[Phpwm] Off the shelf shopping cart software vs roll-your-own

Andy Cowan andy at w4.co.uk
Tue Oct 19 12:30:16 UTC 2010

On 19 October 2010 08:53, Bronwen Reid <info at bronwenreid.com> wrote:

>  A general, not very php question here.  When building a site for a client,
> I'd always rather roll my own shopping cart software than work with an
> off-the-shelf product, whether open-source or commercial.
> I've found that off-the-shelf is fine provided you want to do exactly what
> it says on the tin and build a perfectly generic site - no monkey business,
> no deviating from the norm.  And then if you want anything extra - vouchers,
> partial VAT, affiliate tracking, stock management, product options, upload
> images, changes to site searching or navigation - this is where the fun
> starts.  It also seems to be where all the companies who are selling
> shopping cart packages for $45 make their money - you're using their product
> and now you want an extra features ... pay up buster.
> But is there anyone here who uses off-the-shelf and likes it ?
We've done both. And a mixture were we use off-the-shelf and adapt it to
suit.  Frankly, bespoke always feels better, but always seems to have more
issues - minor bugs to fix, edge cases were the customer want to do
something funky that they feel is 'standard'.

Off-the-shelf always promises to be easier, but somehow never quite works
out like that - I've put this down to not having found the right, flexible
e-commerce package.

At the end of the day, for us it comes down to budget. If you have serious
budget, you can have bespoke and it can do whatever you want. If you want
cheap, it has to be off-the-shelf, and you need to accept the limitations.

I'm still looking for an e-commerce solution that works as well as modX does
for content - I'd love to hear if anyone has any suggestions.


Andy Cowan

Creative Director, W4 Creative Ltd
Doubleday House, High Street
Solihull. West Midlands. B91 3SJ

Website development, hosting and internet strategy.
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