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35 open source and free tools to manage your online store

Vangie Beal | March 7, 2013
From shopping carts to marketing tools to image-editing software, here's a look at 35 open source tools and hosted services that can help you get started with your own Web store.

11. Spree Commerce Powered by the Ruby on Rails framework, Spree gives store owners complete control over the appearance and functionality of the Web store and features a flexible product management system to create single products, as well as multiple variations based on different attributes such as color and size. In addition, there are hundreds of Spree extensions available to further customize your Web store.

12. Zen Cart Designed by a group of shop owners, programmers, designers and consultants, Zen Cart offers a number of features to customize the cart using a template system to design a store. From there, you can configure product categories, sales discounts, and shipping and payment options. Zen Cart also provides community contributed add-ons to improve your Web store. Documentation and the community support forum is available on the Zen Cart website.

13. Zeuscart ZeusCart is a Web-based PHP/ MySQL shopping cart with a rich user interface that's primarily for small and medium-sized storeowners. Features include inventory management, attribute driven product catalog, category management, a built-in content management system (CMS) and SEO-friendly URLs. ZeusCart is licensed under GPL 2, and it can be installed on any server where a PHP interpreter, MySQL database server and a Web server is present.

6 Free Hosted Shopping Carts: Basic Plans and Try Before You Buy

If open source shopping carts are too much for your small operation, or you currently don't have an online website to integrate the cart, there are a number of free hosted Web shops you can investigate. Small businesses can try almost any hosted service for free; however, keep in mind that you're typically limited to a set number of products or monthly transactions (with options to upgrade to a paid subscription).

14. makes setting up a storefront easy. You can customize your free online store, import eBay products (eCrater supports unlimited products and categories) and add up to 10 photos per listing. Payment options include PayPal, Google Wallet, personal checks, cashier's checks, money orders and cash on delivery.

15. E-junkie E-junkie is a cart that falls in to the "cut-and-paste" category. You can create shopping cart and "buy now" buttons to sell physical and digital goods on your website, blog, social network or anywhere else. E-junkie is free for 30 days, though PayPal merchants can try E-junkie free for three months. After that, basic subscription plans start at $5 per month.

With Magento, you can create a customized online store, configure products and try it free for 30 days.

16. Magento Go Magento is an ecommerce platform that enables you to create a hosted online store, customize the design to suit your business, configure products and then market your store in search engines. A fully functional Magento Go store is free for 30 days. If you like the ecommerce service, pricing starts at $15 per month.


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