Author Topic: Zen vs Bisi  (Read 6253 times)

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littleonlinestore

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Zen vs Bisi
« on: June 22, 2009, 04:43:46 PM »
So I thought I'd start this here.

I've been reading about Zen Cart for about a week now. I've installed it and was ready for adding some add ons. Currently, I have Hostgator (joined last week) but might change. Their free SSL certs show up a warning as they are self signed.

So, if I do go with a Zen Cart, I'll have to buy a SSl cert that doesn't show a warning and then will probably have to get a dedicated IP address. That's even without accepting credit cards, just the customer entering in their info.

There are so many rules to accepting cc's on one's own site. PCI complaince and so on.

I was thinking about Authorize.net, but am not sure what all of the fees will be. Plus, does a customer enter their cc info into the Zen or do they get transferred over to Authorize.net?

It's so tough to get ingo and just is a lot of reading and then still can't find any answers. I've been thinking it might just be better to stay with bisi as I have Propay there and it's all automated. Plus, I don't have to worry about the SSL and upgrades and add ons etc.


 

BTPS

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Re: Zen vs Bisi
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2009, 04:59:06 PM »
Quote
I've been thinking it might just be better to stay with bisi
Why not both?
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signsintime

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Re: Zen vs Bisi
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2009, 05:11:46 PM »
I wish I could have been there to help you with your decision to go with HostGator. There might be some other folks on here who like them, but I was hosted with them for all of about 2 hours before I backed right out. Something about their control panel as I recall. That's been a year or so ago at least so things may have changed.

I have a SSL and dedicated IP. My hosting is with Aspiration Host and my domain name and SSL are through GoDaddy. I think I paid $20 for a dedicated IP (from Aspiration Host) for a year, and the SSL wasn't that expensive.

Not sure about Authorize.net and where the customer enters info.

I only take Paypal, Google Checkout, or Money Order on my site for my signs, so nobody has to enter any cc info when checking out.

There's a learning curve to Zen-cart but I know you are capable of mastering it.  While I like BISI, and there are more features being added than there were at first, IMO it's light weight compared to a stand alone cart like zen or Cube Cart.

I like the fact that you have complete control over the contents and function of your cart without a monthly fee (other than your  hosting). And the features are pretty abundant if you don't mind installing the add-ons.

The thing I like best about zen-cart compared to BISI is that the customer's account on your site actually has a function. They can login, view their past orders AND see the actual order and read updates about it's status and any message you might have left for them, and (with the Order Question mod installed the way I have it on my sign site) they can ask a question from the order page and it gets posted right to the comments area. I can see it in admin (plus I get an email notification about the question) and they can see it on the front end, along with whatever reply I give.

From admin, with the Super Orders mod installed I can do batch status updates, batch form printing and jump from order to order with the previous/next function. I can edit orders to add products if someone writes to say they forgot to get something.

I agree with BT, have both and test them out for a while to compare side by side. Of course, you will have to choose which one to have your domain name pointed to, but you could always have another name as well.

Teri and I both have a list of "must have" mods/add-ons that we wouldn't be without for zen-cart.

Teri's got a cube cart now for her candles and bath site, and there are things she can do with her cart that are even better than zen.

I'd have loved to get more of a grip on Magento because that's another cart that seems to have a lot of bells and whistles -- I just couldn't get a grip on creating pages, and editing things. It's a little odd and requires a lot messing with code.
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littleonlinestore

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Re: Zen vs Bisi
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2009, 08:35:09 PM »
Yes, I've looked at Cube Cart to, but seems the free version is missing a lot. I wouldn't mind paying the $129, but when I'd have to do it for 2 stores...yikes.

Why not both? Well, first expense and second time.

Here's my add on list:

Google Checkout (I guess this one needs to be installed first)
Ultimate SEO Urls
Image Handler 2 (For mult images)
Super Orders
Sitemap XML (prev Google Sitemap)
RSS Feed
Google Base Feeder
Google Analytics
Cross Sell - Just Another (To fill in that blank area under item)
Meta Tag Character Limiter
Edit Orders
Improved Attributes Controller
Easy Populate (My items are all in a spreadsheet in Excel)

Yeah, it seems like a really long list for sure. However, they've all been mentioned by at least one seller.  I actually went through the entire add on list to find these. Seems like I might not need Edit Orders if I have Super Orders?
 

signsintime

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Re: Zen vs Bisi
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2009, 08:47:54 PM »
That was my thought, too, altho I have an earlier version of Super Orders on an older cart and it seems to me that when I was toying with upgrading to the latest zen version (and I installed a test cart and installed a bunch of mods) the newer Super Orders was greatly lacking. You may still need Edit Orders with the newest Super Orders installed.

