PHP: Choose The Best Shopping Cart Software

PHP: Open Source E-Commerce Shopping Carts Software

Choosing right shopping cart software is one of the most crucial steps to making your on-line business successful.

 

A customer always needs to be able to purchase products as easily as possible, with a sense of security.

 

A business owners always choose software that should be simple to use with useful features and great customer support whenever needed and some marketing related tools.

The following are the general criteria that are generally used to evaluate the best shopping cart software.

 

Web Design

The design features of shopping cart software should include an array of design templates to choose from and step-by-step wizards or WYSIWYG editors for storefront development. The templates should be easy to use and should offer customization options that enable you to create the perfect site for your business.

 

Administration & Inventory Control

Shopping cart software includes a range of administrative features that allow you to manage your inventory. An administrative dashboard provides access to product upload, editing and management options. The best shopping cart software applications allow you to upload an unlimited number of products and sell both hard (physical) and soft goods (services or downloadable products, such as software).
Beyond inventory control, the best shopping cart software offers comprehensive payment options and integration with accounting software.

 

Marketing

Shopping cart eCommerce software should include robust marketing tools to help you generate more traffic to your site and thus increase sales. For instance, you should be able to automate abandoned cart emails, offer daily deals and implement a loyalty program for your shoppers. Additionally, the software should allow you to run detailed sales reports so that you can easily identify your best – and worst – selling products.

 

Security

Security is a chief concern for online shoppers, so it’s crucial to make sure that the shopping cart website you use offers standard security features. These should include fraud protection, SSL secure checkouts that encrypt customers’ payment information, as well as data backup and restoration to protect your business records.

 

Help & Support

The manufacturers of top-notch shopping cart software provide comprehensive support resources that you can reference, including a knowledge-base, community forums and video tutorials. The manufacturer should also provide direct technical assistance via email or telephone.

 

According to these criteria and popularity I am sharing the 10 Best Open Source Shopping Carts.

 

You can also view the popularity on Wikipedia link as below.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_shopping_cart_software

 

1) Magento

magento-logo

Magento is a feature-rich eCommerce platform built on open-source technology that provides online merchants with unprecedented flexibility and control over the look, content and functionality of their eCommerce store. Magneto’s intuitive administration interface features powerful marketing, search engine optimization and catalog-management tools to give merchants the power to create sites that are tailored to their unique business needs.

 

See more
Front: http://demo.magentocommerce.com/
Admin: demo-admin.magentocommerce.com/index.php
Username: admin Password: 123123

 

2) Prestashop
prestashop-logo

Prestashop is an award winning e-commerce solution having won the Best Open Source Business Application. Having been distributed under the open source license, Prestashop now powers thousands and thousands of online stores across the globe. It is also backed by an active community of developers who frequently develop various add-ons for extending the functionalities of Prestashop. Currently, PrestaShop has around 275 e-commerce features that make online business an easier and simpler affair for online merchants.

 

See more
Front: http://demo-store.prestashop.com/en/
Admin: http://demo-bo.prestashop.com/demo/index.php?controller=AdminLogin&[email protected]
Username: [email protected] Password: prestashop_demo

 

3) Open cart
opencart-logo

OpenCart is an open source PHP-based online shopping cart system. A robust e-commerce solution for Internet merchants with the ability to create their own online business and participate in e-commerce at a minimal cost. OpenCart is a turn-key ready “out of the box” shopping cart solution. You simply install, select your template, add products and you’re ready to start accepting orders.

 

See more
Front: http://demo.opencart.com/
Admin: http://demo.opencart.com/admin/
Username: demo Password: demo

 

4) VirtueMart
virtuemart-logo

VirtueMart is an Open Source E-Commerce solution to be used together with a Content Management System (CMS) called Joomla!. Joomla! and VirtueMart are written in PHP and can be used in typical PHP/MySQL environments. Viruemart is not developed by Joomla!, however its works perfectly with it and blends seamlessly with Joomla!. If you would like to read more then here is an article which VirtueMart – A Perfect Ecommerce Platform for Joomla!

