The future of ecommerce store development!
As a long time web designer I've dealt with any number of eCommerce options over the years. In general you've always had two major options:
1) You build and code from scratch. This required a great deal of knowledge in various coding languages in addition to the ability to design an attractive interface which will work within the construct of the website's structure.
2) You pay a company with pre-built systems. This was not only extremely expensive but rarely allowed you freedom to create any sort of pleasing design as it would have to conform to their limited header/footer customization.
Well, I've seen the light now! The future is here and (unfortunately for people in "the business" like me) it's unbelievably easy to do.
These free solutions are Open Source based online shop e-commerce solutions that are available under the GNU General Public License. They all contain a rich set of out-of-the-box online shopping cart functionalities that allows store owners to setup, run, and maintain their online stores with minimum effort and with no costs, fees, or limitations involved. Most of these Open Source solutions provide an e-commerce platform, which include the powerful PHP web scripting language and the fast MySQL database server. With no special requirements, they are able to run on any PHP 4.1+ enabled web server running on Linux, Solaris, BSD, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows environments.
Unbelievable right? Well,, it's true and I'm loving it.
In addition to the obvious advantages of these open source stores, there are many less obvious benefits such as.
- Active user forums where you can get answers to most any question without dealing with charges or "canned responses" from a profit company.
- The ability to change the design of your store nearly instantly by simply selecting a new "template" from within your administration panel
- Countless free "add-ons" and "modules" which add all types of additional features to your store.
In addition to the functional turnoff of the manual itself is the fact that,
in many instances, the excessive rules and regulations are paralyzing to
managers and supervisors who quickly learn that problems can result when one
tries to make sound and logical decisions about conduct, customer service
complaints, responsibilities and regulations while adhering to the data in the
Does that mean that there is no place for such handbooks? Not at all, but it
is important to realize that they are a means of laying out operational
procedures and regulations which in many instances are necessary if the company
is to stay within legal boundaries.