Finding the best eCommerce solution for your web development needs is a task easier said than done. With the plethora of options available in the market nowadays, there is no hard and fast rule to ascertain which solution is the right one for your business - as the needs and requirements of users will differ from one another.
The question then is to find the eCommerce solution that best fits your needs as a business.
Ask any proficient web developer or web development company and they will guide you through the different types of eCommerce solutions available for you. Some of the major eCommerce solutions preferred by businesses worldwide are Magento, Laravel, Volusion, Shopify, etc.
However, anyone planning to launch their eCommerce website will have several questions popping in the head:
But which among the lot is the best one?
Can it meet the specific requirements for my business?
To what extent can the eCommerce solution be customized to suit my needs?
Finding the answer to these questions and choosing the best among the lot can be a strenuous process. So, we are here to help you nail down your options to two of the most popular eCommerce solutions available in the market presently - Laravel and Magento.
Read on to understand the basics about frameworks and different eCommerce solutions to help tackle your dilemma with ease.
What is a Framework?
A framework, in the context of software development, means a library of programs and source files that can interact with each other and develop software solutions that meet your needs. It provides a streamlined way of building applications, products, and solutions that are universal, reusable, and functional.
Most of the components of a software framework, viz. programs, compilers, code libraries, toolsets, APIs are already present in it, making the job of a developer relatively easy. They can use the pre-existing components with the help of a user-written code to make custom applications within a short period of time. Nevertheless, choosing the right eCommerce developer is vital in ensuring that you find the best solution for your business.
However, the answer does not solely depend on finding the right eCommerce solution; it is extremely important that you select the right development team to execute the same.
From finding qualified and proficient UI and UX developers who can design and develop the interface and user experience, building a database that is future-proof and extensive to hiring remote developers who actually build the application, you would require the services of an experienced and reliable eCommerce solution provider to execute the same flawlessly.
Magento and Laravel: PHP Frameworks for eCommerce Development
Of the multitudes of software frameworks available, it is always preferable to use a PHP framework for your eCommerce solution. What makes PHP frameworks stand out from the rest lies with the fact that they are more secure, maintainable, and more customizable than the other frameworks.
Even though almost all other frameworks provide the possibility of customization of your eCommerce website, PHP frameworks offer much greater flexibility and freedom to do so. And two of the most widely used PHP frameworks are Laravel and Magento.
Choosing either of these frameworks, over everything else, is a safe bet for sure. But you may still be confused as to which one to choose among the two. To make your decision easier, let us take a look at the different aspects and features of Laravel and Magento to help you decide which eCommerce framework you should go with.
Magento has made a name for itself as one of the best PHP Framework solutions for over a decade now because of its advanced features, availability of tools, plugins for the platform, etc. The popularity of Magento was so extensive that it was downloaded over 2.5 million times and over 100,000 eCommerce sites have been developed using the same.
In recent times, Laravel has also grown to become another popular eCommerce platform widely used by developers all over the world. In spite of being a relatively new eCommerce framework, Laravel has managed to cement itself as one of the leading PHP frameworks in the world thanks to its universal acceptance, scalability, maintenance, and code simplicity.
Magento has the upper hand when it comes to long-standing experience and reputation, but if we factor into consideration the latest cutting-edge technology, then we can safely say Laravel takes the cake. Even today, Laravel has a higher search volume and is trending over Magento in majority of the regions across the world.
Open Source Platform
Both Magento and Laravel fall under the category of open source platforms, written in PHP. But one slight difference is that while the former is an open-source platform that is owned by eBay, the latter is a free open source platform.
As far as open-source platforms are concerned, both Magento and Laravel are easily accessible to digital entrepreneurs, enabling them to build, manage and enhance their online presence and therefore, equally acceptable to developers as well.
Using an open-source platform is like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they enable programmers to extend the platform whenever they get stuck on some of the inherent limitations in it. But on the other hand, this feature also raises serious security risks as it increases the chance of hackers attacking the applications that are built using these frameworks. Before using an open-source platform, one should know the flipside of the equation as well.
