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CubeCart Review Update | Website Publisher Blog

CubeCart Review Update

December 22nd, 2008 by Chris

After using CubeCart on two sites for about a year I can definitely say the honeymoon is over. I was perhaps hasty in giving it the glowing recommendation I did, after only using it a short period of time. I really can’t recommend it to anyone anymore, it isn’t pay cart quality, it is free cart quality. I would not pay for it again nor recommend anyone else do the same.

The small bugs I mentioned in my above review are still not fixed, and that is just indicative of an overall culture of incompetence on behalf of the CubeCart developers. They remind me of building contracts who do just the bare minimum to get by. Far too many commonly desired features, needed features, features that would be standard in other carts, are passed off to third party developers. A common excuse given on CubeCart’s official forums is that such-and-such feature exists as a third party hack and so doesn’t need to be a part of the official core or supported as such (such as… a contact us form. CubeCart doesn’t come with a way for customers to contact the store owner through the website, you need a third party mod to do that. Unbelievable? Believe it). Unless you pay more for it, official support is all but absent, it is nearly impossible to get a word from a developer. Contrast that with vBulletin (which is in my opinion the best produced software in this class), which has rampant official support on their forums, ticket system, and otherwise.

The backend system, which initially seemed nicely designed, is anything but. When you actually start needing to do work on it, you often have to play “guess the file” to figure out which file controls which feature. Asking a developer which file it is so you could do the fix yourself would be a simple question for them to answer, but they do not. Another annoyance is their official site requires no less than 4 separate logins for 4 separate systems to use fully. I kid you not.

Then there are all the little annoyances. They give you the option to put a captcha on everything, or nothing, with no middle ground. So you can choose to not have a captcha on user reviews, email to a friend features, and email contract forms, or you can choose to have a captcha in all those places that need one, but also in the checkout form just so you can be sure that no less-than-savvy perhaps-elderly person ever buys a product from you, and of course all those spam bots with credit cards don’t buy Christmas presents through your site. What does a spam bot want for Christmas? I don’t know, but apparently the developers at CubeCart wanted to be sure that they couldn’t buy from you! (note, no other cart does this).

Then there are the emails, the email confirming an order before an order is complete is both annoying, and confusing, and can cost you money. One of the most popular third party modules out there turns this off. Does CubeCart consider adding a simple admin option in an update to turn it off? No, because their culture of incompetence means that if a third party individual provides a hack, let their customers mess with it, they don’t need to include that feature. Also consequently stock levels are decreased by these incomplete orders, which makes their stock management nearly worthless.

There are many minor issues and bugs that if I were hiring someone to code this for me custom, I would not have released final payment yet because they aren’t fixed, really simple fixes that just go ignored.

They also do not provide an easy way to add new order statuses outside of the default. Many times a store owner will be able to do this from the admin area of the cart, but not with CubeCart. You need to edit at least two files, I say at least two because I’ve found one and made edits but it hasn’t stuck, so there must be another, which I’ve been unable to find, and yes, I’ve asked for help. No such luck there. If this were a forum script it would be equivalent to not allowing the creation, edit, or deletion of usergroups in the admin backend.

All told the admin options of CubeCart are probably the weakest of any cart I’ve seen. Usually most software in this class has pages of admin options, CubeCart has a page. When you just install it with default settings this doesn’t matter, but as you use the software for a longer period of time and start to want to change things, this is a huge roadblock you run into.

Order management is also lacking. The inability to search for orders by customer name is a real hassle. You can search for customers, and then view orders for that customer, but it is very easy to cut those steps in half, and most shopping carts do that. Then the way they display order information means that if a customer has a longer name or address all of it is not available on the screen at one time, you literally have to scroll multiple text boxes to view it all, which increased the labor needed to process each order for shipping. Finally, they need to offer more control on order-page-based email communications with customers.

I’ve been asked by the developers of both X-Cart and Interspire to review their carts, and I plan to do so in the coming months. Whichever one I like more I’ll likely switch my CubeCart sites to, and recommend instead. I’ve already used Interspire (started my testing of it) and their admin area is awesome, except for one issue, which I’ve informed the CEO about, and he has told me they will fix it in the next version. I’ve not yet started testing the brand new version of X-Cart, but the press release lists some new features that make me drool. Interspire is a lot more expensive, but X-Cart is on parity with CubeCart price wise, and so if you need a cart to use right now and can’t wait for my reviews, perhaps try one of these.

