Oscommerce Modules

Written by Stephanie Ayars
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Basic osCommerce hosting packages include domain name, an osCommerce shopping cart, a secured means to communicate (SSL), and full file access. Subscribers also receive access to manage email accounts, data files, address books, and which also allows for file transfer and retrieval between internet sites (FTP). Additionally, hosting companies also offer specific osCommerce modules, not essential to service, but which are designed to enhance basic osCommerce service.

osCommerce modules start around $50. Unlike basic osCommerce software, which is part of the public domain and is therefore free, customized osCommerce modules are created by individual programmers. Modules which perform the same functions may, and most likely will, vary from hosting service to hosting service. After you decide what kind of module you want, it's a good idea to shop around a bit to find the one that meets your needs best, made by programmers with a reputation for standing behind their work.

Speaking generally, there are four kinds of modules available: Payment modules, Product modules, Sales feature modules, and shipping modules. Within the Payment modules, there are usually at least two options: Regular payment modules, which allow websites to utilize specific banking/money transfer services (PayPal, iPayment, LinkPoint, etc); and Plus modules. "Plus" modules would include high end features, like the ability to work with pre-authorization technology, and anti-fraud software which recognizes "risky" transactions.

Product modules can individually: allow for age-restriction for adult only sites; provide a variety of discount, sales, and coupon activities; track product counts as items are sold, helping to manage inventory. Sales modules provide HTML e-mail packages, follow-up surveys to be sent to customers, the ability to "watch" customers in the store by seeing where they go, click-by-click. Shipping modules allow for shipping charges to be automatically calculated, based on known weight of products, to and from specific regions by zip code. These are just a few of the types and varieties of modules available to amplify the service of an osCommerce site. Most modules cost around $50, and are often made available with a free 30 day trial.

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