If you are launching or moving an ecommerce site you’ll wish to choose which group of shopping cart software best compliments your store’s scope and your height of technical understanding. Maybe you’re available on the market for any platform which includes hosting like Shopify and BigCommerce. These cloud-based carts don’t need you to know any code but offer less wiggle room to make deep customizations.
However, if developing a totally unique online shop is really a priority I suggest thinking about both downloadable and free shopping carts. X-Cart is really a downloadable platform that charges an upfront fee to make use of. It had been produced greater than a decade back by programmers in Russia and it has developed into a sizable platform having a staff well over 100 engineers through its parent firm Qualiteam. Greater than 30,000 users have obtained the licensed CMS to produce online retailers. X-Cart’s simple to use admin keeps improving and it is fully scalable. But based on your set of skills you may want to employ a pro that will help you launch, which could add cost and time for you to your roll-out. Note: X-Cart also provides a cloud-based solution known as X-Cart Next. We’ll be searching at X-Cart’s original, licensed option within the following review.
Zen Cart is free of charge to download, and 100,000 individuals have done exactly that because the cart launched in 2003 after splitting removed from predecessor osCommerce. But to make use of the PHP/MySQL free platform you’ll wish to have a minimum of mid-level coding skills or receive the aid of a developer. Zen Cart arrives with several features which are incorporated with fee-based carts free of charge, nevertheless its insufficient support means you’re subject to a forum: Fortunately, it’s accessible and active.
Do not have time for you to read a whole article? Check out our best search engine optimization for any couple of quick recommendations. Every option we present here offers excellent customer care, superb website templates, and simple-to-use software, all for any reasonable cost.
Otherwise, continue reading for for my full X-Cart and Zen Cart comparison. I’ll examine each cart’s features, user feedback, prices, and much more below.
Table of Contents
Web-Located or Licensed:
While users receive use of complete source code, X-Cart is really a downloadable licensed software that you will purchase upfront. Zen Cart is definitely an free shopping cart software which costs absolutely nothing to download or use.
Software and hardware Needs:
Being an X-Cart or Zen Cart user you’ll result in securing hosting for the website from the provider like Rackspace. Discover more about X-Cart’s server needs here and Zen Cart’s hosting recommendations here. Additionally, X-Cart offers in-house hosting plans.
Champion: Zen Cart
With X-Cart’s downloadable version you’ll pay an upfront fee varying from $195 to $1,795 to gain access to this program. Retailers can pick between X-Cart’s Gold, Gold Plus, Platinum and Mobile plans, although for me choosing the Mobile choice is a no-brainer since increasingly more online purchases are now being completed on tablets and smartphones. X-Cart also provides SSL certificates, hosting, development and design work, and fee-based technical support. Take a look at our complete X-Cart review for plan and prices details.
Since X-Cart is self-located you’ll should also pencil in added monthly hosting expenses in addition to additional security, integrations, and charge card processing charges. People that use the liberated to download Zen Cart will encounter exactly the same group of charges. Plus, if you are not really a coder anticipate to budget in having to pay a developer and designer. But if you can to change PHP code, then Zen Cart is the foremost value.
Simplicity of use:
It’s simpler to set up and personalize X-Cart than Zen Cart, the situation when evaluating almost any downloadable Versus open source. To be able to begin using X-Cart you’ll wish to be comfortable installing software with the aid of an FTP and customizing code to produce a store that both looks great and runs easily. I discovered there to become a slight learning curve with X-Cart also it required a couple of minutes that i can find my way around its admin. But after customizing templates, importing product info, adding integrations, and inputting store settings, you ought to be through nearly all work required to start selling. Other extras can invariably be added in lower the street.
It’s harder to understand where to start after Zen Cart’s installation process is finished. The setup process takes some PHP/MySQL programming skills and it is less straightforward than X-Cart. Zen Cart’s admin is a little a bear that may need a update. Some backend options that aren’t that important their very own drop lower, just like a music genre page, while some aren’t found in the most apparent place and wish some hunting and pecking to locate. But around the plus side, if you are prepared to commit some effort to understanding the areas of Zen Cart which are helpful for you (i.e. adding products and filling orders) the cart will start to become simpler to make use of.
X-Cart offers sufficient features to help you get going, including configurable URLs and meta data (“clean” URLS are produced to exchange original dynamic URLS,) order tracking, and testimonials. I love that you could sell products with several variations with relative ease through the product option module and I like that traditional, express, and ‘fast lane’ one-page checkout can be obtained. Find out about X-Cart’s features here and find out our full review for additional features details.
Zen Cart offers a few of the same wonderful features you’ll find with X-Cart, including product critiques and downloadable products. A complete list is here now. That stated, although it downloads with increased features than some free competitors like osCommerce, Zen Cart doesn’t offer a few crucial factors that you’ll enjoy with X-Cart: I missed finding one-page checkout along with a mobile version as they are. Since clients are making physical and downloadable purchases via cellular devices increasingly more, not offering an enhanced, fast buying experience might be a real hindrance to finishing sales.
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As I didn’t find X-Cart’s free or fee-based CSS-based templates to become show-stopping, several are intuitive and could be altered to complement the theme and feel of the store. Browse some skin options here. I suggest starting with a reasonably simplistic theme and customizing it with the addition of fresh fonts, colors, and product photography.
To contrast, Zen Cart’s default theme is definitely an eye sore. You could attempt to brighten it up by installing among the several template alterations where you can, for instance, give a slideshow for your homepage or perhaps a sidebar that displays social networking buttons, but for me it’s a far greater idea to employ a professional to create your store or search for any cleaner theme such as this or this. Try Googling “free Zen Cart templates” or click on the disposable template packages on Zen Cart’s plug-ins directory for additional theme examples.
