I'd like to avoid coding one from scratch, so I'd like to see what the open-source community can offer :-)

Required features:

  • Easy way to insert items with photo and description
  • Templates easy-to-create
  • Multi language (at least Italian and English)
  • Shopping cart
  • User managment
  • PayPal support (not required but really appreciated :D)

I'm going on PHP and MySQL because of the hosting service I can't change, so please don't talk to me about alternatives :P

I'd like to know what's the one you like the most and why should it be better than the others

UPDATE: I need also multi language, Italian and English are a must.

10 accepted

I have searched something similar some years ago. I chose Zen Cart, a derivative of the well known osCommerce, over the later, because it has more "batteries included", and was a bit more consistent. It can still be a decent choice, even more with the (yet to come for quite some time) next version. We are quite happy with this choice.

Now, we need to control quantity per attributes (color, size), something Zen Cart doesn't allow yet, which is annoying (we have to create an item per size). So I am looking at Magento which is built from scratch on solid bases, modern OO design, based on the reputed Zend framework. It looks very promising, extremely flexible (supporting several shops)... at the cost, apparently, of some overhead, I saw several complaints that it is slow (at least on shared hosts): having a dedicated fast server seems to be a good idea. Now, it seems they work hard on this issue, so a bit of testing on real world might be a good idea (plus it depends on the expected number of visits per day!).

PrestaShop seems to be interesting too, more lightweight. Perhaps a bit more limited. Also evolving quickly, might be worth keeping an eye on it.

Of course, there are several other shops, you might find a listing on HotScripts, for example. From CMS supporting e-commerces to e-commerce modules for blogs! Depends on the needs...


Magento sucks hard. Overly complex, has a bunch of bugs that they refuse to fix in favor of adding new 'features' that also don't work.


Prestashop is an alternative to the other big ecommerce applications.

It is made by french people, but it supports English, German, Spanish, Italian, French and Dutch.


I'm currently working with Opencart. I chose it a few months ago after hearing that the coding for Magento was unnecessarily complex.


Opencart uses a standard MVC architecture and has been fairly easy to modify for my own needs. The current version is 0.7.8, and version 0.8 is promised any day. It needs PHP5. Support for multi-languages is available. It comes with english and german. Just copy and edit the files in \catalog\language\english.


There is NO documentation available, other than the community on the forums.


I would try to stay away from osCommerce. It is the biggest and probably the most popular, buth even so... I'd give Magento a try.


Zencart, Magento and osCommerce are the most well known. I had some experience with osCommerce in the past and didn't really like it (it's possible they've improved since). I heard good things about Magento.

You should download the source of each and have a look.


Tradingeye http://www.tradingeye.com/ is widely thought to be one of the best.

  • Great standards support
  • Very easy to customize
  • Tons of support/options

I would take a look at www.osCMax.com - osCommerce derivative with the stuff you need already installed and a lot of the bugs ironed out of the original.

Active forums and development. Latest version just released oscmax 2.0.15. Monthly release schedule planned.

Major release oscmax v2.1 due in June with new admin control and AJAX implementation.

Strong focus on userability rather than piling in hundreds of useless "features".

Runs well of shared server and can cope with unlimited categories and 50k+ products (unlike magento)

Magento - is the new kid on the block but the support is terrible, the server requirements are massive and it is very very very sloooowwww! Looks pretty ... but scratch the surface and you will soon find its faults and most of the pretty stuff is easily emulated on other store software.


I suggest Magento http://www.magentocommerce.com/, which is a up-coming and cool eCommerece software.