Why we stopped using other e-commerce carts for Joomla and created a new one that works.
The first time we integrated a Joomla-powered e-commerce extension into one of our client sites was just over seven years ago. It was the best Joomla e-commerce extension available at the time, and we knew it would require a lot of work-arounds and core hacks to operate properly. That was the price one had to pay back then, when it came to e-commerce extensions for Joomla!
That was then, when Joomla was still in its infancy. Today, while e-commerce software has improved, it hasn’t come fast enough, nor often enough for Joomla.
Being a software development firm, we started thinking about developing our own solution, just in case. That was four years ago. Needless to say, the alternative e-commerce carts didn’t get any better. So we got to work, creating a better e-commerce suite for our clients using Joomla! (and we have a lot of them).
Unfortunately, the e-commerce solutions available for Joomla weren’t exactly what one would call “future proof.” Actually, they’re anything but – they needed re-work with every update, and even more extensive patchwork with each Joomla upgrade. Needless to say, that work was very time consuming for us, and very costly for our clients – not the ideal situation for progressive clients, wanting to invest in new markets. Unfortunately, the end result was either a large services invoice for the client, or us, eating the all or part of the bill, without much more added functionality to the e-commerce software.
Anyone who has been involved in creating e-commerce software knows how complex an endeavor it is. Lots of moving parts – from PCI compliance to security measures; from determining customer buying processes to returns. Add in highly complex tax tables for the U.S., Europe, Asia; shipping choices, currency conversion, mobility, payment gateways and much, much more to work out, and that takes time and a lot of brain power.
When our own client base grew, and their requirements specified far more advanced functionality than we could reasonably load on any of the legacy e-commerce components available for Joomla, we decided it was time to go “all-in” on e-commerce development, speed up development, and make e-commerce priority one.
Despite all the challenges involved in creating a fresh new future proof e-commerce solution, in 2011, we decided it was time to create a newer, better solution for our clients, rather than rely on what we considered sub-standard technology. We needed to bring e-commerce for Joomla into the 21st century for our current and future clients. The precursor for what would ultimately become paGO Commerce was born.
After over 3,400 hours and two-plus years of development, testing and refinement, we implemented our new, un-branded e-commerce solution on several of our own client sites, with great success, solving major hurdles such as future proof and modular code, mobile-friendly responsive interface, ability for store owners to easily convert global currencies, ability to apply multiple attributes to products, one-step check-out process and much, much more.
Then, after nearly a year of live operation of this new e-commerce software, we made the decision to package and brand paGO Commerce into a free, open source software solution, and release paGO Commerce for the public to use, and start realizing the same features and benefits we were achieving. Our business model is built on support for our services. Our plan with paGO Commerce is to start our clients off with a great piece of commercial grade software, which can be easily set up in a matter of days or weeks on a “DIY” basis; then, as clients wish to customize paGO beyond its current capabilities, ‘corePHP’ is available to do just that. In the end, no two e-commerce sites are alike, and there’s no better place to go for work on the source code than the creators!
That’s our theory at least, and we’re sticking to it. So far, we’ve built some pretty amazing e-commerce solutions for clients – from a poker site to an industrial manufacturer/distributor with over 100,000 SKU’s, so we think we’re onto something good here!
Today is our official launch for paGO Commerce, and we couldn’t be happier. The response from pre-launch users so far has been excellent: Joomla Sitebuilders have told us it’s extremely easy to use, it’s intuitive to learn, and the standard template paGO comes with is extremely flexible, and far superior to anything else on the market today. Similarly, Joomla Developers have shared that paGO Commerce is easy to code within and straightforward to extend.
After two weeks in our own final countdown testing, we’ve had a lot of interest in paGO Commerce. We’ve already had more pre-launch downloads and installs of paGO Commerce by the Joomla Developer Community than any other extension in ‘corePHP’s extensions library. We think that’s a pretty good sign of things to come!
Compared to other e-commerce extensions in the Joomla ecosystem, we think you’ll agree, paGO Commerce is a winning solution for marketing and selling tangible products. Along with many other features, paGO’s got excellent mobile capabilities, and its ability to handle global customers is second to not. Plus, we’re already busy at work on our future roadmap for paGO versions 1.5, 2.0 and beyond. Watch for more to come soon, and in the meantime, download paGO Commerce today here! It’s FREE and open source, and it works great for Joomla 2.5 and 3.0!