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Opencart v/s Shopify: Which is Best for Your Business?

Opencart vs Shopify thumbnail

OpenCart is great for its open-source setup, while Shopify is known for its easy-to-use hosted solution. Picking the right one can be tough, though, because each has pros and cons. Worry not! We are here to make your choice easier through a well-researched overview with a detailed comparison of both platforms so you can decide which is best for your business. So, let’s jump in. 

What is Opencart?

OpenCart is a popular choice for small to medium-sized businesses looking to set up an online store. It’s known for its easy-to-use interface and ability to manage multiple stores. Plus, it offers various features to help you create a unique store that meets your needs.

Fast Stats: BuiltWith reports that OpenCart powers over 260,000 live websites and ranks fifth among all open-source website builders. 

Open Cart Screenshot

Image Source: Opencart

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a popular choice for online stores, with over 4.6 million active sites. It’s designed to work for businesses of all sizes and is known for being easy to use. As a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) eCommerce solution, Shopify makes setting up a new store simple, offering helpful SEO and marketing tools. 

Shopify webpage screenshot

Image Source: Shopify

Shopify vs Opencart: An In-depth Comparison

OpenCart, an open-source eCommerce website builder, lets you freely tweak the code for full control over your site’s look and functions. But it needs some technical know-how. On the other hand, Shopify is a hosted platform with a subscription model. It’s easier to set up and manage, even without tech skills. However, making specific changes to your site might take time and require technical knowledge due to its unique code. 

Let’s dig into the details!

Shopify vs Opencart: Price

Thanks to its open source, OpenCart is free to download and install. However, additional expenses like hosting, a domain name, and an SSL certificate exist for a complete store setup. In contrast, Shopify offers five pricing plans. 

Who’s the Winner? Picking a winner at this point, would be tricky, depending on whether you like a ready-made or customizable solution. Keep reading to figure out which one suits you best.

Shopify vs Opencart: Ease of Use

OpenCart requires coding expertise to set up a new store. If you create a new store in Opencart for the first time, you will go through the following stages. 

  • Build a database using open-source admin (Dbeaver, DataGrip, phpmyadmin, etc.)
  • Install OpenCart
  • Complete store setup
Open Cart Dashboard

Image Source: Opencart Admin 

On the contrary, the Shopify store setup does not require technical skills. It just needs your info like store name, email, address, etc. And the good thing is that you do not need to fill out any payment information. After store setup, you can control, test, manage, or modify the store’s text, layout, color, etc. 

Who’s the Winner? Shopify wins for being easier to use with its simple setup and user-friendly system. Meanwhile, OpenCart can be trickier to set up as it needs some technical know-how about hosting, FTPs, and security updates.

Shopify vs Opencart: Themes and Design

OpenCart offers free and paid 500 attractive and trendy themes. The downside is that these themes are not supported, as compared to its competitors, who offer better page builders and wide plugin support.

Open Cart Templates

Image Souce: Opencart Theme Store

Also, modification in themes requires coding skills in HTML, CSS, or PHP. However, Opencart users can customize the storefront through a dashboard, such as product position editing, category disabling, product and description updates, and banner uploading.

Comparatively, Shopify offers free and premium 180+ trendy, professional, and mobile-responsive eCommerce website templates for online stores. Theme customization does not require coding skills. Theme editor allow users direct adjustment from the front end. The theme editor has a toolbar to add/remove content and a theme preview. 

Shopify Themes

Image Source: Shopify Theme Store

Who’s the Winner? When it comes to themes, OpenCart and Shopify are equally good. They both offer lots of choices and let you customize them as you like.

Shopify vs Opencart: Store Management

Opencart’s open-source nature and admin dashboard allow users to manage store operations from orders, shipping, and payment to inventory and human resources. Opencart marketplace has cutting-edge solutions accessible to users within one click as per their requirements or preferences.

Shopify comes with a pack of powerful functions and services. It has a built-in analytics tool that assists e-merchants in tracking their store sales. Also, they can manage orders and payments. All these features allow Shopify users to manage any online store from their smartphones or laptops. 

Who’s the Winner? Shopify is better than OpenCart for managing your store.

Shopify vs Opencart: Payment 

OpenCart offers many ways to pay, like bank transfers and online gateways. It works with 51 options including; PayPal and Amazon Pay. You can also add more from the OpenCart Marketplace.

However, with Shopify, you get:

  1. Shopify Payments: Their own payment method with possibly lower fees.
  2. Over 100 other options like PayPal, but they might charge extra fees. You can also take cryptocurrency, but each transaction has an added fee.

Who’s the Winner? OpenCart wins because it offers more payment choices and doesn’t charge transaction fees. But with Shopify, you have to pay fees for every sale you make.

Shopify vs Opencart: SEO

OpenCart helps eCommerce businesses grow but doesn’t offer much SEO help. It has basic SEO features like editing meta tags, but you can improve SEO by adding plugins or following tips.

Opencart SEO

Image Source: Opencart Admin tools

Shopify is great for online stores. It has good SEO features like meta titles and descriptions. Plus, you can organize your site’s categories for better navigation and SEO.

Who’s the Winner? Shopify wins for SEO. OpenCart isn’t ideal for beginners looking for advanced SEO options.

Shopify vs Opencart: Support

OpenCart has four types of support:

  1. Submitting a support ticket for general questions (Monday to Friday).
  2. Help docs for managing your store.
  3. A community forum where users share knowledge.
  4. Enterprise support, which might cost between $10 to $300.
Opencart Support

Image Source: Opencart Support

Shopify offers full support, including:

  1. 24/7 phone and live chat support.
  2. Help through social media.
  3. A community forum.
  4. Email support.
  5. A Help Center with guides.
  6. Video tutorials.
  7. You can also hire a specialist for advanced help.

Who’s the Winner? Shopify offers better store support. With OpenCart, you’ll have to rely on their forum or pay for help elsewhere.

Which Product Is Best for eCommerce Business?

When deciding between OpenCart and Shopify, think about what your business needs.

OpenCart is good for small and medium businesses. It’s free, customizable, and has lots of options. If you’re good with tech stuff, it’s a good choice.

Shopify works for all sizes of businesses. It has great SEO, easy-to-use features, and good support. If you want an all-in-one solution and don’t want to worry about tech, go for Shopify.