What does open source software mean? Many would think that it is software that can be used for free, of course, this mind-set is somewhat correct! Open source simply means that the source code can be freely available to the users. With this, the users can modify it, install it and change the template into how they want it to be.
For open source e-commerce, there are plenty of platforms for you to achieve your ultimate online business. These platforms are Open Cart, Shuup, PrestaShop, Zen Cart, Magento and so on. Therefore, in this term, the “free” here refers to customers’ freedom to customize their own e-commerce websites.
Now, let’s talk about the differences between open sources and hosted e-commerce. For hosted e-commerce sites, there are wonderful advantages for busy business owners. Hosted e-commerce websites help you secure your webpage, it is unlikely to crash easily and suffer from security compromises. Furthermore, you get to focus more on selling your products instead of spending hours customizing your shopping cart.
However, hosted e-commerce sites tend to have hidden fees on top of their monthly or annual charging fee. That’s right; it is not a free platform. You will have to pay an amount of fees either monthly or annually, if you want to have a special add-on for your website, you might have to top up some costs in order to do so.
Also, if you love designing your website frequently, hosted e-commerce might not be a good platform as it provides less customization. Additionally, with the constant charging of fees for you to build an e-commerce platform on their sites, there’s no doubt of getting tied for at least 1 year. Hosted e-commerce sites are generally contract-based, with you paying them the fees, you will have to commit with the platform’s policy for the time period you chose.
Open source e-commerce sites are completely different from the hosted ones. This type of platforms are usually for those who are familiar and experienced in what they want, some platforms include coding text some don’t, most importantly, open source sites are generally free!
The main and basic advantage of this kind of site is that you get to customize your website into how you want it to be, you can also extract the server code out to put in your own server. Furthermore, once you’ve done your website on open source e-commerce site, it is yours forever, nobody can take it away from you, and you own it! As mentioned before, with the flexibility of open source sites, you can save the website on your own server, thus saving you a whole lot of hosting fees.
These are a brief comparison of hosted e-commerce and open source e-commerce sites; you should consider properly which one to use before creating your own e-commerce websites.
Marketing Connection is a digital marketing company that specializes in website design and online marketing in Penang. We love to help new businesses to grow their business further.