Magento vs X-Cart

Saw this article today, and haven’t posted up here in awhile, thought I would share the article and my comments (currently pending) here for others as well.


While I agree with most of the article, having used both systems extensively I wanted to share a few of my own personal opinions on X-Cart and Magento.

  • Varian is now Magento, Inc. which is now owned by Ebay.
  • X-Cart is NOT OOP and is VERY difficult to follow an upgrade path when new releases come out, this was my biggest reason for switching to Magento after having many Clients with X-Cart and spending countless hours just to upgrade a client to the latest X-Cart release.
  • Magento is a very complex system (almost overly engineered) but after spending enough time with it, it starts to make sense why this is the case, and how its easy to rapid prototype client requested features without FUBAR’ing the upgrade path.
  • You are also correct on Magento being slow, it uses a huge amount of abstraction layers, ORM, EAV data models to make it easy to extend both on the Client side and Programmers side. This is where I would say X-Cart wins because of its procedural code if speed is your only consideration. However, for example, adding a new multi-option drop down on a product is far more cumbersome in X-Cart than in Magento.
  • I would disagree on the documentation for Magento, there forums aren’t very helpful however StackOverflow and people like Alan Storm, Inchoo, etc. really help in understanding Magento easier.
  • Smarty templates are just overhead IMO, simply doing PHP wrapped in HTML like Magento does makes sense from a performance stand point, most designers/FEDs are going to have to learn one or the other either way and it doesn’t separate business logic from presentation very well either.

Conclusion: I am by no means saying X-Cart is a horrible E-Commerce package, it works very well and has/had served many of my clients well. However if a client doesn’t have many new features, doesn’t care about upgrade paths and wants a cheap reliable hosting that is responsive. X-Cart is the way to go. If you are wanting a robust E-Commerce system that can grow with your business easily, and you have lots of time, money and programming resource at your disposal Magento is the best choice. I know that statement sounds like Magento is just a money/time waster. It is not as your investing in your companies future more so with Magento than, X-Cart. That being said, for small shops that want a similar route to X-Cart now have the Magento Go! option as an affordable SaaS solution to get an E-Commerce store up and running without having hardly any programming, design and/or e-commerce experience.

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3 thoughts on “Magento vs X-Cart”

  1. Hi!nnu00a0nnu00a0nnHave you tried ourn”LiteCommerce 3″ open-source solution that will be used as the codenbase for X-Cart in the future?nnu00a0nnu00a0nnMaking upgrades easiernwas the idea we had when working on LC3. That’s why it has an OOP modularnarchitecture with a built-in upgrade function installing updates for the corenand modules hosted on our server (in “Module Marketplace”).nnu00a0nnMost of the X-Cart upgradesnproblems were caused by hacks to the code and templates made by developersncustomizing shops. That was the only way to customize an X-Cart shop,nunfortunately. The more hacks you had, the harder the upgrade path was.nnu00a0nnTo reduce the numbernof hacks to the LC3 code we strongly recommend all developers to deliver theirnchanges and fixes as LC3 modules.nnu00a0nnWith the “dynamicndecoration” feature in LC3n( LiteCommerce module can extend or replace any class method in the core ornanother module. Moreover, “dynamic decoration” enables modules tonextend the same base class without even knowing about each other.nnu00a0nnAnother great featurenfor module developers is the ability for a LiteCommerce module to modify andninsert new UI elements without hacking template filesn( developer just adds a new template file (or a view class) and declares in itsncomments where the widget is to be inserted in the template tree.nnu00a0nnDoctrine 2 ORMnframework is another thing reducing the number of hacks to the code. SincenDoctrine 2 builds SQL queries on the fly, a LiteCommerce module can alterndatabase queries without knowing the actual SQL strings. So, there is no morencases when a module replaces an SQL query and overwrites changes made to thenquery by another module.nnu00a0nnu00a0nnEasier upgrades werennot the only idea. We believe that a modern e-commerce website is made up ofnmany sections including articles, blog, forums, and so on, not just the catalognand checkout. While many vendors include basic content-management functionsninto their e-commerce solutions, we decided to focus on the e-commerce part andnleave the rest to CMS that can handle it the best way. That’s why LiteCommercenhas a deep integration with Drupal 7 and can operate as a stand-alone solutionnor like an e-commerce module for Drupal. When running LC3 in a connection withnDrupal, you get tons of free content management functions, themes and modulesnfrom the Drupal community, which you can use for faster website development.nnu00a0nnu00a0nnI would be glad tonanswer any questions you may have on LiteCommerce 3!nnu00a0nnu00a0nnBest regards,nnVyacheslav Petrov,nnLC3 team

  2. X-Cart is software that is used worldwide and it is a web-based administrator area and installation wizard that makes maintenance and setup of the shopping cart as easy as possible.

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