Shopping cart for a static website?
June 27, 2012 9:51 PM   Subscribe

I have a completely hand-coded website. I want to start selling things on the website, but I don't want to change the site's design. How can I most easily accomplish this?

Apologies: I realize there's already a ton of AskMe threads about ecommerce sites...but I still can't find the answer that I'm looking for.

So, I have a website that deals with clothes. I hand-coded the CSS/HTML, and am very happy with the site's design. But now I want to start selling some of the items featured on the website -- basically, shirts of the same style that will come in a variety of different sizes.

I really do not want to change anything about the site's design; literally, I just need a simple, secure way for people to pay for my stuff.

I've looked in to Shopify, but I'm not digging the template based thing (and I've looked into building a custom template to mimic my current site -- too difficult). I'm learning back-end programming, but am definitely not ready to custom program anything.

I also don't want to use Wordpress or another CMS or anything like that. I just want to add a shopping cart to my static site, in a way that won't muck up any future customization of the code (and won't make the website seem "unprofessional" in a way that might inhibit sales).

Any advice would be awesome -- thanks so much!
posted by lobbyist to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I believe you're exactly asking for FoxyCart.
posted by adamwolf at 10:04 PM on June 27, 2012 [3 favorites]

Assuming you're not selling a single item, you're going to be coding a cart system, card authentication, etc., by hand. There are some pre-built open-source cart systems out there, but if you don't like Shopify, you're not going to like them. Pretty much every cart system uses templates. If coding a template is beyond your current level, I feel you won't really be happy with anything that just works out of the box.

I suppose if you only have one item, you could simply put a Paypal Buy Now button, but it sounds like you want more than that.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 10:08 PM on June 27, 2012

I've previously used and been satisfied with e-junkie. It would do exactly what you need, super easily. You set up your products prices on the e-junkie admin area then it generates code snippets for the "buy now" or "add to cart" buttons to paste into your website. It's about $5 / mo depending on the number of products.
posted by Sturdy at 12:02 AM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Google Checkout have a simple shopping cart solution that's apparently easy to retrofit (haven't tried it though) and Paypal have a similar thing.

As I understand it, they host the main part of the shopping cart on their own site so all you have to do is add a few custom buttons.
posted by emilyw at 12:44 AM on June 28, 2012

It sounds like you can use Gumroad for this. All you do is put a link for each item and they handle taking the payment.
posted by 23 at 2:21 AM on June 28, 2012

I've used google checkout, paypal shopping cart, & e-junkie at various times over the past few years. I think e-junkie is the easiest to use & is the nicest-looking of the options. It was simple to integrate with our existing site.
posted by belladonna at 7:31 AM on June 28, 2012

If you ever get to high volume, I'd recommend Lemonstand. It is one of the best ecommerce systems period in my opinion (from having used so many others) and most importantly, it doesn't come with an intrusive your site must look like this templating system though you would have to get someone familiar with Twig or PHP here and there.

Going the route of hard coding and not relying on a system that has already coded a lot for you is I suppose fine for small volume but scaling up such an approach would be extremely time consuming. On some of the hard coded sites I worked on years ago we did indeed use things like Paypal. It's relatively easy to setup a product page and when you have to pay money it has to go outside to the payment service you select (there are a ton of good reasons for this not the least of which self-hosting a PCI compliant site is tremendously expensive).

eCommere is difficult in that many solutions are not appealing if anticipated volume is low. Many object to the cost of Lemonstand but for what it does out of the box you'd paid far more in actual money or time to get the other free open source systems to play ball the way you like.
posted by juiceCake at 8:02 AM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wazala is hosted, fairly cheap, and you don't have to change anything about your site design-wise to use it. The least-effort implementation is that tab you see at the top of their site that just overlays the store; doesn't even require that you set up a "page" for it. There's another option that lets you embed the store into a page with an iframe, if you want. If you later want some more control, the options are there, but for the most part, you can drop it in without having to think about much.
posted by Su at 8:45 AM on June 28, 2012

I think ShopLocket would be a great solution to your problem (disclaimer: I'm the community manager there). We make it easy for people to sell online without the overhead and coding of a full storefront. There are no upfront fees, you only pay when you sell, so it's definitely worth you checking out. Let me know if you have any questions!
posted by dankalmar at 8:54 AM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

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