eCommerce / CMS / Catalog to offer free downloads

Hi experts,
I am looking for some kind of CMS / Ecommerce / Catalog software built to offer digital goods (templates).
I'll be offering them for free, so no need for payment gateway etc.

It seems so easy yet I can't find anything. Something that will show

Description, Keywords, Date added, Hits, Downloads, Rating, Added by and Comments for each item.

Anyone can help me?
buetlerAsked:
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basic612Commented:
I have two suggestions built on Joomla, based on similar implementation requirements I have managed in the past:

Virtuemart - http://virtuemart.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=69&Itemid=143

"If you have virtual Goods like Pictures, Books or Software, you can sell them with VirtueMart! It even works with remote files.

With real-time payment processing, customers can download their purchased files right away. Downloads are protected by safe alphanumeric codes."
With Virtuemary you could set up the downlaods to be free for all guests or for registered users only. Te advantage of building on a silution such as this is that you could easily integrate paid downloads down the track.

Docman - http://www.joomlatools.eu/products/docman.html

This solution would offer you much better document management capabilities. If you are looking to set up a document / file upload, management and download solution primarily then I'd suggest looking at this one first.

Both solutions are free / open source, are mature, stable and there's many thousands of active users available to answer any questions you might have on the support forums.

You can find tons of information on these solutions and all topics Joomla here: http://forum.joomla.org/

Hope that helps!
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buetlerAuthor Commented:
Hi,
thanks for your comment.
I've previously used both DocMan and VirtueMart and don't remember that they had features I asked about -
Description (yes), Keywords (no), Date added (no), Hits (no), Downloads (Docmany only), Rating (can't remember, let's say yes), Added by (no) and Comments (possible with additional plug-in) for each item.

While I was waiting for the answer I found something very similar to what i need: http://www.ktoolsdemos.net/photostore/index.php
It is built to offer images not files but other than that it has all the features I need


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basic612Commented:
Hi buetler,

You should be able to achieve exactly the requirements you need using either solution. The trick is to build a custom template for the solution that pulls out the data you want and presents it to the end user.

The solution you chose to use would depend on your specific requirements. I think Docman would be the closest fit. You would not doubt have to be creative with the way you used it, the way you built the template and any additional plug-ins you required.

The advantage of both solutions I suggested is that they are open source, well known, well documented and supported by many active, knowledgeable and enthusiastic users. If you check with others on the Joomla Forums you will find that there is a way to arrive at the results you need by building on these frameworks.

The problem I see with Photostore is that it's a commercial / closed source system. The only customisation they offer is HTML / CSS. I would also be very wary of any product where they charge you money and then have this as the second item in their FAQs:

Can I ask support for help with customizing my store?
No, our support system is designed only for asking questions if your store is having an issue. Like your seeing errors or something is seriously wrong and your site will not come up.
So don't ask for help in finding, pointing to, or even how to customize something as they will be deleted and unanswered.

Last Updated By: Tim
Date Updated: 21-Apr-08
 
That does not bode too well for you in being able to find help with customising to suit your requirements in the future!

If their product provided a 100% fit with your current and future needs then I would suggest looking in to it no further. However, if you choose this system then I would imagine that you are going to have a very hard time changing the setup of the system to suit your needs. You'll also find that it's going to be very hard to adapt and modify the setup in the future if you discover your needs adapt and modify with your users requirements.
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buetlerAuthor Commented:
Good point..
I guess I need to decide between lots of modifications with help available or little modifications without any help at all...

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basic612Commented:
Before you spend any money, get the developers to explain to you whether you will be able to customise the setup to offer file downloads (and uploads) and any other requirements you have. You will find that they shoudl be a lot more condusive to answering questions *before* you hand over your hard earned cash.

I'd hate to see you spend $295 and not be able to use the system after.
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basic612Commented:
One other thing - have you looked in to Remository for Joomla? Similar to Docman but different.

And again re. you previous comment - installing and customising Joomla and Extension(s) can be a steep learning curve. But with experience I think you'd find that you would not be needing "lots of modifications" rather "a little template customisation and a few extra extensions"

:)
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buetlerAuthor Commented:
I've been using Joomla extensively for 3 years now, so there is no learning curve and I know exactly how much modifications will be involved... certainly not a little template customization...
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buetlerAuthor Commented:
Good link with comparison of digital download eCommerce: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=556634
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