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Comparison of FREE chore self-hosted online stores

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You are technologically inclined and you want a small online store without spending too much money? The self-hosted online store may be the solution for you.


In our post introducing the online store platform we saw that there are 2 main types of online store:

  • The host with monthly payments (Shopify, Wix, Bigcommerce),
  • The self-hosted host (WooCommerce, OpenCart, Magento)

In this article, we will talk about the second option, the self-hosted system that allows you to be the owner of your store.


The advantages of a self-hosted solution

  • A store with customized configurations, according to your need.
  • A store with a unique appearance.
  • You can choose the functions(thousand of free plugins are offered by developers)
  • Experiment with no engagement.
  • To sell a few products in an existing website
  • So you can simply own 100% of your store and it’s database


The disadvantages of a self-hosted store

  • Updates have to be done by yourself
  • When there is a problem you have to rely on forums or the help of a specialist
  • It can become costly with the add-on of certain plugins


Starting is simple

  1. You will find a website host. The one you are already using for your main domain will work if they offer free SSL coverage.
  2. Install the software.
  3. Start with the base configuration and install the required features.
  4. And there you go, you are ready to start your online store, just like you would with an independent hosting service.


Choosing the right platform

There are many solutions that are open sourced and free. The most popular one is WooCommerce, a simple plugin that you install on a WordPress website. Almost a million online store use this system throughout the world. OpenCart, a content manager for online stores is equally popular and works well for small stores as well as the larger ones. We will compare these systems to the free options created for Joomla such as Virtuemart, Hikashop and J2store.