much of the contest in our on-line shopping cart review roundup has been aimed at folks new to e-commerce trying to realize their web shop project promptly. X-Cart, however, goes the other way. This solution ( which begins at $ 495 for a life license ) offers most of the bells and whistles of the competition but adds more tractability at the price of comfort of use. That may throw some folks but, if you ‘re not afraid of HTML, then X-Cart could be a great solution—especially for those looking to customize their existing storefronts. Those looking to just start out, however, will probably be better off with our Editors ‘ Choice winners Pinnacle Cart and Shopify .
X-Cart maintains two versions of its software : X-Cart 4 classical and X-Cart 5, with unlike tiers for each number version. I downloaded and installed the free version of X-Cart 5 clientele for this review. I besides stepped through X-Cart ‘s comprehensive Demo site to get a palpate for what is available in X-Cart 4 Classic. Try out all of the versions and consider the unlike pricing packages before making your buy decision .PCMag Logo
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Shopping Cart Packages

One thing to remember about X-Cart ‘s self-hosted software : You are responsible for purchasing from X-Cart ( or a third-party provider ) everything you need to set up the network server VPS is recommended over shared host ), buy and install an SSL certificate, hook up to a payment gateway, and integrate extra services. This might be more influence than you are will to undertake. If you are n’t used to configuring your own web site software, then you may want to consider getting a developer or couturier to help you get astir and running .
X-Cart ‘s price scheme requires a bit of explanation. X-Cart 5 Business and X-Cart 4 Classic are similar to Magento in that you download the software and install it on your server. You pay for a life license and you own the software outright but, remember, the license restricts you to one X-Cart on one web site. For the first year, you get exempt upgrades to new features. After the first year, you need to pay an annual subscription fee, which ranges from $ 99.95 for X-Cart 5 commercial enterprise to $ 5,995 for X-Cart 5 Ultimate to continue receiving upgrades. Do n’t assume you wo n’t need those upgrades—you may want some of those features down the road, and it will cost more to reinstate your plan then. X-Cart home

X-Cart 5 Packages

There is a absolve version of X-Cart 5, which has all of the essential features for getting started with an on-line store, american samoa well as such advanced features as newsletters, social-commerce share, and a sitebuilder for tweaking themes. X-Cart will provide free core upgrades for the dislodge version. It besides includes free extensions such as ShipStation to generate shipping labels, Magic Slideshow to create a slideshow on the site, and Diib Analytics—which provides predictive analytics for your store .
For the paid tiers, X-Cart 5 Business comes in three versions : business, Multivendor, and Ultimate. The Business adaptation ( $ 495 ) offers advanced options such as discount coupons, book discounts, intersection variations, have comparisons, multi-currency corroborate, the ability to edit orders, and two-factor authentication. This interpretation besides has its own set of detached modules, such as the ability to add Previous and Next buttons to intersection pages, to let customers attach or upload files before placing an order, and to generate a Sitemap for the site. The Multivendor version ( $ 1,495 ) lets you set up a single marketplace with multiple vendors using a one check page and centralized order management. Administrators can manage the marketplace to see what each seller is selling arsenic well as track all customer orders. The Ultimate ( $ 5,995 ) adaptation offers even more advanced features, such as abandoned-cart reminders, intersection feeds, loyalty programs, the ability allow customers to call for price, and wishlists. You besides get bounty support .
Remember, X-Cart ‘s self-hosted version may feel expensive, but that ‘s only because it ‘s a erstwhile payment and not a month-to-month tip. Test out the detached adaptation and necessary modules for angstrom long as you like, or download the generous 30-day trial and trial out a specific package. I besides liked the fact that X-Cart offers a 30-day refund .

