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  1. #1

    Best cart for a Hosting Company site?

    Hi Guys,

    I am working on to create a site for a hosting company which is offering 6 packages. Now, I created the website first and then thought of using OSCommerce as the shopping cart. But, I encountered many problems.

    First of all, the OSCommerce doesn't look good to be used for a hosting company. There are 5-6 packages and the effort needed to do customise OSCommerce is much more than needed. I don't need quite a considerable portion of OSC like shipping stuff, categories etc etc. I would rather create my own small cart in php.

    The second problem is that I am not sure if I make my own cart then how will I take care of payment gateways? Will the payment gateways have their own API's that I can use in my cart?

    Now, I would like to ask you guys who have worked on hosting website and carts that how good or practically reasonable to use OSCommerce for hosting company? Do you suggest any other cart or script? And what about creating my own cart?

    Thanks everyone in advance.

  2. #2
    Most web hosts that I am aware of stay away from these "cart" scripts, and at the very most, use a CMS such as Joomla to make page management easier. Most hosts just code their website in PHP, do their header of their website in a header.php, do their footer in a footer.php, and then include header + content + footer on pages such as about us, web hosting, home page, etc.

    To achieve what you are trying to do with the cart system, order management, I'd recommend WHMCS or ClientExec which handles billing+support+account management/creation. Either one of these are usually included with reseller hosting packages by other providers.

  3. #3
    But this is a paid solution. Right? I am looking for a free open source solution.

    What if I create a small system of my own and then integrate it with a payment gateway? Over the time I can look on other products and try to integrate them. But, I think I should be able to recreate our own system in future.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by leon_nerd View Post
    But this is a paid solution. Right? I am looking for a free open source solution.

    What if I create a small system of my own and then integrate it with a payment gateway? Over the time I can look on other products and try to integrate them. But, I think I should be able to recreate our own system in future.
    If you have the knowledge to build a customer facing front end, administrative back-end, and integrate a payment gateway, then more power to you.

    Unfortunately however there is no good, not even one worth mentioning, open source alternative to WHMCS for, period.

    Not to mention its 13.95/per month from licensepal, which is insanely cheap for a piece of software that can earn you so much money.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    PHP Coin is an ok free web hosting script. But, I would recommend going with something such as WHMCS, Client Exec, and WHMAutoPilot rather then using OSCommerce since it is built for hosting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    May be you can try ISPConfig, it's open-source and free
    http://www.ispconfig.org/

    However i would highly suggest you to go with WHMCS or ClientExec.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kishan View Post
    May be you can try ISPConfig, it's open-source and free
    http://www.ispconfig.org/

    However i would highly suggest you to go with WHMCS or ClientExec.
    ISP Config is a control panel not a billing system.

  8. #8
    I can go for WHMCS but my initial question remains the same. Let me say in simple terms. I have designed the cart already (just design) with the Buy buttons. Now, will WHMCS allow me to code those Buy Buttons seamlessly with the design. Is WHMCS's design customizable so as to integrate it seamslessly with the existing design?

  9. #9
    Well. The way we did the things is to create our own shopping cart and to integrate it with authorize net payment gateway. It works fine. Of course unlike those who get WHMCS or any other pre-configured solution we need to develop new modules each time when we need to add something. It is good because we have full control over the process, but at the same time it takes time. I would suggest you to automate the billing and e-commerce software as much as you can and not to develop anything, if you can buy a good solution at low cost.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by leon_nerd View Post
    I can go for WHMCS but my initial question remains the same. Let me say in simple terms. I have designed the cart already (just design) with the Buy buttons. Now, will WHMCS allow me to code those Buy Buttons seamlessly with the design. Is WHMCS's design customizable so as to integrate it seamslessly with the existing design?
    I'd recommend WHMCS, it is fully customisable using template files (there are a lot of them but you only really need to change header and footer). You don't need to code any buttons, they are all included with WHMCS - when someone orders or gets an invoice the buttons are there.

    I'd strongly suggest spending a few quid a month on a decent system; let's face it, $15 a month should be nothing to anyone that is running a serious business Plus, think how long you would spend developing something yourself, there's no point spending hours/days/weeks on something to save a few quid.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    my preference is WHMCS, cause of these reasons:

    1. easy to those who have used the older version
    2. templates if you have HTML knowledge can customize it
    3. admin area is very good with keeping track of your monthly, quarterly, annually, etc income based on the plans you set people up with
    4. most well known amongst hosts for shopping/billing
    5. there are some nice add-ons to it plus they keep updating it

    but those are my main reasons, but again its your call on what to use. i personally wouldn't use OScommerce as its to confusing(yes i have it many times before and have understanding of how the admin area and hate it with a passion!)
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  12. #12
    I'm not the jack of hosting software, so let me simply cover your question regarding payments integration: overall, it's rather simple for any experienced PHP developed. Most of popular payment systems provide integration guides with code examples. At least if we speak of PayPal, 2Checkout, Authorize.Net - all of them are very supportive to third-party software developers. In general, if you're willing to take everything into your own hands, there's nothing wrong with doing so.

  13. #13
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    I would recommend WHMCS. Highly customizable and with many functions, including knowledgebase, support and an affiliate program function, it is certainly the best billing system around. It is easy to integrate into your website and you can customize it with themes.

    It's only $13.95/mo via LicensePal.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Sure, if you would like to build a full system yourself, you will be able to integrate a payment gateway into the system (take API from the gateway and make integration). However imagine how your needs will grow in the future, thus you will need to add new functionality into the system and thus create new scripts from scratch. That could be more expensive and difficult then to use some existing package right now.

    Anyway, the final choice depends on you only :-)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    WHMCS is the undisputed master of systems for hosts. I wouldn't use anything else, and their newest version is a marvel of automation.

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