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

Simon Emms simon at simonemms.com
Tue Oct 19 13:38:10 UTC 2010

I tend to agree with that.  But then again, I subscribe to the school of
thought that code you know inside-out is always best.  A couple of years
ago, I was asked to do a CMS job and developed my own extendable framework
that I use for pretty much everything.  While someone looking at it wouldn't
be familiar with it (and slower), I know it so well that I can do lots of
complex things fairly easily.


Generally, my advice would be the same.  If this is a one-off job and you'll
never get asked to anything remotely similar in the future, use an
off-the-shelf one.  If not however, think about developing a framework with
basic functions and the ability to extend it easily.  That way, it solves
the previous correspondents' gripe about bug fixes as the basic
functionality will be solid - just might take 6 months to get it to that


Like with everything in life, it's a question of compromise.




From: phpwm-bounces at mailman.lug.org.uk
[mailto:phpwm-bounces at mailman.lug.org.uk] On Behalf Of Andy Cowan
Sent: 19 October 2010 13:30
To: West Midlands PHP User Group
Subject: Re: [Phpwm] Off the shelf shopping cart software vs roll-your-own


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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