X-Cart 4 Classic Packages

You may besides want to consider X-Cart 4 Classic, the older version of the software, which is besides available as three different packages. Like X-Cart 5, you pay for the life license upfront. Gold ( $ 195 ), intended for little businesses and startups, comes with basic shopping handcart functionality and such boost features as SEO tools, a Facebook Store app, surveys, and multilingual accompaniment. Like Ecwid ( $ 15.00 at Ecwid ) ( Opens in a new window ), X-Cart offers responsive design, which means the site looks great no matter what device you are using—critically crucial in these mobile-centric days. amber Plus ( $ 395 ), intended for mid-sized and growing businesses, integrates with MailChimp, supports multiple currencies, sends product-notification emails, and supports customer reviews. Platinum ( $ 1,795 ), intended for big businesses and multi-vendor shops, lets you create on-line marketplaces. platinum users besides get one class of premium accompaniment and aid installing the software .
When you look at the prices, getting X-Cart 4 classic alternatively of X-Cart 5 seems like a no-brainer. Why pay so much more when you can do reasonably a lot everything with X-Cart 4 already ? Well, Upgrades are slippery with Classic, since you have to perform them manually via patches ( as opposed to X-Cart 5 ‘s automatic rifle update system ). I would truly only consider X-Cart 4 authoritative if there was a feature I needed that X-Cart 5 does n’t have .
X-Cart 4 Classic is enormously rich in features—thanks to its 14-year history—some of which have not so far been implemented in the newer X-Cart 5. For exemplar, the RMA module, which lets you summons returns and refunds, and Wishlists are both available in X-Cart 4 classic but only as paid extensions in X-Cart 5. Or if you want real-time shipping calculators for DHL or Intershipper, you will need to use X-Cart 4 classical for now. There are besides many third-party extensions and modules that have not yet been ported over to X-Cart 5 ‘s codebase. If you need them, consider X-Cart 4 Classic. On the early hand, Amazon S3 integration is built into X-Cart 5 and offered as a nonrecreational extension for X-Cart 4 Classic, so there are batch of new features in X-Cart 5 that are n’t in Classic, besides .
X-Cart Admin page

X-Cart Hosting

If the intend of managing your own X-Cart software on your web site makes you nervous, then you may want to consider X-Cart Hosting. Hosting makes X-Cart more like Shopify and Pinnacle Cart, as everything is managed for you on a virtual private server and you do n’t have to worry about upgrades and configuration. X-Cart, if installed on your site, does n’t have its own bandwidth or storage restrictions since everything is on your own infrastructure. If you go the host route, you have limits, but they are generous. If you exceed the available bandwidth for your tier, you pay a fee of 30 cents per extra GB .
The Starter design ( $ 29.95 per calendar month ) installs X-Cart on a VPS with 512MB of memory, 1 core processor, 20GB solid-state drive, and 1TB transmit bandwidth. Basic ( $ 49.95 per month ) installs X-Cart on a VPS with 1GB of memory, 1 core central processing unit, 30GB solid-state drive, and 2TB transfer bandwidth. The Standard design ( $ 89.95 per calendar month ) installs X-Cart on a VPS with 2GB of memory, 40GB solid-state drive, and 3TB transfer bandwidth. All three plans rely on a shared SSL security, although you do have the choice to buy your own. There are more advanced plans with X-Cart installed on even more mighty servers. Those plans besides include earphone corroborate. If you already have a store on a unlike supplier, X-Cart will migrate your store for you when you sign up with a host design .
honestly, by the fourth dimension I made sense out of the pricing plans, I was cook to precisely go to Magento, which lets you download the software without sol much confusion. Or to a host plan such as BigCommerce ( $ 15.00 at Ecwid ) ( Opens in a new windowpane ) to get all these promote features without having to deal with self-administration .
X-Cart Product Details

Setting Up an X-Cart Store

Getting started with the self-hosted version of X-Cart is not angstrom childlike as spinning up Ecwid, which lets you set up a memory good by cutting and pasting the allow lines of code into your web site. With X-Cart, you install the software on your Web host, load the browser to log into the application, and then start designing your memory. You need to enter the database data, the location of your web site directory on the server, and other server-specific information. Once it ‘s installed, you go to the administrator partition to log in and manage your shopfront .
X-Cart provides a map of sorts to help you with store apparatus. You use the pre-launch checklist to specify store-specific details, attention deficit disorder products, set up address zones and tax rates, configure ship rules, and set up the payment gateway. It ‘s not ampere slick as what Pinnacle Cart or BigCommerce offer, but it is straightforward and handy. The Store Setup foliate is fairly easy to fill out with the store information, ship details, and requital details. While you can get a shop draft more or less ready within minutes, you should set aside a few hours to get all the back-end systems configured and customized to your needs. The drag-and-drop editor program simplifies the work for editing theme templates in X-Cart 5. The process is a lot more manual of arms than that of X-Cart 4 Classic. If you have an existing shop on a different platform, you can export the product database ( if the have exists ) and import it into X-Cart .
X-Cart Shopping cart
The X-Cart administrator interface is on par for other web site tools such as WordPress. Everything is organized under the leave menu bar, which displays Orders, Catalog, Promotions, Users, Content, Modules, Store Setup, Look & Feel, and System Settings. There is a learning curve to learn where everything is, but it ‘s not a steep one. I felt like, in this respect, at least, X-Cart was much easier than using Magento .
I besides used X-Cart ‘s Demo tool to get a feel for X-Cart 4 Classic ‘s dashboard ( for the Gold Plus plan ). While the interface is more-dated and less-attractive than X-Cart 5 ‘s, everything is organized in more or lessthe same room. alternatively of a left menu pane, all the menus are shown as pill across the top of the page in X-Cart 4 Classic .