Related posts:

  1. Avactis Shopping Cart Review
  2. X-Cart 4 Review
  3. A Review of CubeCart 4
  4. CRELoaded Ecommerce On Sale
  5. Interspire Shopping Cart 5.5 Review

48 Responses to “CubeCart Review Update”

  1. Kevin Muldoon  Says:

    Unfortunately, this kind of thing is the norm and not the exception. I’ve been using Vbulletin for about 7-8 years and you are 100% correct, I can’t think of any other software company that comes close to the level of support.

    Most software companies put support and service at the bottom of their priorities. Once they get the cash they very rarely provide good support. Of course, this is even more true with private developers. Once that payment has went through for the final design or the completion of a script, you can kiss support goodbye.

    I experienced a similar thing with CS-Cart.com. Overall I was happy with the script though there were a lot of things that they did not provide as standard and recommended paying extra to an external company.

    I asked for something specific and they said they couldn’t do it or add it to another update, even though in my opinion, it was something that should have been default. When I was quoted $500+ to get the addon developed I mentioned that I would be happy to pay for it and that those who wanted the addon/extension could pay a smal fee to contribute to the cost. This they were completely against. Which was beyond me because they didn’t seem to be addressing a lot of core problems with the script.

  2. Tye  Says:

    X-cart have just released a new build which promises to make it one of the best out of the box shopping carts around… if they all work that is :)

  3. Kyle  Says:

    I used cubecart based on your recommendation. Overall it was more enjoyable than osCommerce, but I would probably avoid it next time.

    After purchasing custom mods, and having 1 mod custom developed, I definitely agree with your review in its entirety.

  4. Supercocktails  Says:

    I’m on the lookout for a good shopping cart script as well.
    As far as well supported products, I’ve found interpire to be a very solid company, with few, well supported products and a “culture of efficiency”.
    At the moment my best options for shopping carts are interspire’s and magento (which is open source and still in beta, but looks very promising)
    Suggestions, anybody?

  5. Chris  Says:

    Avoid MAgento, I included a review of it in my first Cubecart review.

  6. Sean  Says:

    Please do not, DO NOT use x-cart. I bashed my head over x-cart for 6 months and would like to save you the headache.

    After it refused to activate properly I had make calls to x-cart’s staff in Russia; they speak very little English and it was a debacle. (Nothing wrong with Russian folks, but it’s hard to work out support issues with a language barrier while you’re on a $3/minute call.)

    The software was NOT easily customizable, and did NOT do a good job separating presentation from business logic. It was riddled with bugs, and the code was very very obfuscated and impossible to decipher. (Zillions of files with similar names, zillions of variable names similar to each other, no commenting throughout the code, long lines of nested functions, that are impossible to read through, etc etc.)

    It sent out gift certificates seemingly randomly, to customers and staff at random intervals. It wouldn’t show shipping rates correctly prior to checkout. We had to manually create and input CSVs of sales tax data. The customer UI was very clumsy and interaction was not up to modern standards (for 2003!) Some of the storefront images (like the shopping cart JPG) were ripped off Amazon and loosely/poorly changed. There were no admin tools to change UI elements… everything had to be done in code… messy code. It was really, really bad.

    Now, this /was/ a few years ago… and I suppose x-cart has had updates since then, but it’s fundamentally very bad and we all know that it’s hard to work out core issues without a total rewrite.

  7. Chris  Says:

    It seems hard to find a good cart. This means that there is a business opportunity out there for someone to put together a truly good system.

    However, X-cart DOES have a brand new version out, and I will obviously need to try it to review it, its what I do though. If it sucks really bad I may stop using it when I’m done reviewing it. But I won’t pass judgement until after reviewing it.

    What did you end up going with Sean?

  8. Derek  Says:

    I understand your frustrations with Cubecart V4 but believe me I have tried and experimented with a whole host of them. Magento is the worst, I am a web developer and even it took me a long while to get my head around it so what would a newbie do I can not think.
    CSS cart is great but skinning it is a nightmare with its smarty php system and the same to be said of xcart.
    Oscommerce is great if you are a programer or developer but very difficult for the beginner, osmax and zen cart makes things netter.
    There are a lot more including actinic and everest that I have implemented and developed.
    To this day Cubecart is the best of the bunch either in V3 or V4 formats that allows easy skinning, upgrading and a great forum support system both at cubecart.com or cubecartforum.org
    If anybody can find a better cart please let me know as I am always searching for the holy grail, an ecommerce store thats affordable easy to use, great templates and has a whole host of features as standard.

