Ecwid vs. OpenCart

Looking for ecommerce software? Here's how Ecwid and OpenCart stack up.

Daniel Adams

Daniel Adams

Last updated 2o July 2020


Ecwid

4.1  Stackupp rating


Pricing from

$ 15.00 / month

Free Plan?

Yes


Best for

All retailers that need a powerful store added to their existing site - without the need to change their CMS (content management system), site design, or hosting - will find Ecwid an attractive option.

OpenCart

4.0  Stackupp rating


Pricing from

N/A

Free Plan?

Yes


Best for

Opencart is ideal for small and medium-sized retailers that have web development experience.

Ecwid or OpenCart: Which is best?

Can't decide between Ecwid and OpenCart?

Find the best platform for you with our side by side comparison of Ecwid and OpenCart. See how each platform stacks up across ease of use, design, support and value for money.

Let the comparison begin. Don't worry, we'll guide you.

Is Ecwid right for you?

Ecwid fills a clear gap in the ecommerce solution market. It’s a fully-fledged platform for retailers that want to add a store to their existing site, whether it’s hosted on WordPress, Adobe Muse, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace or even Tumblr. Other platforms are also supported.

Ecwid also offers a number of industry-leading features. These include support for over fifty languages, in-built omnichannel selling (Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, eBay, etc.), and a raft of advertising and promotional features.

Ecwid ensures that your new store fits exactly with your current design and branding. If, however, you’re looking for a fully-hosted solution to build a new ecommerce site from scratch, alternatives like Shopify or BigCommerce are more feasible.

Advantages

  • Integrates seamlessly with existing websites.
  • Forever free plan.
  • Multiple languages and third-party channels supported.

Drawbacks

  • Not a fully-hosted solution.
  • Certain essential features only included in top-tier plan.
  • Unlimited product listings only on top-tier plan.

Looking for a robust ecommerce platform to add to your existing site? If you're also in the market for a solution that offers support for multiple languages along with in-built functionality for multi-channel listings, then Ecwid is a great option.

Is OpenCart right for you?

OpenCart occupies a unique space in the eCommerce platform market. It’s a free and open-source solution that’s ideal for small and medium retailers that want to exercise full development control on their own servers.

Immediately, this excludes two groups. First, small retailers that want a fully-hosted solution and don’t have coding skills will struggle with OpenCart. Secondly, larger stores, or stores expecting to scale, may find the feature-set somewhat limited. OpenCart doesn’t have the same functionality and scalability as other open-source platforms like Magento.

If you’re not in either group, however, OpenCart is well worth giving a go. As an open-source solution, it’s fully customizable. The feature set is pretty solid, and the interface is very intuitive for a self-hosted solution. You’ll also have access to a large user community and extensions library. Oh, and it’s probably worth mentioning the key selling point again: it’s free.

Advantages

  • The platform itself is free.
  • Open-source and fully editable for those with web development skills.
  • Intuitive and easy to use for a self-hosted platform.

Drawbacks

  • Costs for dedicated support and extensions can quickly add up.
  • Requires development and IT knowledge to be used effectively.
  • Few native marketing and SEO features.

Use OpenCart if you’re a small or medium-sized retailer looking for a self-hosted solution that isn’t going to break the bank. OpenCart is a streamlined platform with an intuitive dashboard, a solid feature-set, and a friendly, active community of users.

Ease of Use

Our first comparison criteria, ease of use. Why? Because it’s the most important.

Think about it. You don’t want to invest a lot of your precious time setting up an online store and tweaking the design only to find out that it’s a pain in the butt to manage day to day.

We take a look at how simple the Ecwid and OpenCart platforms are to run.

How easy is Ecwid to use?

Rated 4/5 for Ease of Use

Ecwid’s central dashboard, from where users manage product listings, inventory, and shipping, is straightforward and intuitive. Because Ecwid is designed with multi-channel selling in mind, it’s also easy to list and manage products on third-party platforms like Facebook, Instagram, eBay, Amazon, and others. Installation on platforms like WordPress and Wix is also very streamlined.

What Ecwid customers are saying...

Clean and easy to interface with our website and Square for payment processing.
I have really enjoyed using Ecwid. Their customer service is very speedy and things are easy to use.
I've liked it so far. It's easy to use, and easy to add on new products.

How easy is OpenCart to use?

Rated 4/5 for Ease of Use

There are two sides to the ease of use question when it comes to OpenCart.

On the one hand, users have access to an intuitive dashboard (which is slightly unusual for an open-source, self-hosted solution) and a large library of extensions.

On the other hand, installing, maintaining, and running a store built on OpenCart requires a certain degree of development experience.

If you’re not comfortable handling backend tasks, then it’s probably not the option for you.

What OpenCart customers are saying...

Very good. Takes a while to get it setup to your own taste/needs, but worth the effort. Loads of online help for the most common stumbling blocks.
Having tried numerous e-commerce platforms opencart is by far my favourite.
I love that you can easily buy modifications from the marketplace for niche use case scenarios, and if not there are developers that are very knowledgeable of the product so custom functionality isn't a problem.
It's a draw!

Design

Powerful features are great, but we all know first impressions count. So, do Ecwid and OpenCart templates actually look any good? See for yourself. We outline each platforms design options, plus showcase a few real life examples.

How good are Ecwid's themes?

Rated 4/5 for Design

Because Ecwid integrates with existing sites, users don’t have access to any templates or a site-builder. In terms of look-and-feel, your Ecwid store will sit in the “wrapper” of your current design.