 

See more
Front: http://virtuemart.net/features/demo
Admin: http://demo.virtuemart.net/administrator/
Username: demo Password: demo

 

5) OSCommerce
oscommerce-logo

OSCommerce is an online shop e-commerce solution that offers a wide range of out-of-the-box features that allows online stores to be setup fairly quickly with ease, and is available for free as an Open Source based solution. Today, osCommerce has been taken to the next level, moving towards an e-commerce framework solution that not only remains easy to setup and maintain, but also making it easier for store administrators to present their stores to their customers with their own unique requirements.

 

See more
Front: http://demo.oscommerce.com/

 

6) Zen-cart
zencart-logo

ZenCart truly is the art of e-commerce; free, user-friendly, open source shopping cart software. The ecommerce web site design program is being developed by a group of like-minded shop owners, programmers, designers, and consultants that think ecommerce web design could be and should be done differently. ZenCart offers great support and tutorials and has extensive documentation to help you at every stage.

 

See more
Front: http://www.15.zen-cart-demo.com/
Admin: http://www.15.zen-cart-demo.com/
Username: admin Password: password123

 

7) UberCart
ubercart-logo

Ubercart is an exciting open source e-commerce shopping cart that fully integrates your online store with Drupal, the leading open source content management system. This is a killer combination for anyone looking to build a community around a product, sell access to premium content, offer paid file downloads, and much much more!

 

See more
Front: http://www.ubercartdemo.com/
Admin: http://www.ubercartdemo.com/user/login
Username:demo Password: demo

 

8) Xcart
x-cart-logo

X-Cart or XCart is a PHP/MySQL based secure shopping cart software that uses Smarty template engine for easy and unlimited design creation. X-Cart is template based software with open source code. This means you can modify the look & feel and functionality of the shopping cart the way you need should you require any business specific features.

 

See more
Front: http://demo.x-cart.com/demo/home.php
Admin: http://demo.x-cart.com/demo/admin/
Email: [email protected] Password: master

 

9) Miva Merchant
miva-merchant-logo

Miva Merchant is a mature and robust e-commerce storefront solution with the usual sorts of e-commerce functionality. It allows you to create and manage an e-commerce catalogue, handle payments and shipping – as well as Inventory and Merchandising capabilities.

 

See more
Front: http://www.mivamerchant.com/products/demo/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=Miva_fresh_2
Admin: http://www.mivamerchant.com/products/merchant/mm5/admin_demo.html
Username: demo Password: demo

 

10) CubeCart
cubecart-logo

CubeCart is a complete ecommerce shopping cart software solution. With CubeCart you can quickly setup a powerful online store to sell digital or tangible products to new and existing customers globally. CubeCart is one stop shop solution for everyone, whether you are a retailer or a web developer, you can install CubeCart and get your ecommerce store running in minutes.

 

See more
Front: http://demo.cubecart.com/cc5/
Admin: http://demo.cubecart.com/cc5/admin.php
Username: admin Password: password

 

Save

30 Top PHP Tips and Tricks & Coding Tutorials

Tip #1

<?php
$todayTimestamp = time();
/* Don’t Use.*/
$nextDay = $todayTimestamp + 86400;

/* Do instead.*/
$nextDay = strtotime(‘+1 day’, $todayTimestamp);
?>
The first one will not work exactly if you move into or out of daylight savings time.

An extra problem is that the second example is more readable, specially if you add like 2 weeks and 2 days (‘+2 weeks 2 days’)
Use date_default_timezone_set() function before, if you doing calculation to a specific region.

 

 

Tip #2

Don’t use regexp to filter/match an email or an URL.There are already built-in filters in PHP for that.

<?php
$email = filter_var(‘[email protected]’, FILTER_VALIDATE_EMAIL);
?>
See documentation on filter_var()

 

 

Tip #3

echo gives you more than one string as parameter.

