Shopping Carts for WordPress Suck

WordPress Shopping Carts SuckIt’s almost 2013. Why oh why can’t I find a professional, full featured shopping cart plugin for WordPress?

I have clients on old ecommerce platforms such as OSCommerce and ZenCart that I would LOVE to move over to WordPress (have you tried to SEO an OSCommerce or ZenCart site? It can be done but it’s like three pains in each ass cheek.)

I have a full developers license for Cart66, which I can use for a couple of personal projects, but it doesn’t support tiered pricing. This is a basic requirement of ecommerce, and it’s positively ridiculous that they don’t support it. Moreover, you can’t find out they don’t support it until after you buy it – the support forums for Cart66 are full of people who have been begging desperately for this feature for over two years – but the forums are only open to people who’ve bought the product. Megafail.

Jigoshop also doesn’t appear to support tiered pricing.  I repeat – nowadays this is a requirement for selling online. Every single one of my ecommerce clients offers discounts for quantity (and always has).

I don’t want a hosted solution, such as Shopify or BigCommerce.  We need to be able to self host.

Even going off WordPress – Magento is way overkill for what we want to do. I have one client on a mid sized Magento Enterprise install, and I’m only too familiar with what it takes to run well.

I looked at one from Tribulant, but it has compatibility issues with other plugins (for SEO and caching) that I can’t do without.

I tried WP E-Commerce but my clients had a difficult time understanding it (and ultimately they’re the ones who have to deal with it). It *does* have tiered pricing, but what it doesn’t allow for are add-on accessories that add to the price AND add to the shipping weight.

There are a number of free plugins (such as WooCommerce), and some offer some of the functions I need as an extension for extra money, but I can’t test them on my clients products without buying them first, and given my requirements (and the poor experiences I have had trying to shove products into carts that don’t fit), I have no idea if they will work even with the extensions.

And NOTHING seems to offer EVERYTHING I need for any one client. So for now, they’re stuck on OSCommerce and ZenCart (which isn’t very Zen). One of my clients has SEVEN PRODUCTS and four of them won’t fit into any WordPress shopping cart I have so far found.

Someone needs to jump on this. There is still room for a paid ecommerce plugin for for WordPress that offers the same features you can find in the old software.

Look, what I need isn’t that difficult.  Ecommerce platforms (that aren’t WordPress plugins) have had these things for years.

  • As mentioned, I need tiered pricing. That means discounts for quantity. Preferably set by table.
  • I need the ability to offer price = FREE, but still add a shipping and handling charge.
  • I need product variations (with pricing AND SHIPPING WEIGHT options)
  • I need to be able to add a handling charge in some situations
  • I need to be able to offer coupons, promo codes, and free shipping on some products.
  • I need to be able to offer multiple shipping options (we have products from 1 to 500lbs) on a per product basis
  • I need to be able to easily create category pages
  • I need it to be able to work with PayPal (standard and pro) and Authorize.net
  • I need it to work with a live shipping feeds from UPS and Fed Ex (and something in Canada – Fed Ex or Purolator)
  • I want it to be self-hosted. Not interested in hosting elsewhere.
  • It has to be reasonably easy to integrate – shortcodes are good
  • It has to play nice with essential WordPress plugins
  • An added bonus would let me export orders into QuickBooks

I have people willing to pay for this. Why can’t I find anything that I’m sure will work? Isn’t it time to do ecommerce in WordPress like the grownups do?

  • http://www.semmetric.org SEMMetric

    Have you looked at CS Cart? I have been using it for around an year now and it seems pretty stable and easy to setup and use, has tons of options and fairly decent SEO (but obviously not as flexible as WordPress).

    Yea Magento is overkill for most small businesses and you need a fairly powerful hosting solution for it. CS Cart works fine on VPS if your product counts is in the hundreds. For a dedicated eCommerce website I generally avoid WordPress plugins because most are still pretty limited.

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      No, as I mentioned before, we're committed to WordPress pretty much. I'll look at this one if something comes up in the future, but what I need right now is something that works with *WordPress*

  • http://twitter.com/vikkiorlando @vikkiorlando

    Have you looked into http://cashiecommerce.com/ they're the new one owned by paypal. (Caveat – haven't used it, just heard of it.)

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      Yea I looked at them; their pricing model (taking a percentage of the sale on top of the credit card or paypal fee) would not be acceptable to any of my clients. At least one client has done a hundred thousand orders since I put him in his first store; no way he'd give away a percentage of every order (he gets pissed off enough about the credit card fees)

  • mattmikulla

    I completely agree that virtually all shopping carts suck.

    For my current project I am moving away from Shopify and using WooCommerce. The issue of essential functionality through paid extensions is becoming a pain in the ass.

    However, I have been extremely impressed by WooCommerce's progress over the last year while Shopify evolves at a snails pace.

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      The problem is, in order to shoehorn my products in, I would have to buy at least four (and maybe more) extensions that *might* work, and plus there's my time getting them to work properly, and no guarantee that they will (because they sure don't make much information available about them)

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  • http://www.liveambitions.com Steve

    Couldn't agree more… I've tried out most of them out there, and they all lack in some way. Check out OpenCart – far from the overkill of Magento, but has all the features you want.

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      No, that's not WordPress. For at least one client, I'm trying to keep to one platform – he has five sites and four of them are selling stuff. Trying to keep the number of platforms he has to deal with to a minimum; that's been an issue in the past. But I'll take a look at that.

  • Antony

    Have you looked at MODx? You can create just about any website you like without constraint and there are a few fully featured e-commerce plug-ins.

    I'd always avoid wordpress, it's ok as a blog or for a small website but anything else and it starts to show it's limitations, plug-ins can be pretty hit and miss too.

    Agreed OS Commerce is very long in the tooth and Magento overkill for small to medium ecom.

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      No, we have evaluated and we definitely prefer to use WordPress. If you choose your hosting and your plugins wisely, implement a good caching solution, and otherwise optimize for speed, it works quite well. My sites easily handle 3000 simultaneous users pounding on the database.

      I'm not familiar with MODx, and wouldn't want to put a client's mission-critical store into a platform I'm not at least moderately familiar with. Thanks for the suggestion though, it looks interesting.

  • http://www.rhyswynne.co.uk Rhys

    Agreed wholeheartedly.

    Having fun with Jigoshop at the moment, and already on one extension purchase (which doesn't work, but functionality is promised "by Christmas"). Questioning one other functionality as well (Automatic Related Products, which is fine, except they aren't that related. Could use a manual override, and not keen on forking out).

    I'm with you, I **love** WordPress, so much so that I tolerate it for e-commerce. But by goodness, it can be so much better. (came from Actinic, yes I so prefer it)

  • http://twitter.com/CloudSwipe @CloudSwipe

    Even though we've already chatted, I figured I'd leave a comment here for other folks to about CloudSwipe (http://cloudswipe.com). CloudSwipe is a whole new approach to e-commerce in WordPress. It's a full e-commerce platform with seamless integration with WordPress. Think of it as all the features of Shopify that folks love coupled with the flexibility and design of WordPress (themes, plugins, etc.). You get the best of both worlds.

    Because we have a platform in the cloud, it's going to allow us to do a lot of interesting things coming soon that is just not possible with a WordPress plugin only (like WooCommerce, etc.).

