I'm going over existing ground here but... what you want is to make your own product pages and use a cart simply for the addtocart through to checkout, rightt:Option 1 - Simple
Use an existing cart such as those suggested above (Mal, phpcart, shopify) that has an option of just adding the button. You could also just add buy now buttons instead of a cart.* Isn't this the raison d'etre of paypal carts?
Many shopping carts designed to be integrated into an existing site would do the trick. These often allow a fair bit of customization (of the back end code as well) that'll theoretically make it possible to do just about anything. Find one that offers a customization service (you could try vp-asp for example) and get a quote. Even if you don't take it, you'll get a clue on the complexity for DIY.Option 2 - DIY
DIY- Someone always suggests building your own. Personally I wouldn't even if I could. Unless I was going to be doing something fairly big. There are so many things that can go badly and the workload-to-benefit ratio is usually not great. Generally speaking, I would say adapt your requirements. Importantly, by going with this option you miss out on all the extra goodies that come with many shopping carts (discounts, specials, shipping calc, inventory) but I suppose you miss out on those anyway if you don't want to build you product catalog via the products. * I'm not saying never build it yourself. But it's definitely a V2, V3 project. I would start by using the best cart available and then DIY only if you think you can do better. Otherwise, do it if your requirements really are unique.Option 3- Flex
Change your requirements. Use a Shopping cart product that you like and build your product catalog with it. If you only have a handful of products this won't take long. If you have a department store, well you need a proper shopping cart site anyway You probably think that your requirements are the exact right thing but it is possible to migrate without SEO disaster. Moreover, unless you have an SEO powerhouse already (in which case you'll have a matching budget, I assume, to monetise it), it'll make it easier to continue powering on.
I don't know if this is the answer for you. But it is the answer for many people who don't think it is. Don't get stuck with vestiges that make life difficult for no reason.
If you go with option 3, you'll either want to 301 all existing pages to the cart generated pages or rewrite the URLS to match your old URLs. For the latter you'll probably need a customizable cart & either DIY abilities or use a customization service (if they have one).
Going with the flexible theme, I'd say don't let the ability to rewrite the urls make your desicion on which cart to purchase. Buy the right cart, 301 and move forward.
The other one I was eying is Mal's ecommerce... anyone used that? I'm hesitant on Mal's because it is processed on Mal's site... that would mean hundreds of links away from the site... would that affect SEO?
This is definitely not an issue.
- Link out is not actually a bad thing
- If you're really worried about it, nofollow the links.
* What I would look in to is the smoothness of the checokut/addtocart process.
Edited by nethy, 20 May 2008 - 09:36 PM.