What is the Best CMS for Ecommerce?


This is certainly one of the most common questions, for the hopeful online stores owners. However, there is no single answer to this important question. This is inherently, since every single ecommerce CMS has its unique pros and cons.

Large amounts of data are an inherent characteristic of every ecommerce business. In addition to favorable prices, customers are drawn to fine-tuned selling proposition of a carefully designed Ecommerce CMS. An ideal CMS enables the store to customize the content to their target market. At the very basic level, a good CMS for eCommerce should be easy to use, intuitive for the user and encompasses specific tools for marketing and improving the customer experience such as automated emails and calculators respectively.

The following is a simplified review of the best eCommerce CMS according to our expert analysis and investigation. Avoid getting confused by the large selection of content management systems for eCommerce.

  1. Magento

This is an open source software for eCommerce. The software offers free downloadable contents, which can go a long way in accelerating the growth of an online store. What’s extra is that, individual developers can make modifications to the core codes in addition to adding custom features, which is done by the installation of Magento connect platform. For those who are looking to improve their backend workflows, Magento is an ideal solution.

The community edition of Magento does not come with technical support, which means that the store must have access to their own experts although the more common enquiries about the system can be accessed from the user forum on the site. The Magento community is steadily expanding and consistently engaging customers in running their stores. The software provides access to multiple extensions in addition to an open architecture, which allows for more functionality. Integration with other enterprise systems is also facilitated. However, for those who want constant support and additional features, they can go with the enterprise edition.

The enterprise edition provides the following features, which improve flexibility:

  • Multiple promotions and tools
  • Online analytics and reporting
  • SEO with Meta information
  • Site management and control
  • Google base integration and management of catalogue
  • Layered catalogue browsing and comparison
  • Mobile based commerce optimized for iPhone
  • International currency and multi-lingual support
  • Customer support
  • Custom made customer accounts
  • Modifiable order management system
  1. PrestaShop

This is an open source platform for ecommerce that is totally free. The payment gateways that the software supports include PayPal, Google checkout, Authorize, and Skrill. The platform is keen on providing training and e-commerce solutions to all the different levels of developers, integrators and merchants. The wide arrays of features offered by the platform are aimed at helping business owners to grow sales effortlessly. All these features are free of charge and completely integrated into the software. The user has the capability of managing diversified lists of products through its back office. The complexity of the business does not come into question as the software enables one to manage complex inventories with simple to use intuitive interface.

The platform has the following features:

    • Management of inventory
    • Export of products to online portals egg eBay
    • Selection of number of products to be displayed per page
    • Cross-selling into new products
    • Availability and support of downloadable products
    • Wide range of categories and products
    • Comparison of products
    • Support of layered navigation in the interface
    • High level stock management


  1. Zencart

This is an open source software for ecommerce. The software is free yet very user friendly. The software can be easily installed by anyone with basic technical and website building skills. The features on these software are so good that it is comfortably matching up to the commercial platforms. As an open source software that is free, Zencart is licensed under GPL2. This allows the users to modify the source code freely to suit their needs. The availability of a wide range of payment gateways, the user is able to accept payment almost instantaneously.

Some of the features of the software are:

  • 24/7 shopping convenience for the customer
  • Easy update of product catalogues
  • Secure platform only accessed by authorized administrative personnel
  • An advanced template system, which makes use of images and stylesheets.
  1. OsCommerce

This particular platform has a legacy of being in the open source ecommerce arena for more than a decade. It has acquired over 12,800 webmasters and the number is steadily growing. The platform has a record 7000 add-ons and a committed community of developers who really care for the wellbeing of the platform.

There is no limit to the number of uploads that can be done on the platform. Its deep experience in the field means a wealth of add-ons and users coupled with a wide selection of third party services, which all come together to work seamlessly. The platform is also highly customizable adding to its versatility.


    • PHP 4 compatible together with backward compatibility
    • Full feature enabled multi-lingual interface
    • Unlimited category and product support
    • Easy navigation through breadcrumb trail
    • Automatic website display on homepage


  1. Virtue art

This is another free open source ecommerce plug-in. It works seamlessly with the Joomla CMS. It is a fairly complex plugin, which operates on different platform from the rest and therefore not ideal for average businesses. However, the use of an experienced programmer or developer to install, implement and maintain can certainly result in long-term benefits.

A separate host package will be required in order to use this system as it does not come with any kind of hosting support. Another downside is that the plugin is limited for computer use though mobile compatibility is still available and effective through the Ivm store app.

The plugin stores the details of products together with the user information in totally different components and can therefore be used to handle one off products. PayPal is the best payment option to install since it can be easily done at no extra cost. This plugin is ideal for small to medium scale retailers with advance level technical knowhow.


  • Compatible with Joomla extensions
  • Comes with a customizable shopper input form
  • Inventory level warning
  • Provides for virtual stock processing
  • Multiple payment and shipping options
  • Integrated SEO reviews
  1. WordPress

As one of the pioneers in the field, WordPress comes with wealth of knowledge and experience. It has some very useful features for CMS systems. WordPress allows the owners to use the readymade templates and also to explore different designs with HTML and CSS. All these are accompanied by video tutorials for easy set up and learning. Popular payment gateways are also available such as gold cart, stripe. An additional feature with regards to payment is that one can integrate automatic pricing modules and offer sophisticated discounts and rebates to frequent shoppers.

Additional features include:

    • Flexibility and strength in the front and back end of processing
    • A wide selection of unique themes from which one can choose from and which can be customized to the last point.
    • Useful premium additions can be made e.g. table rate shipping and bookings among others.
    • There are multiple free extensions, which makes the interface friendlier e.g. Goggle Analytics and delivery notes among others.



The above listed systems are the cream of CMS systems for ecommerce. In selecting one from the other, it is essential to start by looking at the needs of the business and the scale of operations. It is also of critical importance that you evaluate the technical expertise needed by the system and its availability. However, you cannot go wrong with the systems listed above.


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