July 22, 2024

Top 5 Content Management Systems for eCommerce

eCommerce continues to steadily evolve as it’s become one of the most reliable, and preferable ways to purchase goods. Its very existence has allowed countless number of businesses reach new heights, and take advantage of endless possibilities. As new standards, ideas, and applications for eCommerce role out, the strength of your online presence must support these new trends.

Having a powerful and dependable Content Management System is becoming less of an option and more of a need. Below we’ve outlined 5 of the best Content Management Systems to fuel your eCommerce. Please note that CMS’s like WordPress and Joomla, although not entirely focused on eCommerce, they offer effective plugins to take care of your basic and intermediate level needs.

Business Catalyst


Business Catalyst allows you to build typical eCommerce web sites that range from small to medium sizes. Once you sign up you’ll get a hosted eCommerce application that provides you with a dedicated content management system (CMS) that has the power to jumpstart blogs, shopping carts, and forums. You’ll also be greeted with easy to understand analytics that let you track web site visits and customer activity. The user interface is simple and concise. Business Catalyst not only helps build your online store, but it manages it as well. BC is a full-featured hosted application that offers great support over the phone, email, or live chat.



Magento is classified as an open source eCommerce platform that eases the flow between design and online sales. Magento is one of the fastest growing eCommerce solutions in the market, and with their long list of features it’s not hard to see why. Magento likes to out-smart other content management systems for eCommerce by providing excellent options to grow your site. Magento is a very flexible eCommerce platform that lets you Manage multiple websites, integrate Google Website Optimizer and over 50 payment gateways.



PrestaShop is a free, open source eCommerce platform that delivers a wide variety of features such as the full control of your inventory, orders, shipping and tracking, allowing you to manage your business in real-time. This eCommerce platform has a WYSIWYG editing tool for your products and the managing of images. Your online store can be customized at any time, accept PayPal payments, and manage customer based subscriptions. PrestaShop can send payments directly to your bank account, or your PayPal account.



Open cart’s admin area has a well designed user interface that simplifies the process of tweaking your site. When you first begin using this eCommerce platform you’re given a customizable layout that gives your products an adequate amount of “breathing room”. OpenCart lets you take full control of your shipping features and the ability to take coupons. You can use coupon codes for your existing customers as incentives. Open Cart is ideal for small to medium sized businesses that are looking for flexibility and the power of useful tools at their fingertips.



osCSS is simply a php eCommerce shopping application that’s built on the oscommerce GPL code. It’s available for a free download and distribution. This version complies with current web standards by using XHTML 1.1 as the mark-up language. You’ll have full take on how to display your products and the way they will be shipped. Although osCSS isn’t the most popular or powerful eCommerce CMS, it sure does get the job done.

If we’ve missed any important ones, please share it with us!



    1. Mark Host Reply

      Shopify should be on this list if only for honorable mentions. I have used all of these, and Shopify, in my opinion, is better than all of them, except GoodBerry (Business Catalyst).

      Also, it’s getting better every day because its a software-as-a-service application. So none of the normal costs of maintenance and security are ever a problem.

  1. Igor Reply

    Great article, thank you very much.
    I’ve tried most of these services and all looks really fine.

    However I should admin that sometimes it just doesn’t include form builder stuff which allows me to create online orders, contact forms etc. So I’m extending my sites with http://www.mytaskhelper.com it allows to create and integrate both form and database widgets to my e-commerce sites.
    Combining scalability of mytaskhelper.com and CMS for e-commerce makes my business grow!

    Hope you will find it useful too.


  2. vlado Reply

    hm – what about OS Commerce – I think this is the most widely used e-commerce over the net. I don;t say that it is good, but it is definitely most popular.
    Or Zen Cart?

  3. Digital-Landscape Reply

    I think it’s worth mentioning Joomla with Virtuemart. Primarily suitable for small businesses it’s flexible and powerful (and Free!). Yes, Joomla is a bit idiosincratic to use, but most people can ‘get it’ if given the right training.

    Magento is excellent, I’ve been in volved with a couple of Magento projects in the last 6 months and it is excellent. Strong stable and easy to use. It’s well worth noting though, that because of the datbase model used in Magento (part of what gives it it’s immense flexibility) the server requirements are quite high, particularly for busy shops, don’t expect to be able to host it on a $20 per month budget server if you have anything else on there. However that’s a minor inconvenience. It would definately get my vonte for someone wanting a the highest quality eCommerce solution out-of-the-box.

    Thanks for the list, I’ll be checking out the others when I have time πŸ˜€

  4. coja1 Reply

    I agree that OS Commerce should be on the list purely for the fact that it is’s so popular.

