Magento Versus Zen Cart

Magento-vs-Zencart

If you are thinking about using free shopping cart software software to produce or migrate a current online shop, odds are you’re whether confident coder or will be ready to employ a professional to build up your shop. Either in situation, you’ll be thinking about two popular free platforms: Magento and Zen Cart.

Launched about ten years ago, Zen Cart is really a PHP/MySQL platform that branched removed from osCommerce. osCommerce was among the first free carts hitting the scene in 2000 (take a look at our osCommerce and Zen Cart comparison here.) Using more than 100,000 users under its belt, Zen Cart’s consistent performance, active forums, and relatively simple to complete installation process turn it into a serious contender which has earned many loyal users. However, many developers complain that although the program is a great candidate for code newbies, its less malleable PHP coding framework shows aging process.

Magento is completely customizable, elegant, flooded with features…and has a steep learning curve. An intricate open cart solution, Magento has been utilized by greater than 150,000 retailers because it launched greater than 5 years ago and it is a finest fit for mid to large-size companies who are able to afford help to obtain their store launched and maintained. I recommend getting a pro developer that has effectively labored with Magento prior to getting began, in addition to a designer based on your developer’s set of skills.

Observe that the next article compares Zen Cart to Magento CE, Magento’s free, free option.

Do not have time for you to read a whole article? Check out our best search engine optimization for any couple of quick recommendations. Every option we present here offers excellent customer care, superb website templates, and simple-to-use software, all for any reasonable cost.

Otherwise, keep studying to understand how Magento and Zen Cart perform within our mind-to-mind comparison.

Table of Contents

Web-Located or Licensed:

Both Magento and Zen Cart are free, self-located shopping carts that is free of charge to download or use.

Software and hardware Needs:

Since they’re both free, downloadable platforms, it’s important to find hosting for the Magento or Zen Cart store. Read information regarding Magento’s hosting requirements here and discover Zen Cart’s guidelines here.

Prices:

Champion: Tie

Both Magento CE and Zen Cart are free shopping cart software platforms that won’t cost you a factor to download. However when planning just how much to plan for your store’s creation and launch, bear in mind that it’s important to purchase hosting, charge card processing, (possibly) a design template, security to make sure PCI compliance, and (possibly) a developer and designer. It’s easy to understand the way it can finish up squandering your at least as much to produce an ecommerce site by having an free cart like Magento or Zen Cart instead of a cloud-based option which includes hosting and expenses through the month, like BigCommerce or Shopify.

Simplicity of use:

Champion: Zen Cart

When I just pointed out above, free shopping carts will vary creatures than web-based competitors for example Shopify that include hosting, templates, and security as they are. Both Zen Cart and Magento require technical understanding and a minimum of mid-level coding competency to set up and personalize. If it is not after this you you’ll want to locate a developer to obtain your shop ready to go and train staff regarding how to add inventory, manage customers, fill orders, etc.

I discovered Zen Cart’s admin to become counterproductive, with increased drop downs than needed. Zen Cart’s template system for defining the feel of your shop (its as they are template is particularly underwhelming, so customizing its PHP code is essential) is sensible after committing serious amounts of it, but anticipate to search and peck to locate standard elements like product options and tax settings. That stated, when your store is live you’ll most likely have previously mastered in which the areas of Zen Cart’s admin which are highly relevant to you reside (also known as adding products and managing orders) and may ignore admin tabs like “index listing,” “default page status,” and “option value manager.”

You’ll need to know that some developers describe Zen Cart’s code as sloppy which its periodic software updates can lead to lost design and integration customizations. But overall its PHP-based code helps it to be simpler to get going rapidly, a minimum of when compared with Magento.

Magento’s complex code is notoriously difficult to master, and it is short stack of support tools make partnering by having an experienced pro crucial, particularly if you’re shelling out cash before you’re in a position to start earning it back by finishing sales. Magento’s backend isn’t a lot more streamlined than Zen Cart’s, with confusing system settings and admin pages that aren’t always in which you expect these to be. Intend to spend some time finding out how to add orders and keep your store.