Complexity of Code
The complexity of the code is a major aspect while choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business. As you all know, Magento is an age-old software development framework that has undergone multiple iterations ever since it was developed.
Even though these iterations have helped it imbibe a lot of convenient and beneficial features that facilitate building eCommerce applications of every kind and nature, it has also increased the complexity of codes in it. This has, in turn, been touted as one of the major drawbacks of Magento as the framework tends to get sluggish and is difficult to read, debug and troubleshoot.
Also Read: Migrating From Magento 1.9x to Magento 2.0x
Laravel, on the other hand, is a fairly new entrant to the world of eCommerce frameworks and comes bundled with the latest technological advancements, which makes it fairly easy for developers to study and use. A Laravel developer does not require a Herculean effort to understand the code written by other developers and fix the issues with ease.
Unlike Magento, Laravel does not use the traditional and complex SQL scripting language; it follows a PHP-based syntax with ORM (Object Relational Mapping) based coding. All these enable Laravel to be the most preferred framework in the industry.
Availability of Developers
The availability of qualified developers for your preferred framework goes a long way in deciding the PHP framework that fits your bill. Magento, being an eCommerce framework that has been around for decades, finding well-qualified and experienced Magento developers is fairly easy.
As Laravel is a comparatively new PHP framework and has only been around for a few years, there is a dearth of well-qualified Laravel developers in the market, forcing companies to hire Codeigniter or Magento developers to do the job. However, in recent years with the increase in popularity and usage of Laravel, you can see a huge demand for Laravel developers as well.
The ease of availability of Magento developers is undoubtedly a huge advantage for Magento vis-a-vis Laravel. Alternatively, hiring a PHP developer who has experience in Magento and other frameworks and training them for Laravel applications may seem like a daunting task. But this is a fairly common misconception.
Considering the high development cost, customization cost, installation of necessary plugins, etc. Laravel turns out to be a much more budget-friendly option for developers than Magento in the long run. Hiring developers experienced in e-commerce MVP development, other MVC platforms and giving them due to training in Laravel actually turns out to be a cost-effective option in comparison to choosing Magento.
Last but not least, community support plays an important role in selecting the right PHP framework for your business in more ways than one. It is no secret that Magento enjoys wider acceptance and popularity among programmers and enterprises alike as it is a tried and tested, reliable framework that works well for eCommerce development.
Laravel has yet to reach the level of community support that Magento presently enjoys, as it is still evolving and finding its footing in the market. Finding a developer or a Magento development company who can handle Magento with ease is a fairly easy task as compared to finding a Laravel developer of the same qualification and standing.
Therefore, in terms of community support, Laravel lags behind Magento as it is relatively newer and has a lesser number of contributors.
Magento vs Laravel - Ecommerce Software Platform
Taking all the above factors into consideration, we can say that even though Magento has a long-standing reputation, a higher number of developers available, and a wider acceptance and community support, it suffers a lot due to its sluggish and complex codes, which in turn makes it harder to maintain the database.
Alternatively, although Laravel being new to the market and only having limited availability of developers and community support, still finds itself being preferred over and above Magento for its ORM-based data access model, MVC architecture, neat and sleek coding style, and ready-to-use features.
The battle of Laravel vs Magento will go on. Laravel is a reliable open-source platform that provides tremendous scope for customization and building a website from scratch, which results in a huge potential for defining the scope of your eCommerce site on your terms. All this and more ensures that Laravel is the most preferred platform for your business when compared to other platforms like Magento. Web development companies like HatchingWeb have already moved to the Laravel platform for their eCommerce solutions.
Whichever platform you choose, it is extremely imperative that you pick an experienced web development company that has all the necessary qualifications and reputation for developing the eCommerce solution that you need. The right company can provide you with a stable product with an intuitive user interface and better performance that is hard to beat.