    I’ve built a project on Magento recently — while it’s certainly feature rich the learning curve for devs is STEEEEP, and there is a serious lack of developer documentation.

  5. magento expert Reply

    well we are biased towards magento because we think its great, but we have tried quite a few other systems to come to that decision.

    the admin system is very comprehensive and easy to use, quick to integrate to various payment systems, paypal and google checkout although we usually combine it with wordpress to allow the client easier management of the content on generic pages.

  6. Jason Reply

    I have used both ASPDotNetStoreFront and Volusion and found them to be very successful. To be fair, each is a storefront that includes a CMS, so the eCommerce bit is baked in.

  7. commenter Reply

    Why is it so hard to find good lists without all open source options? Someone needs to make a list of some pro paid CMS’s.

  8. Simpixelated Reply

    While highlighting some lesser-known options is great, it would be nice if these kind of articles went a lot more in depth with each cart, so that readers might be able to make a more educated choice for the next project. I would love to see feature-comparisons, major drawbacks, or just anything more than a one paragraph description that might as well have been copied from the product’s website.

  9. Claude LaBadie Reply

    Thank you for this great short, to the point and well written analysis. In all a valuable source of information.
    We use many open source solutions regularly but rarely take the time to write such useful rundown.

  10. Francisco Carle Reply

    Nice selection, but I think you missed a great ecommerce cms: Bootic.
    It has a lot of style, is clean and it’s easy to admin and to use. You have to check it out on your list!

  11. Giggity Reply

    @Jason we are currently using Volusion now and are really happy with it overall and its CMS. We didn’t have the programming resources, both human and financial, to mess with an open source solution. After going with Volusion we’ve been able to really control our site design and use all the functionality.

  12. Magento Manchester Reply

    I’d have to give my vote to Magento, it really is a beautiful platform. The learning curve (as already noted) can be very steep, but I think that’s just because we’ve been used to systems built ‘the wrong way’ whereas Magento really takes the whole design, layout, content separation thing to a new level. I’ve started wondering how we ever got by without it!

  13. Xcellence IT Reply


    I think OS Commerce, and Zen Cart should be on list..

    Nop Commerce is a also a great option built on asp.net….

    But, i want to try my hands either on opencart or Prestashop? Both look promising.

    Xcellence IT

  14. Noel Wiggins Reply

    I have recently designed an Ecommerce site with pinnacle cart, a randomly selected Ecommerce solution. and at first it looked like a great solution for a fully customized site, but boy does it have problems, it can’t be upgraded without rebuilding every single aspect of the design and doesn’t seem to be able to add google analytics tracking code?…

    I can’t wait to look into these alternatives.

    Thanks and Regards

    Noel for Nopun.com
    a graphic design studio

  15. Adam Hermsdorfer Reply

    Interesting selections. There are so many carts out there. I noticed that Business Catalyst doesn’t have pricing on their site. My guess is that its a premium subscription. I’ve really liked shopify and volusion for the past couple of carts that we’ve whipped out.

  16. Website Design Worthing Reply

    Many thanks for taking the time to put this together Joel. Have tried Zencart, OS Commerce, dabbled in Magento (which is awesome), my current ecommerce of choice is Ubercart. Heard some great things about Business Catalyst (was previously called GoodBarry before it was bought out by Adobe). PrestaShop is a new one for me.


  17. DJ Lesniak Reply

    As a Business Catalyst partner, I’m not sure about the live chat and phone support mention but they do have email support. It’s not instant but they usually have a fix the first or second time. It really is a self-sustaining solution in that you need to be able to support yourself. They have a good community of developers and with the Adobe buyout I’m sure we’ll see some really good updates in the future.

    It’s a solid platform built on .NET and is really geared toward the web designer that has a good understanding of HTML/CSS and Javascript.

    The e-commerce module isn’t as powerful as Magento or other dedicated e-commerce solutions but it does work well enough to sell products and does a great job of keeping the website branding in tact.

    You do need to sign up through a partner so if anyone is interested, give me a shout and I’ll set you up with a demo.

  18. Lucian Reply

    Cs-carr as a paid solution should be mentioned. Great when you deal with multilanguage websites and almost that powerful like magento but easier to skin.

  19. Colin Hall Reply

    I’ve used Open Cart and it’s not bad at all. I was sceptical to begin with, but no nasty shocks, everything was smooth and the interface is very intuitive.

  20. balendra Reply

    osCommerce – this one of the oldest free e-commerce apps that offer several marketing options and supports most of the payment system. This multilingual and SEO friendly app works with PHP/MySQL.

  21. Barbara Reply

    Business Catalyst DOES NOT offer phone support. That’s one of their biggest problems, considering the amount of bugs they have. I have been a reseller since before it was acquired by Adobe and now I am moving my clients to different platforms. They surely have a good product but it’s far from being what they say it is.