Product Features:

Champion: Magento

Overall, I discovered Magento to provide a better developed, better quality group of features which are crucial for creating effective online retailers. For instance, only Magento is enhanced for smartphones and tablets, that is a must for reducing abandoned carts, especially since a lot of us are browsing and purchasing on cellular devices. Also, Magento arrives with more powerful fundamental Search engine optimization tools. Plus, I love that it may support several store from one admin–that’s a less frequent feature overall in web-based, downloadable, or free shopping carts.

Zen Cart does present some features you will not find after installing Magento, including gift cards along with a (dated) WYSIWYG tool. But Magento’s product comparison feature, coupon system (Zen Cart offers light coupon functionality), wishlists, and uber important one page checkout tend to be more types of extras making it soar beyond Zen Cart within the features department.

For more information concerning the feature teams of both carts, take a look at our complete Magento review here and Zen Cart review here. If you are confused or at a loss for your choices and would really like help sifting through shopping cart software software we’re here to assist. Take a look at Merchant Maverick’s talking to services.

Website Design:

Champion: Magento

There isn’t any doubt that both Magento and Zen Cart can establish completely functional shops, but getting there’s most likely likely to mean dealing with a thick pile of customizations or purchasing a theme. It’s one more reason to utilize a professional if you are not confident nipping and tucking code.

When you can tweak the headers, colors, fonts, along with other fundamental elements of design with Zen Cart’s as they are theme, I counsel beginning having a different skin since its default choice is, to become diplomatic, very dated. Take a look at more Zen Cart free themes to get an understanding of what’s available. Or, you are able to employ a designer to carry out a custom look that’s totally unique, that is things i recommend.

Compared, Magento has been utilized to create what, for me, tend to be more elegant stores (browse some Magento live stores here and Zen Cart live stores here to check.) This minimal free Modern Theme for Magento is miles over the skin which comes standard with Zen Cart in looks and usefulness. Plus, Magento’s template system streamlines customizing skins. Take a look at various other Magento templates here.

Integrations and Add-Ons:

Champion: Magento

Magento arrives with several helpful features as they are, but you’ll wish to browse its countless free and fee-based integrations too. Take a look at its full plug-in list here by selecting “Community” under “Platform” around the left side from the screen. Extras are sortable by rating, relevance, and cost.

As opposed to Magento, which arrives with lots of more features after it’s downloaded, intend to depend on Zen Cart’s plugins to complete your store’s set of features. Zen Cart offers retailers an enormous database in excess of 1,500 integrations, including admin tools varying from bulk order plugins to advanced login features, language packages, social networking and marketing extras, and prices tools. A thing of warning: We found reports claiming that some Zen Cart plugins really are a bear to personalize and aren’t suitable for new versions.

I love that Magento’s application store lets users leave feedback about plugins which each integration earns a “popularity score.” Individuals factors should in no way be the sole reason you choose to make use of an add-on, but a minimum of the scores provide a frame of reference. Overall, I discovered Magento’s integrations to become more curated, reliable, and helpful.

Payment Processing:

Champion: Magento

While it isn’t suitable for as many gateways as some cloud-based shopping cart software platforms, Magento integrates with an array of gateways and third-party processors including PayPal.

Zen Cart integrates with lots of processors too, including Dwolla and Braintree, and supports plug-ins for a lot of more gateways. Also, when i pointed out above Zen Cart supports gift cards as they are while Magento doesn’t. However, Magento does support one-page checkout and guest checkout (each of which for me are essentials that internet buyers have started to expect) while Zen Cart doesn’t.

If you want help navigating the payment processor landscape, take a look at our Credit Card Merchant Account Comparison page or call us for any consultation.

Customer Support and Tech Support Team:

Champion: Zen Cart

Magento CE users depend on its active, almost 2 million member forum when questions show up pre and post stores are live, so bookmark the page for reference. Overall, I didn’t have positive interactions with Magento support–answers to questions I sent staff via email or Facebook weren’t clarified. Also, users are convinced that Magento’s documentation is thin, however it does keep growing.

To contrast, Zen Cart offers several additional tools for help which go beyond its 135,000 member forum, including tutorials and FAQs, YouTube videos, along with a wiki since the installation process and upgrades. Or you prefer holding a reference guide with you you may also order Zen Cart’s instructions.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

Champion: Zen Cart

Retailers and developers have lots to complain about with Magento and Zen Cart. After hrs of research and time spent culling user feedback, we could find out the following common negative trends about each cart.