  9. Sean  Says:

    After the 6-month investment to get it up and running, we didn’t want to cut our losses and went live with x-cart. We hacked around enough to get it to work, but we dared modify anything while it was live. Unfortunately the company folded within the year (partly due to the inflexible storefront, but mostly due to market issues and poor marketing) and we never implemented a newer storefront. :(

  10. Jon  Says:

    have you had a look at the CC dev blog? Seems they are working on some of the problems you mention.

    http://blog.cubecart.com/

  11. gav  Says:

    Nice article and thanks for the link to interspire - I’ll have to take a look.

    In the past I have used Actinic, OSCommerce, X-Cart v4.1.x, Cubecart v3 & v4, and agree with your comments. I feel all ecommerce solutions have weaknesses so you need to choose one that fits your needs the most.

    Cubecart is by far the easiest system to use; it is nice and quick with great SEO out of the box. Apart from that, the changes from v3 to v4 seemed to be very minor and not worth the money. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Cubecart. Yes most admin tasks are a chore and it is missing some important features that in my mind should be standard. What? Simple things. Thing such as an admin can control the sorting of products (name/price/code) without the need to edit code. Other things such as being able to *easily* edit customer emails without having to hunt through support forums and language files.

    The fact that if you ask support anything to do with editing code (e.g. if you wish to change the default sort order of your products) they will simply refuse outright and point you to the community forums. They also instantly refer you to 3rd party mods for extra features. To be honest the shipping options out-of-the box are very weak and have not changed much over the last few years. I find most my sites unusable without installing Estelles All-in-One Shipping mod.

    OSCommerce is dated and would require a programmer to make a good site out of it - I’ve seen some very nice sites as of late and was shocked when I found out the were Osc. X-Cart came with too many features, and turning some of them off is like it is in cubecart - you must modify the code. Templates are cubecarts strongest part I’d say. They’re much more flexible than say, X-Cart. X-Cart was a pain.

    It’s nice to see they are moving on with development, but competition is getting a lot stronger, and I’m tempted to jump ships. A friend uses Magento, and while it’s a powerful system it’s resource heavy (even on a dedicated box it’s tough) and there are still a lot that must be fudged in by hardcoding in templates.

    Anyone tried ubercart for Drupal? I’ve read good things.
    http://www.topnotchthemes.com/blog/080916/7-reasons-why-ubercart-right-choice-drupal-e-commerce

  12. osHelpers  Says:

    We’d definitely like to throw our Magnum MVS 8.4 product in the race.

    It’s a reloaded version of CRE Loaded B2B 6.2 Patch 13.2, with an emphasize on large inventory operations, dropshipping / multi location shipping, seo, feeds and optimized backend order processing. Further we improved attribute handling using AJAX and combined QTPRO with the Quick Updates contribution which enables 1-screen quantity tracking of product attributes’ stock ala Xcart. Finally, we are about to release the 1st round of patches, a dozen new features and a new admin layout. Once that is settled we’ll be delighted to throw our heads in the race.

  13. Renate  Says:

    I think you are leaving out the biggest problem with cubecart 4. That is the ongoing issue with customers being unable to actually buy anything. I have customers that consistently cannot add items to the cart. Also customers that log in and revert to guest after the next mouse click. This is not a heavily modded store. In fact, excepting the skin, the only store-side mods are related to trying to fix these 2 issues. As long as Devellion continue to ignore these bug reports (and they have been repeatedly reported by various people since the first release of version 4) I cannot and will not recommend this cart to anyone.

    I have a lot of time and money invested in this cart, and i have been reluctant to change course in mid-stream, as it were. But it is becoming more and more clear that Devellion have no intention of addressing these issues.

  14. Chris  Says:

    That is a cookie issue. The cart doesn’t have a fall back way of tracking customers when cookies are blocked by certain browsers.

    Annoying, to be sure.

  15. NicolaP  Says:

    Hi

    I read your article with great interest. 12 months ago when I built my first ecommerce site I tried OsCommerce and gave up in disgust.

    I wandered around and found Cubecart….so I popped onto the forums and watched with great interest comments regarding the glitches in V4. Everything looked grim there but the comments in the V3 section were good.

    I also had interaction with some developers who said the V4 was a disgrace and that they simply refused to write any mods or skins for it and would stick to V3.

    So I went V3 and am happy. Sure I did have to buy a few mods but frankly I did not have to pay the amount you are talking about for the V4 version. My total outlay for mods comes in at around $100 AUD making it viable for a startup business trying to get a presence out there.

    I will be sticking with V3 in the next month as I organise another website for a business we have bought. I am comfortable that it is an economical way to go. There are lots of developers I can talk to when I need to find out info, and the mods have been in place for the most part for a while so I know that work well.

    At the end of the day, V4 was not great….the changes were not well considered and thought out. They would have been much better keeping the V3 and starting to include many of the commercial mods into the program saving time and frustration.

