If you’re in search of an inexpensive or free open-source e-commerce platform, you’re in the right spot.
Technically speaking you can pick the framework of your choice as most of them are quite affordable in the sense that they are.
But, the open source model has received numerous praises from the users who use it, particularly considering that these online store platforms are free to use, and they’re developed and managed by many people from all over the globe and, in general, you’ll get a lot of blog posts and documentation to guide you on your journey.
When you’re researching and selecting one of these ecommerce frameworks it’s crucial to choose what type of development experience you’re hoping for.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
Do you have an interest in hosting your own self-hosted?
Would you prefer to pay a tiny amount each month to get hosting and all features of ecommerce all in one neat package?
One of the most important options is deciding if you’d prefer an open-source (free) online marketplaces as well as a user-friendly option that requires a monthly charge.
For instance, you can choose to pay as low than $9 per month to use an e-commerce platform such as Shopify (with the Shopify Lite Plan), that comes with hosting and a website builder. It also comes with marketing tools, plugins and inventory options.
Personally, I’d prefer to prefer an alternative like Shopify over an open source software however there are a few reasons to look into the second option:
- Frameworks for e-commerce that are open source are completely free.
- It is common to have more creative control over the layout and how the store functions.
- Open source software is often loaded with unique features as they are continually being created.
- You are in control of aspects such as hosting as well as plugins and themes that will be used in your store.
- Open source software is developed by a group of people. They are extremely developer-friendly and support is offered by other developers.
There are, as always, many disadvantages to using open source software:
- The majority of open source eCommerce platforms will require additional development, or programming expertise (but you are able to hire an expert developer).
- You will need to search to locate a server hosting on your own.
- All operations related to the website like security, maintenance, and speed optimization must be handled by you.
- The designers of websites are generally less user-friendly than those that are part of the major e-commerce frameworks such as Shopify.
- You don’t get dedicated support. Therefore, if you’re someone who must contact or email a support representative Open source may not be the right choice for you.
20 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Free in 2021
It’s your choice to decide which platform is the best fit for your needs however, for the moment let’s discuss the top free and open platform for e-commerce currently available.
Square online– The Best Free Ecommerce Platform
If you’re not keen to jump on in the Wix premium plan You might want to explore Square Online.
For a long period of time, Square was basically an alternative to payment solutions. Then, it made the decision to expand its wings and create an ecosystem of businesses that is multi-faceted. Read our complete Square Online review here..
At this point, a majority of people know that Square is increasingly facilitating merchants who deal with physical establishments like cafés, restaurants etc. While this is true but it’s apparent that Square has grown to encompass more than just that.
The platform has a wide range of features and integrations that don’t just help brick and mortar businesses but also online stores.
No, we’re not talking just about digital payment here. However, we’re talking about the whole online commerce framework. Square has tools to handle nearly all of the essential online store functions, from sales and inventory management to team coordination and marketing.
If you think about it, the most outstanding characteristic here is the possibility to build a fully functional online store for free.
There is no need to spend any money to create your online shop. Even hosting. Actually, you can start without even the tiniest bit of understanding about programming.
The creation of free online stores using Square is as simple as two steps. Once you have selected the perfect design from the variety of customizable themes that are pre-designed you can make a few tweaks and you’re done!
The end result is that you’ll have the complete online shopping experience. In the event that the features that come with the store are found to be insufficient and you’re looking to leverage the Square‘s integrations to connect your free website to third-party applications for scheduling and booking employees and inventory management, and accounting, as well as many more.
However, this isn’t all. If you’ve got some programming tricks in your arsenal you could think about using Square Connect API. Square Connect API to build your own customized integrations. In addition, it is possible to connect free e-commerce websites with brick and mortar offline counterparts. This is beneficial for efficient multi-store selling and managing products.
But, I’m able to imagine what you are thinking about at this moment. What exactly is it that makes Square make money from this?
Interestingly enough, there are no online e-commerce monthly plans available on this platform. In fact, there isn’t one. Instead, it charges the fixed amount of 2.9 percent and 30C/ per online transaction. So, eCommerce websites are truly completely free on a continuous basis.
It’s actually an online shopping cart that can be integrated with any website to turn it into an online store. But, as you may have already guessed it requires a few lines of code in order to do this.
