I noticed that there are many questions in the and tags that are almost identical, except for small differing requirements.

Furthermore, the question Online E-Commerce Solutions - What To Look For? appears to have been set up as a "catch-all" for these questions, but currently has no answers.

Does anyone have experience of the major players in this field (Magento, osCommerce etc), that can write a short answer detailing the pros & cons of each? (I can probably add a little about VirtueMart for Joomla when I get time.)

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I've been working with ecommerce applications since 2001. Both hosted, self hosted , free and paid applications. I recently answered a few ecommerce questions and also helped the users outside of pro webmasters. I'm familiar with Magento, CS-Cart, Interspire, and Volusion. The last time I used osCommerce their template system was very difficult to work with. Compared to the smarty template system of cs-cart which I think is much easier to work with.

Magento has a learning curve and is as advanced as they come, the earlier versions used up a lot of resources and you needed specialized hosting to make it work fast, it's much better now but not a cart I suggest to beginners. Interspire is difficult to work with when you have a lot of products, especially with options. The interface is old and doesn't let you work efficiently, and the URL structure is not very SEO friendly.

Back when CS-Cart came out X-Cart was a popular cart but they charged for addons which came free with CS-Cart and that was a big deal to save a few hundred bucks.

I'm sure I could write a decent article to help guide people to a cart that suits their needs.

Topics could include

  • Hosted shopping carts (Free, Freemium, Premium)
  • Self hosted (Free, Premium)

Basic pros and cons of each, links to their site as well as directly to the demos

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