24 Jun OpenCart vs WordPress WooCommerce
The Internet era has made it possible for business owners to offer their products and services to the whole world. Blogs and websites serve as a medium to sell these offerings for both individual sellers and companies. With plenty of resources available at their disposal, sellers tend to get confused as to which platform is best for offering their products or services.
OpenCart vs WordPress WooCommerce
Creating a successful online store requires the use of the right tools that come with different e-commerce platforms. Choosing the most appropriate platform for your offerings is the biggest challenge faced by online store owners. This article is my effort to clear the air of confusion when you are stuck at choosing between the two best platforms – OpenCart and WordPress for your needs.
OpenCart vs WordPress Overview
Before bringing out the key differences between the two platforms, it is important to understand their basic purpose. Let me introduce you to these platforms here:
OpenCart is an open-source online store management system launched in 2008 and free to use for everyone. It helps you to create and manage your e-commerce website without any hassle. No matter how big or small your business is, OpenCart empowers you to build a store for it.
WordPress is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) that can be used for several purposes including blogging, setting up a news website, developing an e-commerce website, et al.
It was launched in 2003 to ease the blog development process for everyone. It empowers you to create any kind of website you can think of, unlike OpenCart that specialises only in e-commerce websites. It is also free to use.
WordPress WooCommerce extension was launched in 2011 to help the merchants in setting up and managing their online stores with ease.
OpenCart vs WordPress Ease of use
Even a fully-featured plugin or platform is of no use if it isn’t easy to use. One can compromise with a few features here and there but not with the user-friendliness of the platform.
A difficult-to-use platform will waste a lot of your time and effort daily that can be invested in some other productive activities. It is, therefore, essential to compare the user-friendliness of OpenCart and WordPress.
Installing OpenCart manually can be a daunting task for many. You might have to hire a professional for the task if you are not a tech-savvy person.
The ease of using this platform after installation depends completely on the way it was installed. So, if you hire the right professional, you will find OpenCart an easy-peasy walk. Else it will be a difficult journey for you.
Another way to install OpenCart involves the use of a script that automatically performs all the work for you. This one-click installation is extremely easy but offers lesser customization options.
Managing your e-store after this automatic setup is not much difficult. You will find a clean and well-organised dashboard for simple navigation. Understanding sales reports and product organisation will take up some of your time initially.
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System in the world and occupies a 60.8% share in the CMS market. To add to it, WooCommerce powers top of the top e-commerce websites and has grabbed 22% of the world’s top 1 million e-commerce websites (Ref.1).
WordPress and WooCommerce have achieved this position largely because of their user-friendliness. WordPress is extremely easy to use and can be handled even by a beginner pretty well.
You can set up a WordPress website within a few hours and install WooCommerce without any difficulty even when you are not a tech-savvy person. WordPress is compatible with a wide range of plugins, so you can install as many plugins as are needed for the efficient functioning of your online store.
Because of ease of setting up and using, WordPress is a clear winner when considering user-friendliness. It offers a variety of useful tools that are extremely easy to use even for a beginner, a quality that is missing in OpenCart.
OpenCart vs WordPress Features
Comparing the features offered by OpenCart and WordPress will help you decide which platform is the right choice for your website needs. Let me bring out the differences between the two here:
It comes with a variety of themes and extensions. You can choose a suitable theme according to your brand’s image. Several extensions can be used for additional functionality. It also allows you to manage multiple stores from the same interface.
You will find only the basic features as you install OpenCart which might only be sufficient for a small online store. You will have to add some plugins for added functionalities like payment processing, marketing, etc.
It allows you to build any kind of website you can think of. Whether you want to create a simple blog to share your ideas or build a huge e-commerce store like Amazon, WordPress is capable of doing it all.
WordPress WooCommerce extension allows you to create an online store without any technical knowledge. It comes loaded with all the basic e-commerce features including payment processing, provision for tax rate adjustments, and more.
The platform also empowers you to add thousands of free plugins for added functionality. Availability of a wide variety of themes allows you to give any look and feel to your business website.
WordPress offers much more features than OpenCart both for beginners and advanced users. Also, it is compatible with much more plugins than OpenCart thereby allowing you to add almost any feature you might want for your website. You will have greater flexibility when working with WordPress making it the clear winner in this aspect.
OpenCart vs WordPress pricing
Pricing plays a major role in deciding the success of an e-commerce website. Comparing the initial and concurrent charges for setting up and running your online store will help you stick to your budget.
Since it is an open-source platform, you can install it for free. You don’t need to pay anything for the basic features that come pre-installed even when any upgrades are performed.
The basic features provided by OpenCart might not be sufficient for many store owners especially the ones running medium and large businesses. You might need to install plugins or extensions for adding advanced features to your website.
Such add-ons might or might not be free to install. You might also have to pay recurring costs to use some of these plugins.
Additionally, you will have to incur website set up and maintenance costs including domain name and hosting services. These costs begin from a few dollars for a basic website to hundreds of dollars per month for a large website.
WordPress is also an open-source platform that is free to install, use, and upgrade. However, you will again be incurring website setup and maintenance costs for your e-store here.
Talking about the extension, WooCommerce is also an open-source WordPress plugin that is free to install. The basic features might be sufficient for many store owners. However, the plugin comes with both free and paid extensions for further customization and additional functionality.