    Cheers

  16. Richard  Says:

    Renate - I also had the problem with customers unable to add items to the cart, and logging them out constantly.

    The problem is twofold: corporate proxy/firewall servers constantly change the client IP address of people accessing your site from their place of work.

    Cubecart 4 has a ’security feature’ that tracks the client IP, and if it changes, this is interpreted as a potential ‘hack’ and hence it destroys your session (which empties the cart and logs you out).

    The solution is to remove the security check in these two files:

    classes\session\cc_admin_session.php
    classes\session\cc_session.php

    so change

    if (strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'],’AOL’) == false && $ccAdminData[0]['sessIp'] !== $client_ip || $ccAdminData[0]['browser'] !== $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT']) {
    $this->logout();
    }

    to
    if ($ccAdminData[0]['browser'] !== $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT']) { $this->logout(); }

    and for the second file change

    if (strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'],’AOL’) == false && !empty($result[0]['ip']) && ($result[0]['ip'] !== $client_ip || $result[0]['browser'] !== $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'])) {
    $this->destroySession($GLOBALS[CC_SESSION_NAME]);
    }

    to

    if ($result[0]['browser'] !== $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT']) {
    $this->destroySession($GLOBALS[CC_SESSION_NAME]);
    }

    That’ll fix it ;-)

  17. ChrisColeman  Says:

    What gets me …

    There must be a lot of traders out there who need to be able to cope with VAT Europeon style .. This was not in V3 and no plans for v4 ..

    Looks like I will have to do it myself ..

    Chris.

  18. Joff  Says:

    Whilst CC4’s by no means perfect, I generally get very good results out of it.

    When you do need to get under the hood and modify how it all hangs together, you can do and relatively easily.

    I also had a look at Magento but found it unintuitive so put it back on the shelf and carried on with CubeCart.

  19. Al  Says:

    My name is Al the owner/founder of CubeCart. I care about our customer and our software and as a result I’d love to take the time to talk with you concerning this.

    We appreciate that CubeCart v4 has had a few bugs and niggles and we have and are working hard every day to improve it. As one of you rightly pointed out we are releasing a new major version. It may not seem like it but we do listen and although we can’t drop everything and custom code features on a case by case scenario we can and are working to improve the software every day. If we can’t provide a new feature right now we aim to be helpful by pointing you to a resource where you may or may not find a solution until we roll the feature into the software. Please rest assured that we don’t hire anyone to make these third party addons, we don’t take an affiliation on their sales or have anything much to do with them at all we have merely allowed people to make addons if they want to. It is certainly not a ploy to try and wrangle more cash from you. If you need facilities we don’t advertise and don’t want to code it yourself then they can be very useful. Please note that we have a 30 day full version trial version of CubeCart that we will be more than happy to extend if you feel you want more time. I don’t see how we can be fairer than that.

    Our support staff are all PHP developers. Not first line support with prewritten scripts and we will actively venture into your store files to fix any bugs or technical issues you have. You are right in that they will refuse to provide custom coding or code tutoring as it is not part of our service standards and most customers find that understandable and reasonable. This allows us to channel the resources we do have to improve the product.

    I’ve probably written far too much already but if anyone has any questions, problems, complaints or praise you can email me at al {at} cubecart {dot} com or you can call me directly on +44 1279 461 724.

    Thanks for your constructive criticism and for taking the time to read my response.

  20. Chris  Says:

    So today I got a confirmation from the CubeCart bug tracking system for a bug that I first submitted maybe two years ago with how they handle authorize.net integration, it was from Al himself.

    What did he say? It isn’t a bug, because authorize.net doesn’t require the fields CubeCart isn’t passing to be passed.

    IE, Cubecart seems to be fine doing the bare minimum to get by. Every other cart I’ve ever used passes the full lot of information, because quite frankly, if you’re passing a billing address, why not also pass a shipping address? But Cubecart’s developers apparently didn’t want to spend the extra 5 minutes to fully pass all available data.

    Then I see Al came here to my blog to defend his product, but Al, you just this morning reaffirmed everything bad about your development culture with that bug report response. Doing the bare minimum to get by isn’t the same thing as putting out a good product.

    You know one of my cubecart installs still sends out blank emails (despite me editing templates all over) because they’re cached somewhere I cannot find. Database normalization is an important concept to understand for all developers of database driven web applications, namely you want to ensure you do not store the same data in multiple locations or an inconsistency can develop. That principle is very sound and in fact should be applied to all facets of development, I wish you had done so.

