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My wife is the source of all my nutritional ideals and choices. When we first got married, she basically said…

My wife is the source of all my nutritional ideals and choices. When we first got married, she basically said “I don’t buy salted butter”. It wasn’t a discussion. So far, the marriage has been worth ditching salted butter no question.

Now, ten years later, salted butter has started cropping up in our fridge. “Oh, I only cook with it because it’s cheaper.” OK. Here I thought I was laying down this giant sacrifice for our marriage, but now it’s like an optional thing. Truthfully, though, she knows what she’s doing when it comes to food.

So yesterday, I went for my morning religious observance of English Muffins and coffee and slathered my butter on, took a bite and went “WHOAH! What is going on with my English muffin!? It’s all salty and whatnot!” She just says “Oh, you grabbed the salted butter, fatty.” Nice.

I have to say, I had totally forgotten the taste of salted butter. But after 10 years of unsalted butter on everything, I can see that I’d probably choose unsalted more often than salted. But for now, I’m enjoying the salted on those muffins. Man, it’s good!

This is Actually a Cart66 Review

That got me thinking about my recent experience with Cart66. I had heard many a developer say they tried Cart66 a long time ago, but then they monetized it and it all went bad. So the butter e-commerce of choice became WooCommerce. I entered the e-commerce scene and went with Woo because it seemed like everyone used Woo. And, it is an awesome tool and does awesome stuff.

But there were several things that bothered me, and I quickly found out that I wasn’t the only one. I hated having to search for extensions for basic stuff like Gateways, or discounts, or Role Based Pricing. Their free plugin ended up always costing my client upwards of $150 once all the extensions were purchased.

Then, one day I read a few positive reviews about Cart66. I also interacted with a few folks on their team through the imfamous AWP Facebook Group.

And… I’m hooked.

It’s definitely not cheap, but if you need to make an e-commerce site and you want to have subscriptions, digital products, physical products, wholesale prices, and many more things right out of the box, Cart66 will do it for you.

The biggest heads up I’ll give you is that they have two premium service offerings: Pro, and Cloud. If you want PCI Compliance, then do Cloud. If you can setup your SSL yourself and can deal with all the mixed content issues, and want to just pay once and be done, then go Pro. I’m happy to answer questions in the comments, but you’d probably be best just checking out their site and researching it a bit. I find that’s the best way to make decisions.

What does all this have to do with Butter?

Oh ya, the butter analogy! Well, I’m not saying that Cart66 is the end-all-be-all. I’m just saying anyone who says “WooCommerce is the best thing since unsalted butter!” Hasn’t tried salted butter in 10 years. In the developer community, we get caught up in fads just like music culture, movie culture, fashion, etc. So sometimes big products break into the scene and cause all kinds of great changes and improvements. That doesn’t mean the show’s over and the other products that have been around forever should be written off. It’s always our job to fully vet different tools and fit them to the specific project. For me, I can find lots of situations where I’m going to prefer Cart66 now. Others will be WooCommerce. They’re both excellent tools.

Don’t be an unsalted butter e-commerce hipster.


  1. I’m a huge Cart66 fan. There are limitations (as with any plugin) but for most of my clients who just need to sell a few products, it’s more than sufficient without the bloat of Woo. I like being able to tell clients, “You’ll have access to all the addons and you don’t have to pay more money,” because so many of them have been burned with Woo’s “pay extra or the plugin doesn’t work” model.

    1. Yep, that’s really the bottom line. It’s all there. I do wish, for this price, that there was affiliate links and management built in. Even a really simple option rather than just the iDevAffiliate integration. But still, it’s SOO much easier to work with than Woo. I love that I just create pages and stick shortcodes into my pages. It just works, and fits into what I’m already designing and working on, rather than creating all kinds of new humps and learning curves. Thanks for reading!

  2. I have been looking at eCommerce options for my company’s website. I installed Woo in WordPress, but I am already looking at other options and I had heard good things about Cart66. One question I have that maybe you can answer is in regards to the gateways. Cart66 says gateways are included and you can choose from like 50 different ones so if you don’t like one you can switch, yada yada yada. Well, most gateways have transaction fees. I assume there are still transaction fees depending on which gateway you pick, is that correct? I am just trying to avoid any surprises when making my next purchase.


