nopCommerce Review

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Even though nopCommerce may not be the most well-known ecommerce provider out there, it is one of the best open source options available. Plus, you can download and use it for free as long as you have some knowledge of development.

The high level of customization on nopCommerce can be a benefit for some people, while others may have an interest in something that’s easier to use. Below, we’ll discuss the most important aspects of nopCommerce that users should keep in mind.

nopCommerce logo for Crazy Egg nopCommerce review.

nopCommerce: The Good and the Bad

For 15 years, nopCommerce has continuously grown into a trustworthy ecommerce selling platform for fans of open source software. Here are some of its advantages and disadvantages.

What nopCommerce Is Good At

nopCommerce online course for developers landing page.

Diverse training materials: It can be difficult for novices to learn how to use nopCommerce. But if you have the time, there are multiple training options available.

You can complete a set of online courses to help with different aspects of using nopCommerce, starting at $890.

If you prefer free teaching tools, nopCommerce also offers text-based documentation that you can use to help you complete particular tasks on the open source platform.

Customize your online store: For those who have developing and coding experience, nopCommerce is an ideal choice for creating a customized online store. As an open source software, you can download and change it to meet your needs.

If you have a developer on your team or you want to learn development skills yourself, you can make full use of nopCommerce’s customization options and save money.

nopCommerce forums landing page with a search option.

Strong community support options: nopCommerce does not allow you to access its tech support team for free. However, its open source software package lets end users support each other via online forums where you can provide advice and ask questions.

This kind of community support gives you answers faster than traditional tech support, sometimes in a few hours or less. However, some topics could have little interest among other community members, leaving your question languishing on the forums for a while.

Built-in payment, shipping, and tax calculations: With nopCommerce, you can simplify the user experience on your online store through accurate and automated cost calculations. Some benefits include:

  • Payments: Collect payments through credit cards and debit cards from nearly any issuer and from several countries, even if you need to issue a full or partial refund.
  • Shipping rates: Calculate shipping costs by automatically determining rates based on the customer’s location, or offer discounts like free shipping when the customer order exceeds a certain amount.
  • Tax rates: Set up rules for tax calculations that allow for tax-free products, tax exemptions for certain customers, and local taxes. Or, display prices without taxes.

nopCommerce also lets customers check out with or without creating an account.

nopCommerce Case Studies and Success Stories.

Multiple examples of online stores: nopCommerce has several dozen case studies of online stores available that you can view and compare to your heart’s content.

You can check out these case studies to highlight the best ways to use nopCommerce’s various features and services. If you prefer to learn about tasks by example rather than reading documentation, these case studies are invaluable.

Once you have your nopCommerce online store up and running, you can even submit your own success story to share with others.

nopCommerce’s Potential Drawbacks

Three partner options offered by nopCommerce, including Solution partners, Hosting partners, and Technology partners.

Complex for novices: Unlike some packaged ecommerce solutions, nopCommerce gives users a lot of flexibility in building the online store. For novices, this adds quite a bit of complexity to the process.

We find that people with some development skills often have the best luck with nopCommerce. Otherwise, you may end up paying for the help of experts to guide you along at the beginning.

Even though nopCommerce is free to use, the add-on costs can quickly add up. You may prefer a paid ecommerce package if you need set-up help because it’s easier to use.

Challenging to estimate your cost: nopCommerce has many add-on options that you can use when setting up your online store, making it difficult to know exactly what you’re going to spend to create your store and operate it.

You might think that you can download and operate nopCommerce on a server you already run. However, if you don’t have the necessary development skills, you’ll need help. Then, your costs could rise quickly.

By the time you buy premium support, switch to a hosted option, and hire a nopCommerce design partner, your costs could be several hundred dollars a month. Those who have a specific budget may have better luck going with a competitor’s package.

Two options for nopCommerce premium support services.

Increases in costs for premium tech support: nopCommerce’s premium tech support services are an expensive and additional option. The price isn’t set in stone, either.