    Finally Al, it isn’t one issue that makes me (and everyone else who has posted) get upset and drop your product. It is many different small yet annoying issues. If there was a big glaring issue no one would have bought the cart in the first place. It is a bunch of little things that you only discover with use that eventually add up to break the camel’s back.

  21. Chris  Says:

    Byt he way Al, I saw someone testing a review bug I posted as well on my store (a bug where SE friendly URLs broke the review link in the classic template). I ended up fixing that by just ganking out most of the review code from the page templates so that reviews (reading and posting) show on product pages by default without requiring an additional click for display. I just removed all the extra code that hid all that functionality before the review link click. This way is actually better for SEO too, because all the good review text gets displayed by default with the product. Though pagination was also still broken, so I had to remove that as well to just show all reviews with no limit on one page.

    So testing it on my store isn’t going to help you find the bug anymore.

  22. Al  Says:

    Hi Chris,

    You are upset and either confused or making things up. In your bug report you mention that you first reported the Authorize.net issue nine months ago. In you next rant here you exaggerate this to two years. Which is it?

    Also I am adamant that regardless of how long ago you mentioned it, it is NOT a bug but a feature request. The payment gateways have all been integrated as a method to cross reference a payment for an order by the CubeCart order number. Only the invoice data is required for the means of fraud filtering. I do agree that it would be nice to send this data over too and hopefully at some point we will build this in. Whether this takes 5 minutes or 5 days doesn’t matter its not been high priority enough as of yet to get around to it.

    Your other bug concerning the review link was rejected as I was unable to replicate it on my development store. This means that is has already been fixed since it affected you. I don’t doubt that it affected you at some point.

    I assumed you had fixed it when I tested your site. I wasn’t attempting to call you a liar.

    That’s all for now. If you have any other issues concerns or ranting please post back and I’ll be pleased to provide a fair response.

  23. Al  Says:

    I’d just like to add that this bug report was not dismissed under the grounds that the shipping fields were optional.

    My actual response was:

    “This is not a bug. CubeCart has been written so that the payment is cross referenced with the order number.

    The fields you have listed are all optional fields.”

    Reference: http://bugs.cubecart.com/view.php?id=1276

    A bug can be defined as “a fault or defect in a computer program, system, or machine”. This is not a bug but a low priority feature request that we will try to implement when we can.

    Any other issues in this review has either been fixed for some time or will be in the next week or so.

  24. Al  Says:

    “You know one of my cubecart installs still sends out blank emails (despite me editing templates all over) because they’re cached somewhere I cannot find.”

    This was fixed over a VERY long time ago. It is paramount that you keep your software up-to-date.

    “It is a bunch of little things that you only discover with use that eventually add up to break the camel’s back.”

    I agree. However it is evident from your quote above that you haven’t kept your software up-to-date. You also haven’t sent a support request to see help. I’d be happy to say that every issue aside form the Authorize.net one has been patched in CubeCart and we have thousands of happy customers with successful stores.

  25. Chris  Says:

    One year, two years. Time flies. I took a trip to Rome a couple summers ago, and I was asked about it today and couldn’t remember if it was summer of 2008 or summer of 2007. It seems like the current economic melt down started recently, and yet the stock market peaked in 07, not 08. So yes, it looks like it took you a year, and not 2 years, to answer the bug report, my mistake. Is that really something you want to brag about?

    As for the accusation that I’m not keeping my software up to date. I am using 4.3.0, which, correct me if I’m wrong, is the most recent version, and was released in November. So… what was that about you fixing that email issue a long time ago? I make it a habit of always upgrading the software I use prior to submitting a bug report and or other such request or complaint just in case the most recent version fixes it. In this case, it did not.

    Just so we’re clear on what I’m talking about. My site sends out blank emails. Editing anything here: admin.php?_g=filemanager/language&loc=/en/email.inc.php Does absolutely nothing to fix it. Editing the /language/en/email.inc.php file also does nothing to fix it. Thats 4.3.0, which, when I submitted the bug, was the version I believe I indicated I used.

  26. Chris  Says:

    Oh, and not calling it a bug is just semantics, it doesn’t excuse the substandard (in comparison with every other cart I’ve ever used) code.

    And you are using the description field wrong. It is supposed to subscribe the purchase, you just repeat the invoice field in it. As such, from my most recent order:

    Invoice : 090303-112142-4060
    Description : Payment for order number 090303-112142-4060

    Completely redundant and utterly unuseful, and I believe opposite from the a.net specs, hence technically a bug.

    Now, to see how it is supposed to be used, lets view the output from OScommerce (or it’s clones).