Although Ecwid provides three paid-for packages however, it also offers the option of a free one that is, in contrast to Jimdo offers adequate e-commerce capabilities. In addition to the unlimited data bandwidth available, customers also get an e-commerce site that is mobile-responsive as well as two product categories as well as support for 10 items.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to offer digital products at this price. Furthermore the functionality of your online store can only be a single-page eCommerce website. The only way to get away from this, obviously is to sign up for an expensive plan starting at $15 per month.
WooCommerce (On WordPress) – Best Open Source Ecommerce Platform
WooCommerce ( check out the review on this page) is an WordPress plugin, therefore you’ll need set up WordPress (open Source) on your hosting provider and then install the WooCommerce plugin on your website.
It’s as simple as:
- Log in to your WordPress website.
- Visit: Plugins > Add New.
- Search forfor “WooCommerce”.
- Choose the Install button now.
- Choose the Activate Now option and you’re now ready to use your WooCommerce wizard!
It transforms the entire WordPress website into an online store, including coupons, inventory management, as well as product page.
If we haven’t shared our CS-Cart Review and aren’t sure where to start Here’s the essence of it: CS-Cart is a well-known Russian software firm that has been providing e-commerce merchants since.
In the end, I’ve deliberately excluded the “Multi-Vendor” section because the company is distributing two different CS-Cart ecommerce platforms.
To begin, there’s one of the platforms, the ” CS-Cart” platform, which is an online shopping cart that includes the necessary features to get an online store and up and running.
In addition, we are using the CS-Cart Multi-Vendor platform and is an ecommerce application, however it is slightly different to its CS-Cart counterpart.
The reason is that CS-Cart Multi-Vendor is not designed for merchants who are looking to establish e-commerce stores. Instead, it is targeted at large players (mostly companies) that want to establish marketplaces. It’s about creating websites such as eBay or Etsy that typically host many merchants in one place.
In short the CS-Cart Multi Vendor program can assist you in creating your own marketplace along with the features small businesses may require to build their online storefronts.
The solution is self-hosted and has an open-source framework that includes over 500 e-commerce functions along with themes and additional integrations.
The problem is the fact it’s because CS-Cart Multi-Vendor is not entirely free. Actually, there’s not more you’ll get at no cost. The best deal as far as CS-Cart Multi-Vendor goes is offering customers a trial period of 15 days which is followed by a 30-day free purchase. This means that they’ll reimburse all your money in the event that you aren’t satisfied with their product.
The positive side, you will not have to pay for the service on the basis of a monthly payment. CS-Cart Mult Vendor is offered for a set price that can be as low as $1,450, 3500 or $7,500. The amount you pay in the end, is contingent on the features that you’re looking for.
If you ask me, it’s definitely worth the cost as it comes with all the features you could ever want. It also has the layout creator as well as great Marketing and SEO tools. an integrated CMS with a user-friendly admin panel that is mobile-friendly responsive and integrations with more than 80 shipping and payment services.
In addition, since it’s an open-source application, you are able to, obviously, create your own functionalities and integrations. The possibilities are endless.
In the end, you, as the buyer, become the market’s top player. CS-Cart Multi-Vendor permits you to host sellers, and all of which you manage through the main administrator panel.
Also, the admin panel grants the ability to manage every aspect of the marketplace, from the vendors it has and the associated payouts to the overall architecture and layout. It’s like creating an online shopping mall from scratch and then managing the merchants.
However, vendors on the other hand have to sign up as they would on different marketplace. Once you have approved their information, they are able to start setting their own marketplace storefronts.
The storefronts themselves are able to offer different kinds of goods and services. Digital and physical items are permitted in this case. In the end it’s all dependent on what you want to make your vendors working with.
However, CS-Cart Multi-Vendors can give your vendors their own administration panels to manage their stores as well setting up features such as categories of products such as filters and search options and shipping options, among others. Additionally you can make them pay on an annual subscription plan sales commissions or perhaps both. Your choice is up to you and you should be savvy about the process.
If not you’ll be able to find the most important details about CS-Cart Multi-Vendor by reading our extensive report on this page.
While the majority of its offerings are expensive but it turns out Wix provides an additional option you can use to build a beautiful free website.
