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A little discussion about ecommerce solutions
dexman




msg:652532
 7:16 am on May 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hello,
I would like to start a conversation in regards to shopping cart solutions out there.

I have my biases but it would be great to see what everyone is thinking.

So here are the solutions that I would like to discuss.

1.Os commerce
2.Miva
3.Ablecommerce
4.Storefront.net
5.bvcommerce

The target user would be someone with some knowledge of html and database queries.
Store would be any common goods store, nothing out of ordinary.

Thanks, looking forward to your comments

 

abertone




msg:652533
 3:47 am on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

OK... What type of conversation? Do you have specific points that we should comment on?

I am game. I can comment on Miva and Cartweaver.

-ABertone

fiu88




msg:652534
 4:24 am on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

whats cartweaver all about?
I've been looking to switch over my asp storefront5 site for a while....

Sidorino




msg:652535
 9:17 am on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Osc is one of the most famous ones..but this is only one plus that I know about them :-)

kujoe




msg:652536
 5:43 pm on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you're talking about OsCommerce you should also take a look at Zen-Cart. This is based on OsCommerce but with the store owner in mind for easier use.

dexman




msg:652537
 7:55 pm on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ok, i agree lets make it clear..
Here are the criteria for opinions

1. Customization options/Scalability
2. Ease of Use/management
3. Stability/security
4. SEO friendliness
5. Overall comments

dexman




msg:652538
 8:50 pm on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here are my opinions just to intrigue a bit:

1.Os commerce
Good scalability, tough to customize, big drawback is that i don't know of any os commmerce or zencart that stands out in design. Basically they all look similar/the same. If i am doing a custom solution for a client i want my creation to be original/stand out
Ease of Use/Management is ok but only for basic functions
SEO friendliness, not sure there
Overall: Unless you like a "cookie-cutter" look not recommended

2.Miva
Poor scalability, limited customization, propitiatory miva script tough to master. Database hard to manage if not impossible
Stability and security are both questionable. Unless you have a host that is totally geared to serving miva, it will be veeery slow especially with large amount of traffic.
Hard to manage orders, products. Checkout is confusing for users.

SEO is terrible, Google will index but forget about Yahoo, MSN unless you create good static pages

3.Ablecommerce (my pick)
Stable, scalable environment, choice of cfm, asp.net. You can take it anywhere you want and customization is limitless.
It uses ms-SQL and MySQL which is very convenient/super fast/stable.
If you have a good ISP running good Windows servers it will be very fast, you don’t have to worry about traffic, etc.
Very SEO friendly, no limits there, msn especially will love anything with asp.net.

Over all my favorite pick due to customization options, stability, and use of common asp.net, cfm environment
Support here is expensive and a bit hard to reach but they have an extensive library of self –help tools, great manuals and support groups. I wish they would not charge for additional 2k for the dll source code .

4.Storefront.net
Storefront also uses asp.net, its easy to setup a basic store and very fast. It can even be customized in dream weaver or Front Page as the solution has plug ins for both. Problems come with how the code is written , basically not commented, confusing structure and hard to customize unless you are really good in asp.net. Its definitely scalable they will even supply you with visual studio .net project files which is nice.

Their support is flawless, very knowledgeable and support forum as awesome.
There are also lots of third party plug-in support companies. One of my favorites is sfaddons.com

5.bvcommerce
co comment here, not familiar enough

bookgirl




msg:652539
 8:50 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use ecommercetemplates and have found it to be very flexible, and you can't beat the price! The sites I have created with it have been indexed very well by search engines.

As far as design goes, they can be cookie cutter if you don't take the time to customize them, but if you do the possibilities are limitless.

TonyMc




msg:652540
 4:43 am on May 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'll second the ecommercetemplates suggestion. The cart is really top notch and the support is awesome. I've been able to to everything that I've wanted to do with the design and I rank well.

--Tony

Essex_boy




msg:652541
 7:20 am on May 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just took a lok at merchant boss:

They dont list their fees (that I could find)

Require a ICQ address or you cant register (!)

The address is on a very famous street in London - several Mail forwarding firms operate from the same street.

Has anyone tried webgenie? Optimisable and scalable produces static and fixed HTML sites and can be integrated with your current site.

One fee allows you to build as many sites as you wish.

Badger37




msg:652542
 1:54 pm on May 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

See what you mean about Merchant Boss!
Searching on their address shows many, many companies using the same address! Must be a very large office...

And it's a strange mix of companies as well.

Moving round their site I receive warnings (in I.E.) about the page containing secure and non-secure items - looks like they know what they're doing!

