VirtueMart is an open source e-commerce solution for the Joomla Content Management System (CMS).
It was first created in 2009 by Sören Eberhardt-Biermann, who created an offshoot of the stand-alone phpShop e-commerce suite. This offshoot became what’s now known as VirtueMart.
Today, over 269,000 businesses use VirtueMart. It is designed and developed by a small, dedicated team of developers.
They focus on the Core System. VirtueMart extension sales, which add functionality to the core product, provide the majority of the financial support. Open-source software allows for many contributors to the final product.
Now, I do want to be totally honest in this review, so…
This VirtueMart review has been thoroughly researched with information and testimonials that are available online to anyone in the public. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.
This review will go over VirtueMart to see if it really is the best open source eCommerce solution out there.
And at the end, I’ll answer some of the most often asked questions regarding VirtueMart and open source eCommerce in general.
But most importantly, you’ll see the exact step-bey-step system that many others have used to grow their own successful online business to more than $40,000 a month in passive income.
VirtueMart requires you first to install Joomla. VirtueMart cannot be used as an e-commerce product on its own or in conjunction with Drupal or WordPress.
VirtueMart has two modes of operation: shopping cart or catalog.
VirtueMart’s goal is to be an easy-to-use, full-featured eCommerce platform for beginners and experts. VirtueMart is an extension of Joomla, but VirtueMart itself is extensible.
VirtueMart has no limit on the number of products that you can load into your store. That’s a nice perk. Multiple prices can be assigned to a single product by the scalable cart. Although there are some marketing tools included, I could not find discount codes, gift vouchers, or other tools offered by the competitors. It’s nice that products can also be sorted by top seller, newest and other criteria. It is also possible to checkout with one click.
Below is a list based on how VirtueMart’s configuration menu organizes the features:
Apart from the standard features of an eCommerce platform with a catalog (such as product editing, lists, and categorization), custom fields can be created so that you can quickly populate the information you want to share with your customers. You can also modify the tax and calculation rules to allow users to see prices inclusive of VAT or inclusive of sales taxes, depending on their location.
VirtueMart offers many different features to help you and your customers locate what they are looking for. You can list products and arrange them as you wish. VirtueMart makes categorizing your products easy. You can create as many categories or as few as you want. If all of these options seem overwhelming, you can use the parent products for cloned product listings.
The best thing about online shopping is the ability to read product reviews. Research shows that 88% of people read reviews online before buying. VirtueMart makes it easy to have customers leave reviews and ratings on the products you are selling.
The backend tools allow you to track inventory and keep track of what you have in stock. You can also sell items or order items that have not yet been received. These tools can be used to manage your digital download shop.
VirtueMart backend tools also allow you to manage coupons, order management, and customer management. You can segment your customers with the shopper manager tool. With the policies/rules features, you can show shoppers groups different prices, tax rates, and shipping costs.
VirtueMart has reporting and recording features that allow you to generate records for tax purposes automatically.
VirtueMart has six default order statuses that keep customers updated on orders’ status.
Site owners cannot change the Pending, Shipped, and Shipped statuses. However, they can add or alter any number between them.
VirtueMart provides a variety of features under Manufacturers. These features allow you to associate products with them and provide contact and description information. Although these features are not required, they allow for easy entry of information and can be used to populate multiple products.
You can modify the shop’s display details, including its name, primary and secondary currency, photographs/business logos, terms of services blurbs, etc.
You can change the payment methods you accept and the shipping options you offer your customers.
Access to plugins will also be available that allow you to integrate your shipping process with your online shop easily.
You can customize both the shopping cart as well as the checkout process.
Apart from the standard multi-step checkout process, which requires user registration, there are two options: a guest checkout option or a single-click checkout option.
SSL certificates are a security feature that ensures your customers’ data remains private.
You can choose the countries you will serve and the currencies that you will accept if you are a product with a global audience.
You can request information from your customers using the forms.
The form input fields will vary depending on whether the user registers, checks out, or sets their shipping options.
While they have the opportunity to opt for a non-registration checkout process, registered users can access an address book and set their default ship-to and bill-to addresses.
They also can save payment information for later reference.
You can also manually manage your orders if you need to, such as changing their status or offering refunds.
You can also use VirtueMart in multiple languages. If you’re looking for a way to reach a global audience, VirtueMart might be an option.
The languages that VirtueMart supports are not available as open-source software.
It’s because translators must be available to help translate the code. VirtueMart extension kits can provide additional support in languages other than English.
The Tools section includes the necessary features for developers to set up their stores. You can modify any part of the software suite as an open-source product.
This section is where you would go, although VirtueMart can be used as-is. You can use the tools here to do extensive troubleshooting and make significant modifications to your installation without needing to uninstall and reinstall.
The Extensions Store has a variety of plugins, modules, and templates you can use with VirtueMart’s implementation.
If VirtueMart’s standard features don’t provide what you need, there’s likely an extension that will add the functionality to your store.
VirtueMart extensions are jQuery product images, zoom effects, and bookkeeping apps. VirtueMart offers the option to hire developers through pre-configured blocks.
