The blog about Pros and Cons of Open Source Ecommerce Software helps to choose the right decision. Hosted eCommerce platforms commonly offer three types of eCommerce products:

  • Hosted websites for small businesses,
  • Hosted websites for medium-size businesses, and
  • Hosted websites for large businesses.

The first two options give the user limited control over the design and operation of the website, but the third option often consists of open source software that essentially allows the user to create a business website from scratch. In this entry, we look at the pros and cons of open-source eCommerce software from a hosted eCommerce platform to create a business website.

Pros: Good for Businesses That Have an IT Department

If your business has an IT department that can create a custom website using open source eCommerce software, it falls within the target audience for which the solution is designed. If your business can handle the website development process on its own, outsourcing the process to an online marketing company may actually be less cost-effective than handling it in house.

Cons: Software Licensing Fee

Speaking of expenses, for many prospective users of open source eCommerce software, one of the main barriers of entry is the software licensing fee that comes with implementing the product. It should be mentioned that some platforms offer the open-source version of their software for free. But if the solution is not free, expect to spend between $15,000 and $20,000 to use it.      

Pros: Can Simplify Disaster Recovery

One of the nicest things about open source eCommerce software is that the provider typically designs it to be hosted by third parties. While you can also manage the website in house, letting an online marketing agency host the site can simplify disaster recovery. If a disaster destroys the IT system, you won’t have to worry about getting your website up and running again.   

Cons: May Need the Assistance of a “Partner”

Hosted eCommerce platforms often have a list of preferred “partners” listed somewhere on their website. These partners are generally comprised of online marketing companies that have a deep understanding of how to configure and optimize websites from a particular provider.

If you would need to work with a partner to fully develop your website, it may be to your financial advantage to use an online marketing company for web development instead of paying for the services of both an eCommerce software provider and an online marketing company.

Pros: Can Expedite Website Development

Another nice thing about open source ecommerce software is that you can start designing a website as soon as you pay to use the solution. If your business’ IT department doesn’t require consultative services in order to use the software to its fullest capacity, it may be able to get the website up and running faster than it would by outsourcing website development to a third party. 

Cons: Limited Outsourcing Options

Although many open source eCommerce solutions are designed to be hosted by third parties, it’s important to remember that your outsourcing options will be limited to those companies that have a deep understanding of the software you use. This is why many eCommerce platforms have a list of “partners” that are ideally suited to help customers configure and optimize their websites.   

Contact Digital Intersection

If your business is thinking about using an open-source eCommerce program to build a business website, there are several things to consider before you make a decision. In some cases, such a solution is exactly what the user needs; while in other cases, the user would be better off outsourcing website development to an online marketing agency, such as Digital Intersection.

If you aren’t sure which option is right for your business, we will help you make the right decision for your online marketing goals and business objectives.

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