You can adjust individual page settings - such as the size of product images and the layout of elements like the “Buy Now” button and the product description - from the “Design” tab in Ecwid. It’s also possible to make CSS changes via the CSS editor.

Ecwid offers a library of apps which further extend the functionality of the Ecwid editor. A straightforward site-builder is available on the free plan (which is the only option that is fully hosted on Ecwid).

Ecwid Examples

  • JustSaiyan Gear
    JustSaiyan Gear
Item 1 of 3

How good are OpenCart's themes?

Rated 4/5 for Design

OpenCart comes with a straightforward, minimal theme that’s already installed. Users that want to change the design have two options: buy a theme from the marketplace or edit the source code directly.

The themes in the marketplace are relatively well-priced - most cost around $20 - and this is a definite plus. There are lots of options on offer, tailored for a variety of online sectors, so you’re certain to find one that fits your needs.

OpenCart doesn’t provide a site-builder for users. If you’re not comfortable editing code directly, then you’ll struggle to make small design changes. Again, development experience is a must.

OpenCart Examples

  • Schtinky Dog
    Schtinky Dog
Item 1 of 3
It's a draw!

How much do they cost?

Everyone’s favourite topic - pricing. Let's dive in to see if Ecwid or OpenCart offers better value for money.

How much does Ecwid cost?

Rated 4/5 for Pricing

Ecwid is generally very competitive on price. The entry-level “Venture” plan is $15/month, and the top-tier business plan costs $99/month. There are discounts for paying annually.

What’s more, the “free forever” plan, which includes hosting by Ecwid (the other plans do not), is one of the best on the market.

Just remember, because Ecwid is an integration, rather than a fully-hosted solution, you will have to take care of hosting, domains, bandwidth, etc. This will certainly add extra costs to the overall price.

The one downside of Ecwid is that some features - like POS (point of sale), unlimited products, and priority support - are only available on the top plan.

How much does OpenCart cost?

Rated 4/5 for Pricing

It’s difficult to fault a free platform. So why only eight out of ten?

First, let’s take a look at the positive side of things. The OpenCart feature-set is superb for a free, open-source platform. Users can take advantage of unlimited products and categories, multilingual and multi-currency support, product reviews, a shipping calculator, analytics reports, and more.

Where OpenCart starts to flounder a little is in regards to extensions and support. Dedicated support is $99/month. And extensions which provide extra functionality, such as integrations with third-party platforms, regularly run into the hundreds of dollars. Finally, retailers will have to take care of all hosting and maintenance costs themselves.

It's a draw!

Help and Support

If things go wrong (and they often do) you need to know someone’s there to help get you back on track. So, how does Ecwid's and OpenCart's support measure up?

How good is Ecwid support?

Rated 4.5/5 for Help and Support

The support options available depend on the plan that you subscribe to. Only support tickets are offered on the free plan (with a 24-hr maximum turnaround). Live chat is available on the “Venture” plan, and phone callbacks are included on the mid-tier “Business” plan. The “Unlimited plan” provides priority support which pushes your request to the front of the line. It’s a slight drawback that Ecwid doesn’t offer more support options on the lower plans.

How good is OpenCart support?

Rated 4/5 for Help and Support

OpenCart support comes in three forms. Reviews of the quality of support are generally positive.

First, users have access to a free community forum. The forum is active and has over 110,000 members.

Second, a one-off paid option is available. For $99 you get a one-time technical fix with a 30-day bug-free guarantee.

Finally, a subscription option for $99/month provides you with a monthly maximum of five extension installations and three bug fixes.

Ecwid is our winner for support

The Bottom Line

The final say. Let's wrap up our thoughts on each platform.

Ecwid: Our Verdict

Overall, we were very impressed with Ecwid. It targets a clear section of the retail market - businesses that want to add a store to their existing site while maintaining their current design and backend - and offers a feature-rich, intuitive platform. It’s also difficult to argue with the “forever free” plan.

We also like the high degree of functionality for omnichannel sales, with native capabilities for Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, Amazon, and a host of other third-party marketplaces. Support for over fifty languages is another added bonus.

Finally, the central dashboard is intuitive and easy to use. While the overall look-and-feel of the store will be determined by the “parent site” (Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, etc.), making edits to templates for product listings, category pages, or the store homepage are simple processes.

So what about the downsides? While support options could be more varied, and certain features are not available on the lower-priced plans, there aren’t any major issues. Just remember, if you’re looking for a fully-hosted solution that allows you to build a new site from scratch and manage everything from one central dashboard, Ecwid isn’t suitable. If, however, you have an existing site, or you want to use your favourite CMS or website editor, then Ecwid is well worth considering.

OpenCart: Our Verdict

We liked OpenCart. It’s a great free solution for retailers that want to manage backend tasks themselves. If you have a small or medium store, and don’t want to deal with the complexities of a platform like Magento or PrestaShop, then it’s well worth giving a go.

Where OpenCart stumbles a little is in regards to paid extensions and support. Add-ons often run into hundreds of dollars. And for the amount you pay for monthly support, you might as well opt for a fully-hosted plan like Shopify or BigCommerce that comes with support included.

Just remember, if you don’t have development and IT skills, you’ll likely struggle with OpenCart. If, on the other hand, you’re more of the DIY orientation, you’ll certainly value the intuitive dashboard and extensive, easy-to-use features.

Overall, we found Ecwid to be the better ecommerce platform.

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