Recommend an inexpensive shopping cart for a small-business website
January 5, 2004 6:17 AM   Subscribe

I'm a small-time, part-time web developer that typically does point-of-contact sites for very small businesses thrilled to have a web presence. I've never done e-commerce, but now have a client who's got the need.

What sort of inexpensive shopping cart do you recommend? Any advice? [More inside.]

The requirements are as follows:

1. I need to be able to modify output completely. I can't be picking from a predetermined list of three themes.
2. Ideally, it would work with the payment system.
3. Ability to generate minimal reports.

I'll probably add more requirements as I think of them, but just wanted to avoid making the same mistakes as others. I'd be willing to pay for something, but not willing to invest money in something that I will have to finish developing myself.
posted by jmevius to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My roommates run a niche ecomm site for which I do all the web development. I'm not a pro by any means, but we have a good enough web presence that they have all the business they can handle. They're currently using Paypal as their on-line payment (as you can see), but we recently switched their hosting to a service called A Plus Hosting, and the web hosting plan came with a bit of shopping cart software called Miva Merchant, that I'm slowly using to build them a 'real' shopping cart site. I've been extremely impressed with how easy to use Miva is and the support we've gotten from A plus.

Although Miva offers something called "Miva Look and Feel", the software also generates links that you can use to integrate the shopping cart software into an existing site, which is what I'm currently working on for their site. The only pages that won't be modified are the actual secure check out pages, and even those I can change the logos, menus, fonts, colors, etc. so the look coordinates with the rest of the site.

If you want to email me I can send you links to the test pages, so you can compare what I've done so far with miva to how the site looks today.
posted by anastasiav at 6:27 AM on January 5, 2004

I've been using a program called THATSANORDER (LE) on my pencam site for about a year now. It came with my server. It allows for pictures and handles shipping and taxes, but the light edition only lets you have up to 25 items. I just did a google search, and while there are plenty of sources to tell you how to configure the software, I wasn't able to find a source of the script.
posted by crunchland at 6:43 AM on January 5, 2004

OS Commerce is PHP with a MySQL backend, has plugins for damned near everything you can think of, has a drop-dead easy installation process, and the templates can completely be customized.
posted by waxpancake at 7:10 AM on January 5, 2004

I second the OS Commerce recommendation. I use heavily customized it to my local farming cooperative, which you can tour here.
posted by ewagoner at 7:21 AM on January 5, 2004

I use heavily customized it to my...

Me talk pretty one day.
posted by ewagoner at 7:23 AM on January 5, 2004

It's a slightly different discussion, but something similar was Asked last month.
posted by majick at 5:53 PM on January 5, 2004

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