OSCommerce Review, The OSCommerce Beginners Guide

Author xlxmarketing 15.8.2009. | 10:24


If you’re new to the world of ecommerce one of the first things you’ll want to look at is which way you want to sell your products.

Be it through eBay, Yahoo shopping or your own online store powered by such programs as OSCommerce and Zen Cart.

However getting clear, correct easily understood information is a little hard when the people who know the most of it tend to talk to you like you know the same amount too.

So Chinavasion will be running a series on the different ecommerce software / platform options available to you, go through how they work and talk about their benefits and problems.


Anyone who has delved even a little into e-commerce will have heard about the online shop shell called OS-Commerce, the ecommerce platform that had more than 14,000 live websites using it according to Wikipedia (citation needed).

OScommerce is a free PHP based e-commerce and online store-management software program that is free to use and has an easily customized front and back end.

The server you need to upload it to will need to have both the PHP and MYSQL software to make the program run.

The server should have all this but if you want to ‘build’ your shop on your own computer you may want to download a program called XAMPP from apachefriends.org/en.

Setting up an online shop on your own domain with OS commerce is no mean feat so if you want to get started right away and you don’t have a lot of time or money to pay someone to set it up for you you might want to look at other options.

The Ecommerce Dictionary

  • Ecommerce Platform:
    A means of selling things online
  • PHP: A type of code used on the internet.
  • CSS: A type of code used by web designers to ‘tell’ web browsers what their page should ‘look like’.
  • MYSQL: A database management system used to make dynamic web pages.

If you do feel that you have the time and that you would like to learn more about OScommerce the forums ( forums.oscommerce.com ) can be a big help.

Everybody on them is very friendly and informative and will often get back to any questions you throw at them in a couple of hours, if not minutes.

Just remember to search the forum for your question first to make sure it hasn’t been asked and answered before.

Another important thing to remember with OSCommerce is that you are getting the software to run an online shop and not a shop nor a place to put the shop.

To do that you are going to need to get a web hosting company and a domain registrar and pay them some money.

This is a topic that is far too big to cover in this blog but there are multiple threads on these topics in the OS commerce forums and many review sites which go over the various strength and weaknesses of different sites.

Some of the bigger industry players include:

  • Godaddy
  • Hostgator
  • Hostmonster

The Ecommerce Dictionarydictionary

  • Web Hosting Company:
    A company that rents you a server to keep your website on.
  • Server: A computer that is always accessible to the internet that people put their websites on.
  • Domain Registrar: A company that will register a URL for you.

So, as you can see, if you are looking to get something set up quick and get access to a fairly large market fairly quickly then perhaps OS commerce is not your best option.

However, if you are willing to put in some work to create your own site and build up traffic and you want your own corner of the web then setting up your own site on OS Commerce might be the way to go.

Visit the OScommerce forums and decide whether it is suitable for your needs. And, if you are already active on the internet let us know how by taking part in the poll below.

And stay tuned because we will be going over the following systems in the next few weeks:

  • Zen cart
  • Auctiva
  • Yahoo Shopping

OSCommerce Summary


  • Name: OS commerce
  • Number of users: 14,000
  • Cost:Free
  • Customizationability:Very customizable
  • Support Network:forums.oscommerce.com
  • Software Requirements: apachefriends.org/en XAMPP (only if building your site on your own computer)
  • Other Requirements:
    • A rudimentary knowledge of code
    • A web hosting provider
    • A domain name
  • Download From:
    • oscommerce.com/ (basic version)
    • oscmax.com/ (version with all the necessary add-ons)
  • Other Reviews: e-commerce-guide.com/solutions/building/article.php/3428461

Author xlxmarketing 15.8.2009. | 10:24
Write a comment


  1. Andy July 15, 00:12

    The good thing is that you are preparing to produce a CSV for resellers, that will certainly ease your customers (i.e. resellers) to integrate your products.

    My opinion is – Make a GENERAL CSV that include standard fields (e.g. Product Name, Description and images path…) and other elements are to be filled by the reseller. How? we may just IMPORT the CSV into the system and EXPORT the same to make a CORRECT CSV, then filling in the missing fields in MS EXCELL or alike, the IMPORT again to make things complete.

    Rather than making all versions of CSV to meet 100s of cart system, make a general one will be much easier and saving time, so, resellers can start reselling in less time.

View comments

Write a comment

Leave a Reply

Special Promotions

coupon center

US and EU Warehouse Offer


Watch latest gadget videos

Make Money with Chinavasion