WooCommerce vs OpenCart: An eCommerce and SEO Comparison with Key Pros and Cons

Written by: Branko Ilishev
Mar / 18 / 2024

Starting an online eCommerce store isn’t easy, especially when the level of competitiveness is enormous globally. There isn’t a perfect platform you can pick since they all have their pros and cons. 

However, it’s valuable to know that OpenCart and WooCommerce are two of the several top-rated platforms you can use for your eCommerce business. One of the crucial necessities is to use proper eCommerce SEO to achieve the desired results faster. Still, you must first choose for which platform you will implement these SEO benefits.

To find out, let’s see whether OpenCart or WooCommerce is a better choice for your business.

An illustration of a hand purchasing on an online store via a smartphone

WooCommerce vs OpenCart Overview

WooCommerce is an open-source plugin for WordPress that was launched in 2011 designed to turn a site into an online store. It was launched by WooThemes developers and backed by support communities. 

This platform has various robust features and tools that make it highly popular and it delivers an excellent shopping experience. The best proof that it’s one of the most famous platforms is that 6.6 million live websites use it.

On the other hand, OpenCart is an open-source PHP platform that entered the market in 2008. It has overall user-friendliness, and it’s good for small and medium businesses according to its features. There are over 226,000 OpenCart online stores currently.

Let’s begin our comparison by first addressing OpenCart pros.

OpenCart Pros

We will start the OpenCart vs WooCommerce battle by first addressing the OpenCart main pros and cons.

OpenCart uses HTML components and MySQL database, and it’s under the GNU General Public License. OpenCart supports various currencies and languages, and as of May 2016, around 342,000 sites have been using this platform.

It’s highly popular for eCommerce businesses, so let’s start with its advantages.

OpenCart Is Free

The biggest advantage is that this open-source software is entirely free.

OpenCart can be easily modified and customized according to your online business needs. As an eCommerce store owner, you can use the excellent functionalities and features of this eCommerce platform without spending any money because OpenCart is available free of cost.

That’s why we mention this advantage first since most of the top-rated eCommerce platforms and site builders aren’t free; they indeed have excellent features, but most OpenCart rivals don’t have the privilege of being free for business owners.

Multi-Store Management Via A Single Dashboard

Another crucial advantage of this eCommerce platform is that there’s multi-store compatibility.

Managing multiple online stores is often an extremely complex and time-consuming process. In addition, sometimes you can’t avoid having more than one online store because of the need to stay at the top.

But don’t worry; OpenCart provides you with the chance to build multiple eCommerce stores while managing them from a single dashboard. All your necessary activities, such as tracking your sales, customers, and orders, are available from the same section of the site.

Excellent for Small and Medium eCommerce Businesses

OpenCart may not be the perfect solution for a large business, but it’s excellent for small and medium eCommerce businesses, even for beginners.

This online platform is a feature-packed eCommerce platform that provides your shoppers with genuinely accessible store management services. OpenCart is the perfect solution for your services and products if you are a beginner or have a small or medium-sized online business.

No Need for Technical Knowledge

The last advantage is that there’s no need for technical knowledge to use OpenCart, which is a huge advantage.

With the OpenCart CMS online platform, the store admin can concentrate more on the business side. You can still easily manage, add, or edit info on your eCommerce store if you have little or no technical background. 

OpenCart Cons

Since we’ve seen the bright side of using OpenCart, now let’s also see its disadvantages.

It’s Not SEO-Friendly

The essential and most significant disadvantage of OpenCart is that it’s not SEO-friendly, and without SEO strategies, there’s no success in today’s online world.

SEO is one of the vital aspects for eCommerce store success, so OpenCart may lead to a negative outcome. There were various flaws found regarding SEO in the 1.5 to 2.2 versions of this platform, and it’s possible that the same issues will continue in the future.

Not Great for Multilingual Shoppers

Because of OpenCart’s interpretation, this eCommerce platform is not great for multilingual shoppers. 

And this is indeed a challenge for you as a business owner since it’s highly difficult to target multilingual buyers. Therefore, if you have an online eCommerce store that has shoppers from all across the globe with various languages, it’s better to find an alternative to OpenCart since your selling won’t get far.