    Customer support is just awful. Since there is no phone support you have to wait 2 – 3 days for someone to reply to a ticket.

  22. Joris Reply

    Since I had my share of problems with several of the packages mentioned above (and others as well), I try do to better with our own hosted solution http://www.solidshops.com. I’m a web designer myself and know what the pitfalls are when implementing e-commerce for clients. Magento is cool, but overly complex for my clients to use. Give SolidShops a try if you’re looking for a hosted solution and if you want 100% customizable templates. My two cents.

  23. Dan Reply

    Great article, thank you for your labor.

    It would be interesting to consider separately the Open Source and SaaS solutions.

    We are using for all of our projects Zend Framework – free and reliable (framework from Zend company, creator of the PHP language).

    Best ecommerce CMS (based on ZF):
    Magento (http://www.magentocommerce.com) – leading CMS, very powerful, but very slowly and heavy demands for servers
    Digitalus CMS (http://digitaluscms.com) – not bad CMS
    Cute CMS (http://cutecms.org/) – light and flexible platform that can be adapted to a wide range of sites

  24. Zeidan Reply

    Great listing of e-commerce solutions. It is nice to find a list like this so I do not have to go working for some of these for e-commerce web sites.

  25. FreeFuelForever Reply

    I have set up sites with prestashop, ubercart and drupal commerce. Anyone wanting to use a shop out of the box, know nothing, customize nothing, Prestashop installed on your web with Fantastico or some other installer allows you to just start posting your shop up online. Simple, and little learning. Prestashop offers a fixed set of features, and if those are enough for you, great.

    Now, drupal (with ubercart or commerce) is a completely different animal from these other carts that are just scripts. You have to go and do some programming to add a new feature if Prestashop does not have it. In drupal you can just install another module, if someone has been kind enough to make what you want.

    This is a fundamental difference: Prestashop can set up in minutes by someone who knows nothing, but the features are fixed unless you are a programmer. Drupal could set up in minutes as well, but it took a few hours for me to learn how the content management system works. Once you learn how to use drupal, though, you can program nothing and know nothing, yet add any number of features to your site using modules that thousands of other people wrote.

    Ubercart has more modules available than commerce and is easier to use. Drupal Commerce allows more flexibility,which is lost on most of us.

  26. Steve Reply

    We use Teleriks Sitefinity (http://www.sitefinity.com) almost exclusively.

    Its a fantastic user friendly drag\drop CMS (killer looking UI too)…and backed by crazy great support.

    My problem with the OpenSource options is support. You have to post to tons of forums and pray for a response…plop 1 ticket to telerik and 24 hours later you have a quality response and a code snippet πŸ™‚

  27. usere gan Reply

    Is there an eCommerce system I can buy and not rent?

    It will be for a small site.
    We need a email= username/ unique password generator,
    site security,
    simple list of product names, images and costs.
    email notification for the shipper,
    and eventually link to a Online Payment Processor with the client hasn’t decided on yet. (I can handle this)

    We need to host and not rent, and no third-party database, except the Online Payment Processor

    PrestaShop has a self-hosted version, but does i communicate with it’s (third-party) database?


  28. Hemang Rindani Reply

    Nice article with the briefs about various e-commerce CMSs. Agree that Magento is a fast growing ecommerce CMS provider however, I am not quite convinced with the other platforms specially while talking about top – 5 platforms supporting ecommerce. I feel that WooCommerce and Shopify are CMSs that must be featured in this article. I will tell you why.
    Shopify is for the businesses that are willing to reach next level. With secure hosting and a streamlined backend admin area, Shopify makes the setup and operations of ecommerce store fast and easy. It allows you to create product catalogues, organize SKU’s, Post blogs and manage all the content on the site. Trustworthy online payment options is another area where Shopify firms its place as top ecommerce CMS.
    Talking about WooCommerce, it is powerful open-source ecommerce platform that allows a business to sell anything, beautifully. There are number of extensions designed to collaborate with Woocommerce adding remarkable value to online sites. Payment gateways are core for any website and Woocommerce’ support for tools like Simplify, Amazon Payment, payfast and taxamo are good alternatives. Ability to allow users to Login through social media accounts is another important aspect that help in enhancing user experience. Inventory and product management are the other crucial factors that Woocommerce provides for an ecommerce store.
    Along With Magento, I feel these two Ecommerce Content Management systems form a good bet for being the top Contenders for developing and managing online stores.

  29. homer83 Reply

    Hello, just to let you know that osCSS made a big move and is now more friendly and includes responsive features. You should have a look and maybe update this page πŸ˜‰

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