Open-source eCommerce Software


After reading articles on the Web about the leaders and giving them a shot, it seems like good options for open-source shopping cart software are PrestaShop, ZenCart, Magento, and the add-on to WordPress that is WP eCommerce.



An extremely new open source shopping cart that already seems fairly full-featured, and promises more to come with an area for expansion modules to be opened in the near future.

Apache Web server + PHP 5.0 (including GD) + MySQL 4.1.14 or later

cd /usr/ports/graphics/php5-gd/ ; make install clean; /usr/local/etc/php/extensions.ini; apachectl graceful ; phpinfo() to check that GD is loaded

install MySQL server + client

cd /usr/ports/databases/mysql51-client/

BAD cd /usr/ports/databases/mysql51-server/ (make BUILD_OPTIMIZED=no)

pkg_delete mysql-client-5.0.75 ; pkg_add -r mysql51-server

mysql_install_db --user=mysql


The package manager installs the MySQL server startup script in /usr/local/etc/rc.d/mysql-server, but you need to edit /etc/rc.conf to have the daemon start at boot time: mysql-server="YES"

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SET A PASSWORD FOR THE MySQL root USER ! To do so, start the server, then issue the following commands (Note: mysqladmin is part of the client package, not the server)

/usr/local/bin/mysqladmin -u root password 'new-password'

/usr/local/bin/mysqladmin -u root -h freebsd.acme password 'new-password'

You can start the MySQL daemon with: /usr/local/bin/mysqld_safe &


? You can test the MySQL daemon with cd mysql-test ; perl



[root@freebsd /usr/ports/databases/mysql50-server]#

-bash: command not found

[root@freebsd /usr/ports/databases/mysql50-server]# perl

Can't open perl script "": No such file or directory


mysql -u root -p

create database prestashop

Unzip into server

chmod 777 (but DO NOT apply these permissions recursively): /config, /upload, /download, /tools/smarty/compile AND sitemap.xml -rw-r--r--   1 root  www      0  1 dťc 16:38 sitemap.xml

Then chmod -R 777 the following folders recursively: /img, /mails, /modules, /themes/prestashop/lang, /translations

The sitemap.xml file has rw- ró ró (644) permissions on our demo install, and didnít cause any issues during install. Maybe trying changing them to 777 so you can complete install, then change back to 644?

Upon completing the PrestaShop Installer wizard, use your FTP software to navigate to your /prestashop folder. There, delete the /install folder and rename the /admin folder (for example, /admin123 or, even better, /xyz789). This is for security reasons -> admin = repgestion

PrestaShop 1.3, Beginner's Guide by John Horto

Zen Cart

Zen Cart is an off branch of osCommerce that comes with several of the most popular modules built into it. Our experience with Zen Cart has been a good one. The support from the community and developers is strong. We had a couple of questions posted in the forum and they were answered very quickly and professionally.

Great feature set, although the template system could be a lot better.

Initially based on osCommerce code but has developed dramatically and is a fully independent product.



Based on the Zend Framework and is massively open and customizable, but getting to grips with how to go about extending/replacing things is pretty tricky. The codebase is massively flexible, and just about anything can be replaced or extended, but there's very little documentation on how to go about doing it.

Compared to something like OSCommerce though, it wins hands down.

It's open source and seems to have a disciplined development team (with a MySQL AB -like business model) behind it .

Magento is not for the feint of heart by any means, if you want to customize the way your store looks be ready for more than a few all night-ers.

Magento runs like a dog and you cannot host it on shared hosting - you need a VPS at min. to run it

Magento's open-source e-commerce platform makes progress--Q&A

Bought by eBay in 2011.

WP e-Commerce

WP e-Commerce is a very powerful e-commerce cart for WordPress. It uses your WordPress database to keep track of customers. You can do pretty much anything you can with other carts, while integrating with WordPress.


osCommerce is one of those products that was badly designed from the beginning, and becomes basically unmaintainable as time moves forward. Addons are patches, and custom code modifies core.

osCommerce Project

"The new osCommerce Project came about as the result of the lack of development of the original project[...]. [...]The intention of the new osCommerce Project is to continue to develop this piece of software, and to bring it up to date with modern day eCommerce shop owner requirements."


osCSS is a fork of oscommerce MS2.2 Itís particularity is to bring code to be validated by the W3C standard. XHTML valid 1.0 and 1.1. The template is build by CSS files and become switchable and easyly customisable.


osCMax v2.0 is based on osCommerce 2.2 MS2 and RC1


Apache Open For Business

Zeus Cart



Based on osCommerce




Perl + MySQL


A shopping cart built specifically for integration with the Joomla! and Mambo content management system.

Integrates very well in a site thatís more then just an e-shop




Itís been a while since it has been updated, but everything appears to still be up and running.


While probably at a bit higher level than you seem to be asking, Drupal is a very attractive platform. It is a CMS at its base, and using ecommerce or Ubercart you can turn it into a store. With modules like CCK and Views you can build very sophisticated ecommerce sites (specialized product types, attributes) with very little coding, plus you get all the CMS tools (editing, access control, etc) for free. If you write your own modules, you can hook into almost anything in Drupal without touching the core code, and you get a ton of flexibility.

Ubercart is a full-featured shopping cart that also integrates with a Drupal site so that you can build a community around your store or featured products.

Installing the free Open Source Shopping Cart Ubercart



closedShop v2.2 was released February 26th 2006


(closed source)


(closed source)

Iíve used X-Cart, Magento and Interspire. Interspire wins HANDS DOWN. It wins on features, speed (Magento takes 70 queries to load just one page, X-Cart takes 30, Interspire takes 6), usability, customization and is private label for all you web designers out there.


(closed source)


(closed source)


Based on osCommerce; the Standard Edition is no longer free.