PDG Shopping Cart

Atlanta-based PDG Software, Inc. developed the PDG shopping Cart. They have been developing shopping cart products since 1997. Their current offering has many search engine friendly features.

Highlights

The PDG shopping cart is an impressive software offering. It is one of the only search engine friendly shopping carts that you can purchase from the start and not have to rely on hosting from the company offering the cart.

PDG satisfies the SEOShoppingCarts.com requirements for what makes shopping carts great. It has the usual meta-tag and title tag flexibility but also HTML pages, and so on.

This cart also has a long list of “traditional” features from Froogle data feeds to frequent shopper points tracking. The extent of these features demonstrates a true understanding that a shopping cart will not sell itself and that using these tools can help boost business.

If you visit the company’s website, you’ll note that it barely discusses the search engine friendly features. Have a look at their customer samples and look for the important features as described on the shopping cart comparison page.

Limitations

It should be noted that it may be difficult for beginners to use this cart because of its out-of-the-box status. You may want to get a professional company to build your cart if you are not that familiar with web design and development.

The website structure and related page-naming ability of this cart is somewhat limited. The company’s tech support staff can help you with mod re-writes to make the URLs more search engine friendly. However, in order to automate the process to upload products from the back-end (as is the purpose of these shopping cart systems), the website can only have a few specific formats that would be considered optimal. For example, you cannot have www.yourstore.com/category/brand/item-abc.htm.

Rather the product’s SKU must be inserted somewhere in the URL which may interfere with some companies’ existing systems. Also, hyphens cannot be inserted into the item portion of the web address as indicated above. Due to these and related page/structural issues, this cart may be a little more limited in terms of getting optimal performance out of the cart. Keep in mind that this is just one small-ish problem within a very strong cart offering.

The company does not provide an email address on their website but it does have a submission form and a phone number. We know of at least 2 people who contacted them through the form but never heard back.

Overall

As a stand alone shopping cart solution, this is a very well-rounded package and it is search engine friendly which is a great bonus. Its out-of-box status and the fact that there are no monthly fees (aside from running it on your own server or getting hosting) are sure to please many web developers and business owners.

Visit the site: http://www.pdgsoft.com/

6 Comments on “PDG Shopping Cart”

  1. Ruth says:

    I paid $149 for the cart but it cost $100 for them to upload and configure it. And you are right, the SKUs must be entered. This was not at all fun to work with and very limited. Plus Google would not accept at the time the long strings on URL’s.
    It was NOT worth the money at all!

  2. Whitney says:

    We have had PDG for 3 years and it has been hell. Once you pay and get set-up there are frequent MANDATORY updates that you also have to pay for. Additionally, their system has malfunctioned three times in the last year. Each time THEY have a problem, YOU have to pay a support staff member to fix it for you. (Not cheap either at $50 per incident.)

    Also, if you want to deal with state and local taxes correctly, you can again pay MORE money for them to input your tax tables (roughly $150 per state) or do it yourself This can be VERY tedious, since they have no group import so all tax tables must be manually input. Depending upon how many states you tax in, you may have to pay AGAIN and go through another installation. (Time consuming, deletes all your previous data, and did I mention you get to foot the bill?)

    I would recommend this shopping cart to anyone who wants to bang his or her head into a desk repeatedly.

  3. Steven T. says:

    I can certainly appreciate what Whitney and Ruth have gone through. Total pain with this cart. I really wasn’t sure which cart to buy so I called PDG a couple of times. SEO is a big deal to me so I ask again and again about SEO features. The calls went like this:

    ME: Can I do things like have clean URLs where I use slashes and hyphens only
    PDG: Yes, we can do it all! Everything you need for SEO all in one spot!
    ME: Are you sure that PDG can do this or that (all SEO-related).
    PDG: Yes, we can do it all! Just buy it and you’re ready to roll. Out of the box you’ll have all the SEO features you need.

    So I bought it and found some messy, crappy code without any SEO. I spoke to the PDG rep again and this time he says “ooooooh, you want SEOOOOOO, ok well you need to pay us to configure it or we can give the manual to do it on your own.”

    So I download the 400 page manual which makes no sense whatsoever. I then chalked it up to a bad experience and left PDG, the piece of crap that it is and went elsewhere.

    I hate these liars!!

  4. Debbie says:

    I agree with the frustration in these comments. It has been hell to set up. After I purchased and they applied the CSS file, it blew the cart out of the water. I have since spent $1200 trying to get it fixed. The workflow was terrible as well. I could go on and on with all the reasons why I would not recommend this cart. Customer service was great until I purchased it; after that very unresponsive. Their online training is also for a different version (previous) than the current so it is no help. I thought purchasing our own would be a good thing, I regret now not going with a simpler cloud solution.

  5. Total Crap says:

    Seriously, I don’t know why this company is even in business. All I got was lies, lies, and more lies about what the company claimed the software could do. I was told by Doug all kinds of lies and when I actually paid for the software, I got the reply of “You wanted THAT feature? Well, for $$$$$ we can make that for you but no, it was not included”. Now repeat that scenario over and ove again. Such liars.

    Like others here, I thought the customer service was amazing until I paid. Then they wanted nothing to do with me unless I had $$$$$ to keep paying for things that they promised were included to begin with. Disgusting.

    I read their useless manual. It has some general info but nothing specific. You know why? Because they want you to come back to them and hire their people so they make much more $$$$$. Before you buy, they go on and on about how the manual will help you do everything. After you pay, they show you the manual and you realize how useless it is. My blood is boiling.

    I hired a great programmer and have a bit of a programming backgound. We went through their code and realized what garbage it was.

    Such a disappointment. I’d advise you to look somewhere else.

  6. Jerome says:

    My experience so far is that this cart is very outdated. I’ve been hired to customize a PDG site… dealing with upgrading table based layouts from 2002, JavaScript from 2002, and a template system that ignores all of the professional web development practices that have evolved over the past 10 years.

    The system is very inflexible and old-style. Did you know PDG is written in C and compiled to binaries? Give me a break. As such it’s impossible to debug, since we don’t have the source code (unlike pretty much any modern product, which would be written in PHP, Python, Ruby, Perl…).

    PDG ported a theme over for us from our blog, and did a TERRIBLE job on it. It is so unusable in the state they delivered it that really most of my work has been finishing their theming job.

    The template tags spit out tables with inline styling and hardly any CSS IDs or classnames, which would be very helpful for styling it. Unfortunately, while they created a rudimentary ‘repeat’ system to replace the built in ‘tag’ output with something customizable, it’s not very well documented. The documentation they have available is for the previous version and leaves out a lot of the version 5 tags. Not a big deal, since ‘version 5’ is barely changed from version 4 other than the admin.

    While some of the features are customizable, important functions like order history and invoices are not. The way PDG is set up gives you barely any access to actually write code to fix this yourself, too.

    Avoid this awful, outdated product. It seems like PDG is avoiding it – most of the info on their site is years old, and the last version was release 4.5 years ago. The manual I’m reading to try to work with this obsolete product is nearly 10 years old!!

    I have very little faith they will ever be upgrading this cart to be a modern, professional product – doesn’t seem like they’re trying, either. The whole thing needs to be completely rewritten. At this point, that’s how I feel about the site we’re working on. If we finally get it up and running with PDG, my first project will be replacing PDG. So long to our $2000 i guess.

    You’d be better off with just about anything.

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