Free online e-commerce platforms

The last week I’ve done some research on what free e-commerce system that’s out there. There are quite a few to choose from and and it could be difficult to choose.  Apart from the free ones there is also the possibility to choose the commercial ones where you pay a monthly fee for the shop and then some of the extra features and modules cost extra.

The web shop at blacknwhite.dk (closed) is running on the oscommerce platform. It is quite old and hasn’t been updated and during the autumn it was under serious attacks from hackers.

With the experience from this platform I made a wish list:

  • User friendly front end and back end – prefer to see most of the information on one page instead of many, like tabs.
  • Newsletter subscribe/unsubscribe – WYSIWYG newsletter designer, overview of subscribers
  • Swedish and danish language pack
  • Swedish and Danish currency
  • Payment gateway to Swedish to hosts like wannafind, payer (se), epay, payson etc.
  • Easy to design in CSS files, template files or HTML files
  • Easy to create extra information pages with WYSIWYG editing
  • Product description with WYSIWYG editor
  • Easy cross sell feature
  • Free templates for download and easy installation
  • More than one image on the description
  • Lightbox display of images – fast, neat and editable
  • Who’s online feature – real time view of who is visiting, are they registered customer, what they buy, where they come from etc.
  • For the future a Live help feature

Find reviews on all (more or less) shopping cart systems on shopping-cart-reviews.com. The web sites webappers.com and tripwiremagazine.com have created a list each of 15 popular ones. The two lists differ a little bit from each other but the most popular are:

Other ones are:

The platforms listed above all are PHP and runs on a MySQL database. An asp.net/ MS SQL alternativ is nopcommerce.com.

This blog platform is WordPress and it’s possible to install e-commerce plugin for this.  On tripwiremagazine.com you find a list of a couple of other WP plugins to create a blog/web shop.

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