E-commerce for a non-CMS site

If you were wanting to start a e-commerce website from scratch that had nothing to do with any CMS, which e-commerce option would you take?

Please could you clarify your question?

Are you asking for specific recommendations? Or more generally whether people would opt for a hosted / non-hosted solution, etc.? Or something else entirely?

Hi TB, I do have my own hosts. Just fedup with constant issues on Wordpress and need to get well away from anything to do with any CMS, but still have ecommerce.

Any suggestions from anyone appreciated.

I can relate to having frustrations with WordPress. I don’t know how you define CMS, but obviously you are going to have content that I presume you will want to manage. The good news is that there are other ways to have an ecommerce site without using WordPress with themes / plugins.

Though putting together a DIY ecommerce site might be fun and would definitely be a learning experience, because getting an ecommerce site right without any problems is important, I recommend you look for an existing alternative. There are many to choose from that will take care of site security, inventory, shipping costs, emails, etc. for you with much reduced risk of something going wrong.

They will have a learning curve and there’s a chance you might come to be “fed up” with them as well, but IMHO a DIY ecommerce site is not something you should do.

How many products do you propose to sell? I have created a site selling a dozen or so products using just session variables and a Pay with PayPal button.

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Thanks to you both for the input. It’s only for a six page, two product website. Am looking at Opencart as that seems to be the least steepest learning curve.

There are lots of options, many of which you can add to your site with just a few lines of code. But which you use depends on what you’re trying to sell. If you’re selling digital goods, I recommend a really simple option like Gumroad, or FastSpring or Plasso, SendOwl. For physical goods, there are tons of options, like FoxyCart, E-Junkie, and you can now even integrate Shopify—the best known—into your site, rather than use their hosting.

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Thanks Ralph, after researching this a bit more, I may get Opencart installed.

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Fair enough. The ones I mentioned don’t require you to install anything on your host, and they also don’t come with all the security issues you get with installing your own cart. So they are much simpler. I don’t know Opencart, but from a quick glance it looks like something you have to install, which tends to mean there’s a lot of security issues etc. you have to deal with.

Thanks Ralph, that input is appreciated.

Let me explain a little more, my knowledge of website coding is far below any of you good people, BUT, I do prefer to see the actual barebones (HTML, PHP, JS, CSS etc) of a page in it’s entirety to work on. In most CMS it seems difficult to do that, or is there a way?

I would say Opencart is a CMS. Just one that is specifically geared to E-Commerce.

You can view the source code for a CMS, be it Wordpress or Opencart. It’s just a load of PHP files, but a lot is in the database.
Though good luck making any sense of it all.

Thanks Sam, I’m really looking for a way for me to be able to edit the individual pages in their entirety, all on one page, META tags, structure, etc, etc. Is that possible on a good eCommerce website?

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