Custom shopping cart software can be costly, depending on the type of custom shopping cart and how much customization the webmaster can do on his/her own. There are many options when it comes to custom shopping cart software. For some, purchasing shopping cart software and customizing it is the best choice. For others, a custom shopping cart is something that they build from scratch. For the webmaster wanting to use a custom shopping cart, there are many considerations that need to be made. The operating system that will be used to run the shopping cart, the programming language that was used to create the shopping cart, the amount of customization that will need to be done if purchasing shopping cart software, and the amount of money it will cost to have the customization done if the webmaster has to hire outside help for the customization are just a few.
Almost all shopping cart software is customizable to an extent, meaning webmasters can change colors, add their own logos, upload product images, descriptions, options, etc. These customizations are typically fairly easy to make and can often be made through a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor that is simple, drag and drop. More difficult and time consuming customizations like integrating current inventory or accounting systems with a custom shopping cart, are much more complex. There are many advantages to custom shopping cart software, optimizing the shopping cart for search engine optimization is just one of many, but probably one of the most important. While the look of a cart is important, the most important thing is that customers can find your site and what you have to offer. Next is presenting your service or product in a way that makes your customers want to buy it, then a smooth checkout process that ensures the customer that their purchase is safe and their personal, sensitive information is secure.
When purchasing a turn-key shopping cart solution it should be very easy to set up shop and start making sales. These shopping cart solutions generally include the web hosting, payment gateway, and SSL encryption. For the webmaster that is building a custom shopping cart, these are additional services that will have to be purchased before the business owner can start making sales. It may be more difficult and take additional time and effort to find solutions that are compatible with the software that a programmer builds on his own (especially if he had someone else build it for him and he is not familiar with the scripting language and capabilities of the program). Another option is having the company you purchase the shopping cart from, customize the shopping cart for you. The consideration here is to make sure that you know specifics of, and have access to, the other elements needed to make it run (payment processors, management systems, editing and updates, etc.)
Most of the best web hosting service providers offer free shopping cart software that can be installed on any web hosting account. Some web hosts may offer support that will help with basic customization but others will not support these open-source, third-party solutions at all. In such cases, a webmaster may have to hire outside help, or use an in-house programmer to customize the software to meet his or her business needs. As you can see there are many variations when it comes to a custom shopping cart. Depending on the level of technical expertise a webmaster has, or has available, will be a major deciding factor in which type of custom shopping cart he or she will use. The most important thing is to do some research before making any decision. Know what you are getting into before you sign up. The more you understand before hand the more likely you are to be happy with the end results.
For customizable hosted shopping cart solutions we recommend: