osCommerce Technical Manual: A Guide for Website Developers.

What is OsCommerce? | Everything to know about the e-commerce software

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What is OsCommerce?

OsCommerce means “Open Source Commerce.” It is an E-commerce and online store management software. Moreover, it is available without any cost under the criteria of GNU {General Public License}. OsCommerce was first used in Germany under the guidance of Harald Ponce De Leon. However, with its innovation, OsCommerce wasn’t considered an essential element in spreading education for the product using an online store. But, OsCommerce Development Company made strenuous efforts to widen the target area of OsCommerce. Hence, it succeeded in spreading education among the masses regarding its importance and usage.

OsCommerce is software that helps you manage your online business and its related aspects such as management, marketing, and setting up any business. It provides excellent features that ease the pressure of setting up a new online store and is an open-source solution.

Some of the importance of OsCommerce Web Development

OsCommerce is one software that provides a complete package of solutions to different aspects of the online retail business. Features like billing, product display, multi-language, other currencies, search options, and reviews for various products are the different options available. It works more or less like an ordinary online retail store that focuses on customer satisfaction and, at the same time, earns high and reasonable profits. With Open Source Commerce, your business can extend to even remote areas with the help of an extensive delivery network. Moreover, features such as secure payment options and tax management make buying manageable compared to e-commerce-based websites. If you are a highly qualified web developer, you can add new features to OsCommerce, creating a wide gap between E-commerce and OsCommerce. The latter platform can be adorned with interactive software. It makes the online retail store user-friendly and can lead to word-of-mouth publicity.


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  1. The first feature that attracts customers to OsCommerce-based websites is extensive product categories and subcategories. With this feature available, you can add different products and increase the range of products offered to the customers. Moreover, such a feature brings in luxury for them as they do not look for other retailers; most of their product requirements can be satisfied.
  2. Next cart or wish list. This feature houses options such as add, edit, replace, and high discounts available with OsCommerce web development. With these options, customers are at an advantage, for it becomes easy for them to add their desired products to the cart and have heavy discounts. This ensures brand loyalty and is, thus, a favorable condition for your online store.
  3. Another feature is related to your development which ensures that you stick to OsCommerce rather than E-commerce. Being an online merchant requires high maintenance and regular updates on the website, but that was the case with the E-commerce base. Using OsCommerce as a platform for your product brings ease and puts your brand in a comfortable position to deal with the customers. In addition, you can extend your database to a wide range of products. In addition to this, frequent changes and maintenance do not require strenuous efforts.
  4. With OsCommerce, your websites act as a search engine restricted to products. A wide range of products can be searched using filters such as price range colors, sizes, brands, and dealers. As an online merchant, it brings popularity for the websites as the clients can look for their favorite products, and different filters make buying easy.
  5. OsCommerce is the only web platform that automatically updates currency rates for various countries. Therefore, it provides customers with transparency, leading to web store loyalty. Moreover, as an online merchant, it is necessary to provide an exchange system that allows customers of different nationalities to transact over a shared medium. Hence, bringing a lot of customers with huge revenue.
  6. The site is a self-based eCommerce platform, which means that you will have to take care of so many other things and take care of the business. You will be in charge of the hosting, site server, and regular maintenance. This can be an advantage if you are an entrepreneur or business owner who has some programming and coding know-how.

osCommerce Technical Manual: A Guide for Website Developers.

Who is OsCommerce best suited for?

OsCommerce is easy to use, easy to tweak, and easy to get running just the way you want it. However, it is worth mentioning that it has a problem when it comes to reliability and scalability. When your product database gets to a specific size, you will notice the website creaking a little, making it more likely to experience outages and technical difficulties.

This reason makes OsCommerce probably the best solution for people who want to test the e-commerce waters, so to speak, before moving on to more feature-rich and functional solutions. If you’re looking for something quick and easy to get started with, OsCommerce might be the solution you need. But if you’re thinking colossal scale, it might be more advisable to switch to something more robust.

Can online store be designed in OsCommerce?

While there’s no design in OsCommerce, per see. There’s an elementary, standard store template when you install the platform. To get something better-looking, you can either:

  • Check the Community Add-Ons section on the OsCommerce website, and search for themes there for free, or you can
  • Go to ThemeForest and get a premium template/design.