A vintage complaint about Magento is the fact that it’s slow and clunky. Another common gripe concentrates on the Magento customer care department and documentation, with are essentially nonexistent in the CS edition except for a properly-used forum. Other Magento users aren’t happy that developer charges, security, hosting, and processing charges allow it to be an costly option, leveling out the advantages of that download free pretty rapidly.

Zen Cart users frequently complain about its outdated admin design, lagging marketing and Search engine optimization features, and not seamless version upgrades that may result in lost data. Also, some state that the cart is glitchy, miss good choices for mobile integrations, and wish the opportunity to offer customers one-page checkout. Overall, we found more negatives concerning the better-known and harder to understand Magento.

If you wish to look for other complaints about Magento or Zen Cart, make sure to google Magento/Zen Cart reviews, Magento/Zen Cart complaints, Magento/Zen Cart comments, Magento/Zen Cart scam, Magento/Zen Cart testimonials, etc.

Positive Testimonials and reviews:

Champion: Magento

We collected assorted positive reports about Zen Cart, varying from kudos because of its solid uptime record, great support sources, and broad group of add-ons. Other Zen Cart retailers verify its customizable admin and worldwide achieve.

But we found more users singing the praises of Magento, with lots of programmers building totally unique, effective stores which are scalable, specifically for medium and enormous size e-tailers. Magento users like its meaty attributes, which rivals some fee-based located competitors, and therefore are happy that it arrives with various coupon and promotions options and may support mobile sales and multiple stores.

Final Verdict:

Champion: Magento

Zen Cart gives retailers the opportunity to build relationships an active user community that aims to constantly improve its functionality. It is also fast, lighter, and much easier to navigate than Magento and may take a shorter period to understand. Consider it started 10 years ago, some smarter, leaner free competitors like Spree Commerce and PrestaShop have challenged Zen Cart’s comparatively dated admin and lagging marketing, mobile, and Search engine optimization integrations.

Magento is really a workhorse that may create effective, beautiful stores, however it needs a real commitment. It’ll likely try taking some cold income and also the right team of developers to unveil a effective store, but Magento’s capability to scale enough to aid companies which are big names is definitely an appealing plus: The Harper’s Bazaar and Fiji Water web stores are generally operated by Magento. I additionally found it packed with some of the very features cloud-based carts charge money to make use of. When compared with Zen Cart, Magento is really a fight tested and much more impressive bit of software–if you really can afford it.

Prepared to take both ecommerce shopping carts try it out? Download Magento here and Zen Cart here to find out if either choice is the best fit for the business. Also, take a look at our full Magento and Zen Cart reviews for that full lowdown.

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Top 9 Shopify Alternatives

Shopify alternatives

Shopify, a superb eCommerce platform, may be the shopping cart software software we at Merchant Maverick recommend to many companies. However, we all know there are many companies available searching for Shopify alternatives, particularly in recent several weeks. Basically we love Shopify’s software, we know that may possibly not be the greatest cart for everybody.

Here (in no particular order) we present seven alternative shopping carts that you should try, and explain the Shopify competitors might work much better than Shopify.

Do not have time for you to read a whole article? Check out our best eCommerce solutions for a couple of quick recommendations. Every option we present here offers excellent customer care, superb website templates, and simple-to-use software, all for any reasonable cost. Otherwise, continue reading for the seven options to Shopify.

Table of Contents

1. LemonStand

lemonstand-logo
LemonStand was initially offered as in your area downloadable software but has gone to live in the cloud recently. Package prices is markedly more costly than Shopify’s (find out more about LemonStand prices in our review), but you receive a lot for the money, because this shopping cart software solution offers limitless products on all plans, and comes packed with a lot of insanely customizable features. A few of the customizations you receive with LemonStand include:

  • Open-source storefront design personalization
  • Product options (size, color, etc., custom SKUs)
  • Custom SSL

How It’s Better Than Shopify
Unlike Shopify, LemonStand doesn’t charge any credit card transaction fees (apart from the charge billed from your selected payment gateway). LemonStand also provides more customizability than Shopify.

If you prefer a custom storefront, LemonStand might be a great selection for you. Just bear in mind that to be able to make the most of LemonStand you’ll most likely need to hire a graphic designer.

