E-commerce platform osCommerce was created about 20 years ago. This is one of first ecommerce engines. This ecommerce script inspired the creation of many other online store platforms, such as Magento, Opencart, Prestashop and many others.It developed very rapidly the first 10 years, thousands of templates of online stores were created specifically for osCommerce.
According to Builtwith, about 300,000 online stores based on osCommerce were created. There are still 75,000 such sites on the Internet.
However, many improved osCommerce variations have been created, such as VamShop, Zen Cart, xt: Commerce, CRE Loaded, OSC-CMS, oscMAX and others.
Unfortunately, in recent years all of them have died out and from the real alternatives there are only two branches of the improved osCommerce: these are our Solomono osCommerce and Phoenix osCommerce Community Edition.
In this article, of course, we will talk about the fact that the Solomono version is much better :), but we will try to reason objectively and look for our own shortcomings as well.
So, what are, first of all, the unique advantages of the Phoenix Edition?
First of all, this is that it is a completely free version and anyone who wants to create an online store for free can use it.
Both versions use Bootstrap framework (Phoenyx currently supports Bootstrap 4, and Ours supports Bootstrap 3)
Based on previous paragraph, both templates are adapted for mobile devices.
Both support php 7.0 - 7.3.
Now let's move on to disadvantages of osCommerce Phoenix CE:
Although the site is automatically adapted for mobile phones thanks to Bootstrap, but if you open it from a mobile phone and start really using it, it will not be a very convenient experience using this mobile online store. Phoenix store owner will have to completely modify mobile version to make conversions somehow better. And in 2020 this is very important, since more than half buyers of online stores come from mobile devices. An example of Google Analytics statistics from one of our customers store:
Lack of own development team. This means that creator of Phoenix CE can`t independently make design and functional improvements for clients. Therefore, if you need to modify something on your site using Ph CE, you will have to look for freelancers. Yes, they have several "partners", but their pages do not look very good and do not inspire confidence. Would you like to risk your project so that you later find yourself in a hopeless situation? We dont think so.
Lack of an official website, portfolio, developer contacts. You dont know where to ask except forum. This also means in case of bugs or questions, you will have to write some messages to forum and wait until someone helps you (maybe).
Impossibility of easy migration from older osCommerce versions (especially from 2.2), and there are thousands of such stores, and they don’t know what to do next and who would help them.
Lack of SEO-Friendly URLs. In 2020. Yes, it can be screwed up with a special addon, but it should have been out of the box.
Lack of different templates. Once upon a time on template.me.uk were different templates, although in fact they were only different colors of the same template.
Outdated admin panel, which does not differ much from standard osCommerse admin panel and does not support mobile version. This is very inconvenient for store owner nowadays.
Support only php 7+. This means that everyone who has old hosting on php 5.4 or 5.6 will no longer be able to install osCommers Phoenix Edition.
Site speed. Of course, Google PageSpeed Insights shows a lot of points when there are three products on a page. But what will happen to these sites if there are 20,000 products on board?
Total unreadiness for SEO. This is the most important criterion when choosing an online store platform in 2020s. Compared to this, all other criteria are not so important. And Phoenix CE has a lot of problems and shortcomings with this:
lack of SEO-Friendly URLs;
lack of alternates, canonicals, which memans duplicates and their subsequent uncontrolled gluing by Google of thousands of pages;
no meta description at all, no meta tag templates;
the main file for search engines is missing: a robots.txt file, not to mention editing it in the admin panel;
missing sitemap.xml and even html sitemap page;
404 pages are not processed correctly. For example check template.me.uk/phoenix/solo-mono;
there is no way to write additional content: articles, news, texts to describe manufacturers and intersection of attribute categories;
primitiveness of template and in general template system. At least there is no support for multiple templates at the same time on the same store. The inability to edit the blocks of the main page, there is not even a banner slider or product slider. There are no fields for banners.
there is no connection to social networks: like buttons, Facebook or Instagram widgets, google map, etc.
Outdated and unoptimized php code. We will not talk a lot about someone else's code, because this work is undoubtedly worthy of respect, although in our opinion, it is unacceptable in a highly loaded optimized store for such queries to the database as «select p.*, pd.*, m.*…»
Now imagine that you took the free oCommerce Phoenix CE, and then you found (if you lucky) and hired a freelancer to adapt and modify it for you. How much time and money will it take to finish this? Years and thousands of dollars. So isn’t it easier to buy ready-made functionality for $100?
What are the main advantages of Solomono osCommerce over osCommerce Phoenix CE?
Below we provide a list of the most key advantages of Solomono in our opinion, and a little below we will place full functionality comparison table.
Completely ready for SEO. It helps your site to take off immediately after launch (or after migration). You only need to monitor redirects and content of your site. More details here: https://solomono.net/seo.html
Diversity. We have 6 completely different templates for online stores, each of which you can independently edit and change directly in the admin panel, and fully customize the blocks on main page, in the header, in columns and footer!
Really Mobile Friendly templates. A person can intuitively easily place an order in three clicks. This greatly increases behavioral factors, as well as the conversion and finally, sales of your online store.
Full range of services. We have our own development team: we do not abandon the client after the sale, but we help him finish the functionality according to the client’s wishes, modify design if necessary, as well as promote it and help the online store bring real profit to its owner.
Easy and quick migration from old osc version with saving all old links. We will help you transfer the database painlessly and then configure everything correctly.
php 5.4 - 7.3 support. Of course, php 7+ today is must have, but many clients have no way to move forward from php 5.6.
Very convenient, adaptive and understandable administrative panel, which will be understandable to any person who is used to good old osCommerce admin panel.
One Page Checkout - is another huge advantage. Customer enters all his data on one page, and this page does not reload, which significantly increases the conversion and user convenience.
A lot of options for import as well as export, from Excel, CSV, XML. There is an upload to Google Shopping XML, Facebook XML and many others.
Maximum product attributes support: SEO filter, show product attributes directly in product listing, as well as inside the product, image options for products depending on selected attribute.
Social media integration: connecting Google Analytics, support for Enhanced Ecommerce, Facebook Pixel, social authorization, Facebook widgets, Instagram, etc.
Huge emphasis on site speed: a lot of sql queries have been optimized in Solomono osc, as well as automatic compression of all scripts, styles, and pictures in modern formats. This all makes Solomono not only faster than Phoenix CE, but faster than all other ecommerce platforms. More details here: https://solomono.net/advantages-a-104.html
Prospects. Starting cooperate with Solomono, you are working with young, rapidly developing, ambitious team that works on the project every day to improve it, and also supports any wishes of its customers. You may not be afraid that company will gone, that they will not answer you or that there is nowhere to find information: we have a lot of detailed guides on our site, besides this, online consultants work, as well as phone and email support.
Conclusion: if you are an enthusiastic programmer and want to experiment in programming, try yourself, then you will certainly enjoy working with osCommerce Phoenix CE. But if you are an existing or future owner of an online store and for you the main goal is sales and growth of your business, then you better chose Solomono: it will not only save you time, nerves and money, but also make a profit, which actually is the main task of any online store.
Of course, our engine also has flaws and ways to improvement, which is what our team is trying to work constantly to ultimately provide the best service to its customers.
And now a table with a complete list of Solomono osCommerce functionality comparison over osCommerce Phoenix CE: