Based on Joomla MVC framework with all its advantage:
- Template overriding,
- Implementation of Joomla Plugins for: payment, shipment, coupons, calculation rules, custom product fields, ...
- Simple installation and integration of other joomla extensions.
- Joomla 2.5 ACL
- nested categories
- with meta tags for seo
- with description and media
- with meta tags for seo
- short and long description
- dimensions (weight, size)
- multiple media
- variants, attributes
- unlimited child products and derivated levels
- product pattern (Parent product used as pattern for child products)
- related products
- reviews and ratings
- pricing depending by shoppergroups
- price display depending by shoppergroups
- payment/shipment depending by shoppergroups
- customizable shopper input form
- input form depended on registration, checkout or shipment
- default Bill-to and Ship-to address
- default payment and shipment method
- stock warning
- virtual stock (ordered but not finally bought)
- various type of prices to display depended by shoppergroup
- prices adjusted by shopper choosen currency
- different currency format per currency
- unit price
- quantity based pricing
REAL MULTI CURRENCY
- auto updating rates
- add your own currencies for fixed currency rates
- default SEF/SEO integrated
- discounts based on time, category, shoppergroup, country, and state
- tax based on time, category, shoppergroup, country, and state
- discounts, tax per product and/or order
- discounts, tax have their own currencies (for duties)
- based on plugins: PayPal, Authorize.net, PayZen, Systempay, Moneybookers, Klarna and Klarna Checkout, Heidelpay, Sofort and Sofort iDeal
- minimal amount / maximal amount to use a payment
- transaction fees
- by countries
- by shopper groups
- based on plugins
- by shopper groups
- by countries
- guest checkout; completly anonymous checkout
- option to register at begin of checkout
- cart is an object, competly overridable by template
- cart is stored in the session
- multi-page checkout
- one page checkout
- payment/shipment workflow
- order tracking for anonymous users
- order editing
- pdf invoice, delivery note
- topten (most sold)
- native with joomla 1.7
- with extra joomla components (joomfish) for joomla 1.5
MARKETING PROMOTION AND TOOLS
- coupon handling
- recommend a product to friend link
- mail to shoppers who bought the product
- debugging tool
Unfortunately a complete lack of direction and leadership of the project has crippled it into an extremely complicated, buggy and hard-to-use extension.
It's plethora of features are terribly organized and difficult to gain control over.
I've installed and configured Virtuemart for nearly 2 years now on 10+ websites, and I am still today pulling my hair out trying to get it to do what it should. There are a great many instances of templating headaches and bugs, which make using Virtuemart bittersweet. There certainly is no better FULL solution for eCommerce, but these problems must be tolerated to use it.
One great example of this is tax calculation. On my most of the stores I've configured, I need to disable taxes calculation altogether. There are no less than 4 places in the configuration that pertain to taxes, and only ONE of them is under the "TAX" settings. Virtuemart comes setup to automatically calculate 9% tax on every product. Turning that off is a nightmare if you don't know what you're doing. There's a setting on each product listing, that says "Which tax rate do you want to use." If you set that to "NONE" it still calculates tax anyway. Completely disabling taxes in the Global Configuration page does not stop Virtuemart from adding tax to your products either. At this point, I went right into the TAX rate settings and completely DELETED all tax rate profiles so that Virtuemart had NO Tax rate data to refer to. This ALSO does not prevent tax calculation. All of my products were still displaying taxed prices. Finally after poking around in the user group settings for other reasons, I stumbled across a checkbox under user groups that says "Display taxed prices for this group." I unchecked it and Viola! The prices for my products are now untaxed. This is just one example of the many problems I faced during my many experiences using Virtuemart
Configuring settings should not be this difficult.
Couple that with the fact that Virtuemart is completely unsupported (because it's free.) this is an extension that is a nightmare even for seasoned Joomla operators.
There are support forums, but they are completely ignored by any official staff, and for every problem you need a solution for you'll find 500 unanswered questions posted if you search the forum, and if you're lucky, 1 in that 500 will be answered by another user.
Overall, Virtuemart will get the job done extremely well, if you hold it's hand the entire way. Meanwhile, I'm waiting for someone to come along and make it obsolete.
I had an issue with shipping costs that had to be solved by a programmer aside of the project, sadly this is the case for many others.
I find really ironic how people claim their forum is alive... in a sense is true. Is alive for the 2000 bugs and questions only solved by users, you will be lucky if you get an answer from any of their team.
