Opencart v expression engine

I am trying to decide between opencart or expression engine for a new ecommerce site for a small business. does anyone have experience with both?

Opencart is a dedicated shopping cart system, whereas ExpressionEngine is an all purpose CMS that you can build any sort of site with.

Design-wise Opencart runs on PHP templates and you’re limited to the output provided by the default install or via addons. ExpressionEngine has it’s own template syntax which is infinitely flexible leaving you free to build how you want.

With Opencart to extend it beyond it’s core functionality you either need to install addons or write your own. ExpressionEngine on the other hand you can write most functionality using it’s native templating system, and for specific functionality you’d reach for an addon, EE full ecommerce modules are addons, most notably the “Store” module which is a generic but flexible cart system and “Cartthrob” which is more like a framework with which you build your own cart system however you want it to work.

I’ve built and worked on 100’s of EE sites so know it pretty well :slight_smile: I have looked at Opencart for some projects but found it too restrictive.

Thanks for the info Blue. In what ways have you found opencart to be too restrictive? And would you know anyone who could give me a quote on EE?

One instance was when we were building a large site that had many different content types, and a bunch of extra sites (domains) that needed to managed from the same content system. From memory we had:

Multiple blogs
Multiple product groups for various purposes, and inside those multiple product types
Store locator
An office + staff directory for about 12 locations
Case studies
Photo/video galleries
Several layers of customer accounts
Trade directory (ie find a expert to help with stuff)
Stockists directory
A small staff intranet
…and lots more

One of the key things is that we needed comprehensive content entry relationship abilities, ie

To relate a blog post to any product, location, staff member, stockist etc
To relate any product to any location, staff member, stockist etc
To relate any stockist to any product, location etc
…ad inifinitum!

We actually did that with just three 3rd party EE addons.

You couldn’t easily do that with Opencart without a seriously vast amount of expensive custom work.

If all you want is a straightforward cart system site then Opencart may be a good fit, it has quite a good reputation for that. is good place to start with EE quotes - I would offer but we’re stacked out with work for the next 6 months :slight_smile:

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