Using some parameters is going to more faster than blending some variables into a parameter.

<?php
$a = ‘Hello’;
$b = ‘Scriptarticle’;
echo ‘Say ‘ .$a. ‘ to ‘ .$b;

//Below will faster
echo ‘Say ‘, $a ,’ to ‘, $b;
?>

 

 

Tip #4

Use isset() instead of strlen() function

<?php
$str = “434e5”;

if (!isset($str{5})) {
echo ‘String must be at least 5 chars<br />’;
}

if (strlen($str) < 5){
echo ‘String must be at least 5 chars’;
}
?>
isset() needs little more time than strlen() because isset() is a language construct.

When you treat strings as arrays, each character in the string is an element in the array. By determining whether a particular element exists, you can determine whether the string is at least that many characters long. (Note that the first character is element 0, so $str[5] is the sixth character in $str)

 

 

Tip #5

Avoid the use of printf function

Unlike print and echo, printf() is a function with associated function execution overhead. More over printf() is designed to support various formatting schemes. To handle formatting printf() needs to scan the specified string for special formatting code that are to be replaced with variables.

<?php
echo ‘Result:’, $result;
// is better than
printf( “Result.%s”, $result );
?>

 

 

Tip #6

Avoid large string concatenation

When do concatenation string, avoid uniting with large size string. It can obstruct code execution that can display faster.

<?php

//Large string concatenation
$title = ‘this is’;
$body  = ‘..a very large blog..’;
echo “Subject.$title\n\n$body”;

//Avoid large string concatenation
$title = ‘this is’;
$body  = ‘..a very large blog..’;
echo “Subject.$title\n\n”;
echo $body;

?>

 

 

Tip #7

Use boolean data type

PHP is allowing writing Boolean data type with uppercase or lowercase.
But, writing with lowercase is faster than uppercase. When found a constant, PHP do lookup hash constant name.

<?php

if ($var = TRUE) {

}

//this is more faster
if ($var = true) {

}

?>
Boolean value 1 and 0 are faster than true and false.

 

 

Tip #8

Avoid space in your code

The main purpose of code optimization is to get faster code execution, because PHP codes going to execute every time they are requested.

Avoid the use of many spaces ( ) is a good thing. Every space is 1 byte and every tab (\t) is 1 byte. When you’re using four spaces, you’ve been use 4 bytes. It will more effective if you’re using a tab (\t).

 

 

Tip #9

Print Output

PHP is giving some sting functions to printing output into browser and we are often using print() and echo() function.

Print() function behavior like the other function in common and having return value integer 1. Thus, print() can used as part of expression which more complex. Meanwhile, echo() is able to accept more than one parameters all at once, and does not having return value.

<?php
print() ‘string 1’;
echo ‘string 1’;
// using some parameters
echo ‘string 1’, “string 2”, ‘…’;
?>
echo() function string will execution more faster than print(). This differentiate caused by will return status (integer) which expose what process has done or not.

 

 

Tip #10

File Access Optimization

When you need to include a file, recheck file content that will be use. If file not contains PHP codes, use readfile() function to increase performance.
Because files that including with readfile() does not parsing by PHP. It will be different with construction language include() and require(), and files will be evaluated before.

Other side is, readfile() increases attack risk. This risk will be happen when accessing file from URL.
Solution for the attack risk is by using File Handling.

 

 

Tip #11

Use ternary operators instead of if, else

Ternary operators can be very helpful and clean up the code, but don’t over complicate them otherwise your code might become inundated with large amounts of complex ridiculousness.

<?php
$name = (!empty($_GET[‘name’])? $_GET[‘name’] .’Scriptarticle’);
?>

 

 

Tip #12

Class Auto loading

If you have a very large number of classes that could potentially use within one or many sections of your code, you could include all of them within a common header file, or only include the ones that you know that you’re going to use on that page. However, you then need to remember to include new classes whenever we want to use a different one etc.