The best thing about this component is that it's free, and thats the only reason why ill give and excellent score. If you try its modern competitors you will realise how much the spirit of open and free license has fallen to the ground and how some try to make profit from a source that was made free to help people build websites.
The reason why Virtuemart is not appropriate for actual businesses, is that it requires the user to enter personal information before they can see the price with shipping and tax. This will lead to a high cart abandonment rate, because chances are the competition doesn't require this, and you will lose the order to them. Check the forums and the problem is often mentioned, except by the developers.
So, the good points. Its outstanding once working. It does everything you need plus more! good level of support.
Bad points. Its not the easiest of extentions to configure and get working. Installer does not work so a manual install was done (not easy).
Conclusion. Only for the experianced of joomla admins to set up. I would (and do) use this but only if my client requires its features.
Another reviewer elsewhere used the words 'has started to show signs of age' and I concur with that conclusion.
If you are starting a new project from scratch like me there are better options out there.
Luckily, since virtuemart has been out for a while all of the bugs were listed on their website forums. With a little seaching I was able to correct all my issues and even got paypal payments working.
I also wanted to add google checkout, but I had to buy another plug from a 3rd party because that payment method was not included.
Overall, I am very pleased with virtuemart. It does nearly everything that I needed a shopping cart software to do. Like all things, it might not be what everyone needs, but it was a good choice in my opinion.
To say that this component is buggy is an understatement. I ran into dozens of fields that simply wouldn't work. For example, I couldn't edit any of my User's Details and I couldn't get pricing attributes to ever save. Most times I had just gave up and had to edited the databases manually. Lots of times, the pages wouldn't load properly when I was configuring it, spitting out tons of errors.
Their documentation is actually rather good, but documentation only goes so far. The rest of the time, you need some good support and there simply is no support for this component. All of my threads on their forum went completely unanswered. From what I saw, most threads on their support forum go completely unanswered. They like to point out that their forum for community support, but that community needs to be lead by the devs which I didn't see at all.
You may like what this component offers; you might think that this or that feature is a killer that you can only get from this component, but trust me, it's not worth it. Don't even waste your time installing it. Try out some of the other great alternatives.
1. VM it's all hard coded - allot of functions is not possible to change unless you hack the php(requires some advnaced php knowledge)
2. The support on the forums is worthless i rather wold post on some other random forum and i would get more decent help
The other is indeed good coded - it have very nice features but if yo want to only use it out of the box.. it REALLY requires improvements - it lacks flexability.
Unfortunately, the default layout and design of VirtueMart had daunted many potential customers.
Try to to see this
and compare it with
What do you think at first? Everything looks cluttered and primitive without proper organization on the VirtueMart Demo shop. The product listing, image, description, pricing, specifications, reviews and almost all elements are NOT well aligned and structured into a proper display format, but scattering on the page like a dustbin.
Bear in mind, the 1st impression is very important and many customers don't like extensive layout redesign from the default. Once they look at the pathetic VirtueMart Demo shop, their confidences had been fully devastated with a stereotype that VirtueMart can be any better than opencart, tomatocart and prestashop.
What's more, Ikea Shop is just another frustrating example. Most customers will think that Ikea can't even come out a good design with VirtueMart, what can I do with it ?
In fact, OpenCart is still lacking a lot of core features and its popularity and well acceptance lie in its striking and more organized default layout. You don't have to think too much and can simply use the default template with little or no changes at all. The same goes to the TomatoCart and PrestasShop, already presentable after installation.
What about the presentation of VirtueMart by default ? It's just a dustbin or the most ugliest creature which requires extensive cosmetic surgeries before it becomes presentable to the public, honestly.
I'm still figuring out how to make VirtueMart as structured and presentable as the demo shop of opencart, tomatocart and prestashop. Frankly, I'd NOT use VirtueMart if integration with Joomla is not in consideration unless they come out with a more presentable default layout and showcase it on the demo.virtuemart.net.
I noticed reviews about Virtuemart tends to be of the "love it or hate it" kind. Either "it doesn't get any better" or "it's very bad".
I use Virtuemart for many sites and its main advantage is that it works. It has a lot of history and community support, and many people ARE making business with it.
Now, there still is a lot of space for improvement. That is why i won't give it 5 star rating myself. I can only hope that we we will be able to keep improving it.
I plan to use this mostly for downloads and digital usage. So far, the test runs have managed to produce a nice setup. Only problem I am having is getting images to show as I want them, and I maintain that is learning curve, not the software.
Nice job development team. Keep it up!