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Spiffy Brian
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You might like to think twice before jumping into an open source shopping cart solution, because these things tend to be time-bombs for most small business owners. It’s all very nice to think of all the money you’re saving by using free software, but you may end up with some very expensive problems to deal with further down the track.

The way these things go is that the business owner employs a web designer to design and build the shopping cart. The problem is that once the site has been built and paid for, the web designer/programmer has no more incentive to maintain the site and the software.

The quality of open-source software varies enormously and since it’s open-source, it’s very easy for hackers to examine the code and find bugs and ways of exploiting the code. These exploits are usually detected pretty quickly, but unless someone is keeping an eye open for security and maintenance updates for your site, you run the risk of your site being compromised and you end up having to pay someone a lot of money to restore things and you may also suffer from a loss of reputation with your customers.

These sort of problems can arise months or years after the original site was created.

Open-source solutions are good for people with a technical inclination, but I’m not convinced it’s a good solution for your average non-technical business owner. Besides, isn’t it more important to be spending your time looking after your business rather than fiddling around with your e-commerce software applying security updates.

Just a thought…

Brian