Myths, Strengths and Weaknesses of Open Ecommerce

Myths, Strengths and Weaknesses of Open Ecommerce

It can be daunting to know where to get started if you’ve not worked with or used open-source software before. When you want to build a business on this software, you need to have confidence in the tools you’re choosing to use and whether they’ll be the right fit for your store. Open ecommerce platforms like woocommerce give merchants unparalleled flexibility, freedom and sustainability while powering their business. At Blue Whale Media, our website development team have looked at some of the myths surrounding open ecommerce, the strengths and weaknesses to learn how it can benefit businesses further.

Are open-source solutions for small businesses?

‘Scaling’ software doesn’t matter if the software is open or not. With open-source, you’ll have control over the source code to make a potential improvement, whereas you may not have access to the code on another platform. 

Here are some benchmarks that woocommerce (an open-source platform) can hit: 

  • Up to five orders per second
  • 20,000 orders an hour and about half a million per day, if your business or store can sustain the rate of a flash sale
  • 4,000 to 6,000 concurrent shoppers on the website

Scaling is much more of a function of hardware, intelligent caching and other smart performance enhancers.

Is open-source software free or cheaper to use?

Open-source software is often referred to as “free” software. This term means free as in ‘freedom’ – not price… 

Woocommerce can be free at times. However, woocommerce extensions are sold for a fee, but they are all open-source since they carry an open-source usage license. While open-source ecommerce software is often lower priced than proprietary software, there are other costs to using it, such as hosting. When using open-source ecommerce platforms, you may pay for other responsibilities that a proprietary platform would absorb, such as hosting and software. 

Is open-source software easier to use?

Nothing about being ‘open’ makes it harder to use; the difficulty comes from self-hosting that software. When you self-host, you’re running your own ‘instance’ of the ecommerce software. This allows you flexibility as no-one else has control over modifying your store. This means that higher-than-average technical skills are required, such as:

  • Register a domain name and source DNS hosting 
  • Set up the website with a hosting provider 
  • Use or provide FTP access. 

Real Power of Open-Source Ecommerce

The power of open-source ecommerce comes from freedom and community.

Users have the freedom to use the platform in the way they choose, with the foods that make sense for them. They have the freedom to use the platform for as long as they see fit. 

Developers have the freedom to build on and contribute to the platform. They are not subject to what API’s the platform uses and can read or modify source code as needed. 

Open-source ecommerce does have advantages and disadvantages, but what is essential is the smooth customer experience. If you are looking for low initial cost, easy installation, integration, and support, open-source ecommerce is for you. 

Head to our ecommerce page to find out how our website developers at Blue Whale Media can help with open ecommerce.