The greatest benefit of this particular platform is thatit allows even users who are not paying to benefit from its simple drag-and-drop web-designer that lets you create the entire website without programming. In fact it is possible to build a basic site in just a couple of minutes.
This plan for free is perfect for novices who require strong tools for creating and running a basic website for business. It provides access to an array of templates with customizable templates, as well as extra icons, clip art and pictures.
You know what else? You can also promote your site for free by using the easy search engine optimization and marketing via email features that Wix offers for free. It is possible to combine it with a variety of other applications for free that are available in Wix App Market. Wix Marketplace to make an innovative marketing framework.
If you’re concerned about space, be calm because it will take you some time to use up 500MB of site storage that is free. The bandwidth for the same, in contrast is 1GB for an account that runs within Wix. Wix platform. In other words, your free domain name will be something like username.wixsite.com/site address.
However, here’s the deal. You’ll still receive secured webhosting and unlimited 24/7 support, and automated mobile optimization. Of course your customers can surf comfortably using any device.
However, Wix will bombard your free site with advertisements. The only way to get rid of this is to upgrade into one of their premium packages that start at $4.50 per month. This is accompanied by a variety of new features, including a forms, custom email campaigns, favicons, etc.
However, the real websites are not available until you have signed up for the eCommerce plans offered by Wix which costs $16.50 monthly. If you want to have more powerful capabilities for selling online it is possible to scale up and choose the VIP plan for $24.50 monthly. This particular plan is made for ecommerce sites that are growing.
The advantages of Ecommerce with Wix:
- It offers a very simple and easy drag-and-drop web builder. You can create and modify an entire free site without any programming knowledge.
- While online store features are available at a cost, we must be honest and say these packages are worth every penny. You’ll pay at most $16.50 for a powerful eCommerce site capabilities.
- Wix has a large collection of stunning templates and themes. The themes are developed by professionals to provide mobile-friendly and responsiveness.
- There are a variety of apps available from the huge Wix App Market if you are planning to enhance the functionality of your premium website. A few of the additional e-commerce web-based capabilities that are available at this point comprise abandoned cart recuperation and payment processors, global shipping services, and more.
- Wix doesn’t charge a percentage of the amount of money you pay when you sell products online on your online store. Only payment processors can take their fair portion of transaction costs.
The downsides of Wix Ecommerce:
- It’s difficult to establish an eCommerce website that is fully-provisioned. The first time you can sell is after you’ve upgraded to at the very least the eCommerce plan at $16.50.
- The free plan includes advertisements that could alter your site’s layout. The pages then appear messy and cluttered.
- Wix does not provide access to the code that powers it. This means that it isn’t possible to customize your site completely. The only thing you can do is what templates and themes permit.
- Once you have started working on a particular web design, you can’t change to another theme during editing. It is necessary to start from scratch.
NopCommerce is a different e-commerce platform that has a Russian source. However, unlike CS-Cart Multi-Vendor it’s a open-source, free e-commerce platform designed to sell online products.
From 2008 onwards, nopCommerce is currently been able to attract more than 2.5 million downloads, and with great reasons. If you’d like to join the nopCommerce bandwagon, purchase this Microsft ASP.NET-based platform right via its official website. There’s even an easy install version for download and it’s not even the source code.
However, if you’re an engineer, it goes to be said that the alternate Source Code version of the code is one you should use. You can modify it in any method you’d like. If you don’t, you can obtain the original code via GitHub.
The next installation process should not take too time, especially if you opt to go with the installer that is one-click. Larger companies will, however, likely require more the time to modify nopCommerce’s layer of.
Whatever option you choose you’ll eventually find the reasons that have enthused nopCommerce’s customers.
Once it’s in operation You’ll see that it’s designed to be able to assist both beginner merchants as well as demanding ecommerce experts. That’s why nopCommerce can serve all kinds of establishments ranging from small and start-up enterprises to medium-sized companies as well as large companies.
The toolset is comprehensive and includes a customizable online shopping cart (complete with all the eCommerce features) and an administration panel that is used for managing and monitoring your online business, and an online storefront for hosting customers.
The nopCommerce platform that is default includes a range of SEO-friendly functions to help you with your online marketing. The pages for products for example, are optimized for SEO URLs as well as content that is search engine friendly.