I think I'll give them a miss.

abertone




msg:652543
 5:14 am on May 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Miva Merchant
1. If you embrace the 3rd party developer model, customization is pretty quick and painless. Each customization usually runs about $30-200
2. I don't have any issues with ease of use and I have seen "monkeys" run a miva site
3. I run miva on a dedicated server so it is stable and secure for me. I can't speak for something on a shared host as I have no experience
4. Google, Yahoo and MSN all spider my miva pages and index them. I do have static copies of my product pages that I build 3 years ago and they do pretty well in the serps also.
5. For a beginner, Miva is a decent solution to get you started as long as you embrace the 3rd party developers. If it wasn't for all the modules that were available to me I never would have had the time to focus on conversions. Instead I would have been busy learning a new language.

CartWeaver
1. Pretty much as scalable as your programming skills can take you. Integrates with dreamweaver so if you work in that environment, it is almost the only option for that space.
2. Simple admin. Integrates easily with payment gateways. Even if you haven't mastered ASP or CF, the code is commented well enough that you can muttle through simple changes with a good reference book (in my experience). Also, a PHP version is underway.
3. Same as miva. I run on a dedicated server so it is stable and secure for me. I can't speak for something on a shared host as I have no experience
4. Google, Yahoo and MSN spider and index all pages fine.
5. Unlimited options for customization and working in dreamweaver is a plus. The licensing is great too. It's not free, but priced well and you can develop unlimited number of sites.

-ABertone

jsinger




msg:652544
 4:14 pm on May 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Gawd the same carts come up all the time: Miva (why?)and OS Commerce which is free and complex.

If you need some hand holding and a great cart, go with Shopsite. Been around for years. Integrates well with Stoneedge. Constant enhancements. Very full featured.

I can't believe how people who spend a year developing an ecommerce enterprise worry about saving a few bucks on the cart.

Essex_boy




msg:652545
 5:12 pm on May 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thats very true, teh number of people I see asking about the same carts.....

I guess they have their marketing right, although the other thing I find surprising is that no one asks about actinic.

uhzoomzip




msg:652546
 6:11 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hated Miva but I looked at it about 6 years ago and I thought it's features were lacking. I like oscommerce for it's ease of use and the huge base of developers. It is easy to pay someone to get it to do ANYTHING I want.

Essex_boy




msg:652547
 12:13 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

That I suppose is one of teh major plus points of OSC, when I have used it a developer I used would work from home and complete work on a Sunday night.

His fees were also very good, try getting someone to do that with Actinic or Miva.

footle




msg:652548
 5:53 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

FWIW - I've been fighting OsC for the last couple of weeks and I'm appalled by the standard of change control and general modularity of the system. People routinely issues patches to files because everyone has slightly different version of the same code. IMHO, this is because of poor design and discipline about change control. You may well find people who are happy to hack around on OsC, but I suspect you'd be making a problem for yourself in the long run. I'll be moving as soon as I can find something that fits. Has anyone any experience of X-Cart?

seonick




msg:652549
 1:44 pm on Jun 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree with the eCommerce Templates suggestions - The support is amazing and they are always updating the systems. The templates are blah, but if you get the right designer you can really rock n roll!

derekwong28




msg:652550
 2:15 pm on Jun 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Have a look at x-cart and litecommerce as well.

usavetele




msg:652551
 5:01 am on Jun 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

OK, I'm brand new to this ecommerce stuff. After being with my current hosting company for over 2 years, I just stumbled across this osCommerce web site option my hosting company offers. I have an existing site with this hosting company, but none of the osCommerce stuff set up. To simplify what I'm trying to do, can I use the "currencies" and "languages" options for my site existing site without setting up a new osCommerce site? All I'm interested in doing at this point is showing the prices on my site in multiple currencies and to allow the visitor to read my site in their language, based on the country they are viewing my site from.

Hope this makes sense. I'm not really interested in starting from stratch and setting up my site again under the osCommerce just to have access to the above mentioned functions.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

smellygig




msg:652552
 8:17 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Anyone experienced with Interchange? Looking for something similar but with more up to date technology. Too many custom applications have had to be written for features that should be standard. Still don't have multi-homed products for example.

As for OS Commerce I think they have been bugfixing the 2.x line since 2001. Nothing has really changed since then and I would be impressed to find any stores doing volume business on it. The backend interface was so bad and difficult to manage customers, options, etc. Reason why all the sites look the same is because you have to go into the PHP code to change the layout/look.

finnstyle




msg:652553
 3:10 pm on Jun 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've been looking at:

-Volusion
-X-Cart
-CRELoaded
-FinestShops (appears to use X-cart)

Does anyone have experience with any of these? Volusion looks to have the most features?

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