[thelist] x-cart vs zen-cart

BJ bj at kickasswebdesign.com
Wed Jul 6 21:37:01 CDT 2005

"Based on advice from this list I chose x-cart for an e-store I recently 
built. The back-end seems to be very professional with all the (and even 
more) features than the average small e-store would ever need.

"The front-end (produced HTML) however is, in a word, horrific. It's 
1999-era HTML coding IMHO.

"Customizing the front end, however, I found to be actually fairly easy. <snippety>

"With my (very) limited knowledge of these two options, I would say 
x-cart is probably overall a better choice, because when push comes to 
shove, if it doesn't work, it's not worth anything. x-cart works and if 
not, they have support, whereas zen-cart apparently may or may not work.

"Anyone have anything more intelligent to share in comparing zen-cart vs 

I installed Zen-Cart then tried to customize it.  Though they SAY it's css compliant, it's a nightmare of tables and there is so much crap that just plain isn't needed, yet docs to get a handle on what does what and what can be customized are awful. I don't see that it's any much less "horrific" than what you described you found in x-cart's front end.  The Zen-Cart support board folks, though eager to help and very friendly, don't explain things very well, to say the least.  I've been looking for a different shopping cart I can work with ever since.  I have a feeling I'm going to be trying x-cart, especially if you tell me that a reasonably intelligent person can figure out a way to make the front end xhtml/css compliant.  I've been working with WordPress themes, and have a good handle on them, and I think that's a similar interface with PHP, though WP is probably not as complicated.

In my (somewhat limited) experience with open source software the quality of the community and docs is every bit as important as the usefulness and coding of the piece of software itself.  That's what makes WordPress such a great tool, though certainly it's a much simpler application.  Zen-Cart is not anywhere near that level in terms of docs and forum support.

Anyway, bottom line is if you want up to date xhtml/css and tableless layouts, Zen-Cart is NOT the answer unless you want to figure it all out yourself without a lot of help.  And if you do come up with a Zen-Cart xhtml/css template that you can let me use as a basis for my own custom template, I'd definitely be interested in hearing about it.  Meanwhile I'll be giving x-cart a test drive.

And if anyone else has a different recommendation for a css-compliant shopping cart ap that doesn't cost a small fortune I'd love to hear about it. 

Ciao for Now,

"To err is human - and to blame it on a computer is even more so."
Robert Orben

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