Guess Who's Back?
Maybe you don't know who that is in the image. He's Eminem. He's a rapper. And in 2002 he wrote a song “Without Me” with these lyrics:
Guess who's back
Tell a friend
Guess who's back (7x)
Cart66 is back….err…
A few weeks ago, I was on one of the two WordPress facebook groups I spend time on (OC WordPress or Advanced WordPress) when people started talking about e-commerce solutions. In that conversation someone brought up the name Cart66 and one of the reactions was, “are they still around?”
The truth is that they never went anywhere.
They've been here the whole time. And they've been doing e-commerce the whole time too. Some people just didn't know it.
When they started out, and this is my version of the story (as I experienced it), they were PHPurchase. But they needed to extend that product and so they created the next version – Cart66. When it was released, it was one of the most powerful solutions in the WordPress ecosystem. And over the next several months it felt like it got better and better.
They offered a simple interface (like Foxycart) for designing your page anyway you wanted it, and then adding their “add to cart” button. They also integrated with GravityForms.
I used them several times and loved it. Then a couple years passed where I spent more time doing membership sites than e-commerce sites.
And when I came back, not much had changed on their site. So I started working a lot with WooCommerce.
PCI Compliance Arrived
As I started working with WooCommerce, I noticed that there was a lot of confusion about PCI compliance. People were just dropping in plugins, connecting gateways and hoping everything was compliant. But the more I did my research, the more I decided I didn't want to risk things for just a few eBook sales.
So I found CloudSwipe, which I wrote about and implemented. And while I did that, I noticed the guys behind it were behind another company – Mijireh. It became interesting because both products solved the same PCI problems, just in different ways.
Cloudswipe was hosted and you created products in the cloud. Mijireh was a hosted cart, but all product definition was done with their integrations to Easy Digital Downloads or WooCommerce.
And then I discovered who was behind Mijireh & Cloudswipe…. the same folks from Cart66.
Introducing Cart66 Cloud
While we weren't looking, or paying attention, Cart66 was building out the technology to support 45 different payment gateways, including Stripe (my favorite).
But they've done more than that – they've brought over a ton of features from CloudSwipe and Cart66 to create a new hybrid plugin – partly in the cloud, partly on your site. They support recurring charges (natively), memberships, subscriptions, digital product delivery, and they can remember your customer's cards (saved ono PCI compliant infrastructure) so that you can upsell easier.
Some quick answers
- Do they support drip email campaigns? Yes.
- Do they support single links to put items into shopping carts (for facebook/twitter sales)? Yes.
- Do they support multiple concurrent memberships? Yes.
- Can you do all this without an SSL certificate and without additional addons / extensions? Yes.
Check it out
The Competition is a Good Thing
We just heard the announcement that iThemes was getting into e-commerce. They join fantastic solutions like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, WP e-Commerce, and other plugins I've heard of but not tested or used.
As I wrote about – this is great news. The competition creates a deeper and richer field of solutions and encourages everyone to stay on their A game.
So now look out for one more player – they're back – even though they never left: Cart66.