It currently costs $499 for a three-month period and $999 for a 12-month period, both $200 higher than they were a few years ago. You don’t have any guarantees that the prices will remain static, and a response only has a guarantee of occurring within one business day.

Some nopCommerce competitors include tech support with your subscription price so you may save more money with one of these packages rather than paying separately.

Limited free themes: Although nopCommerce offers a few dozen free themes that you can use with your online store, they have limitations.

First, nopCommerce has far fewer free themes than its competitors. Without paying, this leaves you with less of a chance of finding the exact design theme you want.

Second, some of nopCommerce’s free themes use older design elements that may make your online store seem dated. Others don’t work well with mobile devices.

nopCommerce Plans and Pricing

nopCommerce getting started landing page.

As an open source option, you can use nopCommerce for free when you manage everything on your own. You can also purchase a few add-on extras at your discretion like customer support or online store help.

We’ll discuss some of your options to use nopCommerce’s add-on features below.

Hosting It Yourself

Because it is open source, you’re allowed to download nopCommerce and host it on your own servers for free. Plus, you can make any changes that you want to the software at no cost.

Keep in mind, you will need to budget for the cost of managing your own server.

Choosing a Hosting Provider

If you aren’t going to use your own server, you can select a hosting provider to operate an online store using nopCommerce itself. It recommends several hosting providers that work seamlessly with its software.

For one of nopCommerce’s providers, you can expect to pay $25 to $75 per month for a basic online store. If you have complex needs or if you are growing fast, you may pay more.

Some hosting providers give you a 30-day free trial period, so you can test them and see if they will meet your online commerce needs. You’ll get customer service and technical support with these services, although some of them charge extra for this type of help.

Pre-installed nopCommerce Hosting

You can also choose a pre-installed nopCommerce hosting account through one of nopCommerce’s partners that will download nopCommerce for you and launch your online store faster at around $45 per month.

By selecting a pre-installed option, you don’t have to worry about technical glitches. The host downloads updates automatically, ensuring you always have the latest version.

Private Cloud Hosting

If you need the highest level of performance and reliability for your nopCommerce online store, a fully managed private cloud host is the way to go.

For at least $250 per month depending on the extra services you select, one of nopCommerce’s partners will develop a customized hosting plan for your ecommerce site with full technical support. You may be able to receive help with site design and consultations, too.

Help With Design Services

nopCommerce design services landing page.

Many of nopCommerce’s partners can help you develop and design your online store, with add-on services like:

  • Web design
  • SEO optimization
  • Usability
  • Installation of nopCommerce
  • Upgrades to nopCommerce
  • Customization

These partners can handle as much or as little of the site design as you want, for at least $300 for basic services. Simply select a partner on the nopCommerce website, describe the project you have in mind, request a quote, and list your budget.

Premium Support Services

As an open source software package, there is no free tech support with nopCommerce.

If you’re an online store operator who is making changes to the open source nopCommerce code, you can purchase tech support from the development team for $499 for a three-month subscription or $999 for one year. Some of the services include:

  • Tech support
  • Answering general usage questions
  • Bug fixing
  • Custom code review

The team will respond to any of your requests within one business day. You can pay the entire subscription at once or by month. There is no discount for paying the full amount up front.

Themes and Extensions

Visit the nopCommerce marketplace to purchase additional themes and extensions that you can use with your online store.

Some themes and extensions are free to download and use, but most of them have a cost associated with them. Costs vary significantly from $5 to over $2,500.

Final Thoughts

nopCommerce homepage.

Because it’s free to download and use, nopCommerce may seem like a welcoming ecommerce option for newcomers. Actually, it’s developers and those with experience using open source software that will have better luck with it.

Competitors with a packaged online store hosting service will be far easier to use for novices who don’t want to pay extra. However, if you need significant customization options for your ecommerce site and you can do the development work yourself, nopCommerce is a solution you can trust.

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