2. BigCommerce


Based on Texas-based BigCommerce, greater than 95,000 companies make use of this robust platform to market online. We gave BigCommerce a 4/5-star rating and think about this shopping cart software a powerful choice, designed for high-volume companies. It’s filled with features and prices resembles Shopify’s.

Some awesome reasons for this eCommerce software include:

  • Limitless storage, products, and bandwidth on all plans
  • Simple to use
  • Good customer support
  • No transaction charges
  • Strong Search engine optimization features

How It’s Much Better Than Shopify
BigCommerce does not charge any transaction charges.

BigCommerce also offers more “out from the box” features in comparison with Shopify. If you would like a lot of options, extras, and integrations that do not cost extra, BigCommerce can be a better option for the business than Shopify. Take a look at our BigCommerce versus. Shopify comparison for any more in-depth comparison of those shopping carts.

3. Volusion

volusion-logo
Volusion is among the greatest names in eCommerce, serving greater than 40,000 companies, including Element Outfitters and Evutec. Like Shopify, Volusion is a straightforward-to-use, cloud-based shopping cart software that work well for medium and small-sized companies. A number of Volusion’s most powerful selling points include:

  • 24/7 phone, chat, and email support
  • Limitless product options
  • No transaction charges
  • Abandoned cart feature

Find out more about Volusion in our review.

How It’s Better Than Shopify
Volusion doesn’t charge additional charge card transaction charges, whereas Shopify does. A couple more benefits of Volusion include one-page checkout as well as an out-of-the-box eBay integration (with Shopify, eBay integration is definitely an add-on).

Bear in mind that Volusion charges you bandwidth overage charges. It’s important to keep close track of your usage should you not would like to get hit using the $7/GB bandwidth charges.

For any much deeper comparison of the shopping carts, read our Volusion versus. Shopify article.

4. Big Cartel

big-cartel-logo

Big Cartel is really a shopping cart software with attitude. It’s a hip, minimalist shopping cart software geared particularly toward artists — roughly millions of musicians, clothing designers, along with other artists use Big Cartel to market their creations. While it’s rather limited when it comes to features and templates, Big Cartel is definitely an affordable shopping cart software which includes all of the essentials an indie artist needs to setup buy online.

With Big Cartel, you receive:

  • Limitless bandwidth
  • HTML and CSS personalization whatsoever compensated levels
  • Inventory tracking whatsoever compensated levels
  • Seamless integration with PayPal, Google Analytics, and Facebook
  • Free 5-product plan

Learn more about this shopping cart software within our Big Cartel review.

How It’s Better Than Shopify
Big Cartel does not have as robust an element set as Shopify, but Big Cartel will be a lot cheaper should you not have numerous products to market — the fundamental 5-product Big Cartel package doesn’t have monthly charge. Big Cartel also doesn’t charge any card transaction charges, although it processes all payments through PayPal and Stripe, that charges greater charges than your average payment gateway.

To understand more about how Shopify and large Cartel stack facing one another, you are able to make reference to my Shopify versus. Big Cartel writeup.

5. Magento

magento-logo
Magento CE (Community Edition) is really a free, open-source shopping cart software that works well with mid-large vendors. As opposed to Shopify, Magento is downloadable instead of cloud-based, meaning it’s important to find your personal hosting. Magento is effective, scalable, and have-wealthy, but it isn’t for starters — it’s a better option for established companies who would like full control of their online shop and also have the capital to cover their very own hosting, website design, and security.

How It’s Much Better Than Shopify:
Magento isn’t for everybody, but when these functions suit your needs, you may enjoy it much better than Shopify:

  • No monthly fee (though you’ll have to invest in your own hosting)
  • Better built-in multi-lingual support than Shopify
  • Thousands more apps and add-ons
  • Greater personalization and control

Find out more about Magento CE within our Magento review. Magento also offers a company Edition.

6. WooCommerce

woo-commerce-logo
Wish to start selling in your WordPress website? WooCommerce is definitely an open-source WordPress shopping cart software wordpress plugin that’s liberated to install and employ with any WordPress account. WooCommerce integrates with numerous payment gateways and doesn’t charge any extra card transaction charges.

