X-Cart (current version 220.127.116.11) – is a PHP shopping cart eCommerce software created to run an online store most easily and effectively. The digital product allows tracking inventory, processing orders, as well as dealing with everything else that’s connected with running an online store. Being the first PHP shopping cart software in the world, X-Cart was launched in 2001. Since then, it has managed to support over 38,000 online stores in as many as 111 countries. All these stores together rake in an annual gross merchandise volume of over $3 billion.
The website builder suggests two products – an open-source platform that requires obtaining a license (a free option is accessible, too) and constructing a store from the ground up then, and a hosted solution that allows one to start building a virtual store at once.
X-Cart is based on PHP/MySQL. Therefore, to use it, you must have at least a basic understanding of this scripting language. If you are interested in this enterprise-level eCommerce solution, we suggest getting deeper into this review.
Ease of Use
Nevertheless, X-Cart gives its users a chance to try out the service entirely for free for 30 days before purchasing a plan. The free trial doesn’t require any credit card details. Once you have signed up, follow the link sent to your email to open your new store. X-Cart will inquire at what stage your eCommerce process is to guide you through the demo store with the use of Onboarding Wizard. Later, you can either save and use the demo site, or delete it to start the website on your own. You will be redirected to the admin page.
The latter is neat and clean with all the tools ready to build your online store. Actually, the built-in tools of X-Cart are definitely more compared to other website-building platforms. For instance, from the Marketing tab, you get access to MailChimp account setup, Facebook and Instagram ads, creating links to email a Buy Button.
When you get to set up your product catalog, you have adequate built-in options. Such files as Excel, CSV, ZIP, or OpenDocument files can be imported to update or build a catalog. If you prefer, you can add your products individually. For this, use membership lists, set the tax class, apply global discounts, track inventory, enter shipping weight, set backorder status, and so much more. You will also find an SEO section with auto-generated meta tags, URLs, and descriptions.
With such an abundance of features that make website creation maximum easy, X-Cart shows how important SEO is for eCommerce. All the functions and elements necessary for creating and running a store, work easily and simply. However, the X-Cart website builder requires some specialized knowledge. If you have some, you will find running that store very user-friendly.
Right after the registration, the user appears on the control panel. All the settings are neatly organized in the left sidebar. Setting up a store is not difficult as long as you know how to. If not, you can as well run the Wizard as it was mentioned above. Overall, it takes several simple steps to release your own website. Just adhere to these simple steps:
- Add new products: X-Cart allows its users to add an unlimited number of physical/digital products to one or several storefronts simultaneously. To add one, just download a respective image, give its description, set the price, and save the changes.
- Company logo: If you want your online store to get distinguished from the rest, X-Cart recommends creating and loading your company logo. The latter can be presented in GIF, JPEG, or PNG formats. Surely, this step is not a must, and you can freely omit it.
- Set the Geo: Most probably you’d like to keep your customer aware of your store location (if it doesn’t operate only online). Here you will get three fields to complete including the country, weight, and currency. The fields can be filled with default values as well.
- Company information: Another important feature that creates reliability among the users about the company is the information it gets on the bottom of the webpage. You should add available and crucial information about your company including the country (the state, too), address, ZIP code, and phone number. So that your brand gets a better online reputation, provide as much information as you can.
- Shipping settings: At this stage, you are to set up the shipping configurations if you plan to deliver your products to customers. Use the control panel to add advanced Tax and Shipping settings if you wish.
- Payment gateways: Apparently, X-Cart supports as many as 120 various payment options available for connecting from the Add-ons. The default payment supported is PayPal. If you wish so, you can enable the phone order option at this stage, too.
- Go live: Now your website is ready for launching. Just do it and enjoy the whole work you have performed on X-Cart.
X-Cart strikes the eye with its plethora of features. Even though not all tools are available at every plan level, those present are useful and highly effective.
On the Dashboard section, you will access the order management to create and edit the admin’s orders. If you search for a way to set parameters for sales, discount volumes, and the Discount Roulette wheel, find the Discounts & Coupons.
X-Cart suggests boosting your newsletters with the use of an integrated email marketing service such as Mailchimp. The eCommerce solution has some amazing options to enhance email marketing. For instance, you can set to distribute abandoned cart emails as reminders to those customers who have pending purchases. Other marketing possibilities you get with X-Cart include setting discounts on certain categories, sharing genuine customer feedback on your site to inspire customer confidence, etc.
The checkout feature splits into several steps. Thanks to the multi-fast lane checkout, the entire buying process appears easy and clear. In the meantime, the one-page checkout efficiently removes friction from the buying process. So, which checkout to select depends on your purposes.
The eCommerce solution offers its users several methods to track their website statistics. Among them are such reliable tools as Mixpanel and Google Analytics. They can assist in turning insights into your website actions and enhance your consumers’ engagement on your virtual store.
If you already have your website running but would like to move the data to X-Cart from the current software, the service is at your disposal. It suggests moving your online store quickly and efficiently with no loss of data and no downtime. Additionally, X-Cart guarantees your site will be available for customers during the entire process of migration.
PCI-DSS Approved Subscriptions
X-Cart suggests an X-Payments solution to enable users to accept phone and delayed orders, install recurring charges for the product line, and enable site visitors to save their payment information to ease future purchases.
