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Which Ecommerce Script Should I Use?

I have a client who requires shopping cart functionality for maybe 20 products. Is it worth installing dedicated shopping cart software, should I use Paypal buttons, or are there other options.


10 Answers 10


It might help if you provide more information about the specifications for the client. Do they already have an existing website and what does their stack look like? Are they having to synchronize inventory for brick and mortar sales through quickbooks? Are they selling a digital product? Are they selling configurable product or products with a lot of colors and sizes?

Having done several Magento stores I can tell you it can get rather expensive to implement. You also have to worry about security more and upgrades and backups. For someone just cutting their teeth in ecomm I don't think it's highly recommended unless they were certain they are going to have a big sales volume. I think the same advice goes for most of the other options hosted on your own server.

While services like Shopify cost more per transaction, it's much faster and cheaper to get setup, and you unload all of the work on the server and transaction processing to them. I'm moving a Magento client to Shopify and starting a new project on them as well.


Really depends on what other functionality they require or may require in the future.

It might be worth looking at the feature list of say PrestaShop and comparing it with PayPal buttons and asking your client if any of them are must haves or would likes.

  • +1 For using paypal buttons if it really is going to be a small amount of products. It's pointless trying to install or integrate a fully-fledged cart solution otherwise (in my opinion!).
    – Anonymous
    Mar 15 '12 at 15:31

My colleague built a really simple shopping cart platform at SimpleCartjs.com - you might want to give that a try. I think you should have some sort of shopping cart platform, even if it is really simple, because it will make it easy to expand the site in the future if needed.

  • 2
    First: this didn't answer the question. The questions wasn't: what is the best shopping-cart solution, but: do I need a shopping cart for task XY. Second: the Stackexchange-network isn't an advertising platform for your personal business, even if the promoted software is free.
    – feeela
    Jul 5 '11 at 11:46
  • If any shopping cart is going to take money, it must be server side software, javascript is definitely out.
    – Dave
    Jul 5 '11 at 15:28

Yes I think it is worth installing some sort of stack to help facilitate the site and the end goals. In reality your clients needs also include some SEO level work which will probably entail some keyword rich content / and some branding to help promote their products. Take a look at wordpress and a simple e-commerce plugin.


Does it worth the installation and maintenance costs ? Are you sure your client doesn't want inventory/shipping modules/payment gateways/good SEO/multiple-languages and so on ?

Consider http://www.shopify.com/ ? They provide all, from robust ecommerce website to payment processors ( including paypal of course ).

Sometimes, we underestimate the amount of work to be compliant regarding the taxes, shipping and user locales when we implement an ecommerce solution.

If you need to have absolutely an hosted version, i also recommend PrestaShop who can provide mostly everything (i'm using it myself), but consider maintenance costs of patching, explaining to your client, etc.

Hope this helps


Well it depends highly on your skill to install the software (no offense i just don't know where you are coming from) and the predicted growth of the shopping cart.

let's say you are selling stickers for an upcoming community soccer tournament on your blog, i would suggest you just create pages and paste the Paypal code(or whatever gateway you use)

now if your store is going to have a longer life and will grow to a small business , i suggest using a dedicated software, there are some good options both opensource and SaaS, Shopify seems good, PrestaShop is also proven, there is also a e-commerce extension for wordpress.

I lean toward OpenCart (opencart.com) it's a great turnkey solution, simple install, comes with plenty of gateways and shipping methods and i've used it in several small stores with great sucess.


CS-Cart community edition is free and has tons of options. Or go with Magento's community edition which is also good but a little more complicated than CS-Cart


I would recommend installing a cart solution like Magento, zen cart, oscommerce, etc. The reason being you get alot more than just a cart and will be able to expand on it. Paypal's pretty easy to setup and get running. No need to reinvent the wheel.


It's definitely worth using shopping cart software, particularly if the business is likely to grow in the future. Paypal is generally the easiest option when it comes to online purchases, so I would say yes to that.

One of the best and simplest solutions I've found is the WooCommerce plugin for Wordpress (made by WooThemes). It's a free Wordpress plugin and is super easy to use. You can get various themes and extensions for it that you have to pay for though, but they're not that expensive. You can use it for a small shop with only a few products very easily.


http://nopcommerce.com/ is C# solution , open source, this is demo http://infinityobchod.sk/

  • This didn't answer the question. See comment on @Kyle Deming.
    – feeela
    Jul 5 '11 at 11:50
  • From nopcommerce.com "nopCommerce is a fully customizable shopping cart. It's stable and highly usable. nopCommerce is an open source e-commerce solution that is ASP.NET 4.0 based with a MS SQL 2005" It's not a C# solution. It's ASP.NET
    – Anagio
    Mar 6 '12 at 11:09

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