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GLWalker

osCommerce VS the World

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I was just thinking, looking at the various open source CMS systems available, just what strengths does osCommerce have compared to others that people use to sell?

 

First of all, what is the true classification of osCommerce? Is it a CMS, a Portal, an Online Merchant, or perhaps a PCMS (Product Content Management System)?

 

Next lets looks at some of the features that osCommerce has that you will NOT find in any other system unless it is also geared specifically for ecommerce.

 

Security - made to work with SSL where needed as well as a secure and easily renamed admin.

Cookie and session options to work with multiple types of sets ups

Multilingual.

Resourceful - can run on multiple server types and even operate efficiently on a shared server.

Built in customer and address book management.

Tax zone and rate configurations.

Action recorders.

Who's Online details - with ability to even see cart contents.

Product options management.

SEC Directory Permissions checker.

Database checker/optimizer.

Database Backup.

Product Specials management.

Tell a friend functionality.

Out of the box working contact form.

Send out customer emails from the admin.

A basic newsletter.

Product notification control.

Various reports.

Quantity/Stock count and management through the cart -

WAIT - the cart - Yes it has a built in shopping cart and functions for calculating price, weight, shipping, payment processing and more.

 

 

So maybe what I'm getting at is why would anyone serious about selling online use something like Joomla, Word Press, etc; when you have to go after and install various addons to even begin to have a secure customer environment in which to start working with? Then, maybe there are plugins for other systems that can get you to the starting point of features osCommerce provides out of the box.

 

Although too many times I've been asked, "Can you help us set up some tax options on our Word Press site?" or "I'm having a problem getting shipping rates to X zone to show up properly, although they work fine for XX zone." or "I need to collect more of the customer information when they first sign up, rather than make them enter it later." or "What can I do to better secure my customers information?"  - the list goes on and on.

 

I understand that not everyone who starts an online shop has the tools, knowledge or budget to rip into a fresh install of osCommerce and make it their own. Maybe one reason users opt for something like a blog or CMS is because of the ease of theme publishing. But then what? It looks good, now lets find 5000 addons to get the basic functionality of a fresh install of osCommerce!

 

As I always think, if your going to sell online then your shop software is the first priority. Don't install a blog or CMS and then work on a shop. Get the shop out there and then install anything else you need to run along side of it. Don't try to reverse engineer a blog or CMS for ecommerce just becuase you want an easy way of publishing content. If you must have everything wrapped into one system, addon to the ecommerce system - which already has the ability to publish, it just needs modified for your needs.

 

That said, osCommerce is not the easiest system to theme, but there are lots of low cost themes available, or theme systems, and lots of help here. With the advent of the 2.3 series, we've seen things become easier. The ongoing work to the osC to BS is also yet another choice, and the roadmap to 2.4 shows even more ease in the making.

 

The release of the 2.3 series has also made building and installing addons easier than we have seen before. One downfall is the addons being built do not always take advantage of the new classes available to work with. With time that should change though.

 

Anyhow, many times I see users here post something like "I'm done with osCommerce"; that's fine, but think about what your done with. You can find similar functionality in other ecommerce systems, but ALL systems have both a list of pro's and con's.

 

 

 

 


Follow the community build:

BS3 to osCommerce Responsive from the Get Go!

Check out the new construction:

Admin Gone to Total BS!

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I wouldn't call it a CMS -- it's not generic enough to create any desired page, and relies on hard coded PHP files for various pages, rather than storing everything in the database. Of all your choices, Online Merchant seems to come closest to describing osC.

 

You say that it's chock full of features right out of the box, but I think most people would complain that it's too bare bones and they need lots of add-ons and even custom code to get it to do what they want. That's the design philosophy -- to provide bare bones and let you set it up the way you want it, not the feature list that someone else decided you needed. You can argue that is good or bad -- certainly for the very inexperienced, it can be easier to go to another product that delivers more stuff out of the box, but once you gain some experience, you find yourself in a straitjacket. You'll probably never come up with a model that satisfies everyone.


If you are running the "official" osC 2.3.4 or 2.3.4.1 download, your installation is obsolete! Get (stable) Frozenpatches or (unstable) Edge. See also the naming convention and the latest community-supported responsive "Edge" release

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Note:  following not aimed at @ or at @@MrPhil

 

With osCommerce you got the choice of running it as you wish;

 

- you want SEO, you got it

- you want discounts, you got it

- you want XYZ, you got it

- you want 7500 addons to bloat your shop to death, you got it

- you want the moon on a stick, you can probably find it if you look hard enough

 

- you want osCommerce based on 960, you got it

- you want osCommerce responsive, you got it

 

- you need support, you got it

- you need chat, you got it

 

 

You want all that for free, you got it

 

 

You want to be negative about osCommerce?  Your choice.

You want to go elsewhere?  Goodbye and Goodluck.

 

You want to stay and be a part of osCommerce's future ?  Excellent.

Help us to make osCommerce great.  You want me to tell you how to do that?   Are you sure?  You might not like what I have to say.


This is a signature that appears on all my posts.  
IF YOU MAKE A POST REQUESTING HELP...please state the exact version
of osCommerce that you are using. THANKS

 
Get the latest Responsive osCommerce CE (community edition) here

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One of the main points I was focusing on, though I kind of went everywhere, was that there are so many variables that new users do not realize. All the functions and classes that go together to make the shopping cart work as it does bring forth in their own a ton of features that just do not exist in many other open source software.

 

This is a software program that is secure enough to enable trading online right out of the box. Even though it is a bare bones system - it is still by far feature rich, but it takes really looking at the code to see these features in action.


Follow the community build:

BS3 to osCommerce Responsive from the Get Go!

Check out the new construction:

Admin Gone to Total BS!

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Yes, osC gives you a nice heavy duty well-finished reinforced concrete foundation. And a pile of bricks. And a sack of mortar mix. And says, "Go for it!" You can build a very nice store with that, but it takes some work. There are many people lacking the skills or time or inclination to do this, and they choose to use more turnkey solutions (which in the long run may limit their choices).

 

If osC's strong foundation can be mated with a Lego building brick module system that "snaps together" to give you the features you want, while predictably working with each module you add, it would be unstoppable. The problem is that various add-ons can sometimes interfere with each other. A problem yet to be solved, that may require some major re-architecting (I think osC 3 is looking in this direction).


If you are running the "official" osC 2.3.4 or 2.3.4.1 download, your installation is obsolete! Get (stable) Frozenpatches or (unstable) Edge. See also the naming convention and the latest community-supported responsive "Edge" release

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If osC's strong foundation can be mated with a Lego building brick module system that "snaps together" to give you the features you want, while predictably working with each module you add, it would be unstoppable. The problem is that various add-ons can sometimes interfere with each other. A problem yet to be solved, that may require some major re-architecting (I think osC 3 is looking in this direction).

you are thinking lego, perhaps duplo, but it really is logo technics :D

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

I do not use the responsive bootstrap version since i coded my responsive version earlier, but i have bought every 28d of code package to support burts effort and keep this forum alive (albeit more like on life support).

So if you are still here ? What are you waiting for ?!

 

Find the most frequent unique errors to fix:

grep "PHP" php_error_log.txt | sed "s/^.* PHP/PHP/g" |grep "line" |sort | uniq -c | sort -r > counterrors.txt

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How could I forget - another post here (that I cant answer) reminded me of one hell of a feature - multiple currencies, and currency conversions. :thumbsup: Good Stuff


Follow the community build:

BS3 to osCommerce Responsive from the Get Go!

Check out the new construction:

Admin Gone to Total BS!

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