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OpenCart is yet another free, open source e-commerce solution for the typical user. When you search for “OpenCart” on Google, you will be surprised by what comes up. The first result is under the domain, which is not the one we will test because it is proprietary. The correct OpenCart is the second entry:

If you missed our previous posts, we are scoring six different e-commerce platforms based on web performance. We continue our e-commerce benchmarking series by giving you a glimpse of OpenCart by scoring it against the same standards as our Magento store in the first blog post.


The installation of OpenCart was more difficult than I anticipated. I ran into issues right at the end of OpenCart setup phase. For a typical PHP site, you get an indication that your installation was successful. I received no indication of a success or failure.
All I was given was the dreaded browser white screen with no PHP errors shown.

After a few more installation attempts and looking through the Apache error logs, I found out what was missing. There was a function in the php-mbstring package that was missing from the server. Once that issue was resolved, I could proceed to checking out the live demo store.

The OpenCart Demo Store

OpenCart’s demo store is easy on the eyes like WooCommerce’s demo store. There is an immediate and modern appeal to the out-of-the-box sample store and theme. Funny, as this also isn’t the first time there’s been a Galaxy S tab in a sample store. I created a customer account to generate the scripts necessary for testing. Afterwards, it was time to load test the store.

Testing Phase

OpenCart Test #1
OpenCart Test #2
OpenCart Test #3

Test Results for all OpenCart load tests (click to expand)

The test selected to score OpenCart turned out to be test #1. It had an average response time of 9.6 seconds and an estimated scalability of 912 concurrent VUsers. WebPageTest results for first load time were dispersed as follows:

  • 1.51 seconds at the 0 minute mark
  • 21.0 seconds at the 30-minute mark
  • 104 seconds at the 55-minute mark

How did these metrics contribute to OpenCart’s score?

OpenCart's Final Score

OpenCart is currently second to last in performance overall. The two culprits that attribute to OpenCart receiving such a low score were the following:

  1. WebPageTest First View loading time average
  2. Estimated Scalability (using the scalability criteria)

I was anticipating for OpenCart to score well because of its design approach, but that was not the case. If you are looking for web performance right out of the box, then OpenCart should not be your choice.

The last testable e-commerce platform is coming up. Check in next week for the final web store, Drupal Commerce, and the web performance winner!

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