e-commerce choices

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My host who I'm happy with has 3 options for e-commerce solutions.  I'm
currently using Miva MerchantManager and I really don't like it.

My new host has OScommerce, CubeCart, and Zen Cart.  I've heard good
things about OScommerce but the examples I've seen don't look great.
CubeCart looks interesting but it's not free.  And ZenCart I know
nothing about and can't find examples of any sites.

If anyone has recommendations between these three please let me know.

I'll be selling women's apparel so I'll need great product shots as well
as a nice inventory system and the ability to create coupon codes.


Re: e-commerce choices

On Fri, 03 Mar 2006 04:31:18 GMT, markymark

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I don't either.

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Actually, CubeCart IS free. They do charge $69.95 if you want to
remove the copyright notice, but that's about 1/10 of what Miva
charges, and most people don't find the copyright notice to be a

ZenCart appears to be based on OScommerce, but it has stuff built in
that you have to add separately with OSCommerce, and the management
interface seems to be easier to learn and use. I think ZenCart is
better for most users, but that's irrelevant, isn't it?  What matters
is which one works better for YOU.

It takes a lot of work to create a shopping cart that looks nice;
skinning a cart is a lot of hard work for a highly skilled artist, and
many webmasters don't spend the time and/or money to do it right.
Google on "zencart skins" or "zencart templates" and it's fairly easy
to find carts that look good. Finding carts that look good and fit
with your product line? That's something else entirely. I recommend
you set aside some money for an artist and some time to develop a
polished site: people figure that if you are in it for the long haul,
that you'll want to protect your reputation by treating them fairly.

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Re: e-commerce choices

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Somebody once said, "There is no such thing as a free lunch."

How do opensource developers make a living?  By getting paid to write
books that explain how to use their programs.  By getting paid to
install and/or customize their programs.  Occasionally by selling
ad-space on their websites.

Therefore if you are considering a "free" software solution that will
run the money-making part of your business, you should at least make
sure there are lots and lots of ads on the website that provides the
free code.  If there aren't, the chances are real good that somebody
will at some point in the future be glad to help you install,
configure, customize, or repair the code for cash-up-front.


Within the past week there was a post to this very newsgroup in which
someone gave a url where a one-click install of oscommerce was
available, that's the sum total of what I know about it but you might
try google search and see if it'll be useful to you.


Re: e-commerce choices

On Fri, 03 Mar 2006 06:12:35 -0700, hug

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There are many hosting companies offering Cpanel with Fantastico,
which gives you one-click installs of all three of those carts. I
suspect that's what the OP has.

The Fantastico installations of CubeCart and ZenCart are OK, I
suppose, but if you're going to use OSCommerce, I'd normally recommend
doing a hand-install of OSCmax instead; it has a lot of bells and
whistles that many users want but the Fantastico installation omits.

Installion of a shopping cart is fairly easy, even doing it by hand,
but configuring it is a real pain. It's not particularly difficult,
but there are a lot of details you need to enter, and the
administrative user interface is rather opaque (which is one area
where ZenCart really improves on OSCommerce), and it takes quite a bit
of study to figure out where everything is located. If you install by
hand, you see important readme files that most who do one-click
installers miss, and that makes the configuration and customization

Consequently, even though my customers can do a one-click install, I
recommend SSHing in to the server and doing a regular install of
shopping carts instead. With one-click, Fantastico will offer to
upgrade your software for you, but that often will overwrite any
customization you've done, so it's more of a trap than a benefit....


Re: e-commerce choices

hug wrote:
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You've never really used free software? Open source developers usually
don't make a living off their software. They develop it because they
needed a program, and built one. Other people liked it, improved it,
and so on.

Alot of people here probably have contributed to OSS or GNU projects.
It's not about the money, at least not most of the time. It's about
producing world-class software people enjoy using.


Re: e-commerce choices



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Re: e-commerce choices

markymark wrote:
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Can you install your own? If so, give a look at CRE Loaded. It's an
OSCommerce base, with a large number of additional modules already
built in. I used that for awhile, and it worked very well. There are
templates available for OSC and CRE, just run a search for "oscommerce
templates" and the like. The templates are often not free, but if you
find the right one, they're well worth the time you'll save tweaking.


Re: e-commerce choices

arccos wrote:
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Thanks for all the help - I think I'm going to go with Zen Cart.

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