In the future It turns out that nopCommerce isn’t a limitation to one store only. It’s flexible enough to accommodate multiple sites across various domains that are controlled from the same administrator panel. This is essentially what it means for big companies handling the vast array of e-commerce stores.
It’s interesting to note that nopCommerce doesn’t stop there. It also provides marketplace integrations that transform your shop into a virtual online shopping mall – just as CS-Cart Multi Vendor. Thus, all your vendors’ items are shown together and any profits from sales being redirected to the appropriate merchant accounts.
You can learn information about NopCommerce by reading our in-depth review of nopCommerce.
X-Cart has contributed to the development of more than 35,000 online stores and it has grown rapidly in recent years. Like the other eCommerce platforms listed it’s free open source and self-hosted.
X-Cart is generally regarded as one of the most efficient open source platforms available on the market. It also comes with an impressive array of options to explore. It also offers a free trial of the premium plan priced at $4995 (one-time cost).
The motive behind why Zen Cart was created was in order to allow people with no degrees could set up websites of their own.
I wouldn’t go as far as to claim that you don’t need programming knowledge however it’s close enough.
However, I can tell you that Zen Cart has a user interface that is better than the other open source e-commerce platforms, which is why it may be worth a look when you’re looking to grow quickly, but don’t have the development abilities.
Magento Open Source– Most Popular Open Source Ecommerce Platform
Magento (read the review below) is among the most well-known open source platforms for e-commerce, and with good reason.
In the beginning, it comes with many more features than you could ever imagine using. This opens up many possibilities in terms of marketing to your clients and also creating membership plans, recurring payment and even discounts.
Do you want total control over the layout and function of your website?
If you’re able to answer yes, you might want to consider Magento Open Source. It’s very similar to the open source model of WordPress in that the community is vibrant, you can pick among hundreds of thousands of theme and there are many extensions available to try on.
Comparatively to other open-source platform, OpenCart (read our review here) is quite user-friendly and light. It’s completely free and has an excellent community that you can turn to in case you encounter issues with your store’s design.
I would recommend it to startups since it won’t take long to design the site from the ground up.
Because of the simplicity of the interface it is possible to reduce the total cost of creating the store usually reduces. As an example, for instance, you don’t need to shell out for a specific designer, and the themes aren’t too expensive.
The user experience and lookout has significantly improved in the last few years and has become more user-friendly.
PrestaShop– The Best Free Source eCommerce Platform to Startups
PrestaShop isn’t exactly a newcomer in the game of ecommerce and has already established itself by its user-friendly interface and the stunning user interface that it provides. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that it won’t require any prior experience to install the plugin and start in building your online store.
Thus, businesses that are just starting out will have a lot of fun to start.
With the osCommerce platform (read the review in this article) it gives you access to an active community of developers and customers as well as a fantastic forum where you can find solutions to your issues and interact with other users. More than 300,000 online stores are built using osCommerce, so you’re aware of the number of businesses that have found it to be suitable.
The price is definitely an advantage since it doesn’t cost any money to start your own online shop. I’d also give high marks for its capabilities, support online and the ease of use.
JigoShop (read our full review on it here) frequently gets in comparison to WooCommerce due to its simplicity of use and clean user interface. It is also possible to expand the capabilities of your site with a range of add-ons and plugins, which makes your site much more easy to expand.
Overall, the growth of JigoShop has been improved over time, so you’ll see that JigoShop is quite simple to learn even for a novice. There’s a simple dashboard, stunning themes (which are superior to most themes on other platforms,) and a fast interface when you want to add anything from items to promotions.
Drupal is among the most popular alternatives to use when creating any type of web site. Drupal is among the closest competitors to WordPress because a significant portion of websites are run by Drupal.
Additionally that you can build nearly any kind of site using it.
In the case of Drupal Commerce, this is an additional module that permits users to create an eCommerce site quickly and easily over your existing site, and is one of the best options when you’re planning to scale rapidly.
The benefit is that there’s an entire community who use Drupal, and you can look to Facebook pages, forums and blogs to get help.
WP Ecommerce is the overshadowed sister of WooCommerce. They’re not technically connected at all however it’s a great WordPress plug-in that does not attract the same amount of notice as WooCommerce.
Let me explain how it is done. The first step is to download WordPress on your server hosting Then, you install installing the WP eCommerce extension.
