I am a web designer / developer that has always created standard html sites. I will soon need to create my first site that also contains a shopping cart. What ecommerce solution do you recommend for approx. 1000 products that they will sell? I'm assuming that this will probably end up being database driven based on the volume. I'm not sure how I made it all of these years without doing an ecommerce site. Any advice would be great.
You will also need a payment solution for your shopping cart, like PayPal, 2Checkout or a Merchant Account.
You can pick many free shopping carts that are included by hosting providers, but important to understand your business and how you will sell the product. This will help you select right shopping cart application.
Many free (open source) shopping cart applications offer free demos with admins that you can try before you select the cart.
For hosting, you can try siteground.com they include many shopping carts hosting
Hi linder, welcome to SitePoint!
There are really two main routes you can take: a fully self-hosted ecommerce system (like [magento) or a 3rd party hosted service (such as [URL="http://www.shopify.com/"]Shopify](http://www.magentocommerce.com/))
The first option is great in that you can get the whole system for free and set it up to your heart's content. The downside is that they are very complex, and all the issues of security etc are on your shoulders (you need to set up SSL certificates etc). In my view, unless you specialize in this stuff, it's too hazardous to get into... but you may be smarter than me!
The hosted solutions are good in that all the security is done for you, and the whole system is alreay up and running. You can seamlessly integrate it with your site, including CSS, and even the url can be made to look like a part of your own domain name (well, at least with the better services). Your client just pays a monthly fee for the service.
That's my take on it all, anyway.
You can use X-Cart which has been specially developed to effectively meet all the challenging business requirements and deliver outstanding results.
I can understand your situation that you concern about the e-commerce solution. As per my view and you have describe that it's for 1,000 products approx, so for this you have to go for an Zen Cart (shopping cart) it is very helpful and user friendly as well.