    It's free to try and we'd love to get your feedback: http://cloudswipe.com

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      That's a bit more of a product plug than I'd normally accept in the comments, but it is part of the continuing conversation so I guess I'll allow it. This once. I will note that at this time, Cloud Swipe doesn't really fit my needs as outlined above, but it may work for others.

      • http://twitter.com/CloudSwipe @CloudSwipe

        Understood, it definitely was a product plug, wasn't trying to hide that fact. :) Just thought folks might want to know about another option before they abandon WordPress altogether. Thanks.

    • orson

      I definitely dig this concept, however, this platform is way to limited in features to be useful for anything but the most super-basic of ecommerce stores. I think it's a great idea if you can flesh out many aspects of the platform. Needs more robust product options and shipping options, also needs more ability to customize product display options. Those are just a few things I noticed spending 15 minutes getting it up and running and adding a product.

      • http://twitter.com/CloudSwipe @CloudSwipe

        Hi Orson,
        We'd love to hear more about the kinds of features you'd like to see. We're adding new features every week to CloudSwipe. We have pretty robust product variations, including a newly released file attachment option which allows your customers to upload files for products they are buying (personalized gifts, etc.). What other shipping options would you like to see?

        We'd love to get some more feedback from you!

        Thanks!
        Joey, CloudSwipe Co-Founder

  • http://rethinkmarketing.com.au Anthony

    I have to agree. Ecommerce on WordPress is currently a question as to which platform is “least bad”. Personally I have settled on WP eCommerce from Viser Labs which is relatively stable and has a good ecosystem of plugins and add-ons.

    While it doesn’t work for you I’ve tried VirtueMart for Joomlae. V1 WAS excellent the latest iteration v2 is awful with the developer community almost abandoning the system.

    For the majority of my project I have now turned to Volusion. Solid performance and outstanding support.

    Good luck with your platform selection

  • ercan

    Any comment about Ecwid?

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      Haven't tried that one yet. Right now the client is working on whether he can modify the way he presents his products to work with Cart66 (which he shouldn't have to do, but…) I will take a look though.

  • jvinch

    You may want to have a look at Foxycart. It's pretty slick when you're not afraid to dive in – and seems, at first glance, to do what you need it to do. Good, responsive team too – and great support in their forums.

    Good luck.

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      Thanks for the comment. As I mentioned, we are not interested in hosted solutions, nor solutions that add transaction fees. That's non negotiable.

      For now we're making do with Cart66, and either not offering the products with tiered pricing, or not offering the pricing options. My clients shouldn't have to change the way they've done business for ten years in order to accommodate a shopping cart, but that's the world we live in.

  • artsfantasy

    I use E-Commerce most of the times, and so far it fulfilled my clients 80% needs in total. The rest 20% i could go around with a little PHP magic.

    E-commerce can have product addons (they are called variations) and they do add to the shipping weight. A proper setup is needed yes.

    I explain my customers that if they want a complex system they need to learn a complex UI.

    The latest E-commerce update cleaned up many UI stuff and I encourage you to check it out.

    Ultimately if you don't like something – you fix it, or learn how to fix it, complaining does not do much since we are not in a shopping mall but on in a open-source environment.

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      Nonsense. I'm not a developer, and I don't want to be a developer. My talents lie elsewhere, and it would be stupid for me to spend time on "learning to fix it" myself. (Coders always think everyone wants to code – they don't) Complaining brings attention to the problem. And this is a problem.

  • http://www.cassidylackey.com Cassidy

    Try woocommerce. I've built a couple good ecommerce sites and it seems fairly solid. It has all the features above if you purchase a few of the additional plugins. Check out my scandlecandle.com site as an example.

    • http://twitter.com/the5dKeeper @the5dKeeper

      Cassidy. I looked at your scandlecandle.com –> http://abodycandle.com/ site. Impressive! I like the way the cart comes together, although it wouldn't be my choice to ever collect credit card info I see that PayPal is integrated. I'm going to look into woocommerce but I wanted to ask you a question about Analytics…. Do you use/get analytic data int Google? I assume that since the cart is hosted on your site that goals would be no problem, but what about sales tracking?
      BTW-If you would like to see where I'm looking to use the new cart, check out: http://the5dKeeper.com

    • cindi

      thanks Cassidy, I've been looking for the best shopping cart for my small business, I checked out your site it's beautiful. Is this cart the free Woo commerce plug in?

  • http://notagrouch.com/ Oscar

    I've been feeling the same way since I started using WP years ago. At least we have things like wp-e-commerce and woocommerce, shopp and cart66 now. But definitely all lack some major feature from standard e-commerce practices. However for your 7 product client as you mention towards the end of your post, I can't think of how complicated these products can be that you can't use woocommerce, wp-ecommerce or shopp to handle it. A large store with tiered pricing, shipping, etc sure I can see that, but 7 products? Also upon reviewing your requirements, I'm pretty sure that wp-ecommerce handles all of them. There are also several companies that build up on top of those products to "complete them" — I know that kinda sucks but at least there are a few options to work with if the budget and desire is there.

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      Nevertheless, his seven products would not fit into those carts (or their add-ons). Hence my post.

  • massage sai gon

    Have you looked at CS Cart? I have been using it for around an year now and it seems pretty stable and easy to setup and use, has tons of options and fairly decent SEO (but obviously not as flexible as WordPress).

  • http://www.mobilisedev.com.au Justin

    Give Word Press Shop Cart a go – I would love feedback on it. It seems to be full featured and fairly easy to use, install and maintain. Anyone used it? http://www.wordpressshopcart.com/

  • http://www.oneluckymama.com One Lucky Mama

    Amen! I have found this very frustrating as I build out multiple sites. No one cart option does all of the relatively simple actions I need. I have used variations of OpenCart, BigCommerce, several WP plugins (both paid and free) as well as a handful of other options. In every case I find that the cart can't do what I want it to do. Simple things, like tracking inventory on multiple item options (if a shirt comes in three sizes, I need to be able to track inventory on all three from one listing instead of cluttering my cart with 3 different listings for the same shirt) are left out over and over. This seems to be a result of carts being designed by those who have never run a store.

  • http://www.convertible-heels.com Candice Cabe

    NetMeg: Since you've had 1.5 months to ponder these suggestions and look into this further, do you now have your top 3 recommendations for a shopping cart within WordPress?

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      Couldn't recommend three, to be honest. Right now, I'm using Cart 66 because it was easiest to bend fold spindle and mutilate my client's business model into it (and we still had to give up some things) I am not a fan of hosted solutions, nor any solution that wants a percentage of the transaction. WP Ecommerce would probably be second, except that it's not particularly intuitive for a business owner to work with. Not everyone can afford his very own developer, nor has time to learn the intricacies of the software (and in that one's case, its many add-ons). There's a shopping cart from Tribulant that one of my partners likes, and it worked for what we used it for, but we had to do an awful lot of back and forth with the plugin authors to get it to work right (and they're in South Africa so the time difference was a definite issue) So reluctantly, I was left with Cart 66.

  • http://www.optart.biz Marcin

    Hi,
    To make things more up to date – jigoshop offers quantity discounts throught our plugin. You can see documentation here: http://www.optart.biz/portfolio/customer-discount… and buy it directly from jigoshop site (link to purchase in docs)

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      I did look at Jigoshop, but it still (as far as I could tell) could not allow for extra shipping weights on product variations, and by the time I purchased all the extensions I'd need, I might just as well use Cart66, which I already had.

