Opencart seven years experience review

I have worked with Windows since 1993. Since 2011 I have used Opencart for my danish webshop selling water filters. I have translated most of the english text into danish. I have spent more than 15.000 hours and therefore I can say: I know something about Opencart, the modules, the extensions, the add-ons, the community, the forum, the marketplace and Daniel Kerr, the founder and owner of Opencart.

Should you start with Opencart as your shopping cart? That really depends:

  1. If you are really skilled computer person with great knowledge of php, html, cPanel and phpMyAdmin OR if you can find such a person/developer/coder to help and support you for maybe many years: YES, then Opencart can be very good. If NOT: stay away ! Don't even consider of testing it. You break your neck.

  2. In 2011 I had fair knowledge about html and css, but could hardly understand php and did NOT want to learn it. I was busy making my shop, doing the danish translation, editing, tweaking, testing add-ons etc. I spent many many years, where my shop was OK. In 2016 I began to really want to make my shop more friendly to the customers and started looking for addons on Opencart Marketplace

  3. The Opencart community called a forum is not a community at all. It is just a smart word. About the Opencart Forum: I have never seen such a forum in my whole life. It is one big mess, hardly any moderators doing their job. Thousands of questions and thousands of replies and you have NO idea, if the replying person knows, that he writes about.

  4. Who is behind Opencart? Well, first of all the owner, Daniel Kerr, never met the man. Company is based in Hong Kong - tax reasons I suppose. I have written with many people in the community and they all tell me, that he is a very strange man. He never listens to feedback etc. It seems he is running a one-man show supported by many people from around the world, especially eastern european countries: iSenseLabs etc.

  5. Daniel has been very clever: He has made a shopping cart, that does the basic things BUT not more. If you want to run a decent shop, you need to buy many addons. And where and how to get those? On the Marketplace, owned and controlled by Opencart (read Daniel Kerr). Every 14 years old schoolboy from Bangladesh or India can offer some code/software and make a little money.

    There is nothing wrong with those 2 countries. I just mention them, because you will see many developers from poor countries (East Asia and eastern Europe - Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania etc.).

    The big problem is: There is NO, I repeat NO control of the addons, if it works or not, if it destroys your shop etc. We have a saying: "Opencart offers more than 13.000 addons and 8 of them work"

  6. How does Opencart make money: The Marketplace. If you sell an addon (called "module", "extension" or "modification") you get "commission" from your sales like this: up to $700 monthly sales: Commission = 50% ♥ from $701 - $849 monthly sales you get 40% ♥ $850 - $999 monthly Commission: 30% ♥ $1,000+ sales monthly Commission:25%. Most people find these rates outrageous, BUT the coders, developers are NOT good in english, most of them come from poor countries. Finally they have found a way to make some money and survive better than their neighbours. They are NOT educated in communicating with other people about doing something together as a group. Western countries have known about workers unions for many years.

    For most of these people this is NOT an option. I actually tried to gather a group of people and was surprised to see, how few of some developers were interested in doing something alternative. Opencart has found a perfect group of coders offering sometimes very good and very cheap addons. I compared the prices of Prestashop addons and Opencart addons. The same addon is much more expensive at Prestashop. I guess - without knowing it - since Prestashop is made by french students, that many coders live in western richer countries.

  7. You may ask me: Why did I choose Opencart in 2011. Among those 6 open source shopping cart I tested - including Prestashop: Opencart was very easy and simple to understand. I just like the design, the logic etc.

  8. Customer Service: This domain name "opencart-customer-service.com" is ironic. Customer service at Opencart does NOT exist in the way, that most of us are used to or expect. If you choose to go with Opencart, always remember: You are basically on your own. If you are lucky you find some good persons to help you.

Michael Maardt, Denmark, oc-video@maardt.dk

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