User Experience

X-Cart gives you features specific for marketing and search, such as being able to create widgets showing your bestselling products, letting users submit reviews and ratings, and using SEO tools to configure URLs and add metatags. You can create one-page check pages, and set up regulate tracking. There is a real-time transport calculator and an option to include customer reviews and ratings. You can besides add variations such as sizes and colors with the Product Option module. Another thing I like : You can set up multiple administrators then different staff members can securely manage the store without having to parcel passwords. You can integrate with Google Analytics for detail reports and generate a sitemap. Customers can zoom in on images, which is a courteous sport. They can besides drag-and-drop items into the shopping cart, a feature Ecwid besides offers .
Merchants can integrate with MailChimp ( $ 15.00 at Ecwid ) ( Opens in a new window ). Add-ons are available in the X-Cart market. Some of them require you to have a higher-tier license, but most are available for everyone, and some are free .
support for lower levels is limited to FAQs, forums, and a knowledgebase. You can buy a support ticket or use live new world chat. I encountered difficulty getting exist chat—sometimes I got the message that it was unavailable. When I did get person on the chew the fat, I had to wait a few minutes to see each reaction. I do n’t know if it was a network lag ( X-Cart is based in Europe ) or if the representative had to look up the answer before responding to my questions. Either way, I felt like I had to rephrase my interrogate multiple times to get the answer I needed. The FAQs and knowledgebase, ampere well as the wiki, are fantastic. Phone support is not available for lower tiers, which is disappointing. X-Cart is difficult adequate to use that it would have been nice to see more direct patronize options across tiers .
Developers will love working with X-Cart. The party provides the follow services to its customers : design creation and consolidation, migration services, hosting and SSL certificates, customs development with any size project, SEO servicing, system presidency, and security audits. You ‘ll have to discuss price and timelines with X-Cart before taking advantage of these services, but it ‘s nice to know there ‘s person to whom you can turn if you need added help .

Accepting Payments

X-Cart integrates with 122 requital gateways, including PayPal, Authorize.Net, 2Checkout, and Stripe. once you create a merchant bill with the allow payment supplier, you just select the payment gateway in the application, and X-Cart handles the integration. If for whatever reason you selected a gateway X-Cart does n’t support out of the box, you can follow the web site ‘s guide and Help wiki to code a custom extension to connect the gateway yourself. Of path, you have to be comfortable cryptography, or have person who can do it for you, to be able to take advantage of this level of customization .
You can even set up the ability to pay with clientele and personal checks, money orders, and wire transfers. X-Cart besides can be used to process physical, offline transactions. If you have a room to key in or swipe the credit circuit board data, X-Cart can handle the transaction. I like this feature in Shopify, and I ‘m glad to see it in X-Cart, excessively .
X-Cart checkout step2

A Lot of Good, But Not for Everyone

X-Cart has been around for 14 years and it shows. There are a short ton of utilitarian features which can be customized to meet your needs. however, it requires a senior high school charge of technical competence, which may raise the barrier of entrance above what many merchants can manage. Do n’t forget to calculate the server of host, SSL certificate, and merchant account when considering whether the self-hosted translation works for you. The host VPS offer is decidedly an option, but you have to ask yourself whether it makes sense to deal with X-Cart ‘s more-complex organization if there are hosted platforms such as Editors ‘ Choice applications Shopify and Pinnacle Cart, which are army for the liberation of rwanda easier to manage.

X-Cart
4.0

( Opens in a newfangled window )

See It
$ 29.95

at X-Cart

( Opens in a newfangled window )

MSRP $ 29.95
Pros

  • Both hosted and self-install versions available .
  • 30-day complimentary trial .
  • Refunds .
  • detached design .
  • across-the-board features .

View More
Cons

  • Requires manual cryptography and frame-up .
  • might be excessively much to handle for small businesses and startups .

The Bottom Line
X-Cart is aimed chiefly at seasoned e-commerce professionals ascribable to a slightly complex drug user interface when compared to the rival, arsenic well as a necessitate to know HTML coding to get full functionality. If you ‘re HTML-enabled, though, it ‘s well worth a look .

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