      • http://www.optart.biz Marcin

        Don't know Cart66 so hard to comment that, but going back to Jigoshop:

        v2.1.5 – 2012-12-08
        * Added support for Jigoshop Multi Currencies plugin
        * Added support for variable products

        • http://netmeg.com netmeg

          Ok, but the POINT is, my variable products add to the shipping weight – so when I add an option to a product, I need to be able to also add to the shipping weight. Otherwise my clients get soaked on shipping. This is not an unusual circumstance, and in fact shopping carts such as OSCommerce and Zen Cart have always had it built in. Possible that extension does it, but since I can't determine it from the documentation, I would have crossed it off the list.

          • http://www.optart.biz Marcin

            That's another thing – will definitely look at it. Probably it'll be paid plugin, not core part, as we're third party devs. I assume, that better that than nothing!

          • Jason

            Do you guys have a site in English?

  • webbeetle

    Just stumbled across this post (looking for somethign different, but a good Shopping Cart is currently on top of my list too. This thread is rather very interesting…
    The frustrating thing I've always found is to find out that a cart does NOT support all requirements! One spends hours reading through feature lists, all decorated with large green ticks, but unless you have a written list next to you of what YOU need, and then crosscheck the lists for missing items, you never get anywhere. And even if carts are offering 'variations', the question is still 'how' the product variations are being handled.
    I discovered this the hard way when I had to find a cart for a bedding company. They sell beds, mattresses, and bed linen in up to five sizes (single, k/s,double,queen,king), but their ideal solution would be to enter a set of sheets as a single product, and then be able to offer this in 5 sizes, in 3 different colours per size, with different prices depending size, with different shipping weights depending size, and the option to offer a 'special' on only one size or colour they hold too much stock of… Sounds like a normal day-to-day situation in retail, but not according to online shopping carts.
    I hope there'll be a continuation, either of the post, or in the comment discussion ;) Thanks!

  • faruky

    Can you give some feed back on the thecartpress please? Thanks

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      Haven't tried it. But in general, I'm not interested in the free cart with premium add-on model – I don't know for sure if the add-ons will work until I buy them, and I don't have time for that over and over. Give me the whole thing for a couple days or a week, and if it works, I'll buy it, and I'll usually buy the developers version at that.

      • http://www.optart.biz Marcin

        again one word about Jigoshop to avoid misunderstanding – you've got there demo installation with paid plugin preinstalled so you can play with them before purchase. I don't know how it looks like in other carts, but both jigoshop and woocommerce test paid plugins before selling them and take care about compatibility after purchases, so no worries there!

        • http://netmeg.com netmeg

          Ok #1 the question asked in this thread was about thecartpress, so you have no business trying to plug jigoshop in it. Second of all – you're not getting it. A demo version with paid add-ons installed is *not good enough* when I'm talking about a client's BUSINESS. I need to get hands on with every aspect to make sure it will fit the bill. Whether or not you test your paid add-ons or deal with compatibility has NOTHING to do with whether or not they will work with the way that customers do business or sell their products. In short – it's not about YOU, it's about US.

          You can't school me on ecommerce; I've been doing it for large and small businesses since 1996. I know what I'm talking about and I know what I want. And so far, no one package fits the bill. And judging from the traffic this post is getting, and the comments I've received here and on twitter and in email, I'm not the only one who thinks so by a mile.

  • Scooter

    Ecwid.com is great for wordpress. I use it for all my clients.
    Its free, give it a try!

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      Don't like their monthly pricing model, and they don't offer some of the features I need (as I mentioned previously)

  • nikki

    Did you try Shopp???

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      Hadn't heard of that one, but at first glance it doesn't look like it does the table quantity pricing that I'd need (uses percentage off; my clients don't do percentage off) and I wasn't able to ascertain if they allowed for extra weight on product add-ons.

  • Kay

    I'm a business owner who has stumbled upon this post. I'm doing the R&D for my company because I know the list of features we require,and netmeg you hit the nail on the head. When I saw your list of requirements I practically shouted "Hallelujah".

    The only option I see that is going to work for my manufacturing company is Woo Commerce. I'm willing to pay for the plug ins if they work. The Dynamic Pricing add-on is $99. That's the table based tiered pricing that I absolutely need.

    My website right now is stranded on OSCOmmerce. It can not pass PCI compliance. (That's another sticking point with shopping carts.) I'm also tired of every service trying to get yet another transaction fee out of you. The whole "Service as a Sale" continuous revenue stream model is killing small businesses, too. IE EcWid.

    I have another website on Magento. It works and the SEO works, however my web developer agrees that it is a beast of a platform.

    I'm going to do a little more R&D on Woo Commerce. I have to be sure that it is stable. I hope you find the plug in you need and when you do, you pass it along to us. Thanks

    • http://stratocentric.com will dangerfield

      There is no appropriate platform for wordpress and there won't be. You are better off using wordpress for your blog and magento for your store and then integrating the two on the same site.

      • http://netmeg.com netmeg

        Nope, can't accept that premise, that would cut too many small shops and businesses out. Magento is way overkill.

  • kevin

    just use Ecwid

  • http://the-ultimate-wordpress-cart.site50.net Brendon

    I am a programmer with 15 years development experience. If I can gather enough interest in creating a good commercial cart plugin, then I will do it. I have created a landing page for this project so please send me a message if you are interested in seeing this happen. Would $40 be a fair price?
    http://the-ultimate-wordpress-cart.site50.net/

  • http://codingstuff.co.uk/ CodingStuff

    I have built up a fair few e-commerce sites and personally WooCommerce is currently my favourite. Yes you have to get over that plugins cost, however they do work plus just buying one plugin gives you access to the support forum. If your a WordPress nerd then the back end coding is very well commented.

    The plugins that I have purchased are:
    Dynamic Pricing
    Sage Pay Form
    Variation Swatches and Photos
    Catalog Visibility Options
    WooCommerce tab manager
    A grand total of $320. Not such a bad price for everything I need.

    Good luck with your quest.

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      That's fine, if it works for you. And it's not the money, it's the time. When I'm putting together a *business* for a client, I need to know ahead of time that what I'm buying will work for them. I don't have time to start over and over (and I also don't want to pay to do it either) Having the right solution is important.

      • http://michellepanulla.com Michelle

        I have found that with WooCommerce, they put the documentation for each extension on the public page describing it. That has been helpful to me to figure out if an extension will work for a client without having to buy it first.

        • http://netmeg.com netmeg

          Yah; I prefer to actually use it first.

          • Craig

            They give you thirty days as standard money back no questions asked. If you ask them nicely and explain what your trying to do. They have been very willing to work with me and ultimately want happy clients. If it doesn't work for you they aim to improve it but don't want to keep you from your money. They have been very fair in my 6 month experience.

          • http://netmeg.com netmeg

            I'm sure that works for lots of people.

  • allysmart

    I've used the responsive designs at Ecommerce Templates in the past. I see they now have a WordPress integration http://www.ecommercetemplates.com/wordpress-ecomm… – haven't tried it but their regular shopping cart is pretty solid. Be interested to hear if anyone has set up a store with them.

