The project that I'm working on will require a catalog as extensive as these sites:

but with odd size/shaped equipment such as:

So basically I need an ecommerce package to handle these number of products and variations and also odd issues such as shipping of non-standard sized equipment.

Can an ecommerce package for Wordpress handle this or I need to go to a purely ecommerce package?

One of the requirements for the client is to make the online store not just about the products but about the history and development of the sport. That's one of the reason why I'm still trying to find a Wordpress solution right now, because Wordpress allows other type of content besides just purely products.

I've cross posted at the Wordpress stackexchange.


I would take a look at these options:

In any case all 4 solutions will have to be modified to your client's needs. The solution you choose can also be influenced by which payment gateways they support e.g. XML direct invisible method. There is a great community around these open source shopping carts and you may find all the solutions already developed if you are willing to pay.

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Magento is the defacto open source ecommerce solution right now, and it's used by a lot of large sites. Aside from being one of the most robust e-commerce solutions on the market, its modular design (built on ZF) and plugin system (and large library of free and commercial plugins) means that you can do almost anything with it.

I'm not sure what is needed to handle odd-shaped products, but if the integrated shipping calculator can't handle it by default, you can always write a plugin (or hire a developer to write one) that can fix that.

The only problem with Magento is that, because it's such a robust application, it takes some time to learn the ins and outs of customizing and programming for it. The lack of decent documentation is also a major drawback, and the support forums are mostly filled with clueless webmasters looking for help or commercial developers just there to advertise their services.

But for most businesses, Magento is more than capable of meeting their needs without customization. And there are also plugins for most commonly sought features not included in the community version.

Oh, and I would recommend using separate solutions for e-commerce and for content management. Specialized software is always going to be better and more robust than a CMS plugin or an application that tries to fill 2 completely unrelated needs. There's really no advantage to combining your store and general content. If you want to integrate your store with your site, you can easily do that with Magento's SOAP API.

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  • +1 for using a hybrid solution. What will the SOAP API allow me to do? Let's say that I want to put magento as the main content on my site and I want the sidebars to be controlled by CMS. Can I have magento trigger something in the CMS so the sidebar is updated let's say some history about the type of product, e.g. modern running shoes. – milesmeow Oct 19 '10 at 17:01
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    @milesmeow: Magento's API (which can be called through XMLRPC as well) lets you do pretty much anything the store can do (view/add/edit/delete orders, products, users, shipments, product attributes, etc., etc.) and you can also write your custom API functions. However, I would probably just write a plugin that adds a "product history" attribute to each product, and then customize the product view to show it in a sidebar. If you want to be able to update the history from your CMS, then you would use the API to do so. – Lèse majesté Oct 19 '10 at 22:38

Wordpress is open source so technically it can do anything you'd like if you are willing to mod it enough. I'd recommend building a custom CMS though for the amount of work it would take. I love open source software and use it/support it any chance I get but if you need a lot of custom features my experience has been you're better off with a custom site.

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  • That's always the big question...customize or roll your own. – milesmeow Oct 20 '10 at 18:28
  • Agreed, my process is to make a list of all the functions I can't live without and if they are not already covered either out of the box or through established plugins, then through trial and error I've found that the majority of the time it's more cost effective to roll my own. – Joshak Oct 21 '10 at 13:48

drupal ubercart will do what you need.

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I´ve done simular sites with shopp and wordpress, the potensial is huge, but it will requere som php knowledge and understanding of the wp source and structure.

You should use the solution you´ll feel comfortable with, and do some custom developement for this soulution, since there often isn´t any completely ready-made carts that have everything you will have, or wish you have.

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