 

Use PHP function spl_autoload_register() instead of that.
You can use the below function where you will need to pass the name of the class that you’re trying to load as the first parameter of the function. As of PHP 5.3.0 we are able to use anonymous functions, basically a function thas has no name.

<?php
spl_autoload_register(function ($class){
echo ‘We are loading class.’ . $class;
include_once(‘classes/’ . $class . ‘.inc.php’);
echo ‘Class loaded.’;
});

?>

In PHP5, there ia a magic function called as __autoload() for fulfilling the same purpose.

 

 

Tip #13

Referencing

Passing variables by reference is a way to pass variables into functions so that the function can alter the original variable without having to return anything or define it as global etc. A function parameter that is going to be passed in as a reference is proceeded by an ampersand (&). Let’s see the below example.

<?php

function lowercase(&$string){
$string = strtolower($string);
}

$name = ‘STEPHEN’;
lowercase($name);
echo $name; // returns stephen
?>

 

There are so many advantages of using references, for example you don’t have to return anything from the function, nor do you have to look to define them as globally accessible.

References are very useful when you use them with arrays. Let’s say we have a function that sets the first item in any array to flower.

 

<?php
function flowerArray(&$array){
$array[0] = ‘flower’;
}
$nonflower = array(‘mahesh’, ‘nirmal’, ‘saurabh’);
flowerArray($nonflower);
print_r($nonflower); // This will now have changed ‘mahesh’ to ‘flower’
?>

 

 

Tip #14
Single Quotes vs. Double Quotes

You may or may not think about this point in your PHP use but it is kind of a big deal. Using the right or wrong quotes can not only cause errors that might be hard to find but there can be a slight performance boost and can make your code much easier to read.

<?php
echo ‘hello scriptarticle’;
?>
<?php
echo “hello scriptarticle”;
?>

These will produce the exact same end result but do you know which one is technically better? The single quote. The single quote just puts exactly what is inside of it without processing while the double quote actually evaluates and processes. Let’s take an example.

<?php

$example = ‘hello scriptarticle’;

echo ‘$example’; // outcome will be $example

echo “$example”; // outcome will be hello scriptarticle
?>

As you can see here the double quotes take the time to process what is inside so technically there will be a little more overhead.

Obviously on a small scale this means nothing but if you have a loop that iterates 1000 or more times you might start to see the benefits of single quotes in a performance sense.

 

 

Tip #15
PHP Short Tags

You know when you just want to pre populate a form or add one PHP variable into the middle of an HTML block. Which one is more readable and easy to use PHP open tags or short tags?

<?php echo $name; ?>
<?=$name ?>

Lower one will produce the exact same output as the first but much neater and with a little less code. It’s it?
NOTE: A short tag is something that can be disabled in the php.ini so it is not guaranteed to work but industry standard has short tags enabled.

 

 

Tip #16
Working with zero filled numbers in PHP

Padding Zero is very easy to do by using PHP build-in functions.

<?php echo $new_number = str_pad($num, 3, “0”, STR_PAD_LEFT); ?>

Remove padding zero
<?php echo intval($new_number); ?>

 

 

Tip #17
Know the Difference between Comparison Operators
<?php

$sentence = ‘scriptarticle is very good blog’;

if (strpos($sentence, ‘scriptarticle’)) {
echo ‘I like scriptarticle.’;
} else {
echo ‘I don\’t like scriptarticle..’;
}

?>
Because the substring “scriptarticle” occurs at the very beginning of “scriptarticle is very good blog”, strpos() correctly returns 0, indicating the first position in the string. Because the conditional statement treats this as a Boolean, it evaluates to FALSE, and the condition fails. In other words, it looks like ‘scriptarticle’ is not in the sentence but it is!