You might save on the costs involved in purchasing extensions and plugins with WordPress. It is because WordPress is compatible with thousands of plugins and extensions, unlike OpenCart. The chances of finding a free add-on for your needs are quite high when working with WordPress.
Both OpenCart and WordPress WooCommerce are open-source and free to use. They require you to invest in a domain name for business branding and hosting service for running your website.
Though the chances of finding free plugins and extensions are high when working with WordPress, one cannot call it a winner in terms of cost on this basis. So, in my opinion, it is a tie between the two platforms when we compare their cost aspect.
OpenCart vs WordPress SEO
Search Engine Optimization is the soul of a successful website or blog. Without efficient SEO, your website won’t rank higher in the search results of Google, Bing, and other search engines. When your website doesn’t show up to the prospective buyers, how will they visit your online store?
Comparing the SEO features of OpenCart and WordPress is pretty essential to ensure the success of your e-commerce website. Let us look at the traffic-bringing capabilities of these two platforms:
It allows you to perform basic SEO functions like adding metadata to your pages. You can always install a plugin for performing advanced SEO tasks.
Choosing a free or paid plugin depends on your website requirements. Consider making a list of SEO features that you want before you begin searching for a plugin.
It comes with many SEO-powered themes that allow you to lay a strong foundation for your website. Since WordPress is originally a content-sharing platform, it is known for its excellent SEO capabilities.
The platform organizes all your posts, pages, and categories properly which helps you manage the SEO tags easily. You can also add free SEO plugins like Yoast SEO to your WordPress e-commerce website.
WooCommerce also allows you to add meta descriptions for further improving your search engine ranking. Additionally, you can perform on-page SEO to optimise every single page of your e-commerce website.
WordPress is truly a winner in the SEO aspect as it empowers you to perform detailed optimisation for your website. Additionally, the best SEO plugins available in the market are fully compatible with WordPress whereas, in the case of OpenCart, you will have to compromise with the limited ones available to you.
Can you migrate from OpenCart to WordPress?
Yes, you can migrate your online store from OpenCart to WordPress. You can either do it manually or use a migration tool to automatically transfer all your data to the WordPress WooCommerce platform.
Manual migration requires technical knowledge, so you might need to hire a professional if you are not aware of any technical aspects. On the other hand, a migration tool simplifies the whole process and you don’t need to hire anyone to use it. Just a few clicks and you are done.
Automatic migration will save you a lot of time and effort. It is also pocket-friendly since a professional will charge you much more than the cost of a good migration tool like LitExtension.
Is OpenCart free?
Yes, it is free to install, use, and update OpenCart since it is an open-source platform for managing your online stores. You will, however, be investing in website set-up and maintenance costs on which OpenCart will operate.
You will be required to purchase a domain name for your website and hosting service to run it. The cost can range from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars per month depending on the size of your store and the plan you purchase.
OpenCart vs WordPress at a glance
Let us look at the differences between the two platforms in a table form for easier understanding:
|Overview||It is designed only to create e-commerce stores.||It is designed to create all kinds of blogs and websites including e-commerce stores.||WordPress|
|Ease of Use||You might find it difficult to use.||It is extremely easy to use even for beginners.||WordPress|
|Features||It offers lesser features than WordPress. Theme options and compatible plugins are also very few as compared to WordPress.||It offers more features than OpenCart. Additionally, the availability of more themes and plugins provides greater flexibility for your website.||WordPress|
|Pricing||It is free to use.||It is also free to use.||Both|
|SEO||It covers only the basic SEO aspects of your store.||It covers both the basic and advanced SEO aspects of your blog or e-commerce website.||WordPress|
Conclusion: Is OpenCart better than WooCommerce?
Looking at all the aspects of these two platforms for creating an online store, I believe the WooCommerce extension of WordPress is better than OpenCart. It is beginner-friendly and offers more themes to personalize the look and feel of your website.
It also empowers you to do much more with your store by providing greater flexibility and powerful functionalities. As an extension of WordPress, you will find a larger variety of plugins that are compatible with WooCommerce as against OpenCart.
WooCommerce is powerful since it is built on the biggest powerhouse i.e., WordPress. You will get better
- Functionality, and
for your store and these three along with your product offerings are the 4 main pillars of a successful online store.
What do you think about OpenCart and WordPress? Do you have experience with either of these platforms? I’d love to hear you out!
There’s an alternative to OpenCart and WordPress
In your search for the best shopping cart and e-commerce platform, you have probably started to realise that there is no perfect system. They all have advantages and disadvantages so you’re left with seeking out the best one for your business. If you feel WordPress is the better choice, consider hosting your website with us. If you’re convinced that OpenCart is the one for you and your shop, then you might want to consider Ozcart Ecommerce, our own hosted shopping cart. The reason is that Ozcart can use most OpenCart modules/plugins as it’s a flexible system designed to give you control over your store’s design. If you do currently use OpenCart, you can import your products to Ozcart.
Ozcart comes with hosting, email (depending on your plan), and you won’t have to worry about bug fixing, issues, and new features by Ozcart as it’s all included in the package. Less initial and future costs as there might not be a need to pay for development, unless you want to have a unique and professional design and specific features.
They’re all good choices, and we suggest experiencing each platform before taking a decision as it can take time to migrate your content to another platform if you end up choosing the wrong one.