  • http://www.gulfwebdev.com Hugh Caraway

    I just came across this article today and felt like somebody took put into words the frustration I have dealt with over the past two years. After making the decision to start building all of my sites in wordpress, the first two ecommerce sites that I was approached to build dealt with customizable products and rentals. This immediately eliminated nearly every shopping cart plugin for WordPress. The ones that weren't eliminated required money up-front and a leap of faith which (at the time) I was unwilling to take. I ended up going with Magento and it is one of the worst mistakes I have made as a freelancer. The other site I built using an ecommerce theme by ElegantThemes and the simple paypal shopping cart which left much to be desired.

    I then made the decision to stay away from ecommerce because I wanted to focus on WordPress. I figured that given the exponential growth of WordPress that it would be a matter of time before some hot shot development company filled the obvious niche. Well two years have passed and I have yet to see any kind of shopping cart solution for WordPress that would get me back into building ecommerce sites.

    Since making this post, I am curious if anyone put a solution in front of you worth sharing?

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      Not a perfect one, no. I'm using Cart66 for three sites, and for two of them the client had to modify how he offered his products. He wasn't thrilled about it, but we were under a time crunch and he decided it was better than nothing.

      There are some things that Magento does pretty well. There are lots of things that WordPress does really well. There's a few things that Zen Cart and OSCommerce did really well that apparently aren't all that simple on either Magento or WordPress. Oh for a solution that encompasses the best of all and the worst of none. Yea I know, but I'm a dreamer.

  • mooremagnets

    I hear your frustrations! I am wondering if cart66 is easy to use … is it something that a small business owner (maybe micro business LOL) could set up on their own? I don't mind giving up some functionality, but I don't want to be fiddling with a cart for months … Just a bit nervous about pulling the trigger here.

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      I found it pretty easy. The good thing about it is that you can try it for free – at least try setting up your products and stuff. If it works that far, then popping for the paid version is not such a shot in the dark.

    • http://stratocentric.com will dangerfield

      Stay away from cart66 and stay away from Tribulant. I have built carts in both and they have glaring errors. No mass import option for cart66 (and not easy to program on your own even if you know what you are doing). Tribulant themes create broken links on all your pages. Bottom line is WordPress is not setup up to be a shopping cart, their licensing makes real developers not want to develop anything for the system because of GPL, so you get a bunch of senior class projects that have no business in the real world. My suggestion is a combination of magento and wordpress. if you aren't going to do enough sales to justify some maintenance and programming expenses, you need to rethink your business plan, not your website.

      • http://netmeg.com netmeg

        Can't agree; as I said, that would cut out too many small businesses.

      • mooremagnets

        I am not going to agree or disagree with your comments – especially since I don't have experience with magento or cart66 … but I can tell you that the biggest problem and frustration (that is also echoed in the OP) is that most shopping cart software does not sufficiently outline what it will do or will not do on their pages so that business owners can make an informed decision about ecommerce platforms. I have experience with both very sophisticated shopping carts as well as very basic shopping carts and I will tell you that in terms of my business plan it most often makes more financial sense for me to reduce the number of options I offer to customers, rather than to pay a programmer endlessly every time that I want to add an option.

        • http://wpsell.net David

          I hear your frustration. The problem is, however, that there are a bazillion possible features one could ask about regarding a shopping cart. Just check out their features page(s). If it doesn't advertise say, quantity discounts, assume it doesn't as well. If a shopping cart company supported key features they know their product would sell on, they would surely advertise them.

          I have quite a bit of experience working with various shopping carts for WordPress (I recently started up a company to help newbies get started: http://wpsell.net/). Honestly, a lot of the issue comes down to developers working on features that are most demanded. Quantity discounts is pretty important, but it's not for everyone, so it's not at the top of the list.

          I work for several e-commerce companies in their support departments and I can tell you that quantity discount requests make up of perhaps 3-5% of all inquiries.

          • http://netmeg.com netmeg

            Really? Because I've been advising ecommerce clients big and small for 15 years, and one thing they ALL have in common is the need to do quantity discounts. It's a standard feature for pretty much any shopping cart OTHER than the ones available for WordPress, including Magento, OSCommerce and Zen Cart, among others.

          • Craig

            I agree, it's a major feature and anyone who needs to compete in today's market need to be able to easily compete on quantity, especially if the competition is already doing so. If you have a small inventory you can work around the problem. This is simple marketing 101 – If you have a product to sell, make it available, and make it very easy for the consumer to purchase it in a variety of ways.

            I've used OSCommerce for many years successfully with extremely high profile customers who can afford constant changes. Not everyone wants to pay for every little change that normally needs a programmers time and attention.

            I've been using Woo Ver 2.x.x and so far so good. They are a rapidly growing company and are addressing many issues. The support in most time zones has proven very effective. No one likes lots of plugins but we live in an increasingly ala carte' world.

            I know some things just need to be included in one package so you have a pleasant out of box experience.

          • http://wpsell.net David

            I can totally see larger businesses requiring it, but as Craig said below, you can work around the problem if you have a small inventory. That may very well be the case.

            Dont' get me wrong, I know it's an important feature.

            That said, I do know Cart66 plans to include quantity discounts eventually, but they are tackling the more commonly requested features.

            It would certainly be great to have one cart that "does it all"!

          • http://netmeg.com netmeg

            Not holding my breath. I first put in my request for that feature in 2011.

          • http://wpsell.net David

            It has been slow in coming for sure. I work on their support team, so I can vouch that it's being planned. I'd look for it in Cart66 2.0. It'll probably be a while in coming though since their development team isn't huge.

  • Bruce

    The biggest issue I am running into right now is this: Client needs to offer a product with the ability to add color, font, and size options. The size option needs to adjust the price. With all of their available options, it creates hundreds of possible combinations. Solutions like WooCommerce want me to create individual products for every possible combination. Not gonna happen. OSCommerce and Zen Cart provide the ability to add options and attach prices to specific options. But their SEO sucks. At this point I'm considering creating my own database to access with short codes or something and pass off the item info to a cart or PayPal (shudders). Still looking for a solution that will give me the product flexibility with SEO. Would appreciate any ideas at this point!

    • webbeetle

      Your situation sounds fairly similar to the problems I faced with a bedding company – and we went at the end with BigCommerce's hosted solution, but that doesn't cover all variations either. It works with individual pricing for varied base products, and with varied shipping weights, but you cannot apply individual specials or free shipping to only one or two variations of a base product.
      I later set up a questionnaire, which I sent out to all commercial providers of shopping carts known to me, detailing all options we really required. I added to this a link to the existing cart, to show that this was a serious business, willing to change provider if the conditions were right. Only around 40% replied, and only ONE was willing to discuss our needs. This was an Australian company, but their pricing was "out of this world": around $2500 up-front plus an ongoing commission of over 12% on every sale. The small margins of my client would have never covered such high ongoing costs!

      • Bruce

        Wow that's crazy!
        I have to find a self hosted solution I can deploy on a Linux dedicated server. Forgot to add that part! :)

        • Aimee

          I'm doing exactly what you described Bruce. Fonts, colors, and sizes (it's a sticker company) We've been running pretty happily on WooCommerce, with some added plugins (about $250 worth). Try using Gravity Forms plugin for fonts. That helps take some of the burden off the thousands of variations that are created. Also, any variations that are not price-differentiated can be done with Gravity. Save only the ones that need to be selected for price to use as variations. The only problem we run into is speed in the back end (front end is fine – loads in 2.7s). I'm troubleshooting my speed problem now, thinking of using a CDN.