This transforms a normal WordPress Dashboard into an e-commerce control center. This means you can now include products, conduct promotions make categories, and much more.
It’s as easy as that!
Smaller websites will work with the plugin. However, you must install additional add-ons that cost money to gain capabilities.
Ubercart has been frequently used to compare it with Drupal Commerce in blog posts.
Drupal Commerce was created by an older Ubercart developer. Many people believe the idea that Ubercart has the most advantages option because it’s the first and has many more options to play with, whereas others say the contrary. Drupal Commerce is the more advanced variant of Ubercart.
It’s what you usually see when an employee quits the company they work for to start a new one and then energize the competition.
However, there are some significant differences. It is important to select the one that suits your business most. It’s not a good idea to switch from one to the next after making the wrong decision.
In essence they are both highly customizable, however Drupal Commerce is more geared towards more complex modifications. The main difference can be seen in extensions and add-ons, as some extensions aren’t included in every library.
It’s important to determine what add-ons you need for your business before setting the ball rolling on an online platform such as this.
Spree Commerce is an open source eCommerce solution that is completely free to utilize. It’s a preferred option for business owners across the world. The modular design of the platform makes sure that business owners can use a CMS that is flexible to expand their business using.
With spree, you are able to modify, add or change any functions you require to your website. This means you’re not forced to use a standard store for all customers. You can get the product you’re looking for exactly what you need. There’s an issue with this. Spree is not like other apps like Virtuemart, Spree requires a little bit of technical expertise.
The system must be installed and managed in a manual manner. This means you may require an individual to manage their storefront on their behalf. Spree commerce could be an extremely efficient solutions available. However, it does come with huge learning curves to master.
Spree Commerce is likely to become the most suitable online-based business solution for your needs If you have plenty of experience in programming and web development or you’re hiring someone who can do that. Spree provides a variety of customization options, which makes it ideal for businesses that wish to make a mark. But, you’ll need to be able to utilize many functions yourself.
There are numerous open-source ecommerce software solutions that are available, including Magento Community Edition, to WordPress. Joomla can be described as the best and most sophisticated platform for managing user accounts and control of access and support right from the beginning. It was designed with flexibility to handle various kinds of content Joomla’s components and modules offer greater flexibility in displaying kinds of content that aren’t standard.
Joomla supports multilingualism for teams with a growing global presence and makes it a great option for many companies looking to expand internationally. There are many other tools on the market that do not offer the same level of flexibility. However for your business to be noticed, Joomla offers a range of templates, too.
If you’re searching for an easy method of creating a distinctive eCommerce site from scratch, Joomla has the features you require. It is necessary to invest some time and effort into your site using Joomla, but. There are some issues to get over.
For example, there are various categories and articles spaces that you can use to organize your website’s content Before you begin creatingcontent, you should define categories that reflect the type of content that you’d like to create. It’s not too difficult but it’s a more complex procedure that WordPress specifically for non-developers.
There are plenty of choices when searching for the most reliable free Ecommerce platform today. From the more well-known options such as Ecwid as well as new alternatives such as Branchbob There are a lot of ways to take credit card payment. The most important thing to do is to choose a method that is effective for your business.
Branchbob is a less well-known e-commerce platform which promises easy use and ease of use. There’s no monthly fees or transaction costs to fret about. The tool is simple, easy to use, and ideal for those who are just starting out. Branchbob can also perform well in terms of optimizing payments and page speed as well. A faster page speed means you will be able to deliver more enjoyable experiences to the people you want to reach.
As with most eCommerce tools, Branchbob provides the ability to sell unlimited items and a platform that allows you can select your personal design from a selection of templates. Additionally, Branchbob aims to be the most effective e-commerce platform for designers and developers. It is possible to access the complete source code for the application to modify the software to meet your requirements. There are more than 100 APIs available to play around with.
If you’re unsure of what you can do to get the most of your code then you could always consult Branchbob Experts. Branchbob Experts. They are experts who can help you build your website for cost.
Big Cartel is not the standard website for typical e-commerce. Instead, it’s optimized for creators and artists.
If you’re oneof them, this is the best news. You can utilize Big Cartel to not only build a customized free ecommerce website, but also to market your work. Take a look at the comprehensive Big Cartel review.