    Invoice : 11383
    Description : 1-High Elven Warrior Sword**

    I can see exactly what is sold and in what quantity from the authorize.net console, and from the merchant email receipt emails sent from authorize.net. True, I can always just login to my cart to see or use the cart emails to check, but having the information in more areas helps, and indeed when in the a.net console and processing a refund it is another thing you can double check against to make sure you have the right order. Furthermore, if I turned on authorize.net email receipts, it would email that to the customer, thus allowing them to have a printable receipt delivered to their inbox (something cubecart does NOT do).

    *I* consider that a bug yes, you can argue semantics and say it isn’t a bug, but bug or not, it is a strike against Cubecart.

  27. Al  Says:

    Thanks for your response. The blank email issue is not a known bug in 4.3.0 and I am sure we would be inundated with sales and support tickets if it was. Please note that your store has been modified and you may have not upgraded properly if you did so around your code changes. If you install a clean 4.3.0 this will most certainly not be an issue.

    I agree it doesn’t matter if the Authorize.net issue is a bug or not. It wasn’t good enough for you and we will try to schedule this into development for a future release even though it is possible to install CubeCart and take payments with Authorize.net out of the box.

    I am sorry that you have changed your mind about CubeCart. Maybe you should use all the other software you review on this site for a year or more before reviewing them so that your readers get an accurate review and not just an initial point of view or feeling. I don’t want to attack you but your updated review lowers this entire websites credibility and your readers may not know how reliable or trust worthy any of them are.

    My greatest concern with this is that you have posted a bug report or two but no direct support ticket has been sent concerning these issues recently and we haven’t been given a fair chance to look into the remaining issues. If you have then they should have been directed to me so I apologise if this was not the case. After a new version has been released it can take some time before we can start looking at reported bugs to consider releasing a new one so I am sorry if you have found that unacceptable. We are a small company with a small development team and this helps keep our prices low.

    The fact I have spent so much time responding to this review should hopefully prove to anyone reading it that we want your ecommerce site to succeed and we will be here to help you through it. If you choose not to extend your technical support time after the initial amount that comes with it expires that is your choice. I’m afraid we can’t provide a one time priced product and then offer unlimited support.

    We have tens of thousands of customers so we are we are certainly doing something right. We don’t claim to be perfect but we do our best and sometimes our customers may not find it is the right solution for them after all. Every business is different and making an out of the box solution to be perfect for them all is not possible. Most companies with a large customer base face the exact same problem and some household names have many terrible reviews on the internet.

    So much exciting development is under way and we have invested substantially in future development which is not yet public. The future for CubeCart is looking very bright indeed and we will never sit back and be complacent.

    This is probably my final post here. Thanks again and we will look forward to seeing future reviews of not only our products but others too.

    Keep up the good work and I will look forward to presenting our new product releases to you in the future.

  28. Chris  Says:

    My credibility lowered because I posted an update? Har har har.

    I’m credible because I post the honest truth about things. And all software I review I do so by using it. I don’t dick around in the admin area of a sample store for a week and then write a review, I build sites around the software and try it out in the real world. Which is why it takes me awhile to review something.

    Why did I only submit bug reports and post in your support forum but not send in a ticket for these issues? Maybe I couldn’t figure out how (as I mentioned above, your site requires 4 different logins for 4 different systems), or perhaps I did not want to have to pay for a snotty answer when I could get a snotty answer in your forums for free?

    I’m not a technology neophyte, when troubleshooting my email issue I took virgin unmodified 4.3.0 files and uploaded them, not just the files I thought might be involved. Every file in the admin/includes/languages I uploaded unmodded from the 4.3.0 distribution and it didn’t fix the issue. I did the exact same thing with the review issue, I reverted to the out of the box template completely unmodded and it persisted.

    Of course… going back to the general Cubecart development, you really can’t get all militant on your users when they install mods considering how, as I mentioned in my review, you seem to use mods as a crutch in your development (ie, if it exists as a mod, we don’t need to create such a feature.)

    I’m sure a mod is at fault for my issue, somehow in the way the software is built has allowed it to persist despite files being replaced. But the fact is you’ve made it screwy. There are two locations I know of where I should intuitively be able to edit email templates, neither of which actually function for that purpose.

  29. Al  Says:

    Well after phoning Chris last night it became clear that he hadn’t sent a support request to our staff concerning these issues. As a result we were unaware of the problems at hand and he never received help.

    The blank email issue was resolved over the phone in a couple of minutes. The confusion arose as he had submit his support requests to the wrong place.