OsCommerce Pricing

OsCommerce’s leading software is entirely free, you can download it straight from the official website. However, there are some additional costs like:

  • It would help if you had a hosting plan. Those usually start at around $5/ month if you’re on a budget {quality host will cost you more}.
  • It would help if you got a domain name for your store. Around $10/year or so.
  • Lastly, there’s the cost of a good design/template or any third-party modules you want to have as part of your online store to extend its out-of-box functionality.

Advantages of OsCommerce

A Comprehensive OsCommerce Review: Pros and Cons

OsCommerce has several remarkable features that can lure customers in and convert them into sales. Here are some advantages:

1. Detailed Categories and Subcategories of Products

OsCommerce has beautifully detailed descriptions of all its products and services, neatly categorized into categories and subcategories. Because of this, even if there are many products, it gets infinitely easier to find the products you are searching for.

2. Promos and Discount Deals

OsCommerce has unique promos and discount deals that you can use while making the order by paying and checking out.

3. Inventory/Stock Management

Since OsCommerce works on you to do the self-hosting and installing add-ons for the site to function efficiently, you will have to install some inventory management software. Many users have claimed to have used API2CART to take proper care of their massive set of inventories. There is a free demo session available for your use. The integration workflow is impeccable, efficient, and accurate. You can import orders from other sales channels. Also, the inventory management of your business won’t be limited to just one platform. It will be synced across all eCommerce/open source commerce platforms where you conduct your sales. This add-on, which takes care of shipments and order updates, is a cakewalk, making your professional life more manageable. This is an important feature that is ignored in many of the platform’s review.

4. Fantastic Selection of Amazing Templates

It allows you access to a massive array of beautiful templates. Using them gives you the tools to customize and make it your own. You can search through that list to find the best OsCommerce design that suits your store.

The design you get first when you open a store on the site is essential. But you can use the free template selection that is readily available for free. Some store owners have also reported using ThemeForest for better template designs.

5. Shopping Cart Integration

OsCommerce allows users to change and update their shopping carts and wishlists easily. You have the option of adding and removing products according to your wish. You can buy products from different online stores and still have a single checkout.

With this feature, your stock management, accounting, and tracking systems are all in coordination, making faster and more effective deliveries easier. For this purpose, some users have reported integrating an add-on called Olark Live Chat with OsCommerce.

Through the add-on, you get access to integrate all aspects of your business like insights, billing, agent tools, developers, account management, and many more. You also get a chat box using Olark, packed with stellar features for customer satisfaction and engagement like automation, customization and live chat analytics.

osCommerce Technical Manual: A Guide for Website Developers.

Disadvantages of OsCommerce

1. Unreliability

Many online stores have reported that their experience with OsCommerce was terrible. They noted that the features and add-ons were too numerous, because of which sometimes, users felt that the variety of choices made it unreliable.

There was also too much to offer and yet nothing. While active community forums could help out, it was either too troublesome or time-consuming.

2. Pricing Plans

Many times, the expensive plans of OsCommerce mean that you are not getting enough returns from the amount of time, hard work, and resources you have invested in it.

The pricing plans could be very unaffordable. In addition, even after getting the plan, you realize you are not using half of the features provided by OsCommerce. You come to the dawning realization that you could be putting your business’ money into more useful things.

3. Lack of Technical Support

Many business entrepreneurs with some practical knowledge of programming and coding will find this helpful site, especially if they are looking to save some money by hosting themselves. However, online store owners who have no programming or coding knowledge may find the challenge of self-hosting too daunting and might opt out of using OsCommerce. The lack of good technical support from OsCommerce can be a considerable disadvantage for these people.

4. Security and Software Updates

To update the software and add-ons available, store owners have to undertake the trouble of doing it manually. Sometimes, this task takes too much time, and often, without the updates, the stress of security getting breached gets piled on top of each other.

Does OsCommerce Allow International Shipping?

OsCommerce allows international shipping. But for that, like for any other service provided by the site, you would have to install shipping modules of your choice. The flat, per item, and table rates can also be included. Shipping prices can vary based on weight, product, and destination.

You may also like to read our latest article, How to add products to Shopify in 7 easy steps.