If you are constantly busy and search for a way to manage your store right on the go, X-Cart is a great choice. You can access your admin page from your smartphone whether it runs on Android or iOS. Moreover, you can have your own app compatible with both operating systems. X-Cart templates are fully mobile responsive, as well.
X-Cart eCommerce solution comes with all the necessary tools to increase CTR and the business rank through organic search. Using this platform you can hope to get clean URLs, meta descriptions, configurable page titles, sitewide SiteMap, and so forth.
By obtaining some extensions, you will significantly ease your work process on the site, make it more efficient, and boost your sales/orders. For instance, by enabling the Filtered Search, your site visitors will get the chance to narrow down their search results by setting the product attributes.
Another useful add-on is incorporating wholesale pricing to offer different rates to customers depending on your own criteria.
If you want to make your customers always come back for more, offer discounts by dollar amount or percentage in a specific time frame. For this and other discount settings, integrate the Volume Discounts extension.
Overall, there are thousands of add-ons in the searchable marketplace. To spot the one you need, use the search by category or enter its name in the search bar. Among these add-ons, there are both paid and free ones. For instance, X-Cart offers over 70 integrations in the category of Shipping.
X-Cart Website Design and Templates
Overall, X-Cart offers four mobile responsive templates entirely for free. When setting up a new store, X-Cart assigns a white theme that comes with three additional colors and layouts available to switch between. All the free themes are quite decent and beautiful. And yet, for a more professional and impressive look, we’d recommend checking out the X-Cart App store.
X-Cart Customer Support
X-Cart is quite a complex system of website building. And it would definitely be very hard to deal with it but for its customer support. Well realizing all this, the company dedicated several quick and reliable ways of getting in touch with the team of technicians. Here are the available customer support contact forms:
- Message form on the site;
- Book a Call option (free 30-minute consultation is suggested);
- Telephone call – for US dial 1-800-657-7957, for UK dial 0800-048-8862
- Contact through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram social media channels.
The support team of X-Cart is at clients’ full disposal round the clock. They respond quickly and provide immediate solutions to any issues.
However, before dialing the mentioned phone numbers, you’d better check out the Knowledge Base. Though we can’t describe it as exhaustive, you might find it helpful to you depending on your questions or problems.
Furthermore, X-Cart also introduces detailed guides on starting an eCommerce business and re-platforming eCommerce.
Before considering which plan to purchase or what integrations are expedient to add, we’d recommend you to try the free 30-day period. For this, you won’t have to provide any credit card information. Schedule a personal demo to try the platform, see how it works, and then upgrade to make use of all the functions available.
X-Cart also offers a free edition. Yet, you will be obliged to find and pay for your website hosting yourself.
- The Entry-level version of X-Cart, offered for free, offers unlimited accounts for admin and staff, unmetered orders and products, XML sitemap, open-source code, two templates for free + 50 paid ones, drag-and-drop editor, access to new features and bug fixes, etc.
- The Business tier priced at $495, suggests one-year access to software upgrades, all features that the entry-level plan offers + bulk editing, multiple currencies, discount coupons, and wholesale prices, messaging customers, product comparison, filters, two-factor authentication, etc.
- The Multivendor plan that comes at $1,495, involves all the features from the Business plan plus such options as trusted and non-trusted vendors, warehouse operation mode, PayPal adaptive with automatic commissions, transaction history for all vendors, etc.
- The Ultimate price tier costs $5,995 and comes with all the features of the Multivendor plan plus product stickers, recurring payments, wish lists, eBay integration subscription, premium tech support for one year, hosted X-Payments for a year, etc.
Best Hosting for X-Cart
When it comes to hosting, you may find a dilemma – to use one of the suggested hosting plans priced sky-high or outsource the hosting company. To use the VPS or Dedicated hosting by X-Cart, you have to purchase them separately from the eCommerce license. The Starter hosting server, for instance, costs $29.95 per month. It doesn’t provide the same abundance of features at this price as other website hosting companies.
At the same price, for instance, you could obtain the Enhanced VPS hosting plan by Bluehost. It will provide you with 60GB SSD storage, 2 IP addresses, 4GB RAM, cPanel dashboard, 2 TB Bandwidth. The plan doesn’t come with additional rates, as the auto-renewal comes at a regular rate.
Starting an online business or getting your company to branch out on the web can be easy as pie if you get backed with a powerful website builder and efficient shopping cart software. X-Cart can be a great choice, for instance. The service appears to be a grandiose eCommerce platform with a decent amount of functionality and customizability to create and handle a growing business. However, for this, you must just have some technical knowledge and experience. If tech-savvy users will approve this eCommerce store builder, those with no coding skills will find X-Cart too difficult to use.
Overall, X-Cart is a perfect platform especially for eCommerce businesses with its plethora of payment gateways, marketing tools, extensions, SEO tools, developed security features, and other perks. X-Cart gives its users the freedom to establish a storefront that fully meets their requirements.
What might repel users in X-Cart is its high price. So that your site stays up to the constantly evolving standards of the industry, you must get an annual subscription. Moreover, every year, users get to pay up to 50% of the originally paid amount for this.
So, if you expect an expert recommendation on whether to stop your choice on this open-source PHP shopping cart or look further, here it is. X-Cart is a very powerful platform, and it becomes even more efficient paired with the Bluehost web hosting platform.