    1. Hi Jon, yes, whether you’re using Woo or Cart66 there are ALWAYS transaction fees incurred from your gateway. You can gateway shop for sure to find the cheapest fees, but most people end up using Stripe or PayPal simply because it’s easy and takes the headache out of all of that.

      But yes, in my experience, Cart66 comes with all the gateways you need, but with Woo, you might have to purchase a gateway extension to get what you want. I like knowing what I get straight out of the box, that’s why I wrote this about Cart66. Thanks!

  3. I have a question? I am starting a subscription box business and I sm using WordPress to build my website. It looks like cart66 has excellent features for monthly subscriptions. My question is, so to add cart66 there is a monthly fee and in addition I will have to add stripe, shopify, or PayPal etc and pay their monthly fee plus their transaction fees? Im a bit confused? Thanks

    1. Hi Sakeenah. I don’t represent cart66 in any way, but I can tell you what I understand of it from my experience. There are two versions, a standalone premium plugin, and a “Cloud” service. You pay monthly for the Cloud service, but it’s a one-time fee for the standalone plugin (with yearly licenses updates for continued support and plugin updates). You can use either one to do a membership site. And Stripe integration is not an extra fee but part of both services. That’s why I wrote this article. I really like with cart66 that you get exactly what you pay for. WooCommerce on the other hand is “free”, but it takes quite a lot of research to figure out what it will actually cost you once you factor in all the premium extensions. And often, those extensions are by different developers who may or may not do support so well, or keep their code updated so well. I still REALLY like WooCommerce, and it has it’s purposes as well, but for clients with straight-forward needs cart66 gets directly to the pain point and does it well. Thanks for stopping by, hope to hear more from you around here!

  4. Matt! Thanks so much for clarifying this for me and responding quickly! When I have more questions I will post! Thanks again!

  5. Wonderful article Matt. I am convinced. I am going to buy into cart66 and wanted you to get some $$ for it by using your affiliate link, but it appears to be broken. I just see the HTML tags :-(

    If you fix it before I purchase I’ll click it, otherwise, I’m sorry!

    Funny thing – I used to avoid affiliate links in the past thinking the blogger was being annoying and greedy. However now that I’m pursuing a new blog and ecommerce…I can suddenly empathize and want to share the wealth!

    Thanks for the article. I’ll be following your blog for sure.


    1. Hi Sarah, thanks so much for your consideration. Honestly, affiliates can be kinda scummy people sometimes. I keep my affiliate links to a minimum and always try to point out that it’s an affiliate link and say why I use them. I write reviews of free plugins and premium plugins without affiliate links all the time. So I don’t go affiliate program hunting or anything.

      Thanks for pointing out the button problem. I ditched all my old shortcode plugins with this new design, just haven’t had a chance to clean up the mess! It’s fixed now, but I’m assuming you’ve purchased already. Another thing you might be interested in is my Matt2015 child theme. The form allows for donations for it there. No pressure ;-) Thanks for following and for commenting.

  6. Hey Matt, thank you so much for the review. I’ve been trying to start a subscription business and Woo is driving me crazy with having to pay for extentions (I’m used to the old oscommerce and Magento v1 days). I was wondering, do you use Pro or Cloud for your clients?

  7. Avatar photo Andrew Bossola says:

    Cart66 just changed their pricing structure to an annual rate of $95 a year…. might be worth updating the article. If you don’t have quite such intricate needs and want something easier to setup, Cart66 Cloud is a great way to get started with low cost and peace of mind.

  8. Hi. I’m late to the party here, but I’m seriously considering using cart66 as it’s the only cart I’ve found that meets all of my criteria – except one. It doesn’t integrate with Aweber.

    Yes, I know they have an add on, but it makes people subscribe. With paypal buttons that happens automatically when they purchase, which is how I want to keep it.

    So, those of you using Cart66, what are you doing for email? How are you adding customers to your list?

  9. Hi Kim. I am Lee, the founder and one of the developers for Cart66. We do have MailChimp integration in Cart66 which is a great way to manage your email newsletter. We’ve also recently added several other new features including the much requested inventory management. We’ve also been adding a variety of videos / blog posts demonstrating various things you can do with cart66. Maybe check out the blog and get an overview of different things you can do: or our YouTube channel If there’s anything I can do to answer any other questions, just let me know. :)

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