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Shopping Cart Experience

tomasztomasz subscriber Posts: 14
I would like to know if anyone is or has used AgoraCart or osCommerce for their website`s Shopping Cart option. What are your thoughts about these free products?
tomasz2006-4-9 17:48:37


  • RichardBuggyRichardBuggy subscriber Posts: 4
    I`ve installed osCommerce for a couple of clients. It`s extremely powerful and reasonably easy to use. There are a number of third party add-ons so you can easily add features like

    Additional payment gateways
    Additional shipping modules
    Affiliate programs
    Price groups
    Unfortunately it`s not the easiest product to customize how your site looks because the design and code are mixed together. Adding third party modules can also be a little tricky depending on the module. You won`t be making these kinds of changes often so you can always hire a good web developer to assist you.
    All open source/free shopping cart options tend to have the same strengths and weaknesses.

    The initial cost is low but they may have a higher long term cost.
    There isn`t a vendor you can call if you need help immediately. Most projects have a mailing list or forum you can get help through but don`t expect an immediate response with the correct answer.
    You need to be vigilant about security (subscribe to the mailing list, join the forums, apply all upgrades, etc)
    You need to do a lot more yourself
    My rough guide to shopping carts is:

    Use a hosted shopping cart if all you want to worry about is taking orders. While more expensive you don`t need to worry about server security, installing the software correctly or installing upgrades.
    If you`re comfortable with computers then buying the software can save you a lot of money. Vendors will usually provide installation support and may have an option that includes on-going support and upgrades.
    Open source (free) software has no initial cost but you may need to do more work youself. It is suited to those who are computer literate and can follow instructions. Support is provided by the community so this is a bad choice if you want immediate support for problems.
    Custom shopping carts should be avoided unless you have a specific need that cannot be handled using one of the other methods.RichardBuggy2006-4-9 20:53:50
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