Online Ecommerce Shopping Carts —

Online Ecommerce Shopping Carts

I have been researching several shopping carts as I setup a new online store (, which will sell downloadable music, sheet music, etc.). It has been interesting looking at the tons of open-source options, as well as the commercial software options.

Some observations:

  1. OScommerce has been around a long while, and has a tremendous community built up around it. My impression is that the look is dated, and debugging/configuring  the install will take quite a while.
  2. Xcart is something I’ve had some peripheral experience with through a former client. It is commercial software, and is quite capable. I’ve decided for budget reasons to not go commercial, however.
  3. OSCommRes is an option available in my host account. There is little info on the web about it, though, and I really do not want to start up a new online store with dead software.
  4. Zencart looked interesting – it looks like a more modern version of OScommerce. Several posters commented that it was a better choice than OScommerce, but it would still require significant tweaking.
  5. Magento also looked promising. It is an opensource/commercial hybrid – the so called “freemium” model. Unfortunately for me the “Community” edition was missing some features that I need in this store.
  6. PrestaShop is what I decided to try. It looks like it will do what I need it to do, and the setup seems to be fairly straightforward. I am still in the midst of configuing the backend, and then will start loading product into the store. At that point I’ll make the shop active.

The short list of my requirements:

  1. mysql/php based
  2. Easily add downloadable products
  3. Some carts can do “multiple stores” inside one install. That might be useful later should this store branch out into shippable products.
  4. Backup capability inside the admin panel
  5. multiple admin users – I’m going to need some help later!
  6. Ability to add free products to the mix.
  7. Builtin RSS feed
  8. Multiple currency capable
  9. Builtin hooks to Paypal and Google Checkout

More later as I continue this journey!


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