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osCommerce

The e-commerce.

Newbie questions


OJonas

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I'm currently running a web store on CityMax, but I find it far too limited for my

needs, so I'm looking at alternatives, including OsCommerce. From what I can

tell, OsCommerce looks very interesting. Since I'm extremely busy, I'd

appreciate if people here could advise me whether OsCommerce will suit my

needs, before I invest a lot of time setting it up.

 

1. I have a merchant account and an Authorize.net account for processing credit

cards. I'm planning on hosting with an inexpensive basic hosting service for

under $10/month. I assume OsCommerce can deal with Authorize.net using

such a service, right?

 

2. What tools do people usually use to build their site? Is it enough to use the

management tools that come with OsCommerce and a text editor to make a

decent site, or do I need to also have web editing software like Dreamweaver?

 

3. Are there any repositories of artwork, images, graphics, etc. that are royalty

free or relatively inexpensive? I'm using some of CityMax's images on my site

so I need to find good replacements.

 

4. How does OsCommerce compare with Zen Cart? (Don't mean to start a flame

war. If there's a rivalry, I don't really mean to step into the middle of it.) I've heard

Zen Cart is easier to maintain but maybe doesn't have quite as many bells and

whistles.

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I'm currently running a web store on CityMax, but I find it far too limited for my

needs, so I'm looking at alternatives, including OsCommerce. From what I can

tell, OsCommerce looks very interesting. Since I'm extremely busy, I'd

appreciate if people here could advise me whether OsCommerce will suit my

needs, before I invest a lot of time setting it up.

 

1. I have a merchant account and an Authorize.net account for processing credit

cards. I'm planning on hosting with an inexpensive basic hosting service for

under $10/month. I assume OsCommerce can deal with Authorize.net using

such a service, right?

 

2. What tools do people usually use to build their site? Is it enough to use the

management tools that come with OsCommerce and a text editor to make a

decent site, or do I need to also have web editing software like Dreamweaver?

 

3. Are there any repositories of artwork, images, graphics, etc. that are royalty

free or relatively inexpensive? I'm using some of CityMax's images on my site

so I need to find good replacements.

 

4. How does OsCommerce compare with Zen Cart? (Don't mean to start a flame

war. If there's a rivalry, I don't really mean to step into the middle of it.) I've heard

Zen Cart is easier to maintain but maybe doesn't have quite as many bells and

whistles.

 

1. Hosting: It is possible, but I have heard horror stories of people using cheap hosting companies. You get what you pay for. Avoid godaddy.com hosting and ipower / ipowerweb.com hosting like the PLAGUE! Nothing but lies and noone on staff knows what they are doing as it relates to php / mysql or oscommerce.

 

Best bet? Search for "oscommerce hosting" on search engines. Also try to ensure your hosting company offers an SSL you can buy or "shared ssl" that is included, which will make people feel more secure when buying among tons of other reasons.

 

The biggest issues with authorize.net is that you need to ensure your hosting company offers OpenSSL and cURL compiled into php, so ask that as well to avoid issues.

 

2. Tools: There is no set of universal tools, tons of programs out there starting from simple to very complex depending on your needs. Best suggestions:

a. Find a designer who can build you a good oscommerce template and install it for you.

b. Find a good oscommerce programmer who can answer your questions and help build you some "define mainpage" type pages, which would allow you to edit certain pages from within admin tools...like home page, conditions, shipping & returns, etc.

 

I use a heavily customized version of oscommerce with things like this, and customers love it!

 

3. Artwork / Photos: Lots of sites. Best ones do charge you, but there are sites like comstock.com which have wonderful stock photos that once you login you can see the full versions and use into your designs.

 

I am not suggesting you steal any photos of course, but this is a good site...so is gettyimages.com

 

4. oscommerce vs. Zen cart: The short? Zen cart is easier to maintain, but does not offer as much in terms of customization, contributions, etc.

Sincerely,

Bruce

 

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  • 5 months later...
1. Hosting: It is possible, but I have heard horror stories of people using cheap hosting companies. You get what you pay for. Avoid godaddy.com hosting and ipower / ipowerweb.com hosting like the PLAGUE! Nothing but lies and noone on staff knows what they are doing as it relates to php / mysql or oscommerce.

 

I have a virtual server from ipower and I am running (3) forums on it and I have no problems at all with them.

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I would say if your a very busy person and know very little php then find someone who can customize your oscommerce cart at a cost im sure but it will save you time and a lot of headaches. I didn't know any php before using OsC i still know very little but enought to get what I want from OsC. There is a lot of support here at the forums, and lots of contributions to upgrade things. The cart itself I find works well to start but there will be a lot of things you will want that are not included in the stock OsC. You will have to spend time to get it to be what you want.

 

I haven't had any problems with my host or my SSL.

 

As someone said you get what you pay for. OsC can be great but expect to put some time and effort into it, or paying someone to do it for you.

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