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Old 13th July 2004, 10:16 AM   #11
divshow
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Thanks, Robert. I've got it on my list to check out!

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Old 9th September 2004, 02:47 PM   #12
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Default My 2 cents

Back in March I performed and exhaustive search a new shopping cart solution. We were outgrowing our Bizhosting hosted solution so I review and tried carts from Applepie to Zencart. It is unbelievable the number of different shopping cart solutions available.

I was looking for the most feature packed cart under $1,000 that had an active users community and secure advancing technology. It needed to be a stand alone application I could host anywhere so we would have complete control.

Here's what I found:

I ended up purchasing X-cart http://www.x-cart.com for $185.00. This is probably the most featured packed cart I came across. There are several companies developing and offering plugin enhancements such as testimonials, sitemap, marketing manager ......... The users forum is very active and helpful. I have been able to find everything needed so far. X-cart has been offering free upgrades almost monthly and this would be my only complaint. If you modify your cart (stylesheets), some of the upgrade components may need to be manually patched, and this can be confusing to a non-programmer. Otherwise, I have been very pleased. It is a PHP code based cart the uses a MYSQL database. You can find many inexpensive hosts and use a Lunix server. We use Bluehost $ 6.95 month.

The other cart I considered is http://aspdotnetstorefront.com/. At the time, many required features were promised but not available. Since then, I have been impressed to see all the features added and their own website redesigned. This is a highly configurable cart based on the newer .net standards. It does cost slightly more to host...ASP is usually offered on Windows based servers.

The most feature packed free cart: http://www.oscommerce.com
This cart is widely used and offer with easy one click installation from many webhosts (including Bluehost). The style sheet is difficult to customize however. Zencart is a takeoff of oscommerce and a little more freindly to use.

A few others looked interesting: http://www.comersus.com and http://www.vpasp.com.

Hosted Solutions:
For the coolest (price doesn't matter) hosted point and click solution...see Volusion (formerly Store2003) http://www.volusion.com/. I absolutely fell in love with their customer interface and checkout process. For a budget, Bizhosting served me well.

I hope this helps. Cheers!

Scott Jarvis

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Old 9th September 2004, 03:33 PM   #13
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See? That's why we love new members! Great post, Scott.

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Old 9th September 2004, 04:10 PM   #14
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Scott ~

Thank you for such a detailed post. I think we have finally decided on X-Cart. We are starting our 2nd online retail store very soon so will start off with the new shopping cart and see how we like it before changing our exsisting store over (too much work for hic-ups to happen).

I'm happy to hear that there is a forum and even more enhancements to add on. Can you please let me know websites or companies that offer some of the enhancements?



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Old 10th September 2004, 01:25 AM   #15
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Default Xcart Addons

Here are a few of the Xcart Add-on sites:

http://www.cart-lab.com/lab/catalog/index.html

http://www.firetanksoftware.com/

http://www.cartmods.com/
I'll be using Alex from Cartmods for some enhancements as soon as Xcart version 4.0.4.

Side note: When X-cart moved to version 4.0.0, they made a devils pact with UPS to offer UPS online tools only if no other shipping methods were activated. Well the users screamed loud and with version 4.0.4 (hopefully due out soon) you will be able to use all shipping methods when UPS is enabled.

And....a few more:
http://www.bcsengineering.com/store/catalog/

http://www.prodynamix.co.uk/customer/home.php
Very active and helpful on the Xcart board

And....if you need someone adept at working over your skin: http://www.2techchicks.com/index.php
or
http://www.finestshops.com/

Some of these folks resell each others wares, but they all offer something original.

And now the fun begins! I'm Jetting to Vegas for my weekend.

All the best to you,
Scott

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Old 10th September 2004, 10:25 AM   #16
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Scott ~

Can I go to Vegas too????

Thanks for all the info! You just saved me so much time.

Yeah, I'd be ticked if it only offered UPS also! I don't use UPS unless the customer requests it. FedEx and USPS Priority mail are the only ways I ship.

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Old 22nd September 2004, 05:09 PM   #17
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Default Shopping carts

We are UK based but I am sure there is a US version of Actinic which we use and I thinks is very good!

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Old 22nd September 2004, 05:13 PM   #18
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Thanks for the info, Tom...(and welcome to the forum)!

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Old 26th September 2004, 12:15 PM   #19
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Welcome to the forum tomsk!

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Old 13th October 2004, 12:54 AM   #20
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Hi,
My comments would differ from all your experts..but I personally feel that it's always better to have a customized shopping cart which would suffice all your requirements.
The readymade carts do not have all the features which you might be looking for.
Also, the database is not really stored in your own database..so then what's the point? Say you want to get few results from the previous records or want to run a query..how would you do that..that's what I call customization.

Initially it may be a little expensive then the readymade carts..but in the long run..its always a PLUS to have your own shopping cart..

I personally have developed more then 30 shopping carts for my clients..each customized to your requirements..and trust me..they are VERY HAPPY PEOPLE..these clients are from USA, UK, Australia and many other parts of the globe..but they are very pleased with thier own cart..

I hope someone agrees..
Regards,
Deepak


Last edited by deepak; 13th October 2004 at 12:56 AM. Reason: typo
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