  30. Jonny  Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the cubecart review. I’ve tried the demo several times but wasn’t aware of the deeper issues which only a good review would pick up. :)

    Heads-up when reviewing Interspire’s cart …. its an awesome piece of software but look into their licensing arrangements … their ‘fix-a-week’ updates/upgrades could make it very expensive in the long run. Also, I’ve read grumblings from users in US & Europe about long waits for austrailian support due to time zones and no weekend support. Great cart but if it falls over on a friday night and you’re in England, you’ve a long wait!

  31. Carmel  Says:

    I’ve been struggling with cubecart for a few years now (I wish people who are not struggling would speak up, just to give me some hope)
    My proplem is the link with paypal.

    I think it is time to seriously think about a complete redo and I would seriously think of a new ecommerce template.

    there seems to be no mention of ezimerchant. I had to use it for a uni course many years ago, and haven’t looked at it since, since I went with cubecart.

    Has anyone any opinion of ezimerchant? I just checked, it is $449, my uni course was obviously a trial run.

    If money was no object, what is the best ecommerce template out there?

  32. Lesya  Says:

    @Carmel - why do you keep struggling with it. There are plenty other shopping carts available. Just choose the right one and switch. If you need a hand - try service cart2cart. It automates data transfer and makes it easy (http://www.shopping-cart-migration.com)

  33. Carmel  Says:

    Hi Lesya,
    I keep struggling with it because I have done so much redesigning, I don’t want to lose that work.

    I’m even loath to run updates in case I lose the look I have.

    Thanks for the suggestion, I will look at service cart2cart.

  34. Carmel  Says:

    I have a problem with PayPal linking with cubeCart.
    I have tried everything that I can find on the internet. And there are a lot of very different ’solutions’.
    I can’t believe that everyone who uses CubeCart would have the same problem, surely some of the sites work??? so I thought it must me something in my site. It was only v3.12 So I decided to make a new one.

    1) I intalled a brand new cubeCart. This new one is v3.17
    2) to keep all of my customisation, I copied the skins folder from the old site to the new and IT WORKED PERFECTLY.
    3) Using PhpMyAdmin in mySQL database in Cpanel, I exported the data from the original database and imported it into the new one. I don’t know why, but it missed the inventory and site documents that still had the default names. Everything else went in, categories, customers and stuff. GREAT (I can cope with 32 products and can copy and paste the site documents)
    4) Checked the gateway setup, it imported that too.
    5) Went into PayPal and changed the return address to match the new site.
    6) Bought a test item from my site and it worked perfectly.
    7) Coming back from paypal, perfect. Back to my site and still logged in … WOW!

    BUT … Sorry, your order failed!

    oh but why me???????????????????????????????

  35. Al  Says:

    @Carmel send a support ticket as the CC staff will look at this for you. Posting here won’t help solve your problem.

  36. roryt  Says:

    hi guys
    many thanks for this as i am in the process of moving a customer from virtuemart and was considering cubecart 4. Having read the comments here I think I will be looking elsewhere. Whilst I applaude Al’s willingness to get involved in debate I’m looking for something that will work out of the box with paypal.

  37. Joey  Says:

    Just thought it’s only fair to give my opinions on Cubecart, having used their software since v2. I’ve always found it very reliable, and have used their software on about 40 websites - the owners of which are very happy with the functionality. Support has always been great, and in the event that the software doesn’t cater for a certain requirement, there are a lot of 3rd party scripts that can help you achieve what you need to. Another thing which needs to be pointed out is the price - it is very reasonably priced. Just my 2 cents.

  38. Elaine  Says:

    I have been using cubecart for a few years. In my opinion all of the others are verging on nightmarish to work with compared to cubecart.

    Cubecart is my store of choice for clean templates and a simple install. All the others seem really bloated to me.
    There is a learning curve and no cart is perfect for an individuals design needs. I can always get cubecart to do what i want… yes sometimes you have to pay for a mod. Usually very reasonably priced.
    Just thought the other side needed put forward. Cubecart gets a big thumbs up from me.

  39. Al  Says:

    Thanks for posting positive comments. There is NO doubt this review has lost out company new customers and the loss of revenue will have lost us development investment as a result. I phoned Chris (the blog author) and I can’t believe anyone is willing to write such negative things about us without even considering to contact us for help first. That just doesn’t make any sense.

    Please remember that *if* you have a problem with CC and you contact support for help we will do everything we can to help you. We do take responsibility and we do care.

  40. Chris  Says:

    We’ve been down this road Al. I did contact you. Maybe not by your preferred methods, but I made my issues known.

    Furthermore, my responsibility is to my readers to write something accurate, not to software developers, especially in your case where I paid for your software (as opposed to many of my other reviews where I was given a free copy to review).

