Mal's Shopping Cart and XWay

Hi everyone

I am a longtime Freeway user just for my own business website. Now that there’s more functionality in XWay, I’m considering recreating/updating my webite from scratch - not even going to wait for a Freeway migration function. Only thing is, I use Mal’s Shopping Cart for my online store (because that was recommended by Softpress ages ago). Can I integrate Mal’s Shopping Cart using the current version of XWay? If so, how? Or if not, can anyone recommend another secure and easy to use shopping cart and payment system that can be seamlessly integrated using XWay? Thanks.

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Hi di.spy,

If PayPal is an option, you can add PayPal buttons.

I haven’t used Mal’s Shopping Cart (in Xway or Freeway), but Xway has extensive support for various kinds of markup, which should allow you to use it in Xway.

Thanks for your response, Jeremy. PayPal is certainly an option for processing payments but it’s not clear to me whether PayPal has a shopping cart function so that customers can select many different products, and different quantities of products, and then check out and pay once for the whole lot. PayPal used to have a cart function but it’s deprecated now. I shall investigate PayPal further but I’d like to continue to support Mal’s eCommerce and it works well for the way I process orders so I’ll endeavour to learn how to use markup more.

If anyone else has any suggestions, I’d like to hear them.

Outside of Freeway, Mals cart is usually used by designers and developers who are fluent in HTML and JavaScript. That’s its “sweet spot”, in that it is designed to drop into an otherwise static site and provide a means of creating a shopping cart with very little (as opposed to NO) code.

I just had a brief look at the end-user documentation on Mals Ecommerce. As I remembered, the whole thing is just a set of endpoints on their server (effectively an API) that respond to requests from carefully-formed URLs. Which leads me to understand more clearly what the Action has been doing for you in Freeway. It effectively steers you around the sharp rocks of forming a valid URL with a “querystring” (?foo=bar&baz=blarg) that might contain illegal characters for a URL. That’s it.

All this to say that, with a little bit of experimentation and a bit of experience, you could create a cart using Mals in Xway.

Here’s a snip from the manual, showing the “Add to Cart” button URL:

<a href="

The important parts of this are the base URL (represented here as and “everything after the ?”, which is made up of key-value pairs.

If you have a site that already implements the cart using the Action, you can discover all of this through code inspection in a browser. In Safari, use the Preferences/Settings menu option, advanced tab, “Enable Develop menu” to turn on the Web Inspector feature. The same thing is possible in all other browsers, it’s just accessed and controlled differently.

Once you’ve enabled this, find one of the cart buttons on your live site and right-click or Control-click on it to open the contextual submenu. In Safari, the second-to-last option will be Inspect Element. When you choose this, you should see the actual HTML that makes up that button (which is probably a link with an image of a button in it). That link will contain your product URL, shaped like the example above. The base will be the actual server name configured for your cart, and the product, userid, and return values will be the encoded forms of the actual product details. Any spaces in these values will be replaced with + or %20, and any characters that have specific meaning in the context of a URL will be escaped with either % escape sequences or HTML entitles like &amp; for ampersand.

That’s where the sharp rocks are.

But Xway will not stop you from adding those parts to a URL, and if you have “buy now” button images, you can place them inline in text on the page, or in image boxes positioned on the page, and assign those URLs to them to duplicate the page HTML that the Action generated for you back in Freeway.

It’s all possible, just not as abstracted as the Action allowed it to be.



Great to see this as a topic. I’d more than happily pay for a new mal’s cart action to use in Xway. I’m in exactly the same position as are many freeway users who set up a shop using the FW Mal’s cart action. For non coders this action was just amazing. So hoping someone can take the time to create a new one to help us (non coders) move over to Xway less stressfully :pray::pray::pray:.

I use Xway, but Still use Mal’s Shopping Cart in Freeway.
I have a link from my Xway page: tickets to my Freeway shopping page: shop The shopping page and the required Actions are uploaded from Freeway to the same site that hosts the Xway files: I have two Resources folders on the site (I’ve been told this doesn’t work, but it does. One called resources, the other with a capital ‘R’ Resources. (Otherwise one would overwrite the other)
So, all the images etc are in the Resources folder and all the files for Mal’s Cart are uploaded to the main folder – both from Freeway. The important thing to remember is that the connection to the Freeway Shopping page from the Xway Ticket page is via an external link (see attached screenshot).
Perhaps not the most elegant solution, but it works.


This will depend on your hosting provider. The underlying system and the transport method (e.g. FTP) can be case-sensitive or case-insensitive. If either or both are case-insensitive, “resources” and “Resources” will be seen as the same thing when uploading.

Walter - thanks so much for explaining what the Freeway Action is doing. I feel inspired and will give coding in XWay a go and endeavour to avoid all sharp rocks.

Fay - thanks for the “hear, hear!”. If I knew how to write an Action, I’d write one for you (and me and all others).

Geoff - thank you also for your suggestion. Elegant or not, it’s a solution. It would require me to keep my old Macbook running though, so I could update at least the shop in Freeway which somewhat defeats the purpose of moving to XWay (for me any way - I’m sure there are heaps of other benefits to using XWay)

Thank you all for taking the time and trouble to respond.

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