Performing Changes and Customization Is Hard

Another vital aspect of the WooCommerce vs OpenCart comparison is to mention that making changes and customization in OpenCart is hard.

In fact, it’s more than challenging to make any change in this platform since there’s no efficient Event system. Problems in the core files may occur, and the process being more time-consuming means that it’s not so easy to customize. And we all know that customization and changes are important regarding eCommerce stores. 

However, there have been some improvements with the latest versions.

There were the OpenCart pros and cons, now let’s move on to WooCommerce.

WooCommerce Logo

WooCommerce Pros

Let’s continue our WooCommerce vs OpenCart comparison by addressing the WooCommerce pros.

WooCommerce Is SEO-Friendly

Unlike OpenCart, WooCommerce is SEO-friendly, although to unlock this functionality, you will need the help of an SEO plugin. Nevertheless, the essential thing is that this platform is compatible with SEO practices, which are necessary for success.

With the proper plugin, you will have the chance to conduct all the SEO you need to rank your eCommerce store on Google and other search engines. In addition, you can add structured data, titles, and descriptions to products and category pages, etc. 

Therefore, regarding the WooCommerce vs OpenCart performance, it’s clear that WooCommerce has the advantage because it is SEO-friendly and gives you a chance to rank higher on the SERPs.

Simple Reporting

This eCommerce platform has numerous simple reporting options, which is vital since, without statistics, it isn’t easy to optimize your online business. 


Because you need accurate statistics and figures to do so, WooCommerce’s simple reporting is a perfect way to keep track.

You can monitor your KPIs and your daily performances, while you can also filter reports according to your needs. This eCommerce platform allows filtering by class, revenues by period, brand, and discounts.

WooCommerce Has Multi-Functional Extensions

Regarding the WooCommerce vs OpenCart big store battle, we already mentioned that OpenCart is perfect for small and medium but not for large businesses. In addition, WooCommerce is better here also because of its wide selection of multi-functional extensions.

You have over 750 plugins and other third parties available, having the chance to improve conversion rates, aesthetics, functionality, etc.

This platform has different add-ons, such as anti-fraud, subscription administration, shipping calculations, payment gateways, etc.

WooCommerce Cons

Last but also important, let’s see the disadvantages of WooCommerce.

Complex Update Policy

The biggest downside of WooCommerce is that property testing in the closed test environment is better than instantly updating new releases. This approach is also the solution to the latest releases, and these are the primary reasons.

Your overall online store decor and plugins can be ‘damaged’ because of the update policy since you may experience severe issues because of the abundance of other plugins. In essence, most plugin and theme suppliers are slow according to the update releases.

Not So Fast 

On the one hand, it is big and robust, but on the other hand, WooCommerce is sometimes slower, and speed can be a problem.

It can take up a lot of space with its robust features, but your website may have a slow page loading time. This aspect can become a huge issue since most shoppers will leave your eCommerce store fast; they don’t like to wait too long. 

An even bigger issue is that they will not only leave your store but also go and become your competitor’s customers, which is the worst scenario for your business.

Code Issues

The last aspect of the WooCommerce vs OpenCart battle, which is a disadvantage on the WooCommerce side, is that you will need to hire a professional with tech skills to solve code issues, meaning you’ll need to spend more money.

WooCommerce’s coding issues can provide faults and conflicts on your eCommerce site. You will undoubtedly involve various themes, plugins, and add-ons to make your site look impressive, but the more you add, the bigger the percentage of having code issues that an expert must solve.

WooCommerce vs OpenCart: SEO Comparison

With WooCommerce, you have the advantage of using SEO benefits that WordPress has over other systems. It’s built on SEO-friendly code, and that’s why search engines favor it more than other options. This aspect means that your store will get an SEO advantage just by using this platform. In addition, you can also use various SEO plugins that will further help you rank your WooCommerce site high on Google and other search engines.

OpenCart isn’t nearly as SEO-compatible since it doesn’t have the same SEO-friendly code. Even though you can use optimized URLs for your product pages and store and edit meta details, you must learn a lot more about coding if you want to use more complex SEO functionalities.

Therefore, WooCommerce undoubtedly wins the SEO battle since it delivers many more SEO advantages and functionalities, including the Yoast SEO plugin.

