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There are an overwhelming number of shopping carts available, making it very hard to decide which is best. Some are sold as a hosted service (PayPal Standard, Google Checkout), others can be installed on most hosting services. We have tried over the years to review various carts only to discover that they no longer exist or there has been a complete upgrade that makes our review meaningless.

Shopping carts can be designed to be the core of your website or as an add-on or plugin (WordPress or Joomla for example)

SonicSpider provides Installation and Customization packages many shopping carts and plugins.

Here are a couple of our favorites for you to consider.

Quick Look At Our Favorites

Presta Shop

Presta Shop has an impressively simple look and feel. Of the carts reviewed it comes closest to a Web2.0 "out of the box" design and is pleasing to the eye with less clutter. It passes the W3C validator on the basic default installation. It has most all of the basic features you need and does an excellent job of providing an "easy to use" administration system. One major downside at this time is the minimal support for various payment gateways in the default install. Presta Shop has a modular design so it is possible to create a custom gateway to your vendor of choice.

Generally the tradition in most open source projects is that enhancements or plugins developed by the "community" are free. This appears to NOT be the case with Presta Shop, and one should be aware of this situation.

Zen Cart

Zen Cart seems to have it all with respect to features. Unfortunately, it also comes across as more cluttered and busy. Though this can be controlled by changing the settings, this cart will require a lot more time to get past all of the features to your basic needs. Like Presta Shop and OpenCart it also passes the W3C validator on the basic default installation.This cart would be best if you need a lot of customization and need a maximum feature set.

Unlike Presta Shop, Zen Cart has a lot of free add-on modules that extend the default cart with features that might be needed for your business. This should be considered when choosing a cart.