          WooCommerce really is a great option. They offer several of the features asked for in this blog, though not ALL of them – I agree. They are very quickly developing, and I believe they will release all requested features in time.

          Since your using fonts, if you run into any way to preview them in the customer's text, please let me know!

    • http://trishah.com Trishah

      I'm using Tribulant Cart on a client site just because it allows for images on the options and the ability to add additional prices to the variation options.

  • http://www.veganline.com John Robertson

    Does anyone want to set-up a wiki product comparison table, hosted somewhere free, updated and checked for spam, and covering only WordPress carts?

    I'm a DIY shopkeeper so my commitment would not last long; someone who installs shopping carts for clients would do a better job.

    • https://www.facebook.com/biegun.marcin Marcin Biegun

      If you can assist with filling it with content, we'll be glad to set it up

  • Joe

    Woo Commerce does not suck. Through 1 or 2 plugins and themes with a bit of css knowledge you can accomplish literally whatever you want to, but again it is not basic to fully customize. it is is php, css, and in troubleshooting situations you have to know what you are doing within the WordPress codex if it gets weird.

    It is straightforward for most projects with templates to build off of for most sites and their plugins don’t suck like most. I would be more concerned with my host and their WordPress stability than anything from WooCommerce, they are reliable.

  • http://readyshoppingcart.com Simon

    Hi

    As a developer of the WP ecommerce plugin I'm little disappointed with your post :)
    If you provide list of the requirements we'll try to resolve all of it. Waiting for your answer

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      Well I'm sorry you're disappointed. I have a partial list above in the post. The main problem I have with WP Ecommerce, honestly, is when I show it to clients, they scream. They don't find it intuitive to the way they sell their products. This is one area where I believe Cart 66 has you beat – it's been a lot easier to get my (less-than-technical) clients up to speed on Cart 66 than on WP Ecommerce, unless they are already developers or even web designers. And most small businesses aren't.

      • http://readyshoppingcart.com Simon

        I don't mean WP ecommerce as a plugin :)
        We develop that one http://readyshoppingcart.com

        In your post I also see OSCommerce and ZenCart – they're not the standart of usability and user-friendly interface.

        Then what is the standart? Can you show ecommerce solution powerful on the one side and simple on another? And I don't mean "standart" as "everybody use it" but intuitive and "not user screaming"

        • http://netmeg.com netmeg

          If I could, I wouldn't have written this post, would I? I did look at your cart, but the pricing model doesn't work for my clients. I'm not dissing it, and I don't mind paying a good price for a cart that does exactly what I need, but I need to know ahead of time that it actually WILL do everything I need, and that means I have to have a full version (with the extensions I need) to test before purchasing. I don't mind if there's a time limit on it, of say, two weeks to thirty days, after which it no longer works unless I pay for it. But otherwise, I risk wasting money and more importantly, time. Time is the one thing I never have enough of.

          • http://readyshoppingcart.com Simon

            No problem
            Email me which extensions / themes you would like to get and I'll email them to you

            P.S. I don't like so many in our plugin, but I try accept this challenge "if you don't like something why don't you do it yourself? "

          • http://netmeg.com netmeg

            Next time I have an application for it, maybe I will. I wrote this back in November, I've already had to make do with Cart 66. Not sure what you're referring to in your last sentence, but if you mean me – I don't write plugins, I get businesses on the internet. And usually those businesses already have enough to do as it is just running their businesses, and trying to keep up in Google, without also having to learn complicated online shopping carts. Sure, it's easy to say if they can't afford it they should stay off the net, but that's why you see nothing but Amazon in the SERPs.

    • Barry

      Yeah i would like an advanced search option that will search the content of an item, its products tags and variations not just the title of the product.

  • http://www.yearbox.com rottenuncle

    Nutmeg,

    You've pretty much summed up the frustration I've had for the last year and a half, since I redid my website as WP site. I too need several of the same features (tiered pricing, table-based shipping prices, per-product shipping settings, among others). So far, the only cart I've found that handles everything is tribulant. Would be interested to hear more about your view of tribulant's shortcomings. Their website lists conflicts with a couple of caching plug-ins, (http://docs.tribulant.com/wordpress-shopping-cart-plugin/3463) but it also provides what appear to be very simple fixes for those conflicts. Are there other conflicts or issues that you know about?

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      (netmeg) The biggest issue we had with them is that when something didn't work, they were a gazillion time zones away, and that just made getting support take too long. Most of my client sites, I consider them to be mission critical, meaning if they're down for more than an hour, I go all netmeg on someone's ass.

      • http://www.yearbox.com rottenuncle

        I guess netmeg makes more sense than nutmeg :)

    • gargamel

      I am SO frustrated with Tribulant it's not even funny. Its been neverending problems with their cart where my customers have trouble checking out, to the point where it's costing me orders and sales and I have to refund/discount to keep customers happy and tribulant can sometimes take a week or longer to respond to support tickets. I probably have about 40 tickets with them since I started using the cart 2 years ago, and the majority of the time, they tell me it's not their cart that's the problem and it's a server problem or a plugin that is causing the issue. I've had other web people look at it and tell me the coding is sloppy and then they find the problem in the CARTS CODING. the cart cannot handle large amounts of traffic either – for whatever reason if there's 2 people on the site it works fine, but when there's hundreds on simultaneously it just breaks continually. I've even disabled supercache like they said and it hasn't made a difference. All in All I need a new cart desperately and I'm so frustrated with tribulant. SIMPLE things that are add ons that they make like oh-say-check a box when you're checking out to be added to our mailing list – that breaks everything else too.

  • patkatie

    Yes! Yes! Love this!!! I am opening a small jewelry business, and I have spent my entire Spring Break trying to find a shopping cart that works for my Elegant Themes eStore. You all have helped me feel much better about myself and raised my self-esteem. I thought it was me!
    I love WP, I love my theme even though is is contrained by templates. I don't want to put out a lot of money for a shopping cart. I have put out plenty already for hosting, camera, photo processing software, etc. I need something simple and easy, so I can concentrate on my growing business and not worry about printing pages of codex. Sheesh!
    I am new to this, but I thought WP was created by a bunch of helpful, generous souls who wanted open source blogging for the masses.
    Where did they go when it comes to shopping carts?

    • http://www.lillybead.com patkatie

      Update: I just spend my whole last day before school starts back up trying to add shipping to my jewelry items. Well, I can't figure it out, I'm disgusted, and I just made a business decision NOT to charge shipping for my customers at all!
      This is screwed up.
      Thanks for listening!

    • Kate

      Elegant themes is integrated with WooCommerce out of the box.