The basic online store options on this platform are appropriate for small companies that aren’t expanding anytime soon. In the event that you run into issues when building your website it is possible to rely on the onboarding process of Big Cartel to help you along the way.
Unfortunately, things could end up being unsatisfactory when you begin to add items. Based on the appearance of things online stores that are free are able to sell only five items. To make things worse there is only an image for each item.
But, on the positive side, you are able to sell the products through Facebook as well as in person. Additionally, you can upgrade to a paid subscription for additional functions. The most basic version includes 25 products for $9.99 monthly.
From the beginning you can utilize the Dolphin AI technology to design an individual website for free in just a few minutes. If you’d like to manage the entire procedure, you could opt for the alternative website creating mode. It has additional features to edit Jimdo’s templates.
You will not be able to sell products on your site for free. To gain access to online store functionality you must sign up to the Ecommerce plan at $19 per month or Unlimited at 39 dollars per month. All of these plans, to be precise will be charged annually.
If you decide to move forward, you’ll find the features of Jimdo’s online store seem to be suitable for standard online stores. It’s therefore more of a web-based website builder rather than an ecommerce platform.
Weebly is among the most flexible tools for processing payments and site development that is available today on the market. Like squarespace as well as Square Online, Weebly offers a modern and advanced site creation experience for novices.
Weebly has only recently made ecommerce features available as part of the free plans. It means the owners of stores can now enjoy all the advantages that come with Weebly selling without spending an enormous amount. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling physical items and require help in tracking inventory or selling services online There’s something for anyone with Weebly.
The main issue for business owners who use Weebly is the fact that they have some eCommerce options that aren’t available. For example, it’s difficult to understand what you can sell on social media , and monitoring your inventory levels isn’t easy at all times.
The great thing is that Weebly comes with the capability to create unlimited products, and pick from a wide range of payment choices. It’s important to note that the payment methods require a large fee for transactions. Additionally, unlike several other top eCommerce platforms, Weebly doesn’t offer a custom domain when you sign up for their free plans.
Can I create an Ecommerce website for free?
Sure, you can. A majority of the platforms we’ve examined allow users to establish free online stores with limited functions. However, there are some exceptions, such as Square for instance, which offer complete e-commerce capabilities without cost.
What’s the most effective platform for building an eCommerce Website?
Although there are many of popular options that you may have heard of the market for ecommerce platforms is quite vast. There are many options with various features. Some offer tools specifically designed to work with specific kinds of stores.
There is no one perfect platform to build an e-commerce site. However, the appropriateness of a platform is contingent upon the specific requirements of your business.
What is the time it will take to create an eCommerce Website?
The truth is that it could take your five minutes or 10 minutes, hours perhaps even days. It’s all dependent on your capabilities as well as the type of store you’re creating and its complexity overall, as well as the capabilities for building websites that the platform you select to use.
However, it’s advised to select an option that blends the user-friendly editor for websites with flexible customization capabilities.
An excellent example One of the best examples is Shopify and offers a variety of capabilities to build an ecommerce website in under 15 minutes. It is possible to look through the article to discover the best practices.
Is a Free Ecommerce Platform For You?
It all is dependent on your specific requirements and the specific ecommerce platform you choose.
Although the majority of the free platforms for e-commerce are able of creating and operating websites that are basic, but there are open-source, free options like Magento and WooCommerce that are able to be programmed to run more complex websites.
Conclusion: Is an open Source Ecommerce Platform right for You?
I’d like you to be aware of the several other open source programs that I haven’t yet mentioned.
The greatest part is that each one of them is totally free and is constantly developing. This is a major plus when you’re looking to save cost in the short run and then scale it up over time.
While open source ecommerce platforms offer advantages however, you should consider alternatives that are not open source like Shopify, BigCommerce as well as Volusion. These platforms let you pay a monthly fee and you do not have to manage your website in the same way or search for hosting. Also, you will always have the best customer service.
My opinion is that this type of ecommerce framework are for companies that need to rapidly scale which will employ developers (or the group consisting of programmers) to run the whole website. However, if you don’t have the funds to hire this kind of person it’s better to scale up using something similar to Shopify.
If you have any concerns regarding this approach to open source eCommerce platforms, please let us know via our comments.