    I initially wrote a good review, and people bought your software because of it, then I changed my review as I got deeper into using the product over a year, and people changed their minds with me. It may hurt your business, but don’t blame me for pointing out flaws that are there.

    Instead of coming back to this blog to complain about this review you could come back to this blog to say how you addressed the problems I mentioned and made your software better.

    I’m using 4.3.7 on one of my sites, which is the newest version available, and I don’t think any of the things mentioned above have been fixed. And if I were paying for the cart to be custom developed I still would not have released the final payment to the developer because of the various small bugs (which you may not consider bugs, but I do).

    Now compare your cart to Interspire, which also got a bad review. They haven’t fixed everything yet, but some things they fixed right away, within a couple weeks, others they have fixed as time goes on.

    If you fix things and change things I’ll be glad to write another review. But that hasn’t happened yet.

  41. Daniel James Photography  Says:

    Having used CC 3 previously, i’ve just added a CC4 30day trial to give it a spin. Looking at the information on the new CubeCart 5 it looks like they’re addressing issues slowly, with a sitemap generator, google analytics and more built in at least now.

    Look forward to the review of that when it’s released :) or maybe a beta review of 5?

  42. MOxford  Says:

    They still haven’t fixed many of the issues listed in your post. I’ve been with CC for almost 2 years, and I can’t figure out why I’ve hung on so long. USPS shipping still won’t work correctly (can’t use domestic and Int. together and can’t have items less than a pound)and the darn thing still sends order confirmation emails to customers regardless of whether they have paid.

    If I were Al, I would worry less about this post and concentrate more on creating a shopping cart that works. It’s no secret that there are glaring holes in the functionality of the cart that have gone ignored for years. I hung on for so long because I figured that the more the people at Cubecart worked with shop owners, the more they would understand and address our needs. Unfortunately, the opposite seems to be the case.

    Fix the USPS issue, streamline the checkout process, let people see the shipping costs before checkout and without having to create an account and there’s a chance you can win me (and plenty of others) back.

  43. Oscar  Says:

    After reading this blog I felt I had throw in my two cents worth. I’ve been using Cubecart ever since version 3 and I have launched eight stores using CC4. Some are my own, many are my clients stores. I’ve tried several other carts, mentioned above, but I have come back to Cubecart because it works. Yes there are some features I’d like to see as standard but the 3rd party options are out there and very reasonably priced. I have found the technical folks at CC to be very responsive to working with me to cure core issues. They aren’t really there to help with customizing a website but that is what designers are for. I’ve always gotten a response within 24 hours of opening a trouble ticket. I usually get a response within a few hours. The Cubecart forums are very useful for customizing a store and there are plenty of 3rd party mods to customize the features of your store. For the money, Cubecart is one of the best products out there. It isn’t for everyone, but then what product is?

  44. David  Says:

    I can’t agree more with you Chris. Cubecar is very bad. I tried some other shopping cart and found it’s the worst within what I paid.

    It’s the worst decision when I chose Cubecart4 as my shopping cart 18 months ago.
    I had to modify the system many times.

    I’m grateful to 16 Richard and I modified the two files(cc_session.php and cc_admin_session.php) few minutes ago.
    It’s one of the biggest bug I ever heard from my customers, and I think that bug makes many customers go away from my store.

  45. David  Says:

    I have to say, if you don’t use cubecart for long, you may think cubecart is good.

    If you use it for long time and you have many customers on cubecart system, you will hate Cubecart very much.

    The system becames slower and slower when there are more and more customers and orders.
    I have to remove some old inventories and history orders from time to time to avoid the slowness of this system.

  46. tp  Says:

    I am currently looking for a shopping cart, never having used one before and am very disappointed but not entirely surprised by the comments on this blog. I had similar (very expensive) problems with EPOS systems and eventually sold my business in disgust. This all sounds worryingly familiar.

    What strikes me most is that some of the fundamental issues (such as the premature emails) were mentioned at the start of this blog in 2008 and apparently have still not been addressed 2 years on. This is not indicative of a user friendly development team.

    Anyone who has shopped on line will know how easy it is for things to go wrong at the checkout and for the order not to be placed. The only email that should go out, other than an order and payment combined confirmation email, is one informing the customer, after a reasonable period of time, that the order is incomplete if indeed it is.

  47. Jasmine  Says:

    CuteCart looks pretty decent. But I think I will stick with CS-Cart and Interspire at the moment.

  48. Pete Green  Says:

    Terrible. The upgrade broke our cart and we wrote them for a refund, denied. No customer service at all. A functioning busy cart down because of broken code. Stay away from cubecart. One day their server went down and WE could not login the admin of OUR site as it gets approval first from their server. Dumb….just dumb.

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