X-Cart Ecommerce Software Review

X-Cart Ecommerce

This coming Wednesday, I’ll be joining other local Asheville web developers in reviewing the pros and cons of several popular ecommerce platorms. Those being reviewed include Ecommerce Templates, Shopify, WP Ecommerce, Yahoo! Stores, Drupal Ubercart, X-Cart and VirtueMart for Joomla. Since we’ve been working with X-cart a lot lately, I thought I’d share my notes with the rest of our peers out there.

X-Cart is available in two versions, “Gold” and “Pro”. For most projects, X-Cart Gold will be sufficient. X-Cart Pro includes the ability to run the store as an “ecommerce mall” with multiple vendor accounts and an administrator account.


  • Cost of software – The X-Cart Gold license is $149 and the Pro license is $431.
  • Average cost of setup/customization – The actual cost to get up and running can be significantly more depending on additional costs including design, development, and additional feature addons. A recent quote we received from another X-Cart developer included the license, software installation, a custom design, and a brief tutorial came in just under $4000.

Support & Maintenance

  • Cost of support – Support is NOT included with the purchase of an X-Cart license. They do provide a detailed online manual, knowledge base, and moderated forum, but additional support from X-Cart is only available via their support ticket system. Specific tech support issues are quoted on a case-by-case basis and are billed using points that can be purchase at a rate of roughly $6 per 10 points.
  • Level of support (3/5) – Despite the lack of real-time support, I’ve found their support to be fairly satisfactory. Support tickets are typically answered within 24 hours.
  • Ease of Upgrade (2/5) – I took one look at the published upgrade procedure and knew that it was a bit too ambitious for me personally, so I’ve always opted to have X-Cart support handle that. A recent upgrade cost us 490 points, or $280.


  • Dashboard (3/5) – The administrator dashboard has been cleaned up significantly from previous versions and now features a cleaner tabbed menu across the top. Browse their online demo for a complete tour.

X-Cart Dashboard

  • Can you bring this software into existing site? – Yes, however his would require creating a new X-Cart skin based on the current design.
  • Do you have to bring the site into this software? – Six of one, half-dozen…. It just depends on how you want to look at it. Again, take your current design and chop it up.
  • Ideal for what type of sites/platform? – X-Cart works well for any size ecommerce site. Static pages can easily be created for additional content if you want to use X-Cart as a CMS system or it can be installed on a sub-directory/domain to support a pre-established website.
  • SEO ability (4/5) – With the ability to create completely custom skins in CSS/XHTML, X-Cart is fairly robust for SEO and includes custom meta-tags for categories/products as well as SEF URL’s. I highly recommend the addition of a third-party plugin called CDSEO which provides added features and control.
  • Allow for downloadable products? – Yes, via the eGoods module.
  • Real-time inventory notification? – X-Cart can be configured to track inventory and automatically display an “out of stock” message or remove the product from the catalog when the item is out of stock. A low-limit warning email can also be sent to the site administrator when inventory gets low.
  • Browser speed – Load speed largely depends on how the website’s code, images, and database are optimized.
  • Language – X-Cart is built on the PHP template engine, Smarty.
  • Integration with POS for retailers?
  • Optimization of content for mobile devices?
  • Level of Reporting (3/5) – X-cart’s reporting features leaves a little to be desired, but the shopping cart easily integrates with Google Analytics.

PROS: versatility, stability

CONS: paid support, upgrades


  • Users/Frontend (5/5)
  • Clients/Backend (4/5)
  • Programmers/Backend (3/5)

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