What Choices Are There for E-commerce Solutions?

The great majority of Internet shoppers are looking for the classic shopping cart system. They have come to regard the "Add To Cart" button as the standard of ease and reliability. As an e-commerce merchant, you have a great deal of flexibility in how to meet shoppers' expectations. You have two basic options regarding a shopping cart solution.

  1. Hosted services
  2. Custom open source solution

Hosted Solutions

The "store builder" or hosted service charges a monthly fee and you utilize their framework to customize your e-commerce website. This may be tempting as it takes away much of the technical burden. Advanced Web Design would never recommend this type of solution. You are limited to the features "they" decide to make available and in the end, you may not even own your own website. You could be stuck!

Open Source Solutions

A custom developed open source e-commerce solution begins, becomes, and stays yours! And they're free. All of the time and investment doesn't get you tied down to something you're not happy with. You manage your own products, your own customers, and make your own decisions. Your store will survive hosting changes, employee changes, and even web developer changes.


There is a third solution - proprietary software that you'd have to buy. This could also include a custom system designed just for you from scratch. For most situations, these waste time and money unless you have some very bizarre, specialty requirements. That money could be used to further develop your website.