This can be corrected with a strict comparison as below.
<?php

if (strpos($sentence, ‘scriptarticle’) !== FALSE) {
echo ‘I like scriptarticle.’;
} else {
echo ‘I don\’t like scriptarticle..’;
}

?>

 

 

Tip #18
Methods in derived classes run faster than ones defined in the base class.

 

 

Tip #19
Accessing arrays
e.g. $row[‘id’] is 7 times faster than $row[id]

 

 

Tip #20
Avoid functions inside loops

Try to use functions outside loops. Otherwise the function may get called each time and obeviously it will affect performance.

<?php
/*  loop with a count() inside the control block will be
executed on EVERY loop iteration.
*/
$max = count( $array );
for( $i = 0; $i < $max; $i++ )
{
// do something here
}

// is better than
for( $i = 0; $i < count( $array ); $i++ )
{
// do something here
}
?>

It’s even faster if you eliminate the call to count() AND the explicit use of the counter by using a foreach loop in place of the for loop.

<?php
foreach ($array as $i) {
// do something
}
?>

 

 

Tip #21

When you need to output a large or even a medium sized static bit of text it is faster and simpler to put it outside the PHP.

This will make the PHP parser effectively skip over this bit of text and output it as is without any overhead. You should be careful however and not use this for many small strings in between PHP code as multiple context switches between PHP and plain text will be away at the performance gained by not having PHP print the text via one of its functions or constructs.

 

 

Tip #22
true is faster than TRUE

This is because when looking for constants PHP does a hash lookup for name as is & since names are always stored lowercased, by using them you avoid 2 hash lookups. Furthermore, by using 1 and 0 instead of TRUE and FALSE, can be considerably faster.

 

 

Tip #23
Incrementing or decrementing the value of the variable

When incrementing or decrementing the value of the variable $i++ happens to be a slower then ++$i.++$i happens to be faster in PHP because instead of 4 opcodes used for $i++ you only need 3. Post incrementation actually causes in the creation of a temporary var that is then incremented. While pre-incrementation increases the original value directly. This is one of the optimization that opcode optimized like Zends PHP optimizer.

It is a still a good idea to keep in mind since not all opcode optimizers perform this optimization and there are plenty of ISPs and servers running without an opcode optimizer.

 

Additionally,
* Incrementing a local variable in a method is the fastest. Nearly the same as calling a local variable in a function.
* Incrementing a global variable is 2 times slower than a local variable.
* Incrementing an object property (eg. $this->prop++) is 3 times slower than a local variable.
* Incrementing an undefined local variable is 9-10 times slower than a pre-initialized one.

 

 

Tip #24
Free unnecessary memory

Unset your variables to free memory, especially large arrays.

 

 

Tip #25
Specify full paths

Use full paths in includes and requires, less time spent on resolving the OS paths.

<?php
include( ‘/var/www/html/your_app/database.php’ );
//is better than
include( ‘database.php’ );
?>

 

 

Tip #26
Use get_browser() built-in function to get browser information

Easily get your hands on the user’s browser-type.Some programmers leave this process to the browser end but can be useful to get this info server side.

 

 

Tip #27
debug_print_backtrace()

This print a debug-style list of what was called to get the point where this function is called.

 

 

Tip #28
Automatic optimization for your database

You will probably add and delete tables from time to time. Therefore, you should use a solution that works no matter how your database looks like. For this, you can use this PHP script that finds all your tables, and then perform Optimize on every single one.

<?php
dbConnect();
$tables = mysql_query(“SHOW TABLES”);

while ($table = mysql_fetch_assoc($tables))
{
foreach ($table as $db => $tablename)
{
mysql_query(“OPTIMIZE TABLE ‘”.$tablename.”‘”)
or die(mysql_error());
}
}
?>

 

Tip #29
require() vs. require_once()

Use require() instead of require_once() where possible.

 

 

Tip #30
Secure HTTP connections

You can force a secure HTTP connection using the following code,
<?php

if (!($HTTPS == “on”)) {
header (“Location.https://$SERVER_NAME$php_SELF”);
exit;
}
?>