Ecommerce Spot

VirtueMart Review

VirtueMart Review

We all know the importance of choosing the right eCommerce platform for our online business. The success of an eCommerce business lies in selecting the right and eCommerce platform to build an online store. This depends on the price, features, level of customization, support and many factors involved in creating an online store.
There are hundreds of eCommerce platforms and even CMS that can be transformed into an eCommerce website using dedicated eCommerce plug-in. If you are hosting your site using the Joomla content management system and want to convert your site into an eCommerce store, then look no farther than VirtueMart Plugin. Continue reading as we uncover this eCommerce plugin as your eCommerce solution.


What is VirtueMart?

VirtueMart is open-source eCommerce plugin for Joomla content management system. It is slightly different from other shopping carts like Shopify or Big Cartel as it works in conjunction with Joomla. This means it only works on a website that is hosted on Joomla CMS. VirtueMart is a free PHP eCommerce solution which is flexible and customizable to individual need.


Pricing

As noted above, VirtueMart is free, open-source plug-in to download for Joomla but you will need a budget some expenses for operating your online store. This expenses cost will include hosting, security, merchant accounts for order process with a credit card and developer/designer (see why below).


Ease of Use

VirtueMart is relatively easy to use once, flexible and scalable. The new version of VirtueMart user interface is intuitive, the setting buttons are visible and displayed clear from high priority to low. However, if you are not a tech-oriented person, you will need a developer/design to the initial installations and dig deep into the source code to create a unique store for your online business. The new version of VirtueMart version 3.0.18 is compatible with both Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3.


Features

VirtueMart offers an unlimited number of product and category listings. The plug-in provides many out-of-the-box features which include order tracking, various prices and currency, custom attributes, coupon codes, product reviews and ratings, guest checkout, product display (latest, top ten sales, newest, featured, etc.), multilingual, etc.
To receive payment on your VirtueMart store, you will need to use signup for a merchant account. Payment gateways that are included in the system include PayPal, Amazon, Skrill, Authorize.net, cash on delivery, etc. And since it's a PCI compliant, your customers can use the credit card at peace knowing that their data will be kept safe.
VirtueMart offers many third-party extensions of many are heavily priced. But since its plugin for Joomla, you can benefit with 8000 Joomla extensions to increase your website experience.


Customer Support

Open-source software's has zigzag customers support, and VirtueMart is no exception. On VirtueMart "Contact" pages clearly, stipulate that their form is strictly for the business partner purpose and not support. The best place you can get customer support is on their community forum or use their ticketing systems to submit your issues. Other support materials include VirtueMart Documentation and Tutorials. You can also try your luck on their Facebook and Twitter pages.


The bottom line

Even though VirtueMart has its limitations, it is an easy and free way to convert your Joomla website into an eCommerce store. The plugin comes with many out-of-the-box features that help you sell your products online efficiently.
I would recommend VirtueMart to all Joomla users that want to start selling their products online in the short run. If you have the financial investment and want a complete eCommerce platform solution that comes with everything needed for an eCommerce business and don't want to rely on third-party extensions, then there are better platforms available in the market like Shopping Cart Elite, BigCommerce, Volusion, etc.

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