Joomla Shopping Cart Extensions Compared and Reviewed


Several shopping cart extensions are available to turn a Joomla site into an ecommerce site. No need to use a shopping cart package that is not integrated with the Joomla platform. Many of these shopping cart extensions are available as open source software, and most are easily deployed to the Joomla Site. This Joomla shopping cart comparison will take a look at five of the most popular Joomla shopping cart extensions and provide the potential user with enough information to make an informed decision regarding the shopping cart that best suits their needs.
A Joomla shopping cart package provides a Joomla shopping cart template that is styled with the existing Joomla theme. To perform a Joomla shopping cart review, the five popular shopping carts are examined to determine their best features, as well as those factors that may be lacking in the Joomla shopping cart package. The best Joomla shopping cart is really determined by the needs of the site. With enough information, however, the site administrator may be able to select the best Joomla shopping cart for their particular site and customer base.

Joomla Shopping Cart Review

Simple Caddy (link)

Simple Caddy is perhaps the most popular open source Joomla shopping cart. This very powerful extension allows the administrator to easily deploy the extension and create an online store within minutes. Simple to use and understand, Simple Caddy utilizes the theme and format of the existing Joomla platform. No need to re-apply the theme to the shopping cart pages. This extension is very straightforward to use and easy to administer, and the administrator is able to set up the extension to automatically deposit funds generated from the store directly into a Paypal account. The main advantage of Simple Caddy is that this is the extension that is optimal for Joomla site administrators that want to sell only a few products on their site. Simple Caddy provides ecommerce functionality for selling a few items, without the need to deploy a full featured ecommerce extension and setting up an entire store.

Tienda (link)

Tienda is another popular open source Joomla shopping cart template. Tienda is also easy to deploy and use. However, Tienda must be themed to match the current Joomla site design. Theming is simple, though. Built on the MVC framework, the administrator themes the Tienda shopping cart extension in the same simple way that the Joomla site is themed. One of the major advantages to the Tienda extension is that it provides full online store functionality. Tienda is a complete shopping cart solution with all the features of a complete shopping cart system, such as Zen Cart or OpenCart.

iJoomla DigiStore (link)

The iJoomla DigiStore is not open source software. However, for the $79.95 price, this extension is well worth the money. If selling digital or downloadable goods on the Joomla site, this Joomla shopping cart extension is the optimal choice. This extension is a fully functional ecommerce platform that supports all popular methods of payment and provides easy access once a customer has purchased a digital product. Deliver digital music, documents and other downloadable content easily through this extension. This extension deploys in minutes and does not require a merchant account for processing payments.

AyelShop (link)

AyelShop is yet another popular open source Joomla shopping cart extension that is easy to deploy and use. AyelShop integrates OpenCart with Joomla features to create a complete ecommerce platform. If the Joomla administrator is experienced with OpenCart, this package is the best choice. AyelShop is a full featured, complete online store. The developers of the software literally rewrote the OpenCart package as a Joomla extension to create this shopping cart.

VirtueMart (link)

VirtueMart is another popular and widely used open source Joomla shopping cart template. This extension provides several plug-ins for shipping, payment, custom product fields, payment and rules for calculation. Perhaps the most developed and widely used shopping cart extension for Joomla, VirtueMart is great for site administrators that seek all of the functionality of an ecommerce system, such as Zen Cart, with the integration capabilities of a Joomla extension. Deploying VirtueMart may take some time. As with configuring a fully featured shopping cart package, such as Zen Cart, each category, item, price, shipping rule and custom field must be set up prior to use. Though the administrator will spend a significant amount of time with the initial setup of VirtueMart, this extension provides the widest range of options for those who seek to deploy a complete ecommerce solution that integrates with the Joomla platform.

Joomla Shopping Cart Comparison

Each of the Joomla shopping carts reviewed has its own features that will make each package optimal for just about every given need of the site administrator. For selling digital products, iJoomla DigiStore is the best choice. If the Joomla site administrator seeks to sell one or two ebooks on the site, Simple Caddy would be the best choice. If the site administrator is experienced in working with the OpenCart package, AyelShop would most likely be the best choice. Tienda and VirtueMart provide full featured ecommerce store functionality, but both require significant setup and configuration time.

To select the best Joomla shopping cart for your needs, think about how many items, as well as the type of items that will be sold on the site. Consider the learning curve of the site administrator, should they be required to learn an unfamiliar package. Finally, think about the time required to set up the shopping cart extension, add inventory, configure payment and shipping methods, and creating specials and coupons to offer customers. Once you have examined your specific needs, the Joomla shopping cart best suited for your needs should become apparent.


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