    • count down to zero time

      I think you are right you get what you pay for but you can improvise with pictures and such which is all you really need because you want your customer to lead on and feel he -she is dealing with some-one or something they trust. anyway i just set up my site this is the shopping cart as far as technical details and such wordpress isnt very good i would suggest something else if you want a full fledged back office but for a smaller shop its ideal

      http://superiorbluewaterfilters.com/shopping-cart

  • http://Erikmatlock.com Erik Matlock

    This is great. Thanks for triggering this massive debate and discussion. Any chance you will follow up on this? In programming world, this is like a hundred years have passed in the evolution of products. We need some current info.
    I am not a programmer. I run an eBay store and have had it with their "cut" of my profits. Been getting some coaching on moving to my own webstore, but it's taking forever. Almost no budget right now, not a lot of time and minimal experience with code. Trying to consolidate a blog and webstore into one site. Not happy with any of the wp sites and plugins so far. Need simple but not the cheesy looking crap I keep finding.
    Just moved to bluehost and WordPress. Abandoning godaddy and blogger ASAP. Any new suggestions?

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      For the most part, I am using Cart66 now. My client had to change the way he sells some of his products (and one product he just stopped selling online altogether, because for now, there's no easy way to do it with existing carts) There's a free version you can download and play with, and you might want to try that.

  • http://www.gotitgraphics.com chris scott

    I recommend opencart, i know its not wp but it is a complete package and its free. Modules are available and priced quite resonable. I just finished a hair extension site.

    Opencart offers tier pricing weight variations per product. Multiple payment gateway options. Page construction is very similar to wp with a visual editor or code, very simple to use.

    • http://twitter.com/itonisolutions @itonisolutions

      Chris, I have been developing an OpenCart site for the last 4 months and suddenly my client wants different prices based on sizes. Upon contacting OpenCart developers they tell me I should create a separate pages for each size! Never heard anything so crazy! e.g. page 1 large shorts – price / page 2 small shorts -price I was trying to add a simply check box where clients look down the size list, check and add to cart! I have also tried numerous carts and wish there was a good one for WordPress and agree I don't wish to spend more money finding it doesn't do what my client needs!

  • Jack

    I'll bump this conversation. wishing i could find a decent wordpress shopping cart for a fabric store client. the OP is right on; i would only add to the list "handles fractional quantities"

  • Jumpringer

    I'm looking for cart software that will handle multiple quantity discounts. C-cart is a definite contender; does anyone have an opinion about PrestaShop?

  • Michael M

    i am looking foe something that has a shopping cart feel but no cart i saw this site using i think agora but i could be wrong but looks like it would be great integration to wordpress…

  • mike

    you could try making one yourself :) might find out why it's hard to make one fit into wordpress. not exactly a small plugin.

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      Dammit mike, I'm a marketer not a developer.

  • http://www.joeydigital.net joeydigital

    Yep, there is NOTHING available worth talking about here when it comes to shopping carts for WP – I couldn't agree more with the author – they all suck! OpenCart has all of the functionality that you would need (but it's separate from WP) and it's somewhat difficult to customize the cosmetics / layout to work with your site's layout, but it seems to be the best solution available – it's pretty user-friendly and easy to use. I would really love to hear if anyone has found something (or is developing) something for WP that is a viable solution – I guess its just a matter of time…

  • http://snowboardmommy.com Snowboard Mommy

    I just want my registered users to be able to use the damn cart without having to have a separate account/profile for the shopping cart. And I want my USERS — not hijacked by the shopping cart either. PayPal buttons keep looking better and better. It's ridiculous.

  • http://www.hottubcoverdepot.com Mike

    Woocommerce is the best option. I also used Cart66 and made the switch – hated it. Woo at least has a ton of extensions, that should be able to accomodate your requests. They are great at responding to customer issues too.

    • http://cart66.com Joey Beninghove

      Hi Mike,
      We'd love to know what you didn't like about Cart66. You might also be interested to know that we've just released a brand new version, Cart66 Cloud, which brings with it tons of new features, including recurring billing for all 50 of our payment gateways. We'd love to know what you think! http://cart66.com

      • http://netmeg.com netmeg

        If that offer extends to me, I have a whole mess o' suggestions based on the fact that I've spent a lot more time with Cart66 since I wrote this post.

        I have not done anything with the Cloud version yet (as I'm a little miffed at having to pay extra for that after I've already bought the developers license); it looks interesting, and the PCI stuff is probably useful, but it still doesn't look like it addresses the various other issues I have run into with pricing, shipping, performance, etc.

      • http://www.DriveYourBusiness.com Ken Zweigel

        Joey,
        My problem with Cart66 and Mijireh (your PCI compliant offsite transaction processing) is that I cannot speak with anyone on the phone. If I upgrade to the paid plugin, is their phone tech support available? I have a very nice site for a small client that uses Cart66 Lite and Mijireh, but I am reluctant to recommend them for an important global client that is a licensee of a huge major brand. They now use WP eCommerce and it has many hiccups and associated big and continuous custom development expenses. The client is losing many sales. I had previously developed a dot.net e-comm platform for SEO that had the same same issues and then WordPress took over the small business world, so I abandoned it, but still have some e-commerce needs. Woocommerce seems like it is worth a try because it integrates the theme and the cart, though I have no technical or functional complaint about Cart66 – I'm just reluctant to use it for a major international site without being able to speak with a development team on the phone. This discussion indicates the need for someone like you to come out of the shadows and step up to the plate by taking your products to the next level of accessibility, because the need is there for a trustworthy cart and support system, and you seem to have a very good package that could do the job. Why do you guys hide from the world? What is your tech support phone number? Thanks for the on-the-money post, Meg. The Cart66 cloud version does sound interesting, but who can I speak with about it?

  • Egkbert Punkapickle

    I have also been digging around and started off looking for hosted options as Ive never heard good things about ecommerce plugins for wp but seems crazy learning a new programme when Im just starting to get wp dialed. I just found Ready Ecommerce WordPress. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ready-ecommer
    It gets really good reviews, have some reasonable themes to start with and 99$ with 10 free addons. Anyone have any experience. How do most e commerce plugins work with child themes or is it not possible.
    Thanks

  • Rhoda

    Hi, I’m building my ecomm cart ATM and I’m a little frustrated with constraints. I’m by no means a big business, just starting out so don’t want to spend lots on something that won’t work (think we all understand the nonsense of paying something that doesn’t suit)

    Anyways, I had used wp ecomm, loved it but it would Hv conflicts with my theme as I want it in grid view which is a gold cart option. I’m tempted to pay the money for It but what if it doesn’t work?

    Now I’ve stumbled across dukapress seems easy enough and I’m even happy to compromise with its limitations, inability to Add weight for variations…

    But here are some things I need if you could help me with a cart at minimal cost or refund if unsatisfactory:

    Inventory tracking of variations (I don’t want 40 separate listings for different ribbon colours!)

    Ability to exclude an item from a shipping group within same weight bracket (ribbons can post as letter but other items need to be posted as parcel due to dimensions)

    I had been using congocart prior to this and it had been pretty good to fit in what I needed, but on the whole was not financially savvy as it was hosted.

    I don’t think I’m asking too much, or am I??

    • http://wpsell.net David

      Rhoda,

      Have you looked into Cart66 (http://cart66.com/)? Cart66 does allow you to track the inventory for variations of products. While you can't exclude an item from a particular shipping group, you can specify the weight which will decrease the cost of shipping for that item OR you can set the weight to '0 lbs' in order for the shipping to be free for that item.

