I like it for busier sites because you can have it produce static pages that are based upon the information in the database, thus easing potential server strain if you're dealing with a busy site/server. I've also gotten used to their templating system, so it's easier for me to create one-off designs. There are also some really talented folks out there who crank out very useful 3rd party add-on modules.
I am working toward a solution that would allow me to produce static pages as mentioned (for my own personal reasons). I'm a long way from the cart component, but have a db structured and part of the back-of-house integration w/ my accounting systems ironed out. It seems that I should at least consider X-cart, as it satisfies many of my criteria (php + mysql, SE friendly, template based, static pages, etc) but I don't know its limitations. I understand from their site that the source code & sql tables are included as a part of purchase.
- How "heavy" is the software? My research into CMS systems revealed many carry extraneous code not needed by most users, but included in order to accommodate the broadest range of needs.
- How extensive, logical and "easily" customizable is the standard x-cart db? Is limited restructuring of sql tables doable w/o breaking the system?
- How "easily" is it sync'd w/ another db - meaning can I easily upload / download info to/from my site db for use by my back-of-house db (accounting, inventory tracking, etc.)? Is this handled through .csv files or .xml files?
- How are the static pages produced? Can I set it to automatically generate static pages on my localserver for upload via ftp, or would I be forced to 'saveas' a dynamically generated page to my localserver?
- How flexible are PHP smarty templates? How customizable is the catalog?
- How "intuitive" is the interface?
Lots of questions I know, thanks in advance.