While Zen Cart’s admin area is simple enough to make use of to include products and fill orders when you get used to it, it is also seriously looking for a refresh. I’d a significantly simpler time getting acclimated to X-Cart’s more elegant admin, where one can create coupons, maintain order and inventory info, and rapidly click both to and from your backend to frontend. I additionally like this integrations are housed within “goodies” tab.
Integrations and Add-Ons:
Champion: Zen Cart
X-Cart offers a number of free add-ons like f-Commerce Go: It’s an additional that integrates X-Cart together with your Facebook business page. You’ll also find several popular fee-based extras, such as eBay and Mailchimp integrations. But when compared with Zen Cart, X-Cart offers far less add-ons.
Zen Cart arrives with sufficient fundamental features to obtain your store ready to go, but it’s likely you’ll wish to integrate a number of its greater than 1,500 extras to help make your store stick out while increasing its functionality. Bear in mind that quite a few users have experienced trouble customizing plugins previously and undergo difficulties transporting add-ons over after making sporadic Zen Cart updates. On Zen Cart integrations within our full review.
Zen Cart has the capacity to be integrated with Paypal, Authorize.internet, and FirstData, in addition to worldwide charge cards like Solo/Switch/Maestro (United kingdom), and JCB (multi-country). you may also processes checks and cash orders. Select charge cards your store accepts within the admin, including virtually all of the players like Visa, Mastercard, and American stock exchange. Take a look at Zen Cart’s plug-ins to locate several additional payment gateway and credit card merchant account integrations like PAYMILL and 2Checkout.
With X-Cart it’s very easy to integrate with any one of almost 100 gateways, including PayPal and Checkout by Amazon . com. You can process orders purchased with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express in addition to accept checks and cash orders. See the whole list here.
If you want help navigating the payment processor marketplace, take a look at our Credit Card Merchant Account Comparison page or call us for any consultation.
Customer Support and Tech Support Team:
Like other free carts, Zen Cart doesn’t maintain robust support beyond an energetic forum. However I did find Zen Cart to visit beyond a number of its free peers–it offers tutorials and FAQs, a person manual, a wiki that covers installing and upgrading this program, and YouTube videos.
For me, X-Cart’s support is a little an assorted bag–some retailers are pleased with their customer support experience, while some complain that compensated support costs $99 monthly (or $99 per single non-urgent incident should you not opt right into a monthly support plan) and isn’t offered 24/7. Also observe that tickets don’t cover all issues unless of course you have to pay yet another fee, so read the small print before you purchase a ticket. Unsupported topics vary from Search engine optimization to upgrades and gratifaction issues–see the entire list at the base of the page. Make sure to check other free sources for solutions for your questions first, via forums, a understanding base, and FAQs. I suggest going the only ticket route since X-Cart’s compensated monthly support costs almost $1,200 each year.
Negative Reviews and Complaints:
We spent hrs researching and compiling user feedback about both X-Cart and Zen Cart and located more negative feedback from Zen Cart users. As pointed out above, we noted that some X-Cart retailers wish its compensated support was available 24/7. For me, X-Cart could de-stress its compensated support model, especially since i have can’t make a slew of companies are pleased to fork over $99 for monthly support when cloud-based carts offer hosting, technical support, better styles and much more features for a lot less monthly that X-Cart charges for support alone.
Zen Cart users complain about its stale styles, counterproductive admin, insufficient one-page checkout (which X-Cart offers) and behind-the-occasions Search engine optimization and marketing features. And a few retailers are convinced that the woking platform can act buggy and also have experienced rocky upgrades.
If you wish to look for other complaints about X-Cart or Zen Cart, make sure to google X-Cart/Zen Cart reviews, X-Cart/Zen Cart complaints, X-Cart/Zen Cart comments, X-Cart/Zen Cart scam, X-Cart/Zen Cart testimonials, etc.
Positive Testimonials and reviews:
I discovered lots of positive X-Cart comments online from longtime, loyal users. Vibrant spots for X-Cart include engineers that rapidly reconcile issues, a complete group of as they are features, along with a very customizable admin. Others like its cost, social networking integrations, and PCI-compliance.
Zen Cart users like this it’s liberated to download–no surprise there–and that it is completely customizable and keeps a lively forum. Others appreciate that it arrives with a variety of features and add-ons. But overall, our search switched up more kudos from X-Cart retailers.
Selecting whether licensed ecommerce shopping cart software that needs an upfront payment to download like X-Cart or perhaps an free cart that’s liberated to download but requires more coding competence to produce like Zen Cart will provide you with control of your store’s feel and look. Both X-Cart and Zen Cart require that you get a host for the store and provide you with the actual capability to make serious customizations for your shop. Plus, each comes as they are with sufficient features to begin.
Which suits your company? This will depend in your shop’s scope and values. Some retailers are energized by the opportunity to opt-in for an free user community and therefore are comfortable taking it towards the forums for help when problems appear. If that’s you, Zen Cart could be the right fit. Before committing I’d also recommend searching at competitors like Spree Commerce. If it’s important to bring a developer aboard to produce your store with Zen Cart, my conjecture would be that the liberated to download platform would be the more pricey option within the finish.
If you are lured with a licensed cart that arrives prepared to be included in an entirely unique store I suggest searching carefully at X-Cart, which will keep improving. X-Cart arrives with fresher skins as well as an simpler to navigate admin than Zen Cart. I love that X-Cart also provides one-page checkout and supports responsive styles, since within my opinion both are crucial for the store’s success.
Consider using a free demo of X-Cart’s downloadable version or download Zen Cart to have an limitless trial and find out if either shopping cart software suits your web store.