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What things make different Magento vs. X-Cart

Author: Dylan  |  Category: Book Reviews
Published: November 13, 2016

Magento’s powerful marketing, search engine optimization, and catalog-management tools give merchants the power to make eCommerce sites that are tailor to their distinctive business needs. Magento was established in 2001 and has made a recent partnership with eBay that has enhanced its growing community of developers who are constantly improving and creating new features, extensions, and modules.
Magento is one of the newer shopping carts on the block but has already attracted a large following. The coding is based on the latest PHP 5 object oriented coding standards and the Zend framework.

  • Varian the company who backs the cart is very active in updating the code and fixing bugs
  • Multi-Store Capable
  • Nice default template


  • Heavily layered and overly complicated coding style and thousands of files requires a lot of time to learn and do customizations. Estimate about 2 – 5 x more for your budget for customizing it vs. other carts.
  • Right now, the technical documentation is very limited, making it difficult to customize and modify the programming of Magento beyond doing graphical changes.

X-Cart is the provider of PHP shopping cart technology that is PCI DSS compliant. X-Cart is developed and supported by Creative Development, which was started in 2000 and is based out of Russia. X-Cart was introduced in 2001 and is offered by Creative Development along with Lit ecommerce (2003) and Ecwid (2009). X-Cart is a commercial package, but one of the most competitively priced and easy to modify.

  • Commercially supported and has very few if any bugs
  • Uses Smarty Templates system which many programmers like to work with for laying out the web site


  • Licensing fees for system

X-Cart vs. Magento

  • Charges licensing fees for their system.
  • Steep learning curve makes beginner usage difficult.
  • No free, open-source version available.
  • Multi-store support costs extra from X-Cart.
  • Varian is now Magento, Inc. which is now owned by EBay.
  • X-Cart is NOT OOP and is VERY difficult to follow an upgrade path when new releases come out; this was my biggest reason for switching to Magento after having many Clients with X-Cart and spending countless hours just to upgrade a client to the latest X-Cart release.
  • Magento is a very complex system but after spending enough time with it, it starts to make sense why this is the case, and how it’s easy to rapid prototype client requested features without FUBAR’ing the upgrade path.
  • Magento is slow; it uses a huge amount of abstraction layers, ORM, EAV data models to make it easy to extend both on the Client side and Programmers side. This is where X-Cart wins because of its procedural code if speed is your only consideration.
  • Uses Smarty Templates system, which loads slowly when on shared hosting.
  • Smarty templates are just overhead IMO, simply doing PHP wrapped in HTML like Magento does makes sense from a performance stand point, most designers/FEDs are going to have to learn one or the other either way and it doesn’t separate business logic from presentation very well either.

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Author: Dylan

This author has published 12 articles so far.More info about the author is coming soon.

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