OpenCart was publicly released in 1999 to little fanfare. Due to their poor performance, the project was suspended for a time before officially being revived in 2009 on Google Code. OpenCart is one of the leading e-commerce platforms in China and continues to produce on a high level globally. In 2014, OpenCart saw another revamp of their interface which was accepted by sellers as an improvement. OpenCart is PHP based using a MySQL database and HTML.
Getting started with OpenCart is considered to be a smooth and easy process, especially for those with a basic knowledge of e-commerce and their functionality. Since there are no start-up costs or monthly package prices to consider, business owners can jump right into setting up their store without having to figure out the financial side of opening up their shopping cart.
OpenCart breaks down the set-up process into a few different categories. Each OpenCart store is comprised of a Frontend and Admin Interface. The admin interface is where the real store set-up begins and each business owner much go through the following settings:
For being a "free" service, OpenCart provides their users with a wide range of services and capabilities. These resources and tools include: open source, documentation, unlimited categories, unlimited products, unlimited manufacturers, templatable, multi-language, multi-currency, product reviews, product ratings, downloadable products, automatic image resizing, multiple tax rates, related products, unlimited information pages, shipping weight calculation, discount coupon system, search engine optimization, unlimited module instance system, back up and restore tools, PCI compliant, printable invoices, sales reports, and error logging.
Opencart has many features for your e-commerce website or app. For your online store, many modules exists on the admin panel with different themes for your product feed. Depending on your web hosting, its software boasts additional ecommerce solutions, some for monthly fees. If you have an SSL certificate there is another plugin for social media integration.
Its technical support can provide a solution with hosting as well. There is a platform for payment gateways, opencart admin, opencart theme and other developer tools.
OpenCart makes their money off of "extensions." These extensions allow users to customize and gear their shopping cart experience towards their prospective clientele. These extensions can come at a relatively high cost as business owners will need to purchase templates and other extensions individually.
Users have also been dissatisfied with the security provisions OpenCart has taken to protect the data exchanged using their platform. OpenCart has never clearly stated what provisions they plan on implementing to help combat this problem, so at this time, security remains to be an issue.
OpenCart continues to stick with old ways of conducting e-commerce trade rather than innovate or keep up with the industry trends. For instance, they still use MyISAM tables, coding practices that are considered to be well out-of-date, and their code quality is far from being competitive.