WP Shopping carts – PHPurchase – now cart66

Recently took on a project for a new website customer. Her goal is to sell novels for digital download.  I, foolishly of course, figured this would be a short project.  Create a good theme for her, use that shopping cart plugin that I’ve had my eye on from WPMU DEV – makers of awesome plugins – do a little configuring and life would be good.

How’d that go? Not too good.

The world of shopping carts out there is a wide open arena with plenty of room for competition and certainly improvement. This seemingly simple project… What followed was a real joy – NOT.  So like every other WP user that has had a chance to play with these, I present my very humble opinions…

My needs are/were – must be able to do digital downloads, must integrate with Paypal Express Checkout, must have a tasteful design that will lend itself to selling books with lots of tags and such (WITHOUT spending 40 hours customizing or rewriting major chunks of code), wonderful if it would work with WPMU, ideally not ridiculously expensive – free is always preferable, and be simple enough for the end user to handle without a lot of hand-holding.

PHPurchase: Looked great out of the box. Beautiful layouts and great categories/group capabilities. Was based around the concept of custom post types. Loved it. Had been meaning to work with custom post types so that worked for me.  Setup some carefully thought out and planned categories and all that. Looking good. Tested on WPMU with WP 3.04. Worked like a bandit on Standard Paypal checkout. Express checkout failed with an ominous bit of code being displayed as such…

Array
{

}

Went to their forums, and only one other person had this error – at least that posted it or didn’t solve it. And the forum moderator only really had, “Try a different theme” to throw at it. The original poster apparently gave up and went with the Standard checkout thus alleviating his problem. I have to admit, I’m NOT a PHP genius at this point and I really DIDN’T feel like going through the whole thing to find it.

NEXT!

We’ll cover the misadventures with Shopp plugin next time…

Author: Eric Erickson

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3 Comments

  1. The developers offer free support to all members and they are great about responding quickly. Just log in and submit a ticket.

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  2. Thanks for the comment Bobby – however, time (as always) was of the essence and I chose to throw another 50 or so bucks at the problem to try to solve it within 24 hours including all the test data entries for the bookseller site. I *can* definitively say though that support did seem responsive and I look forward to actually using this plugin on the Lizard Lick Towing site in the very near future. I think it will work with their setup nicely. Was very impressed by it, but there were too many other factors (WPMU chief among them) in the original destination setup that would have required rework to pinpoint the issue.

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    • Since people do seem to be hitting this – I DID try switching themes to no avail. Still the same error. AND still waiting to use it on another site! Think it’s a great plugin, but due to the mu setup, it just wasn’t going to work where I wanted it to without more hacking than I was prepared to do.

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