What is nopCommerce?
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent worldwide lockdown, have shown businesses across the world the importance of being online. But can everyone afford to be online? Can every business have a fully functional eCommerce website despite the economic slowdown around the world? Absolutely they can through nopCommerce.
Truly free, truly open-source, nopCommerce is one of the best ASP.NET Core based platforms to develop eCommerce websites and similar applications. Backed by a strong community of developers, it is an enterprise-grade platform that lets you make high-quality eCommerce websites and multi-vendor marketplaces.
However, with so many eCommerce platforms out there, how can nopCommerce be any different? For starters, it is absolutely free and truly open-source as opposed to many eCommerce platforms that are quite expensive to subscribe to and maintain.
nopCommerce also allows you to build highly responsive websites that look good and function well on all digital mobile devices. You can develop a high-design, feature-full front-end, and a comprehensive back-end. You also have plug-ins or can develop customized plug-ins. What can’t nopCommerce do? It is a savior for small and mid-level businesses.
What’s nopCommerce Built On?
At the core of nopCommerce are Microsoft technologies. Currently, nopCommerce has been moved on to ASP.NET Core. This framework, just like nopCommerce, is community-based and open-sourced. Though it is relatively new, it is still a strong framework that allows users to make strong, high-functioning web applications, frameworks, and platforms like nopCommerce.
ASP.NET Core allows cross-platform development. Users will be able to develop on popular platforms like Linux, Windows, and Mac opening a world of opportunities and advancements in web applications. ASP.NET Core upgrades in NuGet packages, meaning, when there is a need for an upgrade, the whole framework does not need to get upgraded. Only the related package gets upgraded, making the whole process faster and easier. This feature allows developers to keep nopCommerce on par with the latest developments. This also allows nopCommerce to have the best security and data protection measures in place.
nopCommerce is truly open-source, so users have a high degree of freedom to use multiple software allowing users to go in any direction they want. ASP. NET Core aids in nopCommerce’s open-source nature, and allows each aspect of the architecture to have established platforms and software that can be used to create the application, the business end of the application, and data.
How nopCommerce Moved to .NET Core
nopCommerce started on Web Form, and from version 1.9 to 2.0, the transition from Web Form to MVC took place. Then from versions 3.9 to 4.0, it prepared to move to .NET Core. The keyword here is ‘prepared’. It was not directly moved to .NET Core, but rather, it was made .NET Core ready which helped in the smooth transition. Version 4.1 was compiled to .NET Core and version 4.2 can also run on Linux and Docker. This is the advantage of having a community-based platform. It’s almost run like a democracy with smarter decisions prevailing.
Extensions & Themes
From a small aspect like calculating shipping costs to complicated customer relationship management tools, you have a vast number of plug-ins available to enhance your eCommerce platform. Most of the plug-ins are free, but there are a few paid ones available as well. Same with the themes. There are thousands of themes you can go for based on UI and UX needs. You can also go for paid themes.
Many .NET developers are using nopCommerce as an opportunity to make money providing development services and developing customized themes and plug-ins. Their services are reasonably priced to be affordable for small and mid-sized businesses.
Advantages of nopCommerce
Free – Businesses and customers all love the word ‘free’. But free in the business world also means a lot of terms & conditions. This is not the case with nopCommerce. It is free and you will not have to worry about incurring any expenses to maintain your eCommerce platform. You won’t have to pay any one-time transaction fees. Also, so many features and plug-ins are absolutely freely available in the repository, so there are a lot of things you can do in the ‘free’ realm.
Open Source – Anyone and everyone can use nopCommerce. No licenses, no proprietary software. The source code is freely available. It is adaptable to other software and platforms. It is easily scalable and you can build its performance over time. You will be free from the grip of manufacturer and legacy software dependency. With nopCommerce, you can chart your own course.
Community-based Software – There is a strict community standard of freedom, availability, and clarity that govern nopCommerce. Since all developers have access, they can improve upon the performance, develop features and plug-ins, and share data within the community. This helps nopCommerce advance over time, and everyone from the community can take advantage of this.
For Small & Mid-size Businesses – Small and mid-sized businesses can start their eCommerce business online and scale up over time. nopCommerce also allows them to take advantage of features like easy payment integration, SEO & other marketing tools, order and shipment tracking, warehouse management, latest design trends, and more, without having to spend a lot of money, which could be critical to operations.
For Large Enterprises – Even large enterprises are looking to cut down expenditures and take advantage of nopCommerce. The multi-store and multi-vendor functionality are for them. The eCommerce platforms they create can also be customized to have multiple languages, multiple currencies, regional taxation laws, integration with regional suppliers, and management of international stores. nopCommerce also offers unlimited customizations which most large-scale businesses need.
With open-source software and platforms gaining popularity (for all the right reasons), nopCommerce is set to become one of the most popular platforms for developing eCommerce websites and web applications. And with its increasing compatibility with platforms like Linux, Microsoft, and Mac, the possibilities are innumerable.
INTECH is a trusted nopCommerce technology consulting partner that brings to the table seasoned professionals who have served as prime consultant on many complex and highly visible private and public projects.