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  1. #1

    which shopping cart do you prefer??

    I am setting up an online presence for my business and I have the option of choosing one of these shopping carts, and I would like to know if anyone uses a particular one, and why you prefer it??
    Agora Cart
    Zen Cart

    Thank You for any oppinions, they are definetly appreciated!

  2. #2
    i have used Agora Cart in the past and i used that one because at the time it was the easy one to install and configure.i use paypal right now though seems to work out pretty good

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Vancouver, BC
    Besides asking which cart and why you should be looking at what will work best for you. If you are going to be building an online presence are you going to be doing it all yourself? Do you have the experience and knowledge to edit php and css files?

    If you do then I suggest you go with osCommerce if you do not then you should look at a higher end shopping cart.
    Gary Jones - Canada Web Hosting

  4. #4
    I like osCommerce a lot. It is totally customizable to the point that you can sell any sort of product on it and customize the look and feel completely. Plus with all the modules you can ad pretty much anything.

  5. #5
    I will be doing all of the work, and this is the first time I am doing something like this so I have no knowledge. Is there a different cart other than those 4 that I should use. I am looking for one that will function the best, and be the easiest to use and setup

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    The four that you mentioned are the popular and commonly used shopping carts. At the same time these shopping carts are easy to use. Oscommerce will be recommended to you as it is the most popular amongst all of these carts at the same time you will find almost all of the merchant accounts support this cart which will be use convinient for you to have the merchant account installed as per you choice.

  7. #7
    Hi Glossyprint?

    If your name is any indication, I imagine that your business involves stationary and possible custom letterhead, business cards, etc..

    You will probably have a requirement for advanced product attributes as well as require the ability for customers to upload images, etc...

    If this is the case, from the list you mentioned above, you should probably take a look at Zen Cart. Zen Cart inherently possesses alot of the functionality you would require - therefore the amount of customization you would need to do or number of mods you would need to add, would be minimized.

    Hope this helps...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    NSW, Australia
    Putting in my vote for CubeCart... V2 is extremely easy to customise and V3 includes heaps of new features

    Disclamer: I dont own, run, or am not employed by CubeCart (Devellion Inc.) in any way, shape or form, i just love it!
    Rob G.
    ShopManager - Sales & Repair Business Management Software

  9. #9
    cube cart doesn't do multiple currencies. that's a major drawback for me. I tried zen but then settled for oscommerce.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    My vote go to:

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Your Screen
    Yay, a thread I could write a book on. I'll try not to. *giggle*

    I have a bricks-and-mortar gift shop which also has a website. We've done e-comm since Day 1 online in 1997. Things have changed dramatically since then!

    ZenCart vs. OSCommerce: It should be pointed out that Zen and OSC are essentially the same thing. There are key differences, but the "watered-down version" is that Zen was built upon OSC originally. It started as a souped-up version of OSC and went from there. Here's a brief analysis:
    • How categories, products and boxes display are the same between Zen and OSC.
    • Zen templating has been updated so it is easier to modify how Zen looks, than OSC.

      --> It is easier to change the graphics and colors (CSS) in Zen,
      --> As well as easier to control which boxes display on the sides, and where they appear, in Zen.
      --> It is easier to add/delete links and static pages in Zen.
    • You will find some features available in Zen which are not available in a base install of osCommerce. This is because in osCommerce, the features would be handled through the installation of a plug-in. Note that installing plug-ins in osCommerce is not easy like in a CMS such as Mambo... installing OSC plug-ins requires manually uploading files in specific locations and then adding/deleting pieces of code in other files. It is a manual and picky process for someone who is not accustomed to doing code-level work.
    • Finally, as explained on the Zen website, a lot of the legacy OSC coding has been cleaned up and optimized. In our experience, Zen Cart is sleeker on the server. Less draw, less impact, runs efficiently and well.
    • Finally, Zen gets major points for the Admin menu. It is organized and not gaudy like OSC is (was?). This translates to being very usable. Yay!

    CubeCart: My experiences with CubeCart are limited, however last year one of our designers was investigating CC for a client. The deal-breaker was that for CC to do SSL checkouts, ALL of the pages/products loaded securely (as in, all browsing for all visitors, was fully encrypted. Not just checkouts.) Encrypting all the data on all the pages just sucks CPU and does slow browsing. Especially if you have a busy cart, this is just not feasible. Not only is the overhead on the server over the line, but the slower load speed will end up chasing some shoppers away. Not everyone is patient enough to wait. Now maybe this has been changed in CC ver. 3, I don't know.

    Agora Cart: I don't have a lot of experience with Agora either, but understand that this is because I've had my head in the sand about it. Years ago Agora was a dog. I'm sure many other cPanel users like myself remember when Agora was basic and u-g-l-y!!! Well times have changed completely, I just about fell out of my chair when I saw how nice Agora can be made on the front-end. It's slick and fully customizable now.

    Plus's with Agora...
    • it is offered as an installable option with any cPanel server. (This is assuming that your cPanel host chooses to offer it, double-check your plan and host, they have the ability to shut it off, so it's not a "given.") One click and it's installed, and then you go to the Admin side and do your set-up all on the web.
    • As I mentioned, how it displays on the customer side, is fully customizable, in terms of colors, fonts, etc.
    • Many payment options available, although I believe real-time processing is a small payware add-on. Visit the Agoracart site for details.
    • Outstanding, thorough, detailed documentation on the Agoracart site. I would even put Agora's documentation up to OSC's. It's awesome.
    • And since it's offered as a cPanel-installed option, it will also transfer cleanly to another cPanel host if you end up needing to move.

    I'm actually working on setting a new client/local business up on Agora right now and I've been really pleased with the whole shebang.

