming one of the most popular eCommerce platforms because of its amazing drag-and-drop visual editor that allows you to edit the content right on each page. You’ll also be able to create and launch your store much faster with this type of editor, all without having to hire a developer or know a single bit of code yourself. Although, if you want a fully customized site, you can hire a Webflow developer to build exactly what you need.
You’ll pay a bit more to use Webflow than other platforms, but if you’re too busy to get technical and just want simplicity, it’s the ideal solution.
Weebly is similar to Wix, being a simple web building platform. However, the eCommerce capabilities are pretty good for a simple site builder. Just like the regular site builder, building an eCommerce site is virtually effortless.
Weebly offers all the basic features your customers will expect, like efficient product searching and sorting, easy digital downloads, and more.
Need to build an eCommerce store? DEV.co can help!
Are you looking for the perfect platform to build your eCommerce website?
Perhaps you’re looking to migrate away from Magento to another eCommerce platform?
If you’re confused by all of your options, or you just don’t know which one to choose, we can help.
At DEV.co, we design and develop eCommerce websites for businesses of every size, and can develop on any platform.
When you work with us, we’ll look at your needs and suggest the platform(s) that will best meet your needs and your budget.
Get in touch with us today and tell us what you need.
Our development team would love to help you get your store up and running!
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