View Full Version : Expert Opinion Required, please!

03-05-2012, 05:48 AM

Creating a new site in BV. Need shopping cart for minimum number of items (2, actually but with different flavours available). Going with Paypal because I am starting out and am on a budget.

I need a cart that is fully integrated with my site (soholaunch, zen & OsC aren't not what I want) that can;

-process real time shipping via Canada Post
-able to process subscriptions that have a log-in area that customers can change what flavours they want to order that month before a certain time (like 10 days before next billing date)
- able to select number of items and flavours

THIS IS WHERE YOUR EXPERT OPINION IS REQUIRED...do you think that this is something that can be done with some scripts/forms and paypal? Or am I out to lunch and get someone to build it for me?

I appreciate your assistance in helping me gain clarity in this department.
Hope all is well
http://www.omygoodnessgranola.com/goods.php (a mock up, by no means is it ready for viewing by general public or will it even aid in the answering of this question)

03-05-2012, 06:31 AM
You are asking too much of PayPal as the independent processing resource. PayPal will process transactions securely for you in the BlueVoda environment or as the selected option of most Carts, yes, but cannot include "real-time" shipping in any environment - that is something the Cart does as part of the transaction process, with their larger and more sophisticated scripting.

You have a backwards understanding, I'm afraid ... and should be looking for a more comprehensive Cart solution that have these features already built-in that you can turn on or off as desired (including choosing tro process via PayPal). If you are insisting on applying a script to your BV site, this usually indicates a dedication to a certain look-and-feel that you have created more than anything else, and a reluctance (or inability) to customize a Cart or other platform similarly.

I would suggest you look into applying your design elements and transactional requirements to a Joomla site (which is many times easier to customize to almost literal duplication of your current BV site than any other Cart or platform, trust me!), and to be sure to install the VirtueMart plugin that allows for the types of eCommerce you are looking for, especially the Membership types (club, recurring, subscription purchases, etc.). This simple free plugin united with Joomla will offer you all the features you are looking for and still allow you to process using PayPal.

Keep in mind Joomla can be installed with just a few clicks via your Fantastico feature within your Control Panel, and VirtueMart is a free Open Source plugin written just for Joomla and can be installed on any Joomla installation separately (you do not need to buy a VirtueMart Template or have them install it for you). You can do this all yourself for no or little cost if you find a Free Joomla template you can compromise design-wise to using, or pay as little as $65 for a Premium Joomla Template that has more dynamic features, layout, or even color theme that makes the shift easier for you ... maybe until you make the money to do a truly customized job of things later on? The key to online success is simply that: to make it profitable rather than a preoccupation, so if using a template that is not your first design choice but one that gets the job done until you can "evolve," then, that too is what the customers expect, and what you must seriously weigh when deciding what is really more important .... no doubt you will also eventually need to consider dropping the high cost of PayPal and opting to use a Merchant Account, and only Carts or Joomla (with VirtueMart) can seamlessly make this evolution with you. PayPal cannot.

There are many, many capable individuals that can customize Joomla in this way for you, like I say, either from scratch to resemble your BV site, or by modifying a Template. You may wish to browse through some of the Joomla Templates to both test your loyalty to your BV design and to see if you find one that both inspires and which seems could be modified to be a compromise, as customizing a Template is simply going to be much more affordable than to have someone create one from scratch.

Typical Joomla manual installations (with the most current version) with the VirtueMart plugin and including the customization of a template should run $450-750, whereas the same bundled installation with a "from-scratch" Joomla design tends to average $1,500-2,500, just to give you an idea of how affordable the options may prove to be and possibly influence your considerations.

03-06-2012, 12:00 AM
Thanks Vasili,

My issue with soholaunch and other cart is the look and flexibility they offer. I used to have soholaunch and an osCommerce site with dynamic templates and didn't like the flexibility (or perhaps my knowledge of how to make it so) or look of the site.

Is it possible to have just the buy page and the fill in form with a joomla template and not the rest of the site. I really dislike the blocky look of those templates.
Yes, I know what Paypal has to offer and its limitations and expenses but my understanding (or lack there of) is that there are cart scripts that I use with forms to create what I need?!


03-06-2012, 08:50 AM
Again, what you ask for is not out there, and is contrary to the logic that all tools and utilities are bound to to function online: you cannot use only a piece or page from one tool and not the rest. The "forms" you ask for individually are all tied to the coding that is database driven and which involves every other aspect (inventory, User Membership, purchase implementation, etc.) in order to provide a cohesive function, so it is not as simple as adding a sheet of paper to a binder.

Obviously you have not even bothered to read up on either Joomla or VirtueMart plugin (Google them, if need be) to gain a real understanding, even if in the end it only helps you to select another specific function or solution. As far as I know, the relationship between Membership, purchase options, and processing are only found using Joomla and VirtueMart ... maybe you can dig in and find some others yourself.

Until you are able to wrap your head around the larger, more important concepts, I believe you will not be satisfied with any of the available alternatives (free or not), let alone accept the design styles that represent opportunities moreso than obstacles. For instance, I find your own BV design is quite "blocky" also, but simply uses color and nuted definition in an attempt to soften the reality. It's all a matter of perspective.