: : Radioactive Frog : : 16:21 21 Feb 2004

I am looking to have an online shop, i am currently looking at the oscommerce open source option but am stuggling to implement it as i want it.

What others are there out there? i am looking for ease of use for both customer and owner !!

money is an issue but at the mo i would just like to know what is out there from £0 to £LOTS

If anyone can advise that would be great !!



  Taran 17:10 21 Feb 2004

Penny raised an interesting point in this thread about user friendly issues about e-commerce packages:

click here

One of the easiest systems to use that I've seen are the eSHOP packages from 1&1

It very much depends on the scale you want to pitch at. You say money is not an issue and that's all well and good, butmost of the good mainstream commerce software solutions that allow you to build your commerce site localy with a user friendly interface cost many hundreds and have limitations of their own.

What is it you want to sell ?

Will you have a large product range and will those products have lots of possible sub-categories ?

Do you have web hosting arranged yet and if not would you prefer Windows or Linux hosting ?

There are so many questions to ask which would help me or anyone else to answer yours. Most of the off-the-peg solutions not only cost quite a lot but they work best in particular environments where a very large product range is the norm. Small scale solutions that work well are not as common as you would like them to be.

Try and give as much detail as possible about how you would like to trade and the range of goods you plan to offer. You needn't get too specific, but the more information you give, the better the potential advice will be.

  : : Radioactive Frog : : 17:36 21 Feb 2004

ok sorry more info

Money is an object unfortunatly so i dont want to spend hundreds.

The product size will not be huge probably around 250 products.

I will be selling Taps (dont ask !!)

I have web hosting already with

I want to link it to the HSBC epayments system, and i would like but not essential customers not to have to have an account to order but that is optional.

At present i plan to trade only in the uk however i would probably need worlwide sales ability eventually, i would like to have a trade account feature so i can offer companies accounts with disclunts etc.

Any other questions let me know and i will try to say!!

Thanks for your advise.


  Taran 18:05 21 Feb 2004

Sorry, I mis-read the above about money being an object.

Hangs head in embarrassment...

I'm going offline for the evening now but I'll look in on this in the morning and, if necessary, post some possible solutions.


  : : Radioactive Frog : : 10:17 23 Feb 2004

ok thanks yeah any advice would be great, idealy im looking for php as i cant run java pages on my server and also id like to integrate it with hsbc if poss!!

not too keen on the monthly payment idea of 1&1 eshop.

any advice would be great

  PurplePenny 11:49 23 Feb 2004

What problems are you having with implementing OsCommerce the way that you want? Maybe we can sort that out.


  Taran 12:03 23 Feb 2004

Right, here we go.

One possible solution could be X-Cart click here

You have to pay for this one but it's only about £120 and it's dead easy to install, configure and use. It's one of the best PHP/MySQL solutions I have ever seen for overall features combined with a relatively simple admin interface.

Litecommerce click here is another nice one and at about £65 it offers very good value with another easy to use interface and fairly simple setup.

Free Open Source solutions that I'm particularly impressed with are:

1. Zen Cart click here

2. osCommerce click here

3. MyMarket click here

Zen Cart and osCommerce are about the best of the bunch out of the possible Open Source options.

Payment integration can be set up with all of the above and HSBC should be able to assist with online trading methods. I suggest you contact them since all major banks offer e-commerce payment solutions of one form or another and they will be able to advise on that side of things.

All of the above mentioned software can handle payment processing in a variety of ways.

I'd suggest that you consider installing Apache, MySQL and PHP on your own computer as an easy means of testing out the Open Source solutions. If you want to do this post to that effect and I'll give you some excellent links on how to do it quickly and easily.

Payment method is possibly going to be your main concern since all of the above packages do their own variation on a common theme. Check your hosting package for SSL support and ask HSBC for their own solutions. See what your options are on that front but the above listed software solutions, although not necessarily an exhaustive list, are all very capable products and it may well fall down to simple personal preference, especially for the Open Source programs.

The main problem most people have in self-generated e-commerce sites is payment procesing and setting the whole site up to begin with. It's a steep learning curve and if you don't already know some PHP and MySQL you will by the time you're finished !

Hope that helps a bit.


  PurplePenny 20:40 23 Feb 2004

This is the one that we used. It is cheap (£59) and extremely easy to set up. It isn't anything like as sophisticated as those that Taran has recommended but if you only need a simple shopping trolley it does the trick.

click here

There is a free PayPal only version.


  : : Radioactive Frog : : 21:33 23 Feb 2004

Excellent, i am looking into them all now!! Thanks very much for you adivce, i really appreciate it.

Penny, the problems im having on oscommerce are to do with linking it to hsbc, i am stuggling to find things, i also wanted to add address fields but didnt get very far cus i cant find where things are....

As for learning php and mysql, i do know a bit about it, i have created some database sites but nothing as complex as a shop !! so i wil be learning more and more!!

Thanks again

  PurplePenny 21:47 23 Feb 2004

"oscommerce .... i am stuggling to find things"

That seems to be one of the most asked questions on the OsC forums "where do I find the bit that does ...." :-)

There is an HSBC payment module OsC contribution , have you tried it?

click here


  : : Radioactive Frog : : 22:38 23 Feb 2004

yeah i have looked at it but to be honest i have NO IDEA what to do with it !!! :(

so .... i am looking around for other 'easier' shops!!

Thanks for your help and advice


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