      Cart66 also includes a Rate Tweaker for live rates. If you go with custom, flat rate shipping options, you can create a shipping method specifically for ribbons and give it whatever price you like.

  • ray

    Look the specs

    The problem is your customers and you!

    If you make that application, 99,9% sure that nobody will use it coz it takes one full day to add a single product! then they will call you and say that this need to happen with one click.

  • http://www.yournaturalhair.com Deborrah Cooper

    I was looking at a cart called Ready E-Commerce for WordPress. Has anyone used it? Got pretty good reviews on the WordPress plugins page.
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ready-ecommer

  • PaulM

    Apparently, none of the WordPress plugin shopping cart developers have gotten the memo that users need to issue refunds. I have one client who is demanding to have the ability to issue refunds via Paypal and authorize.net within the shopping cart order management dialog.

    • https://shopplugin.com Jonathan Davis

      Shopp does this for most of the payment systems that support refunds in their API. PayPal Payments Standard doesn't have any remote API calls per se so it doesn't have a mechanism to initiate refunds or order cancellation (void) from a remote call. So no shopping cart/e-commerce system can offer PayPal Standard refunds.

      I'm sure this changes with the new APIs that PayPal introduced at SXSW, but I've not personally had a lot of time to take a look at what capabilities they have.

      In any event, for PayPal Payments Pro/Express Checkout, Authorize.net and about 20 other payment systems, you can perform refunds and voids from the WordPress admin in Shopp. It's pretty slick.

  • http://www.blogosense.com Pranjal

    I agree with @Cassidy WooCommerce is the right choice for setting up an WordPress eCommerce site, I've been using it since last two year, and the plugin had done wonders for my store, actually a catalog!

  • tim

    Why on earth are you using WordPress for anything other than a simple blog? It’s a slow bloated pile of rubbish that shouldn’t be allowed near e-commerce.

    • http://netmeg.com netmeg

      Meh, you know what they say about opinions…

    • Jeremy

      agreed

  • http://www.wpeasycart.com Sarah Nokes

    One that just came to out, was previously a smaller plugin, but now looks much bigger in and in development. I looked through the list of things you need, and the things it will do. Looks pretty close. The themes on the e-commerce platform look really good.

    I'm sure everything needs to be modified slightly to work, but the stores this company offers to look at are really good looking, so might give a go.
    http://www.wpeasycart.com is the website and you can find it in the plugins by doing a search for WordPress Shopping Cart or WP Easycart. From what I see, the plugin costs around $80 dollars, or $120 for the full themed out versions.

  • http://planettucker.com Justin Tucker

    Your answer is Drupal Commerce. There is a reason WP carts suck – design of the underlying code. Drupal is superior and is a framework (not system). Drupal Commerce is a commerce framework that you can do fantastic things with. This IS the answer. Leaving WP and catching up to this fact is next task. I'm a seasoned site builder and I have not seem a single solution Drupal Commerce can not do plus some.

  • netmeg

    NOTE – I know a lot of people were subscribed to this comment stream, and those subscriptions may have been lost when I switched over to Disqus. My previous plugin was corrupting some data though, so I had to do it. Apologies all around.

  • http://twitter.com/DealPen Patrick Donohue

    I can’t thank the author enough for this post and the community discussion. This is very valuable to entrepreneurs like me that are trying to figure out an ideal platform that we can handle ourselves. We are launching a medical product (allaquix.com) and we are trying to figure out the best way to sell it online. Nothing fancy, just 5 price points…

    Questions for the community:
    – What is the pros/cons of a hosted solution (Shopify as I understand from the post)?
    – Has anyone tried Celery? (https://www.trycelery.com/ – you will see we are trying the plugin at allaquix.com)
    – We are leaning towards WooCommerce, but my only hesitation right now is that I have read complaints about the pricing on additional plug-ins. I don’t want to pay $100s for something I think we need only to not use it… Also, we have a subscription component to our business model. Does anyone have experience with the subscription woo plug-in?

    I am happy to share with the community follow-ups to our experience as we launch AllaQuix.

    Thank you in advance,
    Patrick Donohue co-founder Inspiration Medical Technology, Inc.

    • http://twitter.com/DealPen Patrick Donohue

      Hello all,

      We went with woocommerce with the wepay plugin (allaquix.com) and have been very pleased thus far.

      Cheers
      Patrick

      • Nishant Agrawal

        Hows ur website working with Woo Commerce.? Please share your experience I am going to develop with it.

  • Daniel Fris

    I’m nearly certain that you can do or “simulate” a tiered discount based on quantity with Cart66 (non-cloud, haven’t investigated cloud). You simply build a promotion for each tier, set the percentage, set the range of product quantity for the tier, and set the product it applies to. Done.

  • julius rosen

    I’ve had 4 tickets each response in 4 -18 hours

  • julius rosen

    I’d like to see your site as its similar to what I am doing . I will be trying TRIBULANT as they do tiers . I tried godaddy qsc but they simply have terrible support and I wanted to show the lowest price with product and their tier doesnt do that

  • julius rosen

    So far I have tried the demo tribulant and its easy to add options

  • julius rosen

    Great blog article – I am going into this feet first with Tribulant . I wasted money on Godaddy QSC as the support answers start with Have you looked at this article . Tribulant at least lets me show the lowest price first which in this competitive environment is important. I don’t know which other plug ins you refer to but honestly Its a first wp site for me and I need to learn css and wp first anyway. The glaring problems I see with all those shopping cart websites is that they don’t give you a full feature list to see or a lot of screen shots for each feature so you know what your buying.

    I just need 3 -4 options for each product and don’t even know if pictures can be applied to options IE color swatches , but it will not be 100% important till I get a few sales .

    FYI GODADDY give you only FIVE days for a refund . But a credit otherwise.

  • julius rosen

    By the way in WP so far the program is NOT fully intuitive and I need to still go into CC S style sheets to change header text , colors etc. after versions 3.6 I would thing some one would do a wysiwyg plug in ??? any help here /

  • WoodBangers LLC

    this is a true fact! spent weeks now trying to find a solution and none. We even went as far to purchase jigoshop for a client and jigoshop doesnt even support it nor respond to jigoshop currently unusable. wow thanks for this post, and so sorry you are having the same problem i am.

  • seomiami

    Tribulant is no good past about 300 products.

    Tribulant is great at passing the buck, slow to fix real problems.

    Product variants in Tribulant is bizarre – very bizarre, and then when you try to explain it to them, they make it your problem not theirs.

    Tribulant’s data architecture is kinda limited, and imports from CSV are tricky.

    On many issues, Tribulant would say “You can’t do that” to which I would reply “I’ve been doing it for years in Xcart”

    WordPress’ architecture is just not up to handling any more than about 300 products, especially on shared hosting without cache. Seriously?

    I’ve been using X-cart for years – every issue you mentioned in the article – Xcart handles it. X-cart is probably the best self hosted non-WP cart out there – when you compare price, value, tech support and the biggie – ease of customization. It’s a bit tedious, but not bad.

    I have a client with 30,000 products on X-cart, on VPS and it does pretty well – but it hasn’t been doing huge traffic yet so we’ll see. We did have to beef up resources for it though. And we have the sites’ databases automatically updated by Inventory Source every nite from the supplier.

