Have uncovered a few more details about the mysterious MonsterCart…
The product is written by EvolutionInternet, a company based in Kent, UK. It is their proprietary e-commerce solution, and a quick Google for the phrase "powered by MonsterCart" finds (only) 3 other sites that they have built using this system.
I have managed to get my hands on the User Manual, which contains the basics of "push this button, enter that text" but is poorly written, incomplete, and has no explanation of what each field of information means or is used for, and certainly no advice on best practice.
A bit more research shows that all the competitors of my client have followed similar routes (with mixed results) - small web-design firms offering their own proprietary shopping cart solution, often with a very limited up take.Which leaves me with questions…
- Why would anyone choose a closed system, written by a small web-design company over an open source project, since this choice essentially ties you to a single developer for the life of the site!
- Why would a small web-design company reinvent the wheel and build their own e-commerce engine rather than use (or extend) an existing open source project?
- And while we are at it - why would anyone choose to use ASP.NET which ties you to Microsoft products from OS and web-server , through database and programming language - all of which means expense!