04/20/2006

Sunshop 4.0 shopping cart Preliminary Feature List

The grand folks at TurnkeyWebTools have issued just today their preliminary feature list for Sunshop 4.0. It looks to be a real reworking of Sunshop. My favorites — some of which I've lobbied for long, hard and (I hope) eloquently:

Rework template structure. This will include converting and moving the templates into .html files with the option to use the backend WYSIWYG editor. This will also include converting current table dependent HTML into 100% CSS/div type structure as well as a overhaul in the way variables are used in the templates.

Adding of a custom build feature for allowing your customers to mix and match options for an item and regenerate the price based on these option without adding it to their cart.

New save cart feature that will allow your clients to save their cart and come back later for checkout.

So, I ask you: hot, or not?

I particularly made a plea for the moving of the templates to .html files (seems like they'd already thought of it), to make redesigning the templates faster and easier. I'm really pleased to see they're implementing this, as it's one thing to find good software, but sometimes quite another to be able to work with it quickly … and time is money. And:

Software -time -aggravation +good features = truly great

The custom build feature is also interesting. As are many of the other features. They're really going out of their way for this one — and these guys are sweethearts, and great on support.

2 Comments to "Sunshop 4.0 shopping cart Preliminary Feature List"

  1. Philip M. McDonnell says:

    Hi Diane,

    I have looked long and hard at SunShop but never bought it because of the encrypted files. I know they need to do this for licensing, but with all the open source software out there that can do everything SunShop can why would I want to pay $189.00 for something I can get for FREE using open source.

    Yes I know time is money, but time spent on adding features, designing templates, etc once with an open source solution will pay for itself by not having to pay licensing fees when I install the cart for many on my clients. Also I can bill my clients for some of the time spent on developing the extras that they need and can add them back into the source so future clients can benefit as well.

    Just my thoughts, but I hate to have vendor lock-in. With SunShop you will need to pay annual upgrade/licensing fees if you want to stay current with all updates for each and every license you have.

    If you are looking for support I can say the guys at SunShop are where it is at. I am not a customer but have inquired several times about their software and they have always answered very quickly.

    Regards,
    Phil

  2. Diane Vigil says:

    You have a point there, Phil — particularly, that once you've developed and added to open source (or anything else), you can re-use it at will.

    I originally liked Sunshop for the ability to convert dynamic pages to static .html pages. However, once I got into working with it, I found that updating the templates is kind of a pain.

    I especially like how WordPress works — there are separate html files in the "themes" folder; just edit those and upload and you're done with that part of the building sequence. Those are a lot easier to update, as well, than the way Sunshop is set up now. I've seen this type of thing on at least one shopping cart (though I don't believe it was a free cart).

    For my part, I do like Sunshop's support but, if you've are (or have got a) decent programmer, then that's likely not so much needed. On the other hand, getting a direct answer is often better than poking around in forums. Maybe. :)

    Thanks for your input; I think it's this kind of real-world information that's helpful to us all.

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