I’m shopping. Looking for just the right product.
I won’t be going to the market or the grocery store, though. Nope, not at all. I’m hoping that I won’t be spending any money either. Still, though, I’m shopping for a product.
What am I looking for, and how can I get it without spending any money?
Well… I might spend a little, but am hoping not to.
The product I am looking for is a new shopping cart system to use on my websites where I am selling merchandise.
I have been using the OSCommerce (OSC) Shopping Cart for years now. As I think back, I believe that I’ve been using OSC for like 9 years or so now. There was a time when I could do anything with OSC. I used to know the system like the back of my hand. I could modify the cart to do nearly anything I could imagine or desire. Those days are long gone, though, because I stepped back a bit from my “hands-on” work with such things as shopping carts, and I have forgotten much of what I used to know
OSCommerce has become too cumbersome to use. It’s a hassle. Doing almost anything out of the box on OSC requires re-coding the program files and such.
Another downside of OSC is that the program is not updated often. When it is updated, migrating to the new version is usually a major hassle, requiring days of work to make sure that everything functions as it should. The fact that the program is rarely updated also leaves potential security flaws open and the website at risk. If you are running OSC, you really have to spend time monitoring to make sure your site does not get hacked.
Because of all of this, I am indeed shopping for a new system to use.
OSC is a free, open-source program. I like that because when a system is an open source like that, and if it can attract a large community of users (which OSC has), there is always a lot of community support, contributions to improve the features of the software, etc, which helps improve the program in many ways. One of the downsides with some open source projects, though, is that updating the code often does not happen. This is not always the case, though, just look at WordPress, which is 100% open source, yet is regularly updated and constantly under improvement. So, open source, in my opinion, is generally a good thing.
Another big plus with open source software is that generally, it is free, or very cheap. OSC is free, and as I say, I’ve been using it with great success for years. The time has come, though, to change.
Do you have a shopping cart program that you have been using? If so, would you recommend it? If you have a cart to recommend, please do so, as I am most anxious to hear what you have to say. I have been working on a new cart for a couple of months now, and I have one cart that I probably will migrate to (just working out one last glitch…), and I have a few others on my mind too. But, I am always open to suggestions, especially given that I have not fully made the move yet. There’s still time to consider other options.
So, what do you think? What is your recommendation?
I’m interested to know what you come up with.
I’ve been looking a bit, too, and so far OpenCart looks good. Every system seems to have it’s followers and nay sayers.
Your needs may be more complex than mine, though.
Hi Randy – My needs for a shopping cart are a bit complex, although I don’t know your needs. Because of some special needs that I have a number of carts are not acceptable for me. I have a follow up article coming in two days that goes into my needs, and also talks about carts that I have been testing. There is a fair amount of talk about OpenCart in my coming post. Overall, I really like OpenCart.
And the absolutely worst thing with a shopping cart is one where you have to spend much time worrying about security! I can only imagine what this might be like for you (given the sorts of sites you have).
I will be curious to see where you end up.
You are sure right on that, Tom! Being security conscience is a big part of being involved in the e-commerce business. I try to do all I can do to ensure a secure environment in all of my stores. So far, I have been successful… I hope it stays that way! 😉