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OsCommerce from a developer’s perspective

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 by Servage

E-commerce is getting momentum day-by-day with the proliferation of internet through either big screens or their tiny sisters with mobility. Yes, technologies have put whole world in our palms. Have you ever been looked back in the history of e-commerce? Albeit plenty of e-commerce solutions were emerged and set off with the pace of time, but OsCommerce still survive.

It is true that the golden days of OsCommerce have finished, but it is still a viable option for small and start up businesses. There are plenty of reasons that small businesses prefer OsCommerce still today. The foremost reason is its low cost of installation and customization.

When we examine OsCommerce at the web developer’s point of view, we definitely choose other advance solutions to meet the requirement of tech-savvy new generation. Wait; think of OsCommerce, which does not lag much behind in the criteria of good features and functionality so far. OsCommerce offer decent features that e-commerce store needs like you can store orders in database, see history and status of orders, show and hide products category-wise, easy navigations along with breadcrumb, multiple shipping and billing options and finally guest checkout option.

In order to great proliferation of various payment gateways, OsCommerce evolved to extend its supports for them and preferences according to the various regions of the globe. If your customer is new in e-commerce field OsCommerce is the best option to manage backend with ease and without possibilities of errors in many sensitive areas. SEO friendliness of this opensource is the good reason to get good business.

Honestly, I believe that these features are enough for the start-ups and small businesses, which are in the crunch of money to invest on the e-commerce solutions. There are many brick-and-mortar stores, which have good reputations in the local market and only need some sort of internet presence to cover new mobile addicts. Therefore, such businesses don’t expect much advance functionality and user experiences at the first place where OsCommerce is befitting well.

Apart from good side, it has some shortfalls like with OsCommerce, your admin area is not secure enough, as it is in Magento due to lack of in-built features that can protect your passwords. Of course, there are some ways out to ensure security. First of all, you need to check the source files before uploading on the server and installation for any vulnerability through anti-virus software and manually. It is better you avoid .php files in your image directories and executable files at any cost.

For password protection, you can take some additional steps by consulting official site of OsCommerce as well as by limiting its access by IP. For further steps you have to disable following functions:

disable_functions =

exec,

passthru,

shell_exec,

proc_open,

popen,

curl_exec,

curl_multi_exec

register_globals

allow_url_include

Due to older nature of OsCommerce, performance is critical criteria to avoid the selection of it, but if you use online tools to measure performance of the store and try to minimize them accordingly can save your face. You can minimize the products on the main pages like home page and categories as well as sub-category pages. There are nearly 7000 add-ons or plug-ins available for OsCommerce, but you need to integrate only at usability point of views and avoid extra burden on the e-commerce website. The same approach for default features is useful if you disable the useless features and minimize the external links in numbers.

Even for the seasoned OsCommerce developers the configuration of OsCommerce is the most etching tasks due to its intricate back-end. Another negative aspects of OsCommerce against its rivals are the lack of stock control on attributes and SKU identifiers.

References:

http://sixrevisions.com/tools/open-source-ecommerce-software/

http://www.yoscommerce.com/oscommerce-advantages-disadvantages/

http://kb.siteground.com/ecommerce_application_comparison_oscommerce_vs_cre_loaded/

http://kb.siteground.com/how_to_secure_oscommerce/

http://kb.siteground.com/how_to_optimize_oscommerce_for_better_performance/

 

 

OsCommerce from a developer's perspective, 3.7 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
Categories: Tips & Tricks

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