X-Cart is a licensed, open-source eCommerce platform many businesses consider when deciding to open an online store. It can seem like a great option for a couple of main reasons: the licensed model means a one-time purchase for use of the software, and open source allows access to the source code for modifications. Businesses that want "full ownership" of their eCommerce website often look for this type of solution, but many aren't aware that they'll still need to pay for web hosting, software updates, support, and much more. A closer look at X-Cart will expose all kinds of extra expenses, which may lead you to look for alternatives — so we've collected 6 of the best for your review.
WooCommerce is first on our list because it's extremely well-known (actually, much more popular than X-Cart), and operates on a similar principle: it's open source. However, WooCommerce is free, with no need to pay for a license, although, of course, you will still need to pay for hosting.
WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, the most popular website builder in the world. WordPress itself is available in two versions: the hosted WordPress.com version (which functions like SaaS, or Software as a Service), and the free, downloadable WordPress.org version available to be installed on your own web host. WooCommerce can be installed on all versions except the free WordPress.com account — first, you must upgrade to Business.
Many online sellers love WooCommerce because of its low price (free, except for hosting, security, and other business expenses) and great versatility. WooCommerce-compatible WordPress themes number in the thousands, and numerous plugins can bring additional functionality to your online store. However, since everything is developed by the community, pricing and compatibility vary greatly. You'll need a strong understanding of WordPress and the patience to thoroughly vet every plugin before adding it to your website. WooCommerce is also geared more toward small-to-medium businesses, so scaling up can be difficult.
WooCommerce and WordPress are both considered extremely user-friendly, while a frequent complaint about X-Cart is its difficulty and learning curve
You'll only need to pay for hosting and security, along with any paid plugins you decide to use (and possibly your site's theme).
The size of the community means far more programmers are available for custom WooCommerce work than for X-Cart.
Magento is another frequent first stop for business owners looking for an eCommerce platform. It's also free and open source, although a paid, hosted option is available. Its software requirements are much more intensive than WooCommerce, and it's aimed at mid-sized to big businesses. Some businesses that started out on WooCommerce consider a move to Magento when they need more powerful software.
Magento is indeed powerful, and comes with tons of features built in as well as available from both free and paid plugins. It's also much more popular than X-Cart, but it's not without its own problems. Magento is known for slowing down when a store has large numbers of products or starts receiving significant traffic, which can end up slowing your growth as your site begins to struggle. It can also be difficult to get support, and as with all self-installed software (both free and licensed), you'll need to perform updates yourself.
Magento has more features than X-Cart, especially when you consider that many of X-Cart's most important eCommerce features are restricted to more expensive licenses.
There are far more developers and designers familiar with Magento than with X-Cart, so custom work is easier to procure.
Magento is not considered an easy-to-use platform, but many still consider it easier to learn than X-Cart.
Volusion is quite different from X-Cart and the previous alternatives we've mentioned, in the sense that it's an SaaS platform, meaning all the hosting and technical details are handled behind the scenes by the provider. Instead of needing to find separate hosting and install everything yourself, you simply create an account, log in, and start building your store.
Volusion is considered one of the easiest eCommerce platforms to learn to use, to the point that some advanced users feel a bit limited, but if your main concern is ease of use, it's like night and day when compared to X-Cart. Volusion also doesn't have quite as many features, but important functionality like product reviews and order return management are included on plans far more affordable than on X-Cart.
Volusion takes very little time to learn, and progressing beyond the basics is relatively easy, especially when compared to X-Cart.
Hosting, software updates, support, and everything else are included in your monthly fee, simplifying your budget and streamlining your workflow.
While Volusion's theme selection is limited compared to some other platforms, it still has more free themes available than X-Cart.
Shopify is one of the most well-known eCommerce platforms in the world, with many more users than X-Cart and a much bigger community. Like Volusion, it operates on the SaaS model. In another similarity to Volusion, it's also frequently cited as being easy to use, and you can get your online store up and running quickly.
Shopify shouldn't be overlooked when you're considering X-Cart alternatives, but you do need to be aware that it comes with several downsides. Many important features are either missing entirely or locked behind higher-tier plans, and while much functionality is available through third-party apps, their costs can soon have your monthly fee ballooning. It's entirely possible, though, that your business can get the functionality it needs for less than the cost of an X-Cart license and its annual update charges.
Shopify is beginner-friendly, and while not as simple as Volusion, it's definitely more accessible than X-Cart.
All the technical management of your store happens behind the scenes so you can focus on your business.
Shopify has support staff available 24/7 to help you with your online store.
Shopify's template library includes many more free and premium themes than are available for X-Cart.
BigCommerce is another popular SaaS eCommerce solution, with all the benefits that entails – managed hosting and more, all included under your monthly fee. It has more features than Shopify (and far more than Volusion) and is a strong contender in the eCommerce space. The increased feature count does lead to a slightly steeper learning curve, but BigCommerce is still easier to use than X-Cart.
BigCommerce does have a few disadvantages, and the biggest among them is the restrictive revenue tier system. Many SaaS platforms require an upgrade to the next plan once a certain sales goal is reached, as this allows the platform to keep up with the traffic your online store is experiencing, but many BigCommerce users find themselves upgraded far before they feel their budgets can handle it.
While not as easy to use as the other SaaS platforms we've mentioned, BigCommerce is still a lot easier to understand than X-Cart.
As with the other X-Cart alternatives of this nature, BigCommerce includes hosting, software updates, and more.
BigCommerce's support staff is available to help with your technical questions at no charge.
BigCommerce has a relatively small number of themes in comparison to some SaaS platforms, but you'll still have many more free options than you would with X-Cart.
Shift4Shop is an all-inclusive SaaS eCommerce platform that combines all the advantages of other platforms with none of the disadvantages. It's more straightforward than WooCommerce, more stable and reliable than Magento, and has more features than the other SaaS solutions we've gone over on this page. A completely unlimited, free End-to-End eCommerce plan is available for anyone using Shift4 Payments, and Shift4Shop adds no transaction fees or other hidden costs regardless of payment provider. Because of its ease of use, high number of features, and unique pricing, it's far more economical and versatile than X-Cart, providing a superior eCommerce experience in every way.
Shift4Shop is also completely scalable, and even as your business grows into an enterprise, you'll still be getting more and paying less than you would for other platforms. Even the free plan can scale all the way up to enterprise levels, which allows you to grow at a pace comfortable to you without any risk to your budget.
With Shift4Shop, your business will have everything it needs to thrive and grow online, including all the features you need for inventory management, marketing, industry-leading SEO, and much more. It's the best X-Cart alternative available, and a perfect choice for creating and managing a successful online store.
Shift4Shop's user interface is far more intuitive than X-Cart's, even with the large number of included features.
As an all-in-one SaaS eCommerce platform, Shift4Shop includes hosting, security, software updates, backups, and everything else you need.
Rather than charge for tech support like X-Cart does, Shift4Shop includes free 24/7/365 support with every plan.
Shift4Shop does not suffer from the bugs and instability that affect X-Cart.
Unlike X-Cart, Shift4Shop doesn't lock crucial eCommerce features behind expensive plans.
You get much more with Shift4Shop (even the free plan) than you would by paying for an X-Cart license, support costs, hosting plans, and annual upgrade charges.
Shift4Shop's SEO is the best in the industry, including both built-in automatic optimization and features, and customization whenever necessary.
Shift4Shop comes with Shift4 Payments built in, so you can get up and running (and accepting orders) with zero hassle.
No need to struggle with licensing, hosting, installation, or the other requirements for getting started with X-Cart; just sign up with Shift4Shop and start building your online store.