Shopping Cart Comparison

The following is a shopping cart comparison based on our feelings of the various carts. There are literally 100's of shopping cart/ecommerce platforms out there. We have chosen mainly the more well known platforms for our comparison. The options on standard installation have been chosen by us as the options that a shopping cart should have as standard and you should not have to pay extra form them.

Options as Standard Installation Magento    Prestashop osCommerce Cre-Loaded Zen Cart    X-Cart  
Search Engine Friendly Page Names (URL's) SEF URL's Yes SEF URL's Yes SEF URL's Yes SEF URL's Yes SEF URL's Yes SEF URL's Yes
Templates/Skins Template/Skins Yes Template/Skins Yes Template/Skins Yes Template/Skins Yes Template/Skins Yes Template/Skins Yes
Content Management System (CMS) Content Management Yes Content Management Yes Content Management No Content Management Yes Content Management Yes Content Management Yes
Additional Revisions SEF URL's Yes SEF URL's Yes
Additional pages SEF URL's Yes SEF URL's Yes
Initial Design in days
Free Stock Photos for Website
XML Sitemap Generation XML Sitemap Yes XML Sitemap Yes XML Sitemap No XML Sitemap Yes XML Sitemap Yes XML Sitemap No
Pricing (Starts at) $Free $Free $250 $Free $Free $149


Magento Commerce is one of the fastest growing Ecommorce platforms out there. With over 60,000 installations it has fast become a popular package.

  • Magento Community is free of charge
  • Magento Professional starts at $2,995.00 USD per year
  • Magento Enterprise starts at $12,990.00 USD per year


Prestashop is based on our usage one of the easiest and most configurable options. As a standard installation nearly all of the modules are supplied free of charge. The cart if skinned properly can be quite configurable with different module options being available for different pages.


osCommerce is a free online shopping system and most hosting accounts will have the ability to install it. It is a full featured package but, if it is not installed and set up properly, it can be a search engine nightmare. When done correctly, however, it can result in a very successful online shop. Because there are a large number of websites using osCommerce, over 6500 live sites are online as of this time, it is very stable and secure. Bugs and backdoors into the system are very swiftly found and dealt with. osCommerce can be incorporated into just about any website. It has a large number of options so it can be very daunting for an inexperienced webmaster. Whilst there is some community support for osCommerce, because it is in the free domain, there is no commercial support. A number of companies offer templates for osCommerce shopping carts and the prices range from $50.00 to $7,650.00 depending on where you go to get them. One of the best things about osCommerce is, because of the large numbers of people and companies using it, there are literally thousands of plug-ins or modules for it and this will let you do just about anything you want. From specialised banking modules like the Australian BankSA/St George CC Payment Module to an SMS module which will SMS you when an order has been placed. It also has a forum with over 100,000 users and 800,000 messages making it a good place to go to ask questions and get them answered.

Zen Cart

Zen Cart is another online shopping system which is free to download and use. The difference between Zen Cart and osCommere is the amount of support available. Zen Cart seems to be osCommerce’s little brother. It has a few add-ons which could come in handy but they are very American based which is not a lot of use to a shopping cart selling to Australians. From our minimal testing it appears Zen cart uses session id’s which don’t make for very search engine friendly sites. As with osCommerce it has a fairly active forum with some 30,000 members and nearly 270,000 posts.


The X-Cart online shopping system can cost from $275.00 Australian dollars (AUD) up to $690.00 AUD for a single licence. The company who built it offers help and support to purchasers and you can hire their software engineers to work on your shopping cart but this starts at about $35.00 AUD per hour. They have a few add-ons which have to be purchased separately. Costs of the add-ons vary from $41.00 AUD for an image magnifier to $600 AUD for the Sales and Stats add-on. They also have a couple of skins available for purchase at $90.00 AUD. The X-Cart team claim the shopping cart is W3C XHTML valid and uses Search Engine Friendly URLS. On a quick test of the demo site we found that, whilst the majority of the shopping cart pages were valid, there were some errors although the errors would be simple to fix. With the search engine friendly URL’s, on the other, it was hit and miss. Some pages were, indeed, the right format but while we were browsing we continued to find pages that were not SEF. They do offer a 30 day free trial.


ShopFactory costs between $310.00 AUD and $2150.00 AUD. It comes in four versions, from a light version to an international version, which allows you to build your site in multiple languages. It is different to the other online shopping carts as it has a personal computer programme for building and editing sites. Some people find using the pc programme easier than editing php or cgi scripts. They offer a 100% money back guarantee and, with the trial version, you get 30 days to test it. From the tests we did on the sample site Shop Factory supplied, none of this shopping cart was even close to being w3c valid. It has a lot of fairly major errors so cleaning them up could be quite a large project. None of the sites we visited had SEF URL’s. The sites were live and, from what we could tell, they use a “frame” based system. None of the sites had very many of their pages indexed in Google.

Monster Commerce

Monster Commerce costs start at $65.00 AUD a month with a $65.00 AUD activation fee. The reason for the ongoing costs is that Monster Commerce also host the website. The major problem with using an option like this is transportability. If you ever want to move your site to a bigger and better, or faster, host your website might not be easily converted to the new host. You may actually have to rebuild your site. On the plus side they do have a 24/7 support centre and they say they are search engine friendly. From testing on the sites available as links, I couldn’t find one shop which had valid code nor could I find a shop that was using search engine friendly URL's

Purpose Built Shopping Cart

The team at also offer a purpose built shopping cart which is specifically written with your website and your business needs in mind. It can be modified to suit your existing website so it looks, and feels, like a part of your website and not an add-on after the fact. We design the cart to be very simple for your customers to use and we ensure it is very search engine friendly. By Wild website design can implement a range of different payment gateways from Paypal or 2CheckOut to your banks own financial gateway. We install the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or its successor TLS (Transport Layer Security) using php with MySql as this is very secure. The downside to this option is cost and it will also take more time to implement the cart due to the need to design it first. The team at By Wild website design can work with you to either integrate a shopping cart of your choosing into your existing/new website or make a brand new one up for you from scratch. Depending on your perspective, a down side to having us build your shopping cart is that you will need to see us about support. A major plus about using a shopping cart built specifically for you by us is it will be a one of a kind. This means hackers won’t bother trying to find a bug in your system as one site is not worth their time or effort. This does not mean, however, that we do not pay a lot of attention to ensuring our designs do not contain bugs. One of the major problems about using a common shopping cart is that, if one hacker finds a security flaw, hundreds and thousands of sites, possibly including yours, will suddenly become vulnerable to hacking attempts. This has already happened to users of phpBB2 and ZenCart. More Information on Pricing By Wild