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Ecommerce Forum

Catalog and cart with specific (uncommon) features
I only have a few requirements, but they're rare

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3151539 posted 5:44 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm building a site that will require a catalog/shopping cart. For the most part, the standard features included in all shopping carts will work fine for them. However, one unusual requirement is the ability to have different templates for each main category. I only know of one shopping cart software that does that, and it's $1500 which is out of this group's price range.

So does anyone know of a good shopping cart with that feature?

Other handy things for this site would be:

Shipping prices assigned by admin on a per-item basis
Upselling at checkout - "would you like to add [title] to your order?"
Integration with PayPal's gateway service

It's not necessary to be free, but inexpensive would be nice. I'd prefer it was created by somebody with an established reputation for secure applications.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations,




10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3151539 posted 7:53 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

XCart uses Smarty PHP templates for page presentation.

Creating different templates for different categories is a fairly simple task for someone with technical knowledge of Smarty/PHP.

We've done something similar for our site and didn't find it overly challenging. The caveat being that we're fairly technical. It isn't necessarily something a completely non-technical type would want to undertake.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3151539 posted 10:01 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi, thanks for the recommendation. I know HTML and CSS inside and out, and have a good working knowledge of PHP. I've never used Smarty, although I've heard of it. Assuming a proficiency with PHP a little beyond the entry-level point, how would you rate the learning curve for doing per-category templates with XCart?

Thanks again,



10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3151539 posted 4:34 am on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not that bad.

That part of X-cart isn't well documented though, so you'll end up stumbling around a little figuring out how they've done things.

You'll basically just need to figure out where to put the relevant if/then/else blocks based on the category_id that will call the smarty templates you'll put together to drive the custom views you want. Depending on how far you deviate from the standard x-cart template views, writing the specific display templates could range from "trivial" to "ugh."


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3151539 posted 5:08 am on Nov 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I know shopping carts fairly well, don't know anything out of the box that does that, although you say you've found one. However, if $1,500 is too much your client is probably in trouble. You might go and spend $500 on XCart, but then spend at least a day customising it (and forking the code in the process increasing maintenance costs) which probably brings the cost near $1500.

I suspect their budget doesn't match their ambitions.

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