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Virtuemart vs. DJ Catalog2 - comparison of eCommerce for Joomla, part 1

The essence of efficient work with the online store both on the side of the administrative back end and on the front page is simplicity and intuitiveness.

Users put a lot of emphasis on fast and efficient execution of the order process, the administrators appreciate the ease of editing all data regarding products, categories, additional fields, product combinations, system settings, uploading images and all daily activities related to store operation.

Webmasters will pay special attention to the possibilities of coding and personalization for the specific needs of their customers. In the summary below I’ve listed the most important functions of the VirtueMart and DJ-Catalog2 eCommerce components for Joomla CMS. It’s comparison of clean components, without any additional extensions.

FeatureVirtueMartDJ-Catalog2 eCommerce release
Products imagesUncomfortaimageding pictures (each file is loaded separately). Images should be optimized before adding them to the storeEasy loading of images using the multiupload function with the thumbnails generation (optimization) when adding files
Adding attachmentsUnintuitive - attachments are issued on the same card as pictures, the role of the file should be determined before uploading. It is possible to upload one file at a time.Intuitive loading of attachments on a separate card - in a form similar to loading images - multiupload
Extra fieldsFields that can be used in the product and delivery area. A limited list of field typesFields possible to use in product areas, product inquiries. They can be visible in filters, search engine. Intuitive addition. Color type box - the ability to specify a color with a code or using a color picker, the ability to upload graphics files (eg with a non-uniform color of the product)
Adding extra fieldsThe need to choose from all fields defined in the system, which makes it very uncomfortable to use this feature with a large variety of products. Additional fields are used to version products. No possibility of filtering on the front.Additional fields are gathered into groups, thanks to which we can rewrite the entire group of fields to a specific product in a single move, previously defining in groups a group of common features for products. Additional fields can be used in the filter module and in the search engine on the front page, which significantly facilitates searching for products by the user.
Product combinationsnot availableA unique feature found only in the best store systems. Allows you to create combinations, of additional fields colors and sizes in an easy and intuitive way - for example, a red blouse in size XL.
Product descriptionBrief description of products in text form, a full description of the product in the HTML editorBoth fields are supported by the HTML editor
Location on the mapnot availableThe ability to locate an item, a product on the map. This feature is useful when the system is in catalog mode.
Individual settingsnot availableAbility to change any available product display parameters on the front (product card). For example, you can individually determine whether a "ask for product" button should be displayed for a given product
Product category imagesInterface for adding images analogous to products. It’s possible to add single images only.The interface of adding the same as for products - multiupload
VAT ratesAny VAT ratesAny VAT rates
StocktakingavailableThe lack of a typical stocktaking function, but a stocktaking update can be carried out conveniently on one screen, without the need to edit each product separately.
Additional fields in the cartnot availablefeature available
Additional fields in the product request formnot availablefeature available
TAX Identification number validationnot availableBuyer's Tax Identification number (EU TAX Identification number) field. It is verified in the VIES database, thanks to which we reduce the risk of purchasing zero VAT rate by unauthorized persons
Payment processorsYou can install any available payment processors. The standard is PayPal payment availableThe following payment methods are available as standard: Paypal, Mollie, PayU, Przelewy24
Data importnot availableThe feature is available. You can import categories with subcategories, manufacturers, products
Discount couponsA simple system of discount couponsAn extensive discount coupon system that allows you to create codes for individual customers, for products, for categories, one-time use, percent and quota codes. The use of the code is reported in the order and displayed on the invoice.
Invoicesfeature availableAutomatically generated invoice after order payment
GDPR compliancenot availableOnline store compatible with the GDPR
The purchase processUnintuitive, not transparent. Only when you buy the Onepage Checkout extension makes the store more user-friendlyIntuitive, similar to most professional online stores, using customer preferences and habits
Store stylingDue to the structure inherited from the old versions of the component, VirtueMart styling can be very troublesome. It's often difficult to achieve the effect that the customer would like to have.The transparent and comprehensible code for external programmers facilitates styling of the front of the component and enables to achieve the desired effects in a relatively short time.

Most of the functions that are missing from VirtueMart can be supplemented by installing various plugins (including commercial ones). However, I am willing to bet with the reader of this article that similarly equipped (with the use of paid VirtueMart plugins) the free component will cost more than the DJ-Catalog2.

Besides that, by installing a large number of extensions from various providers, we risk inconsistent code and conflicts, a large amount of work on the implementation and problems while servicing the store on VirtueMart.

If you are interested in implementing an online store, I encourage you to read the documentation of the DJ-Catalog2 eCommerce release Joomla component

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