    Another option: Mal's E-Commerce
    Mal's works completely differently from the above-listed carts. The above listed carts all install on your hosting account and run on your server. The above listed carts also basically run on a CSS/template system, where you define your product entries in a back-end and then the cart uses master formatting files to create the product pages on-the-fly.

    Well Mal's is different. Mal's is a remote system, meaning, Mal's runs their own servers with the shopping cart software running on it. You then build your pages in HTML and display your products and design your product pages exactly as you want them to appear. (Nice if you want custom formatting) Then each item has a little HTML form associated with it. The form is what sends the purchase information to Mal's system. Mal's servers handle the rest of the sale then, including collection of payment info.
    • Mal's servers are secure and payment collection is done via SSL connections. Also when you download payment info, this is also a secure connection.
    • Mal's base service is Free. Really. I've been using it for 4 years on my shop's site and there are no hidden fees. If you want his upgraded service (which includes batch order/payment downloading & real-time processing) it's just $6 a month, tops.
    • Your Mal's cart pages can be completely customized with your own headers & footers so it's not glaringly obvious that it is being handled by a third party. It can end up looking fully branded.
    • The real payoff with Mal's system is in how the product pages can be made fully customized, and purchasing layouts can be much more customized than in Zen/OSC/Agora.

      --> It is possible to set up a whole table of products for ordering, where the customer enters their quantity in any number of boxes, and then clicks one "Purchase" button. All items and their prices are entered to the cart in one fell swoop. This is especially useful for wholesalers who offer multiple sizes and styles of a single product. (Like candle makers, have Small, Medium and Large Jars, and 30 scents, they can do a table with 3 size colums and 30 scent rows for easy shopping.)
      --> Configure any number of product features and add-ons and they can write to the cart. For instance, I built this page last fall as a template for one of my gift shop products: ... note all the features & add-on products. To set up something like this in OSC is very very complex... in fact with OSC on a similar site, we had to hire out the installation of the plug-in coding, and then actually adding all those features in the Admin back-end was an absolute nightmare. A shop which has lots of personalization and options is going to find themselves in a morasse with OSC. However it's pretty straight-forward to manage on page-by-page basis with Mals-e.
    • As you will be designing HTML pages, you will need to process your own images and have the skills & program needed to make HTML pages. It's not like the others, where everything is done in a web-based administration panel. In this case, the design of the front-end of your cart is done in an HTML editor like GoLive, Dreamweaver, Coffeecup, etc.

    Anyway there's some of my experiences from the front lines, hope this helps!

    Let's Connect on Twitter! @thatsmsgeek2u || Fighting mediocrity one thread at a time.

  12. #12
    Thanks for all the info..
    I have 1 more question which one? if not all?
    Out of the shopping carts offers something that will automatically get the shipping rates for UPS, or USPS? when someone checks out.

  13. #13
    If I'm not mistaken I think OSC has the shipping tables built in, or you can configure it to use the shipping tables.

    By the way, my overall vote is on Zen and my second choice is OSC.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

  15. #15
    My first choice would be osc, for those who is not afraid of doing some customization work yourself.

    If you want a ready to go solution which is very easy to change the design in, it would be Zen-Cart or osc creloaded (

  16. #16
    Does the Zen cart offer anything for shipping amounts?
    If not then what do you guys do who use it?

  17. #17
    Originally posted by glossyprint
    Does the Zen cart offer anything for shipping amounts?

    Can you elaborate on "shipping amounts"?

    Zen Cart (and osCommerce and most others) certainly offer various shipping modules...

  18. #18
    by shipping amounts I meant something where I can put in the weight and zip code I ship from and it will establish the amount for the shipping when the customer puts in their adress.

  19. #19
    Hi glossyprint,

    Yes, most shopping carts offer integration with 1 or more of the major shipping carriers.

    Zen Cart & osCommerce support USPS, Canada Post, UPS, etc...

  20. #20
    Do you know if there is anywhere I can find setp by step directions on setting up zen cart?
    I hate how you install it, and you have to figure it all out by yourself. I only offer 2 products so this should be easy, but it's been 2 days and I haven't figured out 1 thing

  21. #21
    Originally posted by bithost(NET)

    Another option: Mal's E-Commerce
    Thanks for the Info,
    I'm very interested on it and will check it out.

  22. #22
    Originally posted by glossyprint
    Do you know if there is anywhere I can find setp by step directions on setting up zen cart?
    I hate how you install it, and you have to figure it all out by yourself. I only offer 2 products so this should be easy, but it's been 2 days and I haven't figured out 1 thing

    Zen Cart probably isnt the best solution for 2 products. However, Im certain if you asked your host, they would install it for you.

    For this type of solution, you really should find a shopsite host. Go for the shopsite starter (up to 15 products). There are MANY hosts that offer this.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Originally posted by LSChosting
    Putting in my vote for CubeCart... V2 is extremely easy to customise and V3 includes heaps of new features

    Disclamer: I dont own, run, or am not employed by CubeCart (Devellion Inc.) in any way, shape or form, i just love it!
    Good man!! I completely agree!!

  24. #24
    I prefer Oscommerce since it is open source and have many modifications that I can use and suit my sites.


  25. #25
    I'm thinking about getting X-cart for a client. Has anybody out there used it?

  26. hi guys,

    the only things i don't like x-cart, it redirect homepage, not like another shopping cart, the index.php is the homepage.

    and i talked their Sales Representative, he gave me this solutions:


    which i think it doesn't change it at all.


  27. #27
    I use clickcartpro, although wouldn't recommend it to be quite honest, not the cheapest, but doesn't really do much different to the free ones out there and not easily modified for novices.

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