Monday, December 18

Get a Shopping Cart For Free With Almost no Work (But What's The Catch?)

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There’s several free JavaScript shopping carts out there. Probably the best know is NOP’s Free JavaScript Shopping Cart is probably the best known one. Let’s start off by looking at how JavaScript differs from the more common languages, PHP and ASP.

PHP and ASP shopping carts use scripts that run on the web server and actually create a custom web page for each customer. For example, if you do a search from the homepage of Shopping Cart Reviews you’ll get a page with a customised list of results depending on your search terms. The script talks to the database, also on the server, and then creates a customised page.

JavaScript scripts run actually in your web browser, not on the server. This means that it’s very difficult for them to talk to a database. Now, for a very simple site this might be ok, but as soon as you want to get more complex such as having a site search, this becomes difficult.

The other draw back of free JavaScript shopping carts is that some people have disabled JavaScript in their browser – estimates of the number of people who have done this vary between 1% and 10%. Those people won’t be able to use your shop at all.

    …between 1% and 10% of people won’t be able to use your shop at all

However, there are advantages. NOP’s Free JavaScript Shopping Cart is a free JavaScript shopping cart. If price is the only factor, there are some great free ASP and PHP shopping carts such as Os Commerce, which offer the full range of features not allowed by a JavaScript shopping cart. Another advantage is JavaScript shopping carts don’t care what web host you are using, they will work with any. They can be easy & quick to setup. The downside is that they are limited in functionality and won’t be accessible to all your users. So, use them, but with caution.

Kirsty LaVier is editor for Shopping Cart Reviews, the leading shopping cart information website.


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