Recently, I’ve been checking into some options for setting up ecommerce web sites. These are sites with a shopping cart system that facilitates multiple sales of physical products (as opposed to digital) products from a web site. It can be for resale, wholesale or both.
WordPress recently came out with a new update. It seems to me that they’ve made a lot of improvements. Someday they may even have a plug-in that better suits the needs of on-line sellers. But, presently, I am not impressed with the #1 shopping cart plug-in available, which is wp-commerce.
Joomla has RedShop, among others, but after talking to a former member of Joomla’s web support team, it seems that these plug-ins typically have bugs. And, like wp-commerce, there doesn’t seem to be a way to add a wholesale section to the site.
So, it seems to me that there is a lack of flexibility in these content management systems like WordPress and Joomla plus a plug-in or extension.
Some hosting companies like Pair.com, which has been around since 1996, in case you’ve never heard of it, and GoDaddy.com offer shopping cart templates. These, too, are restricted to just retail, though.
Pair.com uses ShopSite, which just doesn’t seem to work very well at processing sales. It is quirky and the check out process for the customer seems too complicated. Besides that, the web sites it creates look old-fashioned and out-of-date.
GoDaddy has an award winning shopping cart system, which gets my vote so far if you’re planning on doing a strictly retail product site. It looks slick. It is easy for anybody to use. GoDaddy actually sets it up on your site for you, so all you have to do is figure out how to use the template system. My experience with these template systems is that they are not problem free. But, they are probably also not a bad solution for a simple ecommerce site where you don’t plan to do anything too fancy.
Having explored those initial options and no finding complete satisfaction, I’ve moved on to exploring some scripts like Magento from www.magento.com and Jem from www.jrox.com and I expect that these will be more satisfactory and flexible. I imagine they are less popular options because they require some technical know-how to implement. I hope to find a system that is easy for the end users – both the purchasers of products and the owners of the products.
But, what I have learned so far is of value. Depending on your needs the CMS plug-ins and extensions could be useful and so could the template systems provided by web hosting services. But, there are many more different types of ecommerce or shopping cart systems to consider.