The past year has been a roller coaster ride for the economy, but tracking open source e-commerce programs over that same time period shows that online sales are still serious business. Here, we take a look at how programmers with skills for two popular choices in open source e-commerce have been faring on oDesk.
osCommerce has been around a while and there is a very well established and responsive community to offer support. There are also innumerable ‘modules’ to be found on the OS site, which allow for increased customization and osCommerce's simplicity and flexibility means these can be easy to add.
But the appeal of osCommerce is in its ability to be translated and localized into any language. The structure of the site, written in php and using clear definitions, means all the text seen on an osCommerce store is handily stored in reference files which contain only plain text for translation - minimizing the risk of file corruption by a web page translator.
osCommerce has been around a while, but those versed in this area have seen a dramatic increase in job availability over the last year. The number of jobs posted each month requesting knowledge of the platform has risen to over 5 times the number of osCommerce jobs available in July of 2008.
This newer store scores highly for its look and overall features. The backend is well organized and most items of concern are thoroughly covered from the get-go, including re-writable URLs (a must for a well optimized online store).
Magento also has ‘Store View’ which allows online shop keepers the ability to set up multiple stores - with the same products, at different prices, and even in different languages - from a single admin area.
This also means that translating a Magento store is facilitated from within - many language packs are already available, so all the hard-coded static content and navigation (add to basket, subscribe to newsletter, invoices, checkout, etc.) are ready at the click of a button, while keeping the admin area in your native language.
Magento is newer, so it isn't surprising that this area started with fewer jobs posted per month than osCommerce, but has maintained a more steady rate of increase over the past year. The number of jobs posted each month that request a knowledge of Magento has skyrocketed during that time - there are 13 times more jobs available for Magento programmers than there were in July 2008!
For those curious about the specific features of each platform, the folks over at DCKAP have put together a handy chart. But either way you go, online commerce is a rising trend - and serious business!
Had experience with either Magento or osCommerce? Share your perspective in the comments!