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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    Looking for suggestions on a small online store

    I am looking to redesign a website for my boss. I have been working on a few design ideas, but I am hoping to get some suggestions/information on the commerce platform options before I take any ideas to him. I need to make sure I can make the site appear relatively close to the design we choose. The website will essentially be a small store strictly selling sunglasses. We will be selling what frames we currently have in stock and once we sell a frame, the likelihood that we would have it again would be very small. I would like to keep as much freedom to design the appearance as possible. I am pretty capable using html, php and css.

    Some information that might be helpful:
    The site will be on shared hosting
    We will be selling physical products only
    We currently have an inventory of around 300 items I believe
    Shipping/fulfillment options would be very helpful
    Would like the ability to waive shipping if 2 or more frames are purchased at once
    Sales tax options would be nice
    Would like the site to be a flexible design allowing for easy use on mobile and tablets, as well as desktops

    My hosting plan already offers PrestaShop and OpenCart. I wanted to get your opinions on whether either of these options would be suitable for what I am trying to accomplish, or if you have a better option. I need to keep a small budget on this project. I built a very basic ecommerce site from scratch in the past, but it was very restricted in is its capabilities took quite a bit of time to build. I would like to avoid that approach if at all possible.

    Suggestions? Any insight would be helpful and appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    Drew

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member
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    PrestaShop is a good option since it is already provided by your host. It will be free since it is not a SaaS solution so there will be no extra monthly cost. Prestashop is also open source so you have the flexibility of modifying it to your needs in addition to many many plugins. The draw back is it is self managed so you will need to know it well enough to leverage its power. Another idea for self hosted would be WooCommerce is you know Wordpress - but it is fairly limited.

    If you are looking for more of a turn key solution there are many monthly paid platform out there, the two that come to mind for design flexibility is BigCommerce and Shopify. BigCommerce is naturally feature rich and it has a well structured template system. Shopify is more simple out of the box but they have a plethora of add-ons you can purchase (buying all your features adds up to a lot however) also the template structure uses Liquid so it a bit different and needs getting used to.

    If you want barebones, get started in less then an hour - then take a look at Celery (trycelery.com) or FoxyCart. Those are super simple, almost plug and play solutions - they rely on you to build your own static site and plugin the their shopping cart. They don't have extensive features but enough to cover a basic store.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member
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    May 2014
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    Riga,Latvia
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    I recommend Woocommerce because it is one of the best shopping cart platforms being used by countless small and big online stores. It is not only a feature-rich shopping cart solution, but also has a visually tempting interface. Plus it is a search engine-friendly and easy-to-use platform.

    Other Woocommerce features that you may find suitable for your online store are:
    • A multi-currency platform with limitless product categories
    • Product reviews
    • Automatic image resize
    • More than 20 payment gateways and 8+ shipping methods
    • Templatable


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