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Ecommerce Forum

Digital Download / Shopping Cart Advice

 10:42 pm on Jan 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm looking for shopping cart for my web site that can handle digital downloads. I've looked at lots of options, but few are a good fit, and those that have the right features look scammy. It's been like pulling teeth because Google search results for finding shopping cart software are so bloated with spam links as to be useless, so that's why I'm turning to WebmasterWorld.

Here are my main requirements:

- Written in PHP (so I can tailor it visually to match the rest of my site)
- Takes payments via PayPal and/or Google Checkout
- I'd like it to be hosted on my server because I'm sick of SAAS/cloud companies going out of business and leaving me high and dry.
- Can handle large file transfers. The majority of the digital downloads I sell are between 20 and 115 MB.


- Allows a purchaser to download the file multiple times within a short time (24 hours or so), then makes the file inaccessible.
- Requires someone to click through an agreement page to access the download.
- Allows a standard PDF to be bundled in with the purchased download, either inside a ZIP file or just displayed next to the regular download to also be downloaded.
- Would be nice if people could make purchases without "signing up" for an account. As a user, I find that obnoxious, and as an owner, the less data I have, the less that can be lost, stolen, or misused.

I don't mind paying a reasonable amount for it; something in the area of $100 as a one-time fee, or $20/month as an ongoing expense.




 10:56 pm on Jan 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

If you're handy with code you may wish to look into FoxyCart. Basically you build the catalog, they'll handle the checkout. So you can build pretty much anything you want.

If you're looking for off the shelf then have you looked into eCommerce Templates or X-Cart?


 10:58 pm on Jan 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I know, it can be dizzying. I've been using Ubercart on Drupal [drupal.org] for various reasons (which may not apply to you). It does digital downloads with an add-in, but if I were starting over, I would probably use Drupal Commerce [drupal.org].

But I would think all the usual suspects would do this - Zen Cart, Magento, WP eCommerce [wordpress.org] and things like that.


 2:28 pm on Jan 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all of your suggestions. After looking at them, and some others I've found, I think I'm going to try my hand at coding a cart myself. I know I have the ability, but what I don't have a lot of is free time for such a project, which is why I was willing to pay for an off-the-shelf solution. But I'm going to make a short list of backups in case I REALLY don't have the time to complete the project.

Foxycart seems OK, and I like the way it integrates. I'm going to add it to my backup list.
X-Cart seems like overkill, with far more features than would ever be used in my situation. And according to its system requirements page, it's a resource hog. Sure, I may have 70,000 SKUs, but if I'm only selling 1-2 items per day, I shouldn't need a dedicated server for X-Cart. But the price is only a little more than my budget, so maybe it's something to note for the future.

Magneto is right out. $2,995/year is not even on the radar.
Neither of the Drupal solutions works because I'm not running Drupal; I have my own CMS that I've built and evolved over the last ten years.
Zen Cart doesn't look very professional to me, and with the way open source projects get abandoned, forked, or worse all the time, I'd rather go with a commercial product.
WP e-Commerce won't work for me for the same reason as the Drupal note above, but I do have a couple of Wordpress sites as well, so I'll keep this in mind for their future expansion.


 3:46 pm on Jan 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Try ecommerce templates. I think it is capable and you can get it in either php or asp.



 5:06 pm on Jan 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the eCommerce Templates suggestions, but for $200 ($160 base price for the generic version + $40 to enable digital downloads), there are more robust solutions at a better price.

IMO, what eCommerce Templates should do is discount the generic version to $50, since you get no templates. It doesn't make sense that the full featured product and the stripped down product are the same price. I also think $40 is a little much for the digital download add-on. This should be closer to $20.


 9:23 am on Jan 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

The shopping cart software at Ecommerce Templates is $159 and the same for all versions - the designs are thrown in for free ;-)


 7:13 pm on Jan 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

I binged and found this intresting ecommerce cart for downloads. [drupal.org...]
Looks worth a look at saving some coding time.


 10:06 pm on Jan 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

@bwnbwn - that Drupal module is rather outdated. See my post above for some links to more active and up-to-date Drupal projects.

Drupal Ubercart is the premier cart for Drupal and has the greatest number of modules available.

Drupal Commerce (not the same as Drupal e-commerce that you linked to) is the newest project and was started by Ubercart developers who felt that Ubercart was built on a faulty architecture and believed it needed a complete rewrite. Some other Ubercart developers disagreed, so they went they're separate ways. It is the more "elegant" cart and is more in line with the future directions of Drupal (products as entities for Drupal geeks), but has fewer modules at this point. I expect long term that it will become the premier Drupal cart and currently has the most momentum.


 10:12 pm on Jan 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

My bad I didn't click around just looked at the options. I didn't even see the date of the post. Guess I should slow down a little when posting.

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