X-Cart:Understanding X-Cart

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X-Cart is a professional store builder and shopping cart solution. Although it is most often referred to as ‘shopping cart software’, X-Cart is not merely a shopping cart. It is a powerful e-commerce system featuring web-based administration, a completely customizable front end, a product catalog, inventory tracking, a side-bar shopping cart, shipping and taxes calculation, advanced website promotion tools, search engine optimization, multilanguage support and much more.

Designed to be a reliable and efficient platform for e-commerce websites, X-Cart allows you to build a professional-looking and easy to use online store as quickly and efficiently as possible. A variety of configuration options for appearance and general behavior ensures that a newly installed X-Cart based store can be fine-tuned to your environment and business needs in just a few hours. You have the ability not just to add products and prices, but also to define shipping and handling rates, taxes, discounts, shipping destinations to deny or accept, shipping methods to use, payment methods to accept, etc.

X-Cart’s web-based administration allows you to manage your online store from any computer connected to the Internet. An intuitive web interface provides capabilities for managing products, users and orders, virtually making the process of operating your store point and click easy.

Using a database for product management allows you to keep your product information up to date without having to worry about programming or writing HTML code.

Whether you are selling ten products or tens of thousands of products, X-Cart showcases them in a way captivating and informative to the site visitors. An intuitive interface, easy site navigation and product search support make your store an attractive e-commerce environment for customers.

X-Cart’s scalable architecture allows you to easily extend your store’s basic functionality with such powerful e-commerce features as detailed product images, product variations, newsletter management, fraud prevention, coupon codes, wholesale prices, gift certificates, wish lists and others.

Although X-Cart e-commerce software can be used ‘out of the box’, you can choose to customize it, so the front end of your store will have its own unique look and feel. X-Cart’s template-based structure and optimized code make the process of implementing even the most sophisticated design in an X-Cart based store a positive experience. A built-in template editor, a debugging console and a special operating mode for WYSIWYG text editing facilitate customization of X-Cart templates, making it fast and hassle free.

Due to the extensive set of features, overall flexibility and ease of customization, X-Cart has become e-commerce software of choice for thousands of online store owners all over the world. We are hoping it will become a solid foundation for your business and will help you succeed in e-commerce.


From the technological viewpoint, X-Cart is a PHP/MySQL-based web application using Smarty. After installation, this application runs on a web server and can be controlled via a web interface. This means that users can access the online store powered by this application from anywhere in the world provided there is an Internet connection and a web browser.

Of course, most people who will use your store will not care about the technical details; however, what is perceived by the users as simply browsing the store pages and selecting options is in fact a much more complicated process.

For those of you interested in the behind-the-scenes side of things, every page of your store is generated by X-Cart application in response to requests from the users’ browsers. When a person working with your store submits information through the application's web interface, his or her web browser forms a request to the web server where X-Cart software is running; on the server, X-Cart’s PHP code processes the browser request and connects to the MySQL database server to request retrieval of the necessary data from the store database (in some cases, data may also be written to the database); Smarty template engine finishes processing the request and handles output presentation. As a result, X-Cart generates a web page which the user sees from his web browser as a page of an online store’s storefront or back end.

X-Cart GOLD and PRO

X-Cart software comes in two Editions: X-Cart GOLD and X-Cart PRO. Both the Editions provide almost every feature one would expect of an e-commerce storefront solution. X-Cart GOLD best suits small and medium-sized businesses, while X-Cart PRO has every chance to meet the expectations of larger companies and enterprise corporations. Let’s see how one version differs from the other.

In X-Cart GOLD, the store's back end (the area that allows the store's administration and management staff to control the storefront) represents a single environment. Any person who has access to the store's back end has unlimited access to all the controls one might need to maintain and manage the store. The tasks of configuring the store settings, managing users, adding products and processing orders can all be performed by the same person. It is possible to create more than one user accounts providing access to the store's back end. All these accounts will have exactly the same privileges, and any activity performed by a user of such an account in the store's back end will affect the entire store. The way in which the store's back end functions in X-Cart GOLD makes X-Cart GOLD an almost perfect solution for businesses where the store is managed and maintained completely by one person (typically, the store owner) or by a small team of individuals capable of scheduling their activities so that they do not interfere with each other.

In X-Cart PRO, the back end is divided into two areas with separate access: Admin area and Provider area. Store administration and management staff members are given access to this or that area of the back end based on the type of responsibilities they perform. Accessible features vary depending on the access level of the users: some users can access all the features and make modifications that affect the entire store (like users with the administrator profile or the 'root' provider), while the others can only use a limited feature set and work on a specific part of the store (like individual 'provider' users controlling only a limited range of products).

Support for multiple access levels for back end users makes X-Cart PRO a reliable basis for really large stores with multiple departments. From the inside, an X-Cart PRO-based store represents a complex environment which may be shared by an unlimited number of people or companies to sell products online. The vendors selling goods via such a store may be located apart from one another, sometimes in different countries. A separate 'provider' account allows each of such vendors to have their own product set, discounts, region specific settings for tax and shipping rates, etc. Control and management of the store in general is carried out by 'administrator' and 'root provider' accounts, so the store functions as a single whole. The principles of functioning of X-Cart PRO make it a great solution for joint businesses in which more than one individuals or organizations work in collaboration on the same e-commerce project.