Here's my list of what a zen-cart needs:
Master Password
Super Orders
TabbedProducts Pro
Double Email Entry
Image Handler 2
Improved Attributes Controller (makes attribute creation a WHOLE lot easier)
SEO URLs
USPS Auto Fill
Google Froogle
Zen Lightbox
SQL Backup
One Page Checkout  (I don't use it but it was on the list)
Email_archive_search
Contact-Us-Subject
Social Bookmarking 1.2
zenpdfcreator_0.96 (? don't know if I used it or not)
Online Group Pricing
RSS Feeds
Easy Populate
Order Question 1.0
Save sidebox settings
Cross Sell


And you're right about Cube Cart. I forgot the bells and whistles all come with the $129 version. oops.





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ICToys.com

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Re: Zen vs Bisi
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2009, 09:03:34 PM »
To use Authorize.net, you need a merchant account as well.   The quickest and easiest way to accept credit cards directly on your website would be to do PayPal Website Payments Pro.   Many merchant accounts with require you to enter into a 2 year contract - and the early termination fees will about equal the remainder of your contract.    There is no commitment with PayPal Website Pro.

littleonlinestore

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Re: Zen vs Bisi
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2009, 09:10:52 PM »
But then I need to find a PCI compliant host, which is usually more per month for hosting. I know, it seems so complicated.
 

ICToys.com

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Re: Zen vs Bisi
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2009, 09:14:56 PM »
You need a PCI compliant host (one which is capable of being PCI compliant) if you accept credit cards at all. 
Most reputable hosts have that ability these days.   You also need to make sure that the cart software you use is capable of PCI compliance as well.


Rick Bradford

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Re: Zen vs Bisi
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2009, 09:17:00 PM »
While I like BISI, and there are more features being added than there were at first, IMO it's light weight compared to a stand alone cart like zen or Cube Cart.

Yeah, and as far as I can tell that's the case with any of the free/cheap cart hosts out there. You have so much more control and so much more functionality when you've got standalone software on a standalone site. The big hurdle for setting up your own cart, of course, is the time and effort it takes to get it right since it's so much more hands-on. One of these days I'll finish my new one...

littleonlinestore

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Re: Zen vs Bisi
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2009, 09:40:01 PM »
You need a PCI compliant host (one which is capable of being PCI compliant) if you accept credit cards at all. 
Most reputable hosts have that ability these days.   You also need to make sure that the cart software you use is capable of PCI compliance as well.



Well, anytime they enter cc info in your site. If they go offsite and enter in the cc info, then you do not need to be PCI compliant.
 

ICToys.com

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Re: Zen vs Bisi
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2009, 09:49:08 PM »
The only time folks go off site to enter credit card info is with a service like PayPal or Google Checkout.     But you aren't accepting credit cards directly with those services. 

You need to decide whether it's important to your business to accept credit cards directly or not.    If it is, you'll need a host and a cart that is capable of allowing that (ie, PCI compliance).   If it isn't, that won't be required, but obviously you'll still want to make sure that any customer information that is entered and stored is secure anyway.

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Re: Zen vs Bisi
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2009, 06:30:39 AM »
Good or bad, this is what I'm going to do with zen, merchant account, and authorize.net.
Everything through GoDaddy:
Hosting - $4.95 mo.
SSL - $12.95 yr.
Merchant Account -
http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/ecommerce/landing.asp?ci=9041
   Through ChasePaymentTech.com - http://www.chasepaymentech.com/
   Standard U.S. Merchant Account
   • Application fee: $59.95 
   • Monthly Fee: $15.00 - ($20.00 additional sales minimum)
   • Discount rate: 2.5%   
   • Per-transaction fee: $0.20   
    Gateway - Authorize.net $199.00 one time setup fee
    $50 yearly renewal fee   

Don't know if the prices are good or not, just got tired of trying to figure this all out.  I have most of my 60 days left to finish setting up the site and will surely drag it out.  The Chase part is approved and done, now need to do the authorize.net part.

littleonlinestore

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Re: Zen vs Bisi
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2009, 02:12:27 AM »
Well, it looks very nice so far :D
 

  

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