Web Commerce

Hal Burgiss hal at burgiss.net
Wed Oct 22 23:03:39 UTC 2008

On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 07:47:02AM -0500, Wade Smart wrote:
> Knapp wrote:
> > I have been looking at using oscommerce to start up a web site selling
> > fine art. I know there are a bunch of other choices.
> > http://www.oscommerce.com/solutions/downloads
> > 
> I have never heard of them and I have set up hundreds of sites - but 
> that means nothing really. Looking over their site its not very 
> informative - neither are their screen shots. But, since this is run in 
> a web browser so its platform independent. Most of the google results I 
> got on it are from Windows 2003 server and they seem to cater to Windows 
> platforms - or windows users seem to use them more than others - which 
> again doesnt mean just a whole lot.
> Download it and try it out. They use paypal as a gateway so it wont do 
> any harm to test it out.

osCommerce is the great grand-daddy of open source ecommerce. Its been
around a long time, and there probably are 10,000's of sites running

There's two ways to judge it: as a site administrator who installs it
and runs the site. And then someone who hacks the code, and modifies
it to do something custom or different. In the first situation, it
would say 'yea'. There are more 3rd party plugins and modules for
osCommerce that extends it than anything else out there. 

Secondly, the code is somewhat of a mess. Mostly because its
foundation is old, and its been hacked up and down for years. So on
that count, and if I had to write code for it (I have), I'd vote no.

They support pretty much any payment option you want. Paypal is just

Others to look at:

zencart, based on osCommerce but updated with better templating and
fully xhmtl/css.

ubercart, actually a drupal module but very solid code. Its pretty new
so not as much 3rd party stuff for it. From a coding standpoint, its
first rate, and would be my choice on that count. You get a great
content management system in the bargain too. 

magento, looks cool but I've not used it, nor looked under the hood.

These are all php + mysql. 

I've used xcart too, but it costs. Its table based code and a bit of a
bugger to tinker around in. They do have support though.

Actually, for a simple low traffic site, that is just basic sales
stuff, that you won't personally be writing code for, any of them
would be OK.

One caveat, if you take credit cards, I would not do that locally on a
home system. I'd bounce the user to paypal, google, authorize.net or
somebody that can do secure transactions. 


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