Open Source Shopping Carts

Written by Stephanie Ayars
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Open source software is created, and undergoes constant monitoring, by individuals devoted to developing, improving and building the quality of the software. Solutions are not derived behind closed temple doors. Problems are solved in a larger community, made up of zealous independent programmers dedicated to a single goal: making every piece of software as good as it possibly can be. Website professionals across the spectrum are enthusiastic about open source products, and claim using them gives a site a thoroughly tested foundation that can result in a website being ready to go online in a fraction of the time that it takes with closed-source models.

Open source shopping carts are e-commerce programs developed by these same pioneer spirits. They are typically free to download, and require no licensing fees to operate. They are reputed to be every bit as user friendly as commercial options, and even superior in terms of bug resistance, reliability and stability.

Open-source shopping carts, depending on "brand" (quotation marks used because "trademarks," per se are verboten in the open-source community) feature a variety of e-commerce solutions. osCommerce, for instance, (the "os" meaning "open source"), is a full featured e-commerce software package that includes a complete shopping cart aspect. Other examples include ZenCart, ECHOcart, Comersus, Shop-Script, FishCart, phpCart, MyMarket, etc. However, osCommerce is widely considered, within the open source community, to be the "king" of open source shopping cart systems.

osCommerce Shopping Cart Systems

OsCommerce features a wide range of "out-of-the-box" features. ("Out of the box" is much like "off-the-shelf," and references complete, prepackaged software.) Semantics aside, osCommerce is the power behind thousands of online stores. One of the reasons osCommerce is so fiercely popular is that, despite being a prepackaged software, there are multiple ways for store owners to make their online boutiques unique. osCommerce has the capacity and power to be useful to both small and large business owners, by organizing either just a few products, or thousands.


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