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Which shopping cart version should I use for my website?

Existing Website

If you have a current live site that has decent SEO, acceptable traffic for your type of business and you are familiar with the maintenance and management of the content, you usually will want to pick the shopping cart version that matches your current design environment and CMS platform.  

i.e. If you are currently running WordPress and comfortable managing your site through the WordPress CMS, install the WPCartPro WordPress shopping cart version. Or, if you have an existing custom design and you manage the content by directly editing the page HTML and/or through some type of proprietary/integrated CMS and that is your comfort zone, you would probably want to install the Designer or Dreamweaver shopping version. (See Pros and Cons Below)

New Website … Which Shopping Cart?

If you are creating an entirely new online store site from scratch, there are many variables that go into the design platform decision and most are related to your experience as a designer and your personal preferences for content management. Common reasons for a new online store or website.  

  • You just launched a new business.
  • Your current online store or web-design design is outdated and needs to be modernized.
  • Your current site has poor SEO, low traffic numbers or sluggish online sales.
  • You are rebranding your company with a new image.

Regardless of why you have decided to create a new site, the most important decision on choosing a design environment for the new site is how the main site content will be maintained after the site is launched not how it will be created initially.

Example, you can create the most beautiful custom site design in the world but if you don’t have a web-designer or developer to maintain it and add new features in the future and/or you are not using a CMS for the frequently edited content, it will quickly become stale and therefore you would probably want to go with a WordPress powered site.

Conversely, you can create an amazing WordPress site with tons of useful features via plugins only to find out later that you require a proprietary site design for corporate branding or more security and compliance than WordPress can provide. Therefore, if you are comfortable with managing website content and/or require a unique brand experience for your site, then the Designer or Dreamweaver cart would be the proper choice for you.

Don’t worry! You can switch platforms anytime with Site Store Pro!

The great news is that whatever platform you decide on now, you can switch to a different platform in the future and won’t have to change shopping carts and you won’t lose any online store data!

Site Store Pro works with all design platforms and is the only shopping cart solution that allows you to switch design environments anytime without having to setup your online store again.

Once you setup your Site Store Pro store, you can switch design environments and all that is affected is your website’s front-end design (site skinning).

Your payment processor settings, shipping setup, discount rules, customer registration forms, store-generated emails, products, orders, customers and all store settings stay the same even if you switch from WordPress to a custom design or vice versa!

Pros & Cons of Each Site Store Pro Shopping Cart Version

Below is a basic “Pros & Cons” list for each shopping cart version based on the design environment used when creating the website and how the content will be managed.

Dreamweaver Version:

PROS:

  • Best HTML | CSS Editing Software
  • Very easy to learn how to use Dreamweaver.
  • Simple and efficient shopping cart design integration.
  • Dreamweaver designs can be fine-tuned much more than a WordPress site.
  • Typically, Dreamweaver designs are proprietary to the site owner and therefore can be used for a much more unique company branding experience. 
  • Easier Full PCI compliance — Direct credit card payments on a server that runs a Dreamweaver based design is typically much easier to achieve than with a server that runs a WordPress site. (Note: if you are using a payment provider such as Stripe, Square, PayPal Standard or PayPal Checkout, PCI compliance is not required on the server Full PCI compliance is only required if the customer enters their credit card information directly on the website (i.e. not through an embedded form from the payment provider). Some payment providers/plugins that require full pci-compliance are  Authorize.net AIM, Payeezy and PayPal Pro.)

CONS:

  • Adobe Creative Suite | Individual Dreamweaver App Licensing Cost.
  • Static content Dreamweaver-designed sites are typically more time-consuming to update and maintain then a WordPress site unless frequently updated content on the Dreamweaver design site is managed by a CMS (Content Management System)

Designer Version:

PROS:  

  • Fastest Site Speed: Generally the fastest type of website since the web-designer can limit the site to load only required content and there will not be any unnecessary JS or CSS files loading like a WordPress site. 
  • Custom-designed site designs can be fine-tuned much more than a WordPress site.
  • Typically, a custom-designed site is proprietary to the site owner and therefore can be used for a a unique company branding experience. 
  • Full PCI compliance for direct credit card payments on a server that runs a custom-designed site is typically much easier to achieve than with a server that runs a WordPress site. (Note: if you are using a payment provider such as Stripe, Square, PayPal Standard or PayPal Checkout, PCI compliance is not required on the server Full PCI compliance is only required if the customer enters their credit card information directly on the website (i.e. not through an embedded form from the payment provider). Some payment providers/plugins that require full pci-compliance are  Authorize.net AIM, Payeezy and PayPal Pro.)

CONS:

  • May take longer than the Dreamweaver version to integrate into your current design if your layout does not use design include files and you have to manually update each of your design pages with the required cart include files.
  • Static content on custom-designed sites is typically more difficult to update and maintain then a WordPress site unless frequently updated content on the custom-designed site is managed by a CMS (Content Management System)

WordPress (WPCartPro) version:

PROS:

  • Fastest Design Integration: WordPress is the easiest platform to integrate the shopping cart into since the site design is your WordPress theme and the cart simply plugs into the theme.
  • WordPress has thousands of incredibly useful and functional plugins so a WordPress site can be expanded with new site features much faster than a custom-designed or Dreamweaver-designed website.

CONS:

  • WordPress sites can be bloated with a lot of unnecessary code from 3rd party plugins and generally have higher load times than custom-designed sites.
  • WordPress can be prone to security holes from un-patched, older plugins that are no longer supported and/or have not been updated.
  • Full PCI-compliance for direct credit card payments is sometimes difficult or impossible on a WordPress install due to other plugins that may be flagged as PCI vulnerabilities. (Note: if you are using a payment provider such as Stripe, Square, PayPal Standard or PayPal Checkout, PCI compliance is not required on the server Full PCI compliance is only required if the customer enters their credit card information directly on the website (i.e. not through an embedded form from the payment provider). Some payment providers/plugins that require full pci-compliance are  Authorize.net AIM, Payeezy and PayPal Pro.)

Conclusion

We hope this document providing some helpful insight on which shopping cart version is best for your specific requirement. If you need additional assistance selecting your cart version or need help integrating your design into the cart, please contact support.

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