which shopping cart?

  Richard Hillman 18:03 07 Nov 2005


i'm setting up an online shop and am trying to decide which shopping cart solution to use.

i need something reliable, easy to configure and design which can be accessed from two remote offices. it also has to be search-engine friendly.

i've tried a few trial packages but nothing yet fits the bill.

can anybody help?

thanks in advance,


  Forum Editor 19:29 07 Nov 2005

click here

It's the bees knees of online shopping software - in my opinion, anyway.

  Richard Hillman 20:46 07 Nov 2005

thanks fe,

i did download a trial version of actinic and found it to be a very solid package but thought (for me anyway) it was hard to customize to my design/work with the templates.

the package i found easiest to work with was erol click here which i could customize how i liked but uses frames (which i'm told don't work well with search engines) and is non-multi user.

is actinic easy to use multi-user and how did you find designing with it?


  PurplePenny 20:49 07 Nov 2005

Do you need a database? Do you want the software to handle everything - you just fill in boxes to tell it the price etc.? Or do you wnat something that just adds an add to basket button (and style options if applicable) to an existing page then just handles the checkout bit?

OsCommerce is all singing, all dancing, bells and whistles. It is also Open Source so it is free. click here You may need to get your hands a bit dirty with code (PHP) to get it to work and the documentation (last time I looked which is a year or so ago) isn't very good. There is another site with better documentation, I'll post it if you decide to try OsC. OsC provides the entire shop so you can end up with a site that looks similar to a lot of others or you can do a lot of customising.

Online Store click here is free is you only want to take PayPal payments. If you want to take Authorize Net, Nochex, Worldpay, or FastPay there is another version for that. (I'm not sure whether it also allows you to accept PayPal or whether you have to run two carts!). It would appear that there is a free version of this one but if you need support you have to register at a cost of £59. It is an entire store that either adds on to your existing site or forms your entire site.

PHPCart is cheap and cheerful. It doesn't have a database and isn't an entire store. You add "add to basket" buttons to an exisiting page. click here I like it because it allows you to design the site that you want then add the basket/checkout facility.

  Forum Editor 23:04 07 Nov 2005

on several occasions, and found it to be fairly easy to configure - it's certainly very customisable. It is undoubtedly a full-blown e-commerce application, and wouldn't suit everyone, but if you want a really well-featured application with all the power you could ask for it will be hard to beat.

There's a multi-user version that can facilitate order-taking on up to nine networked computers simultaneously, and will also handle customer account management. It has just about every option you could ever want in an online shopping application, and I doubt you will find anything to outstrip it in terms of facilities.

It doesn't come cheap, but then the best seldom does.

  harristweed 08:22 09 Nov 2005

Shopping carts are quite easy to write! Why not do it yourself, then you get exactly what you want.

As an example, one I did earlier....
click here

All I did was follow this tutorial.
click here

  Richard Hillman 01:21 25 Nov 2005

apologies for the late reply, i've been going through so much info my head's been in a spin.

in answer to purple penny, yes i want the software to handle everything. i had a go with oscommerce aswell as zencart & creloaded and found them all to be very good packages but the coding side put me off a bit. i can write html but am a stranger to php. of course i could learn but my primary concern is getting the site up asap. i also find oscommerce sites tend to look very much the same. i really want it customised to my own design.

as much as i like the management systems and solidity of actinic and erol i need to be able to manage the site from two separate offices (not local) which as far as i'm aware rules out both of these.

which brings me to ecommercetemplates: click here - similar to oscommerce but allows me to edit the template in dreamweaver. does anyone have any experience with this and if so how does it compare with oscommerce, zencart etc?

the more expensive option is to get an e-com designer in.

thanks in advance,


  Richard Hillman 01:27 25 Nov 2005

just to add,

my server has mysql. out of asp and php is one any better than the other?

  PurplePenny 20:11 25 Nov 2005

"i also find oscommerce sites tend to look very much the same"

Oh YES! I find myself looking at sites thinking "That's either OsCommerce or one of its clones... "; especially the ones that still have "Welcome Guest" on the home page. That makes me cringe.

  Richard Hillman 22:52 25 Nov 2005

i know what you mean.

i don't suppose there's any way i can edit oscommerce in dreamweaver is there?

  djinn 00:43 26 Nov 2005


There are a quite a few dreamweaver specific shopping cart systems - here's a few......

click here
click here
click here

and there's also the free and low cost non DW carts at...

click here

I can't comment on them as I'm a cart virgin - but all have been recommended within the dreamweaver community


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