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Is your free Shopping Cart software really "free"?

Posted by on in eCommerce
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Free and Open Source software is becoming a "standard" in the last years. Giants like Google, Facebook and even Microsoft started to embracing the Open Source for some of their services and products.

We, as developers, know that it's possible to provide a product for free and open source and make a good income from it. But we have to think twice about the "free" definition before diving into while it's very easy to find lots of products which are declared as "free" and "open source".

Since this is an article posted on Arastta blog, let's focus on eCommerce and Shopping Cart softwares which declare themselves as "free". We know that selling a product or service (displaying the products, adding to the cart, checkout) is the minimum and main part of the process but a shopping cart software must provide more than that to please it's users, both admins and customers.

The core is free but...

It's easy to find tons of free shopping cart softwares just after googling for it. You can easily install them or setup on the cloud in seconds and start using it. After a while you will realize that most of these softwares are provided for free but their core functionalities are very limited or they have some other pitfalls. You have to purchase extensions, for example even if you want to implement some basic SEO (search engine optimization) configurations. The worst, you may have to pay forever and monthly for that extension if your store is on a SaaS-Cloud based service.

Or let's say you need to harden your software against hackers and their various attacks. So, does that "free" software provides you enough configurations to implement hardening features? I can say that generally the answer is no!. You again have to pay for an additional security extension or service to make your free software more secure.

Performance and speed

Sometimes, instead of a less-featured one, you may have a free shopping cart software which is full of great and bloated features. What about the speed and performance? If we are talking about eCommerce then the speed and the performance is one of the key points for the success. You cannot sacrifice the speed and the performance in favor of the features you will never use.

What about Arastta?

It's an honour for us to say that Arastta provides great and useful features without sacrificing the performance and the speed. You don't have to pay extra (neither once, nor monthly) for the main features that a standard shopping cart must have.

Opensource addict and supporter, Arastta Co-founder, Optimum Theme. Married and father of Firuze Meryem.


Comments

  • Rune Rasmussen
    Rune Rasmussen Wednesday, 03 May 2017

    Mostly true indeed, but there are some important features still missing. Like a specials manager ( https://arastta.org/ideas/idea/57-specials-manager ), and improved variant handling (combined variants with stock support etc.). Crucial features for a lot of stores. ;)

  • Enes Ertuğrul
    Enes Ertuğrul Wednesday, 03 May 2017

    Thank you Rune for your comment.

    Improved variant handling for Option & SKU feature is ready (it's on GitHub: https://github.com/arastta/addons/issues/35) and we will add it as a 3rd party extension on Marketplace this week (or at least next week).

    You can add more "to-do" requests here but that's not the point of this blog post. I just wanted to display the main conflict between the "free software" and their later costs. In a project like Arastta, it's a matter of time to implement those new features ;)

  • Rune Rasmussen
    Rune Rasmussen Wednesday, 03 May 2017

    But it stil isn't combined, is it? Meaning you can' add stock for colour plus size on t-shirts?

    Regarding the point of the blog post, fair enough, and mostly true. :)

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