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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru
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    Free and Simple eCommerce Solutions

    I'm not looking to open up an online store, but as a developer, I'm wondering what solutions there are out there which aren't bloated with stuff that most people would never use. I've been at free solutions such as osCommerce and pay for solutions such as CS Cart and CubeCart. From what I've seen, there's really no simple but powerful solutions available out there.

    Am I the only one not happy with what's currently available on the market in terms of PHP/MySQL shopping cart solutions (free or not)?

  2. #2
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    eCommerce websites are just too diverse for any solution to work for a large group unless it's necessarily complex. I tried working with the free carts like osCommerce myself, but eventually I decided the best thing for business was to write my own checkout and payment processes. Having control over every detail of the flow, customizing it to the specific site, really helps maximize conversions.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru
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    I agree with you fully Dan. No solution is going to be able to achieve everything, so why does it seem so many developers of eCommerce software try and make their software do just that, achieve everything.

    So many OpenSource software solutions (for PHP/MySQL at least) seem to be made for "The guy who knows nothing about the web but wants to start a website", and forget completely about fellow developers who may one day want to add, remove or modify the functionality of the software outside its user interface.

    I recently had to develop an online store from scratch for a local business, simply because there was no other system out there (that I could find) which could be molded to fit their needs. All of the solutions I found were bloated which not only makes the backend more confusing for the end user, but also makes it awfully complex for a developer to remove the crap and add new functionality.

    There aren't any lighter, more flexible solutions out there. Which sucks for developers with high quality standards (like myself) who will refuse to lower the quality of their work simply because their confined by existing OpenSource solutions filled to the brim with bloat - and coding to match.

    On the positive side, this realisation is a great source of motivation for someone willing to make a change.

  4. #4
    Formerly known as RockNRollPig Shpigford's Avatar
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    Like Dan said, you'll most likely have to keep coding stuff yourself. Every "lightweight" script I've seen looks like it was coded by a 5 year old learning how to program for the first time.

    Chances are you'd be best off building a core set of ecommerce classes and then just modify and add on as needed depending on the project.

    That, or settle for the larger/bloated software.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I agree with all of the comments above. The best approach, I think, would be providing a good core with modular architecture and allow convenient customization mechanisms. For example, I personally like LiteCommerce's approach in this case - the basic software is cheap and a number of modules can easily and cheaply be bought (or even downloaded for free) at any time. Such a "brick-based" approach seems very reasonable.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast shandaman's Avatar
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    I code and customize CubeCart and have tried nearly every other paid and free system out there and CubeCart is the best and with just a few minutes I can make it look and act anyway you want really. Simple or complex!
    - Shandaman
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