Shopping carts
ckosloff
Status: Contributor
Joined: 21 Dec 2011
Posts: 254
Location: South Florida
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On these forums I have read about CMS and webhosting, but not about shopping carts.
I have been using Zen Cart, which I have abandoned because it looks like a dead project.
I tend to favor Drupal Commerce at present, but it is not easy, however I think it is worth the painstaking learning curve, it is a platform that will allow growth.
All CMSs seen to have their shopping carts, WP has its own, so does Joomla (VirtuMart, bad feedback).
There are of course literally hundreds of other stand-alone apps, which could be easier to set up.
Comments, suggestions, any preferences?
Reasons why would prefer one over another?
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techAdmin
Status: Site Admin
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 3788
Location: East Coast, West Coast? I know it's one of them.
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As far as I can tell, all FOSS shopping carts totally suck. OS Commerce sucks the most, and is a sitting ticking time bomb waiting to go off, as it did recently with full hacking of pretty much all os commerce sites on the web. Zen cart also sucks, but not quite as badly. These two projects are totally hopeless in my experience.

Why? It's very simple: coding a shopping cart has never interested a great hacker or hacker group to do it, because it's not interesting. In fact, nothing sucks worse than working with shopping carts.

I have no idea on drupal, the main worry with them is upgrades, they have a bad track record with upgrades failing, as do most cms solutions from what I, sadly, gather.

Check the track record of the drupal cart, see how it did on major drupal upgrades, see how its users feel about it, see how, more importantly, people who hate it feel about it.

I find googling: <product name> + problems

usually gives me a good starting point, to see if there's anything glaring.

Then: <product name> upgrade failure

to see if that has any issues.

Zencart is a product I thank the Gods that I no longer have to suffer and work with, it is a hopeless project with the worst code I've ever used, horrible and almost impossible to modify code and templating, and zencart was an improved and updated version of os commerce.

Sadly, commercial projects like stores really are not interesting programming projects for volunteers, so see what's out there and see how people feel about them. I know my experience with oscommerce and zencart, and I wouldn't touch either again no matter how much you paid, me, unless it was understood explicitly that I would never have to upgrade it, that my modifications to the code, if any, would break all future upgrades, which they do, etc.

If a shopping cart solutoin will work for you with no internal code modifications, just style and template changes, and if they have true templating, with no code in the templates, ie, if they do it right, then it might be worth looking at.

Everything involved with setting up carts is hard, credit card via ssl handling is hard, payment gateways is hard, ssl itself is hard.

I recommend now to prospective small time clients to use paypal's quite good shopping cart service, then just add the links there to your site, that's the safest, easiest, and most reliable way to do it. I use lots of sites that run paypal and they are fine. Options for items, all seems to work fine.
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ckosloff
Status: Contributor
Joined: 21 Dec 2011
Posts: 254
Location: South Florida
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Thanks for detailed answer.
This is a quick reply, notwithstanding I will add more to this thread as I investigate the issue.
Problem with paypal is that you can only open one business account, for a group that sells more than one line of items (and therefore needs a second website), this is a serious hindrance, they need a different contact person for each account.
"Security purposes" is the lame explanation for their inability.
There is a fork of Zen Cart called Zenmagick, geared more towards developers than to small business DIYs, you might want to take a look, the developer is very forthcoming.
I have seen commercial websites developed in Drupal that are kick-a#s, wish I could do something like that, maybe with time.
There is also Open Cart worth checking out, but I think that as a platform for future growth, Drupal cannot be beaten , nearly 15,000 modules now, overwhelming.
Close to 1,500 developers, it does have issues I know, and not always easy to fix, to get answers from them you better talk to the wall.
But it is the greatest in its kind, just like Debian is for Linux.
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