WooCommerce vs OpenCart: Product Management Comparison

WooCommerce has better product management since the overall layout and settings are easier to use, so editing, deleting, and adding a product is much more straightforward. You can also edit multiple products at the same time since you can use the Bulk Edit option, while the Quick Edit option allows you not to move to a separate edit page to make changes.

On the other hand, the OpenCart product management is more complex since to make a simple product you can get confused since you have multiple tabs. Furthermore, there isn’t a Bulk Edit option, so the entire process is a lot more time-consuming.

It’s evident that WooCommerce wins this aspect because its product management is much simpler.

WooCommerce vs OpenCart: Design and Themes Comparison

It’s extremely hard to compete with WooCommerce in this aspect since it has many premium and free themes. Moreover, it has various themes for different types of stores, so you can find a theme no matter what your needs are, which is a significant advantage.

The downside is that after you find the most suitable theme, it can be challenging to install and customize it. It’s great that you have many design options, but you may need help with customization.

With OpenCart, you get a basic design after you install it, and it has various themes available through marketplaces and OpenCart itself. Nevertheless, you might need to have CSS and HTML skills, or even a developer to make the customization.

WooCommerce is definitely a much better option regarding design since it has many more themes to choose from, and it’s easier to use them.

WooCommerce vs OpenCart: Security Comparison

Security is extremely important, and since WooCommerce is based on WordPress, you will need security for both. You can do this by using standard payment gateways and SSL encryption. Aside from safe web hosting, it’s highly valuable to use two-factor authentication.

OpenCart is also a secure option once you combine it with compliant payment gateways and SSL encryption. However, it’s valuable to mention that you shouldn’t use plugins or themes from untrustworthy sellers.

When it comes to security, it’s safe to say that both WooCommerce and OpenCart are secure options.

WooCommerce vs OpenCart: Pricing Comparison

Even though WooCommerce is free to download since it’s a WordPress plugin, this doesn’t mean that creating a store is free since there are some costs you have to pay. You will need to buy a hosting service, which can cost you from $14 a month and more. And even though you can use free extensions and themes, installing premium themes to make your store really attractive to customers can cost you from $30 to $500.

OpenCart will cost you more or less the same since you need a separate hosting provider to install paid extensions and themes, and you might even need a developer to design and configure your store.

Regarding this aspect, it’s a tie because even though both are free to use, there are additional costs that are more or less similar.

WooCommerce vs OpenCart Summary

Here you have the ultimate WooCommerce vs OpenCart comparison with the key pros and cons. The only thing left to do as soon as possible is to pick one over the other, which isn’t so easy when beginning your eCommerce journey.

Also, take a look at these other comparisons to make an in-depth research before you decide which platform best suits your business:

Also, you can check our look on SEO for Weebly to further investigate before you decide which platform is most suitable for you and your business. Nevertheless, a piece of advice would be to pick faster since your local and worldwide competitors are already doing the same thing!


Can I migrate OpenCart to WooCommerce?

You can migrate OpenCart to WooCommerce and export orders, products, customers, taxes, and other aspects In an automated manner. Also, your current OpenCart store will be live during the process.

Is WooCommerce or OpenCart better?

WooCommerce and OpenCart are two entirely different eCommerce platforms. WooCommerce has a steeper learning curve while it offers many themes and modules. OpenCart is excellent for beginners and small to medium-size businesses to make an online account without spending much time.

Is WooCommerce better for SEO than OpenCart?

WooCommerce is much better than OpenCart regarding SEO features that allow you to be free from dealing with technical problems and an easier way to rank higher on the SERPs.

Is OpenCart good for SEO?

OpenCart isn’t very good for and and it’s not SEO-friendly. Although there is an improvement in recent versions, previous ones have shown various flaws regarding SEO, especially the 1.5 to 2.2 versions.

Does WooCommerce have good SEO?

Even though you’ll need an SEO plugin, WooCommerce is SEO-friendly and it’s compatible with SEO practices necessary for ranking high on Google and other search engines.

About the Author

Picture of Branko Ilishev

Branko Ilishev

Branko is your SEO prodigy. He manages the SEO team and finds creative solutions for your online visibility problems by thinking out-of-the-box. He also translates the collected data of analytics into understandable information that gives you concrete insights.