Customizing Oscommerce

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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osCommerce is an open-source (hence "os-"), fully featured shopping cart software. osCommerce can be integrated directly into an existing website, or, conversely, osCommerce can provide a base around which an entire online store may be built. osCommerce is packed with features, and is provided to online store owners free of cost, with no licensing fees. Packaged osCommerce software is known for being easy to install, easy to maintain, uniquely resistant to bugs and viruses, and extremely affordable.

As an open-source program, it is also ultimately customizable. Individuals with savvy technical skills are free (and, as part of the open-source movement, actually encouraged) to manipulate the source code to customize the program to their needs. Not everyone, of course, is so technically talented.

Never fear. The electronic woods are full of custom web designers fully fluent in osCommerce. Just some of the osCommerce features which can be customized include shopping cart functions, shipping and payment options, as well as sales and product features. And don't be misled into believing that because it's an egalitarian product that it doesn't look as slick as other software packages. On the contrary, osCommerce sites are among the most attractive on the Net. Be advised, however, that though osCommerce as a packaged solution is provided free, the Customizer's human efforts--and unique products created--are not. Rates are generally commensurate with experience.

Customizing osCommerce to Your Specifications

Though there are hundreds of osCommerce customizers out there, not every one of them will have an aesthetic sense that matches your own. Search portfolios, and as you look at client sites, make sure that what comes through are unique stores, not a "signature design theme." The Website has to ultimately reflect your store, your product, your brand--not just the flair or signature style of the designer.

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