Variants Versus Add-On; What Is Best Practice?

I'm trying to get my head around what the best data structure in CS-Cart would be in our situation. I hope somebody can point me in the right direction.

Background info

Many of our products come with variants, up to 25 variants per Product. We typically present up to 4 columns of information per Variant. Please see sample screenshot enclosed (catalog function, no webshop function).

CS Cart Options/Variant is too limited (I think…)

CS-Cart Options/Variants is the standard place to have Variants. However, it only allows for 1 description field per variant. That is to limited for us.

Using custom-made add-on is creating its own headaches

We now have a custom-made add-on which displays this table of variants as shown. However, with using this add-on we have lost a lot of standard CS-Cart functionalities:[list]

[]This data is not part of the standard Export/Import function,

]the standard Search index does not find it without some custom adjustments

[]Uploading images goes through FTP.

]…other functionalities perhaps also lost…?


In other words, lots of extra maintance hassle has now been created. I'm sure that through further custom work all these lost CS-Cart functionalities can be cloned. But I'm uncertain if this the best way forward? Especially because in the future we do want to go from Catalog function to full Webshop functionalities.

My dilemma/questions:

  1. Wat is best practice when having many variants + variants which need lots of explanatory info?
  2. Should we custom code inside Options/Variants?
  3. Should we continue with current custom made Add-on?
  4. Should we try one of the third-party add-ons which perhaps do not have these disadvantages?
  5. or…?

    Thank you in advance for any insights



Sorry, screenshot forgotten…

Example Variants old website.jpg

the old, product configurator would probably have done the job

CS-Cart Documentation — CS-Cart 4.15.x documentation


I agree with johnbol1

we have made a supercharged version for 306 with lot more features, like calculate price on the fly when changing options or quantity, and image support

Have a look here [url=“”] - Οι ειδικοί στο φωτισμό και ηλεκτρολογικό υλικό


Johnbol1 & Dvsgr,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Both of your information looks interesting but if I understand correctly it is not relevant for the version we have (4.1.3). Nevertheless, the solution look very interesting. As we are further studying what is best for us, I will definitely take this stuff with me.

tx again


HI Olof

the product configurator is no more included in CS-Cart since 41x, but we can upgrade this as seen in 415 if needed.