VirtueMart customers have access to over 190 extensions.
VirtueMart’s Essentials extension is one of their most popular.
It allows users to create wishlists, compare products and view quick details at the click of an icon.
Site owners can generate reports on wishlists with this extension.
VirtueMart is an open-source software which means it’s free.
However, you will still need a budget to cover expenses associated with operating your online store.
You can use the pricing tools to create dynamic pricing, allowing you to charge different groups of customers at various prices.
You can also use dynamic calculators to offer discounts depending on time, product type, shopper groups, country, and state.
This calculator is also helpful for tax calculations and duties/ customs fees.
VirtueMart’s global focus allows you to display prices in different currencies and perform transactions.
VirtueMart can accept payments (with transaction fees) from customers. VirtueMart integrates with PayPal, Amazon Payments, several global banks and offers cash on delivery (COD).
VirtueMart’s SEO features allow you set metadata for your product pages to ensure your store is easily found. It includes the ability to add microdata and rich snippets.
Visit the VirtueMart website to view many examples of VirtueMart-certified stores. These store websites can give you an idea of VirtueMart and inspire you to open your store.
While the SEO tools provided by default are basic, you can easily add extensions to enhance your SEO abilities.
VirtueMart Basic is an open-source program that you can use at no cost.
VirtueMart’s membership model is a better option than straight donations if you want to contribute financially to the project.
You have three options for membership and, as a thank-you gift, will get access to the full e-commerce suite.
VirtueMart’s free basic version is not complete.
Many extensions to enhance functionality cost extra and can be purchased for between $20 and $50. Small business owners may only need a few extensions.
However, this is not prohibitive. If you need to add more features, extensions can be costly.
VirtueMart meets the same system requirements of Joomla. However, VirtueMart recommends a server with PHP 5.3+ support and at least 128 MB RAM. Your server should support MySQL databases.
You can only use VirtueMart if you have your own hosting. VirtueMart suggests that you have a hosting plan already for Joomla. However, if you don’t, VirtueMart recommends using A2 Hosting, Cloud Access, Joomla100, or siteGround for compatible packages.
VirtueMart is open-source software. Support for VirtueMart is restricted to the documentation, public knowledge base, and community forum. This forum allows you to crowdsource answers to your questions as well as implementation ideas.
The VirtueMart Documentation Center offers the following types of documents:
There are multiple community forums serving customers speaking different languages, so if English isn’t your native language, you can find assistance in the language you’d prefer.
VirtueMart gets regular updates to fix bugs, address security issues, add new features, and more.
VirtueMart version 3.2.X is currently stable as of the print time. The X changes regularly to provide more minor fixes.
VirtueMart is a great product. VirtueMart is an extensible product. It allows you to add products to suit the needs of your online stores.
VirtueMart can be difficult to use. However, other options may be more manageable.
VirtueMart is available only to Joomla users.
It’s better to learn a CMS from scratch than to use an all-in-one tool from another vendor if you aren’t familiar with Joomla.
Our review team has come across a program in the real estate industry that is next level!
Although it’s not real estate in the traditional sense, it’s all digital.
Where VirtueMart falls short is in scalability.
You can’t realistically expect to be able to make passive income when you have to watch your store and manage ads all day.
But what if you leverage it?
With this digital real estate program, you can have the ability to completely walk away from the laptop because there is no ad management!
Sound too good to be true? Of course it does! But it isn’t…in fact, business owners wish they had this skill!
All you have to do is build and rank a website and forward the jobs off to a business owner in town, you could even email it to them!
This works for literally any service based business, tree service, plumbing, towing, etc.
How do you get paid and how much?
Simple, after you forward the jobs off to a business owner and he makes some money off of them, you simply ask to make the deal beneficial for each other.
A fair price to charge per lead, depending on the industry is 10-20%…let’s just use the tree service industry for example and go by worst case scenario.
Let’s say you build and rank the site and only 10 jobs a month come in. The average tree service job is anywhere from $500-$2000!
That means at bare minimum you have an asset worth $500 a month!
See why they call it digital real estate now?
That’s a rent payment.
The great thing is how easy it is to scale. You don’t have to answer the phone…all you have to do is get the phone to ring.
Remember VirtueMart and all the small profit margins?
This one actually allows you to collect that without being on the laptop managing a store all day. Truly passive income!
The training program takes making money online to a whole other level. The owner of the program walks you through how to build and rank a site hand in hand, with the occasional voice over when he is sharing his screen.
You will learn the importance of keywords, website name, how to send call notifications via email, backlinking, etc.
Once the training program is completed you will also have access to a Facebook group much better than the VirtueMart group in our opinion. This group is much more active.
Unlike VirtueMart, where you have to run ads all day and worry about getting a $5 profit off a $50 product 1,000 times over…. A business will always want more leads and another job. In fact it doesn’t even matter that the job isn’t coming from their website name…they see it as it is…expanding digital real estate.
Unlike VirtueMart, more people have been able to walk away from their 9-5 job as well.
Digital real estate allows you to have total passive income with most of your day being spent OFF the laptop.
Now, I know you probably have tons of questions… So, check this out to learn more.