The state of Joomla! e-commerce in December 2010
After we dove into a bit of history concerning Joomla! e-commerce, lets have a look at Joomla! e-commerce today. What are the new Joomla! e-commerce extensions, and what do Joomla! developers tend to think about them?
Joomla! e-commerce finally took off in 2010, with a few serious extension developers entering the ring with there brand new Joomla! e-commerce extensions, and a few examples are Magebridge, Tienda. The state of Joomla! e-commerce blogs are a series about the developments in the Joomla! e-commerce area.
I personally prefer Joomla! extensions that are open source, GPL, and native to Joomla! 1.5. The extensions in the below list all have these characteristics, except Magebridge (a Joomla! 1.5 bridge for Magento) for which I will make an exception.
I can give you a conclusion up front:
- if you have experience with Virtuemart, and are in a hurry, use Virtuemart
- if you have never worked with any Joomla! shopping cart extension, and have less then 50 products, consider J2Store
- if you have never worked with any Joomla! shopping cart extension, and have between 50 and a few hundred products, consider HikaShop or Virtuemart
- if you have never worked with any Joomla! shopping cart extension, and have hundreds or thousands of products consider Magebridge
I don’t advice using Tienda at the moment, as it’s still a beta version which is receiving very mixed reviews. I can say however, that Tienda will most likely be very interesting once a stable version is released.
In my opinion the most interesting (new) Joomla! shopping carts are the ones listed below. The links point to the Joomla! Extensions Directory, where you can read reviews to get an idea of what others think about these extensions. If I have experience with, or know something about, an extension, I’ll also add it below.
- HikaShop, a popular Joomla! shopping cart. I actually just noticed it in the JED, and its the best rated extension at the moment. So that should be interesting and worth further investigation. I can tell you that the developers where very responsive, when I e-mailed them about a possible integration with cciDEAL Platform.
- Magebridge, a bridge for Magento and Joomla!. If you don’t know Magento, visit their website now and become amazed! It is probably the most powerful e-commerce platform in the world! It can be connected to Joomla! via Magebridge. I have heard good things about the combination, and know that the Magebridge developer, Jisse from Yireo, is very skilled and dedicated. Drawbacks for me personally are the facts that it (Magento) is not native to Joomla!, and that it’s also very complicated. Jisse once told me that Magento should not be considered at all when there are less then 50 products to be sold in a shop.
- Virtuemart 1.5, a full rewrite of Virtuemart, by a new team. It will actually be almost identical to Virtuemart 1.1, but without new features. If it’s completed, it will be very stable, and easier to develop/improve on. Don’t expect any interesting new features from this new Virtuemart version.
- J2Store, a small and simple Joomla! shopping cart. I believe it needs some layout customisation before it can be used on a live site. But it stays a very small and easily to setup Joomla! shopping cart. It has minimal features, and is a nice option when you just have a few products to sell. We do like it, and have developed an iDEAL (Dutch payment method) plugin for it.