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VP-ASP are one of the few ecommerce software vendors that offers both an open source shopping cart and an all-in-one hosted solution.

For newcomers to the ecommerce world, it can be a little confusing trying to decide which type of ecommerce solution suits your business needs and your technical ability.

This blog will explain the difference between VP-ASP’s open source and hosted shopping carts so you can make an informed decision on which solution best suits you.

Hosted Solution (Business Ready Plan)

If you are a small, single owner business just starting out then 9 times out of 10 this is going to be the best option for you.

The Business Ready Plan is a one stop solution, you sign up, pay a flat monthly fee and we provide you with a front store, shopping cart, hosting and support in a ready to go package. All you have to is add your products and you can start selling online.


  • No technical knowledge required
  • You can concentrate on running your business rather than fiddling around with a shopping cart
  • Your store is very unlikely to crash or suffer from security compromises
  • Latest versions and security updates automatically applied


  • Cost - Over time, you will pay more than if you buy the open-source shopping cart outright (but bear in mind you are getting a no hassle solution rather than spending time setting it up yourself and time = money).
  • Less option for customisation – This is no problem if you have a straight forward store selling normal products but if you have a niche business model with unique business rules you will require a customised open source shopping cart. The Business Ready Plans can be customised to a certain extent but stores that require heavy modification would be better using the open source solution.

Disadvantages you would get with other hosted carts that you don’t with VP-ASP’s Hosted Solution:

  • Long Contracts – Other hosted solutions can tie you in for long contracts or charge you exit fees, with the Business Ready Plan there is no minimum contract, you can leave at any time and if you want to take your store with you, you simply purchase the software and take your store with you.
  • Hidden Fees – There are no hidden fees (transaction fees, bandwidth usage etc) with the VP-ASP Hosted Solution unlike other hosted shopping carts. You simply pay the flat monthly fee and nothing more.

Open Source Shopping Cart Software

Open source solutions are generally used by users with technical skills who are confident getting into the back end and playing around with code. That’s not to say that they aren’t suitable for less technical users with the time and willingness to learn however.

Alternatively you can pay a developer to customize the cart for you, if you have the cash up front.


  • The main advantages of using an open source cart is that you have complete control of the design and functionality, the only limitation is your imagination and technical know-how.
  • You own the store – Once you have paid for and set up the cart, the store is yours to keep forever.
  • You can host yourself – If you have your own server you can host your cart yourself and save on hosting fees.


  • Higher set up cost
  • Cost of ongoing support can add up
  • It is up to you to keep on top of latest versions and security updates


The above should hopefully give you a decent idea of which solution is most suitable for you. The Hosted Solution is great for non-technical business owners who want to get up and running with minimum fuss while the open source solution is more suited to those with a background in development, or those who have the cash to pay a developer to customize their shopping cart to match their requirements.

Ready to try out VP-ASP?

Happy Selling!

VPASP Shopping Cart



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