Use The Power Of Oscommerce To Build Your Own Attractive Online Store09/19/2011
Ecommerce is a multi-billion dollar business that has experienced massive worldwide growth in recent years and is set to become even more important in the future. Artists, craftsmen that sell their creations online, charities looking to raise funds, small to medium sized businesses, bookstores, etc. Almost any company, organization, and individual, can successfully use the online medium to market and sell goods and services.
Setting up online stores used to be a difficult, time-consuming, and expensive endeavor. Nevertheless, with the costs of dedicated shopping cart hosting solutions plummeting, and the emergence of open source ecommerce applications, the investment required to start an online store has significantly decreased. One open source shopping cart in particular, osCommerce, is a popular solution for ecommerce, thanks to its rich feature set and low costs to implement.
In this article, you will learn more about osCommerce and how you can use this application to develop online stores that create consistent revenue. We discuss the installation and customization of osCommerce and show you why it is important to opt for a dedicated osCommerce web hosting solution. To begin, let’s go through some general information on osCommerce to understand why it is the premier choice for creating successful shopping websites.
Let the open source community work for you with osCommerce
osCommerce (with the “os” standing for open source) was created in 2000 by a German developer who intended to provide an easy to use and affordable solution for creating shopping websites. osCommerce proved popular and soon, thousands of website owners chose the free application as their shopping cart. A number of other popular shopping carts are based on osCommerce, including the widely used Zen Cart and Batavi.
As of today, there are more than 16,000 online stores powered by osCommerce. The popularity of the application is explainable considering that it is free to use and based on other open source software such as PHP and MySQL. The reliance on open source makes osCommerce widely available, with many providers offering osCommerce web hosting solutions. For the best functionality and reliability, it is recommended to choose an osCommerce shopping cart hosting provider that uses the latest version of PHP 5, MySQL 5, and the recently released osCommerce 3.
Another factor that explains the success of osCommerce is its extensibility. Many developers have created extensions for the core product, which are called contributions. The contributions (many of which are free) allow you to expand and customize osCommerce, greatly improving the usability of the shopping cart.
Choosing an osCommerce web hosting provider
There are many ecommerce web hosting providers that claim to offer quality osCommerce web hosting services. Among the factors that differentiate various competing offers, the most important are the available resources, number of supported osCommerce stores, and the additional services provided.
For optimal results, opt for an osCommerce hosting plan that gives you unlimited disk space and bandwidth. With unlimited resources, you can develop your online retail channel in any direction that you consider suitable, without worrying about traffic caps or errors that can drive away potential buyers. Additionally, the best osCommerce web hosting services include unlimited domains so you can host unlimited osCommerce websites. With one hosting account, you can build and run as many online stores as you like, which give you complete creative freedom to develop your business.
Another major selling point for reputable osCommerce web hosting solutions is complementary assistance for setting up your osCommerce website. While some companies will charge you for setting up your ecommerce web host, others provide free services that include free osCommerce installation, free osCommerce module installation, and free osCommerce templates.
If you already have an online store up and running, try to find an osCommerce hosting provider that offers free osCommerce transfers and free osCommerce database transfers. That way you can be sure that the host transfer is completed with minimal disruption and expenses.
How to install osCommerce on your web host
As detailed above, your best option is to go with an osCommerce web hosting solution that includes free installation and transfer services. If you choose to install the application yourself, you can do it from the cPanel interface, by using the Fantastico script library. The process is easy and it only takes a few minutes, so even less technical savvy users can complete the task. osCommerce can also be installed from other script libraries, such as Softaculous and Installatron.
If you need to setup osCommerce manually, you can connect your osCommerce web host with an FTP manager, such as Filezilla, and upload the osCommerce folder directly. This process takes more in-depth technical knowledge.
osCommerce setup and configuration
Once you have an osCommerce hosting solution installed, you will need to configure the installation to meet your requirements. Since osCommerce is a powerful and complex application, the configuration process requires technical know-how, especially if you have extensive modifications. Unless you are confident with your PHP skills, it is a good idea to ask a professional to configure and customize your shopping cart application. You can find plenty of competent developers online who can assist you in deploying and customizing your online store for a reasonable fee.
One attractive feature of osCommerce is the add-on system that lets you easily extend the functionality of the application. Among others, you can find templates, industry-specific modifications, and payment integration modules. Some of the modules available online are free of charge, while others require purchasing a license. No matter what modules you choose, you can use the services of an osCommerce hosting provider that offers free osCommerce module installation.
Get the best osCommerce web hosting solutions at Certified Hosting
Certified Hosting provides some of the best osCommerce hosting solutions in the industry, enabling customers to become online retailers with a minimum of effort and investment. Certified Hosting’s osCommerce hosting plans include unlimited resources and support unlimited domains. One affordable osCommerce hosting plan from Certified Hosting gives you the possibility to host multiple stores with no extra costs.
Worried about installing or upgrading your osCommerce solution? By choosing Certified Hosting, you get free osCommerce installation services and free osCommerce upgrades. Moving your website from a previous host is just as simple as Certified Hosting will transfer your website for free.