X‑Cart 4 and X‑Cart 5 eCommerce platforms are both feature‑rich and customizable, providing huge opportunities for high‑performing online stores. None of the two has limitations when it comes to the quantity of products, orders, payment transactions, staff and user accounts, etc. Both are lightning fast and handle 500K unique shoppers per day on an average VPS server. And, of course, each has its fans. However, they differ significantly. Here are the basic points:
Setup and Installing New Apps
X‑Cart 5 is way easier to manage comparing to X‑Cart Classic both in terms of navigation and settings in administrator dashboard, which are very intuitive, and addons installation. X‑Cart 5 comes with built‑in extensions marketplace, so you don’t have to waste time googling for the necessary features. Just find them via the store back‑end and enable right away. On the contrary, X‑Cart 4 requires some tech skills from administrator.
Here again X‑Cart 5 beats X‑Cart Classic. In fact, it’s easier to customize X‑Cart 4 as it’s possible to edit any part of code as is, but these customizations make already tricky upgrades even more complicated. Transferring the changes to the upgraded store is almost coding them anew. Whereas, X‑Cart 5 offers virtually unlimited extensibility and customizability due to advanced technologies it’s based on. Customizations in it imply a bit more coding, as each of them is implemented as an addon. But it’s worth it. As said above, such approach keeps upgradability. What is more, transferring these customizations to other X‑Cart 5 stores is easy and they’ll work even if there are other customizations.
X‑Cart 5 comes with a far more user‑friendly Webmaster mode than X‑Cart 4. It allows picking and editing templates, updating text labels, customizing CSS/JS and moving layout blocks right on the storefront. So, minor design changes are even in power of merchants with very basic HTML and CSS knowledge. Combining flat and material design, the latest X‑Cart 5 Crisp White default skin makes your store look really modern. Built on CSS with vertical rhythm and Bootstrap Grid System, this template is a perfect base to easily create your new unique one.
X‑Cart 5 holds all the cards here. Platform upgrades in it surpass those in X‑Cart 4 by far and away. First, they are quick, taking just a few clicks and simple actions. Second, flexible modular architecture makes it possible to customize absolutely everything and still keep upgradability. And finally, wave approach ensures trouble‑free and stable upgrades for merchants.
Platform Maintenance and Development
We keep maintaining X‑Cart Classic and will do it as long as our customers need it. However, it’s X‑Cart 5 that can boast modern technologies, intensive growth and huge variety of addons by X‑Cart team and partners. While new X‑Cart Classic versions come mainly with bug‑fixes and security updates, major X‑Cart 5 releases are also replete with new tools and integrations.
Marketing and Sales
In contrast with X‑Cart 4, X‑Cart 5 keeps pace with the latest marketing trends and tricks, constantly expanding its toolkit to boost your sales. Of course, if you’re a developer, you can code your own tool or integration, if it is missing. However, with X‑Cart 5 it’s easier to achieve. Say, its REST API addon greatly simplifies the integration of your store with 3rd party services.
For SEO, the two platforms demonstrate almost the same efficiency, providing advanced tools to gain high rankings in search results. X‑Cart 5, though, has got a more convenient interface for managing SEO settings as they are located in a separate section in the store back‑end. Also, to the difference with X‑Cart 4, it has a better structure of product URLs. Thus, its subcategory path includes all parents categories and subcategories names. It is good for SEO, as the URLs contain additional keywords and it helps the search engines to categorize your content.
International and Multilingual Support
Both work for international sales, but X‑Cart 5 has a slight edge over, as it supports English, Dutch, French, German, Russian, Chinese languages out‑of‑the‑box and offers a handy tool to translate your store to other languages. X‑Cart 4 is available only in English. Yet it’s also possible to translate it to other languages.
Indeed, both are fully ready to please your mobile visitors. Still, X‑Cart 5 is ahead with its five fully responsive default skins as opposed to only two in X‑Cart 4. If you choose to go with other default X‑Cart 4 skins, you can still be mobile‑friendly, however a paid addon is necessary.