Vote for the shopping cart I should use (and give comments)
Ok, so I know there are 50 million threads about which is the best shopping cart to use.
However, between the following....what would you recommend?
Avactis (i have a free license...normally $199)
I want something that is EASY to use for both the client AND the admins.
We want something that can be integrated into a site and make to look like part of the site. We want to be able to customize the cart to make it not look like a normal...boring cart. For example, I don't want it to look like the normal, out of the box OSC or ZenCart.
OR.....if you have a suggestion and good reasoning.....you can suggest another shopping cart.
Is the license you have for Avactis a full license without expiration? Or do you have to renew it yearly? Does the license provide for full support privledges? If so I would go with them even though they are still fairly new to the market. My second choice would be Zen-Cart. All of the carts you mentioned will do what you are asking. Let us know what you decide to use.
One thing you may want to keep in mind is that you will want to keep your cart software up to date at all times. Not only will you and your customers benefit from performance upgrades and bug fixes but all of you will benefit from any security updates. Since you only have updates for a year with the Avactis license I would suggest you keep the cost of updates in mind when you make your choice. If this does not fit into your budget I would suggest Zen-Cart.
I have been looking for a cart for almost 2 years and every time I think I found one I run into problems with either design or function and of course updates. I am using Avactis cart now and in the process of designing my cart, the thing I like about Avactis Shopping Cart is one of the main Avactis feature is easy customization and no need to touch site design each tine after updates since storefront works independently from the Admin Area from design point of view. This is the best cart in my opinion and from what I ehard about future additions to the cart it will be the top cart in the business.
Having worked with both, OSc and ZenCart, I definitely recommend ZenCart to people.
As to customizing a Shopping Cart or any type script, you will be looking at some time and investment to have it done right. Unless starting with a Theme that was designed specifically for the "whatever" script, much recoding has to be done.
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ok thanks - I can't find what the cost would be for future updates/upgrades on Avactis. I know it comes with a free year, but what would the charge be after that? I am not sure...I will try to find out.
while working with my Avactis cart I have communicated with the support staff and I can tell they are very dedicated to making the best cart on the market, that is what sold me on it. It's not very hard to create a new design they have a good tag system and working on a even better one so in the future it will be even easier to build this cart into any design. I can't wait to see what new additions are coming soon because I can't imagine it being any easier to work with but they say more is to come.
I can't add anything about future update costs because I don't know what or if there will be any but I do feel safe in saying that they do not put anything out that is buggy. I always had a hard time with OSc and ZenCart but not having any problems with Avactis cart so that tells me that they have made the cart so that even someone who doesn't know coding ( me ) very well can still customize the look of the cart.
Once again just my opinion and my reasons why I am using their cart.
Yes Avactis is new. I think they started in June 2006 if my memory serves me correctly. The software looks promising. Not sure yet about how good their support is. Maybe Ron can give you some insight into that. My suggestion would be if the $69/year fits into your budget I would try using them first. If not then I would recommend using Zen-Cart.
Another thought might be if the $69/year fits into your budget then you may want to consider a more established shopping cart and find one that you can just pay for upfront and get lifetime updates and support. There are plenty of good carts with good support out there in the $75-$150 range that will give you lifetime updates and support. Just do a search or ask around here for other suggestions.
I will address what I know, their support is great compared to what I have experienced with other support in all areas of software. I decided to try Avactis out and I'm glad I have, right now I am working on the design of my cart and soon will have a example to show. One thing I will point out and this is my view only, $69 a year for a cart that runs well for a online business is NOTHING.
There are those carts that offer lifetime updates BUT this is my experience, I once bought a classified ads script from Esvon and they had lifetime support and upgrades. After about 9 months they changed their policy and started charging for support and upgrades and there was nothing I could do about it so I wasted $599
Avactis Shopping Cart is a very promising cart and the staff is great with me when I need them. Not knowing too much coding and still being able to customize the cart is enough to show mw that the Avactis team is dedicated to making a cart that is easy for everyone to use and still very powerful.
I would suggest going to the forum http://www.avactis.com/forums/index.php
read the posts and see what you think. They are a new cart as BrillantHosts said but a good one. The thing I like about them also is they take suggestions from users and add them to the cart, unlike open source they test everything before releasing it so you are not the testers as you are in most open source software.
Sorry for the long wind but I wanted to address everything and add my own opinion.
You have your work cut out for you to make Zen-Cart URLs SEO optimized.
1. Get rid of the query strings. (or at least make sure they are short and there are always in the same order in the URL)
2. Make sure spiders can't see duplicate content with different URLs.
3. Make forward pagination for page 1 of the product listings the same as the back link to page 1.
4. Make sure the cart isn't overloading your keyword and description meta tags.
This needs to be right out of the gate or your spinning your wheels if you hope to get good search engine placement.