Trying to expand your business with an ecommerce platform? There are many avenues for ecommerce, attached to your website or as an independent marketplace. Knowing which one is best for you comes down to factors like ease of use, cost, and whether or not the ecommerce platform will meet the needs of your target market. Both WooCommerce and OpenCart are popular platforms, so understanding the differences between the two is important in narrowing down your options.
Ease of Installation
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. Users already running a site powered by WordPress simply have to install the plugin; a quick and easy process. If users are starting from scratch, they will need to create a WordPress site, either manually, or using a host with a one-click install option. WordPress is very popular, so it’s easy to find a host that can set it up without issue.
An installation wizard guides the WooCommerce installation so users have built-in support.
OpenCart is a standalone ecommerce platform, but its installation is somewhat similar to that of WooCommerce. Users can use a single click installer like Softaculous to set up OpenCart quickly. For more control, advanced users can set up this ecommerce platform manually.
Ease of Use
WooCommerce simply extends the WordPress CMS so users already familiar with this platform should have no problem handling their ecommerce. The stats and information about a store are displayed right on the WordPress dashboard, making it very easy for users to follow performance. Automated features make it easy to set up things like coupons, discounts, and geo-location settings, while advanced customization features give more technologically inclined users the option of diving in deeper.
OpenCart is fairly intuitive as an ecommerce platform, with an admin interface that offers a high degree of control. One of the big bonuses of OpenCart is the ability to manage multiple storefronts from the same admin interface, so if you have the need for various outlets, you should find it very easy to manage them all from OpenCart.
Search Engine Friendly
SEO in WooCommerce is limited only by a user’s skills, and the extensions they choose to install. Functionalities like custom URLs and descriptions, robots.txt, Google Analytics, and other SEO tools are easily added to WooCommerce by installing extensions and plugins.
Users can adjust meta titles, descriptions, keywords, and other areas where SEO keywords are ideal. However, it requires more tinkering around in code. For users who are less tech-savvy, it may be a bit overwhelming to do so.
WooCommerce works with web-based devices, and iPhone/iPad with popular integrations including FreshBooks, Stripe, PayPal, Amazon Payments, FedEx, USPS and UPS. WooCommerce integrates with a large number of services.
OpenCart works with Windows, Mac, and web-based devices. It integrates with various services including PayPal, SagePay, FedEx, UPS, and more.
Cost to Maintain
The WooCommerce plugin for WordPress is free, however commercial plugins and extensions have to be paid for annually, so if you require further functionality, be prepared to pay for it each year. Paid themes and designs are optional, but some users prefer them to the free options. The cost of hosting, and payment processing also has to be considered.
OpenCart is a free open-source shopping cart. Paid themes, paid extensions, and the cost of hosting, however, will add to the overall price.
Much like WordPress, WooCommerce is highly customizable with various plugins and extensions that are easy to find, install, and operate. Even the most beginner users should find it simple to customize WooCommerce to their needs.
The template that comes with OpenCart is fairly robust, and both paid and free themes can easily change the look of the store. Users who wish to do more customization may find it tricky, however, as it requires delving into code.
Hosted vs. Self-Hosted
Both WooCommerce and OpenCart require hosting. While the need for hosting adds to the overall cost of the platforms, it may also provide more control over some aspects of the store.
This ecommerce platform is ideal for small to medium sized businesses, and can target any customer base with its customizability. Social integration comes easily with plugins and extensions.
OpenCart is flexible for businesses of any size. Its ability to target specific customers lies in its easy, intuitive support of multiple languages and currencies.
Overall, OpenCart is easy to use. Setting up, however, might be best performed by someone with tech skills, and that person will be useful again when when you’re ready to grow your business or customize your online offering.
Being based on WordPress, WooCommerce is easy to install and use, especially if you use WordPress already. When it comes to customization, WooCommerce beats OpenCart hands down, meaning that WooCommerce users can make their stores their own and provide a great, tailored experience for their customers.
|Easy of Installation||Practically installs itself, with a setup wizard handling most of the work. 5/5||Can be manually installed, or set up with a third-party one-click installer. May be complex for less tech-savvy users. 3/5|
|Ease of Use||Very easy to use for beginners, without holding advanced users back. 5/5||Intuitive and easy, and allows for multiple storefronts under one admin account and interface. 5/5|
|Search Engine Friendly||Extremely SEO-friendly! 5/5||SEO-friendly, with some work. 4/5|
|Integration Ecosystem||Easy integration with a vast variety of service providers, including several mailing systems. 4/5||Integrates with several services and platforms; some functionality requires payment. 4/5|
|Cost to Maintain||Cost varies depending on what users want to spend; initial plugin is free. 3/5||Cost varies depending on what users want to spend; initial plugin is free. 4/5|
|Customizability||Highly customizable, limited only by a users’ skills and budget. 5/5||Somewhat customizable but generally requires more advanced tech skills and/or extra payment to get it looking and acting the way you want. 3/5|
|Hosted vs. Self-Hosted||Self-hosted — more work, but more freedom.||Self-hosted — more work, but more freedom.|
|Target Market||Subscription services, social media targeting, and other custom plugins work to target customers.||Businesses of any size, but requires tech skills for store branding and customization.|