    Issues with Xcart

    __ Price – $200 – maybe that’s not really an issue since it does work great
    __ Theme – the theme is too wedded to the core, so once you start really customizing it, you really need to track your changes. They have som ecanned themes which work fine, but we all want theme customization. Xcart theming is not as independent from the core as WordPress, but then, again, the thing works as advertised.
    __ Excellent tech support – absolutely

    Magento? Drupal? These are products designed to keep developers employed. You want a team to stay employed long term? Get Magento or Drupal. They’ll be working on shit until Jesus comes.

    • seomiami

      And another thing about Tribulant. Hope you didn’t want subcategories.
      They don’t understand that you would want root, secondary and even tertiary categories, in a simple drill down of category-only pages.

      For example, you have a top level category page, then you pick a category.

      Well, on the second level, they start displaying products as well as the second level categories – you can’t turn that off.

      And when you explain that to them and even show them a site using Xcart they make sound like you are trying to do something unusual. Seriously?
      “Oh yes we’ll talk about fixing that in the next release”, which they never do.

      And their updates are few and too far between.

      Also, with Tribulant, you’re dealing with a company owned by a Frenchman living in South Africa, so all your support is happening in their time zone.

  • seomiami

    Install a copy of Xcart on a test site. Learn how a cart should function, I mean really learn how a self hosted cart in a low cost price range should work.

    Look at the theme issues, which you will be very thankful on the wordpress side, but look at the architecture and learn.

    Xcart isn’t perfect, I can go on for a full page about their own nits, but it works much better than any WP cart.

    Then, once you understand how xcart works, go back into your lame WordPress cart and you will see the lack we are all talking about.

    Consider the fact that many customers will be doing massive CSV imports – study this out more than an after thought. Think about how customers will need to be able to bulk changes to their products.

    The one thing I do like about using a WP cart is that the theming is simple, but that’s just the eye candy. The damn thing needs to be a full function cart. So look at how Xcart does theirs, You can lose years of your life messing with Magento, so look at Xcart first.

  • Mark Powell

    Has anyone used cart66 cloud successfully with SagePay? I’m getting a massive headache at the moment as you need to input a valid IP for cart66 cloud into the sagepay account settings. The IP provided by cart66 cloud is calling up an invalid IP error message. I think this is due to their cloud set up (i.e cart66 uses multiple IP’s to communicate with sagepay). I’ve raised this with cart66 and so far nothing. If anyone has received the correct IP info I’d be forever grateful. My experience with cart66 up until now has been good however now that the problems have arisen I find their support pretty woeful. The lack of a support contact number is very frustrating. Wish I’d gone with woocommerce now – I went specifically with cart66 as it talked the talk & confirms that it runs smoothly with sage pay but this is far from the truth.

    • Mark Powell

      I take it back, cart66 did come back to me (although 6 hours after my initial query). The initial IP supplied was wrong & they supplied the correct details for the actual IPS connecting to payment gateways in the end. If anyone else encounters any issues with this let me know as I should be able to help.

  • DivaVocals

    This discussion resonated with me..

    I finally took matters into my own hands and collaborated on a WordPress plugin which allows me to display Zen Cart content on my WordPress site using a series of widgets and shortcodes. ie: product listings (new, featured, specials, best sellers), reviews, testimonials, categories, manufacturers.. Conversely, I have a set of Zen Cart sideboxes that allow me to display certain WordPress widgets in Zen Cart (no messy embedding solutions for me). All I have to do is style my Zen Cart site to match WordPress and it’s a wrap.. Seemless looking user experience while harnessing the full power of WordPress and Zen Cart..

    That said for small 1-2 product stores with SIMPLE product variants and shipping needs, I do like TheCartPress and WooCommerce. These two “new kids” to the WordPress e-commerce landscape suck less than other WordPress e-commerce plugins.. (and I have tested ALL to so-called veteran plugins) when oh WHEN will some of these legacy apps FINALLY support features that make Zen Cart, PrestaCart, and others AWESOME! (free downloads would be a NICE start..)

    But for my clients that need very SERIOUS e-commerce, I prefer Zen Cart, and now that I have a way for Zen Cart and WordPress to “integrate”, I don’t HAVE to choose between Zen Cart and a WordPress plugin with watered down features anymore.. I can simply build the site my client needs with the tools that make that the most sense for their needs..

  • DivaVocals

    “OSCommerce and Zen Cart provide the ability to add options and attach prices to specific options. But their SEO sucks.”

    SEO = Search Engine Optimization.. by “their SEO” I assume you mean the native URLs aren’t “pretty”?? I hope you realize that SEO is much MORE than pretty URLs.. In todays post Penguin world, CONTENT is king..

    That said Zen Cart’s native URLs do NOT hamper the search engines or the site rankings of a Zen Cart site AT ALL.. Search engines look for CONTENT, not URLs to determine site rankings..

    BUT

    if you MUST have pretty URLs, there are two VERY GOOD Zen Cart modules that will make pretty URLs for you..

  • Daniel

    I’m having the same exact issue… I need more of a customizable order form for my print company so that a user can select multiple add-on options that increase the price of the total order, but not each individual unit qty. ie: special packaging option, UV coating, etc for the entire order at a flat rate, not $0.10 increase per unit. I stumbled upon UBERCART for Drupal, and it looks to be exactly what we’re all looking for…if only it were made for WordPress.

    • netmeg

      For a situation like that, I’d probably look into a Gravity Forms form that you could attach to the cart (maybe in Cart66) that you could customize.

  • http://www.e-scapesphotography.ca Vicki

    Great discussion thread. I am currently trying to research best options for my e-Scapes Photography (http;//www.e-scapesphotography.ca) business. I definitely need different sized and therefore priced options for each image that I am selling, but want to sell all sizes for each image from a single screen as a selection process. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I assume that I will also need to be able to set variable shipping rates based on the items that are ordered (likely more based on the size of largest item + overall weight rather than the number of items).

    Can anyone speak to the updates in the last 7 months? Is there a free plug-in that will now allow tiered pricing or is a paid option the only option? Is WooCommerce still the best option despite having to pay? I took a quick look at their website and while they have lots of plugin options, it becomes confusing in terms of what I need, not to mention having to pay for each plugin individually. It looks like costs would add up quickly. Any recommendations for the best eCommerce plugsins for WP today that allow for tiered pricing and flexible shipping options? Thanks in advance

  • Emily powell

    Am Emily Powell from Canada I never believed in spell casters until my life fell apart when my lover of 4 years decided to call it quit. I was so devastated that i had an accident that left me bedridden. After 7 months of emotional pain and languish, a friend of mine introduced me to a certain spell caster, this was after I have been scammed by various fake spell caster. I was introduced to DR ONIHA ( A Spell Caster). In less than 12 hrs i saw wonders, my Lover came back to me and my life got back just like a completed puzzle… am so happy.. Dr ONIHA have all kinds of spells from pregnancy to love,from employment to visa lottery winning. He has spell to stop divorce,spell to make someone look attractive and others. here’s his contact for serious minded people only, it might be of help….onihaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com. wow Dr.ONIHA…thanks am so grateful as you saved my life.

  • David Bell

    I feel your PAIN! I need price per charachter like for T shirt/sign printing and cannot find anything decent anywhere. There really needs to be a PAID solution for us. I would happily pay. BUt $15,000 in dev costs is more than I can afford.