Open Source e-Commerce - Magento vs. Ubercart

  • Posted on: 20 April 2008
  • By: Jacob

To my eyes, the most promising open source e-Commerce platforms I've seen lately are Ubercart and Magento. We're actually currently using Ubercart here as I write this, for this very site! Ubercart is actually a module for Drupal (a powerful content managment system). Drupal has another e-Commerce module... Drupal e-Commerce (yes, not very imaginitive, I know), but it's not currently quite as full featured as Ubercart.

Magento seems to be very promising, and is currently released in version 1.0. It seems to be built for one purpose, but does it very well! Selling physical goods. It currently doesn't support selling of digital goods (downloads), but there is word of it supporting digital goods at some point in the future. Ubercart on the other hand, is currently at a very stable 1.0 RC2 phase, but has downloadable goods out of the box! This along with other Drupal features and available modules put Ubercart ahead for some people.

One nice thing about Magento though, is that there are many screencast tutorial videos for it. I haven't seen quite so many video tutorials for Ubercart. Magneto seems to be rather complex to theme, but has a very nice look out of the box. Ubercart on the other hand isn't quite as "pretty" out of the box, but thanks to Drupal, is ultra configurable!

What's your take on Ubercart vs. Magento? Leave some comments and let me know!

Comments

not sure if you are right to compare magento vs ubercart. You could check the world leader in templates and themes - TemplateMonster. they are about to release their magento themes and I've nothing to hear about Ubercart before not a tiny website that are developing themes for them. FYI its almost impossible Ubercart as a rock. IMO

I've been a PHP developer for 10+ years and I've been programming, with various languages, since I was a little kid. There are few applications packages with which, after sitting down with them for a few hours, I can't get a decent understanding. Magento, on the other hand, had me completely baffled on its template system for well over a month. I was never able to get the site we were doing to look the way we wanted and this project ruined my relationship with the designer who hired me to implement it. I haven't looked at Magento in about a year, so they may have improved things. Overall I was very impressed with the product itself, but since most of my clients want highly customized sites, I've seen no reason to try and continue with an app that is needlessly complex to skin.

I've been playing with Ubercart for a couple of projects lately and I am really impressed by it. Once you figure out which modules you need to install to make it work (which is a bit of a pain the first time) it is really easy to get up and running. Plus, since it runs in Drupal, a programmer already familar with Drupal will be able to create custom modules and themes without having to learn a whole new API.

As for the first commenter, you will never see Ubercart themes on any website because Ubercart runs entirely inside of Drupal. You will, on the other hand, see lots of Drupal themes out there because Drupal is a very popular web CMS. Every one of those Drupal themes will work seemlessly with Ubercart.

I'm looking at both for a while now. Currently my Drupal company uses Drupal+Ubercart for ecommerce projects. If I may say so, we do very well. Example: Dekbedovertrek webshop.
The advantage of Drupal is flexibility. In the particular case of Dekbedovertrek webshop whe have had serious issues regarding performance, due to the deep and advanced filtering techniques based on Views (drupal module), that took us several days to speed up performance.

The advantage of Magento, to me, is the lack of bloat, and focus on one goal only. The disadvantage to me is its inflexibility and less modular approach. But from what I have seen available in (commercial) themes and plugins they really stand out from both graphic as functional standpoint. This combination is rare to what's available for Drupal sadly...

I'm very curious how Magento manages to keep up performance with high traffic sites.

I personally think magento is best e-commerce platform and becoming more and more popular with lots of free Magento extensions and themes i really like magento structure.