You are able to download numerous extensions and add-ons to increase WooCommerce’s fundamental functionality, though many of these have a price. Additionally, you will need to pay for your own personel Weblog web hosting.
Listed here are some reasons people like WooCommerce:

  • No monthly fee
  • Seamless WordPress integration
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Developer-friendly

Begin to see the full run-lower of features within our WooCommerce review.

How It’s Better Than Shopify
For companies with WordPress websites, WooCommerce provides the freedom and versatility of the open-source solution. Additionally, it enables you to maintain your data separate from any third-party software platform. To obtain all of the features Shopify offers, you will have a subscription to numerous plugins that bill you monthly. However, with WooCommerce, any add-on features you’ll need can be found as you-time purchases or free, which could save you money over time.

7. 3dcart

3dcart-logo
3dcart is really a fully cloud-located shopping cart software solution. This cart comes packed with features in an attractive cost point. 3dcart charges bandwidth overage charges at $5 for every GB you exceed your limit. For the next charge, to keep your website design services and SSL certificates from 3dcart.

Some helpful 3dcart features include:

  • Support for back orders, wait lists, discounts, gift registries, and much more
  • 50 Plus free templates
  • Product options, including bundles
  • CRM features
  • Search engine optimization tools
  • Integrates using more than 100 payment gateways

For more information on features and prices, take a look at our 3dcart review.

How It’s Better Than Shopify:
3dcart is priced slightly less than Shopify. For $9.99/month, you can buy the “Nano” package, which will come with 10 products, limitless storage, and the majority of the options that come with the greater plans. There is also yet another 15% discount should you spend the money for whole year. 3dcart doesn’t charge any transaction charges.

8. Ecwid

Already have an online prescence setup? Recycle for cash a couple of products in your blog? Ecwid could be the eCommerce platform for you personally.

Ecwid is definitely an eCommerce widget that simply incorporates into nearly every pre-established website. You simply incorperate your products to your admin panel and copy-paste a couple of lines of code to your website. And in a few minutes, you’ll possess a store setup!

Better still, if you are searching to market 10 products or less, you should use Ecwid devoid of charge. See a lot of prices within our Ecwid review.

Listed here are a couple of features you may expect from Ecwid:

  • Limitless bandwidth
  • Automatic updates
  • Sell digital goods
  • Real-time shipping rates

How It’s Much Better Than Shopify
Ecwid is ideal for sellers who curently have an online business. With Ecwid, it is simple to give a store aimed at your website in a relatively inexpensive.

Ecwid also doesn’t charge transaction charges and it has a completely-functional free arrange for retailers who wish to sell 10 products or less.

9. Pinnacle Cart

Pinnacle Cart is really a feature-wealthy SaaS solution that’s existed since 2004. Pinnacle Cart comes packed with features but still boasts incredible usability. Also it costs comparable as Shopify.

Pinnacle Cart may be the bell-and-whistles solution for retailers who’re searching for everything but do not have the tech understanding to have an free option like Magento.

Here a number of Pinnacle Cart’s features:

  • Shipping tracking
  • One-page checkout
  • Limitless admin accounts
  • Limitless product images
  • Real-time shipping quotes
  • Recurring billing

Check out our Pinnacle Cart review to learn more.

How It’s Much Better Than Shopify
Pinnacle Cart offers particularly more features than Shopify out-of-the-box. For instance, you are able to enable one-page checkout and list limitless product attributes. These functions can be found whatsoever cost points.

Additionally, Pinnacle Cart doesn’t charge transaction charges. Plans cost competitive rates.

How you can Make sure Find More Shopify Alternatives

Shopify is definitely an awesome SaaS shopping cart software, however it certainly isn’t your main option. Anybody searching to produce a web-based store should evaluate several shopping cart software providers before selecting the one which meets all of their eCommerce needs. Fortunately, many of these shopping carts provide a free trial offer, enabling you to test the woking platform prior to signing up.

Want much more eCommerce platforms to select from? You can peruse our shopping cart software software reviews or begin by considering our shopping cart software flowchart to determine what platforms may be suitable for your company.

Shannon Vissers

Shannon is really a freelance author and editor located in North Park, CA. Shannon type of wants an apple iphone 7, but she’s not necessarily prepared to lose the headphone jack.

Shannon Vissers
Shannon Vissers

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