Laravel: reasons to choose PHP frameworks for eCommerce website development

Laravel, PHP frameworks for eCommerce

eCommerce website development is a process that starts with the idea of what the business wants to achieve and ends with a fully functional and optimized eCommerce website. First step in the eCommerce website development is choosing the right technology stack. The eCommerce tech stack is the set of technologies and tools that are needed to create and manage an eCommerce website.

The planning of the eCommerce tech stack for the development itself requires choosing the right programming language. 

Since 8 out of every 10 websites use PHP, which is 78.9% of all websites, in this article I’ll shed on light if PHP is good for eCommerce website development. 

But first, let’s talk about eCommerce website development shortly.

eCommerce website development

eCommerce websites are the backbone of online businesses. In order to thrive in this competitive era, it is important for eCommerce websites to be attractive and interactive for customers. There are a number of ways that an eCommerce website can be developed to achieve this goal.

The first step is to decide what type of website you want: do you want a static website or a dynamic website? Static websites are easier and faster to develop, but they don’t allow for any changes after they have been created. Dynamic websites allow for changes and updates, but they may take longer, and they cost more to develop.

The next step is to decide how you would like your site built on, such as on Mom-and-Pop types of eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, or open-source eCommerce solutions that give space for full customization like Uvodo and Magento Adobe Commerce.

From those several choices, we can generally divide the eCommerce solutions into two:

  1. SaaS eCommerce platforms
  2. Custom development

SaaS (Hosted) eCommerce Platforms 

SaaS eCommerce platforms offer ready solutions that vary in their features, prices, and capabilities. SaaS eCommerce platforms are an easy way for businesses to sell their products online. They are a great solution for small businesses that don’t have the resources to build their own eCommerce store from scratch.

SaaS eCommerce platforms usually offer a fully managed solution that includes the website, payment gateway, customer service, and hosting. All the business owner has to do is upload their products and start selling them.

However, SaaS eCommerce platforms are limited in their ability to fulfill the needs of business, and they have limited or no customization capabilities. This means that they cannot be tailored to specific companies’ needs, which can make them less attractive for some businesses. 

SaaS eCommerce platforms are not flexible enough to provide the number of features that an enterprise needs i.e., these platforms cannot integrate with other software packages.

Read more about: Challenges with SaaS eCommerce platforms.

Custom eCommerce development

Custom eCommerce development is the process of designing and developing a webstore from scratch for specific needs. It is typically created on the client’s own domain and server, which means that it’s self-hosted. This can be done through an open-source eCommerce platform such as Uvodo, Magento, or OpenCart.

If you want to build a custom eCommerce website, you will need to have some skills in web design, and in-depth knowledge in this field to handle the technical aspects. Or you can work with dedicated developers or digital agencies and let them take care of everything. eCommerce developers will create the entire site usually from scratch or use an existing white-label platform to build on like Uvodo.

There are lots of pros of custom eCommerce website development. Firstly, it is much more flexible. You can customize the webstore to your needs and preferences. Secondly, it is more secure. The system has been developed specifically for your company and you know how to protect it better than a third-party developer would.

Finally, you get complete control over the design process. You can create an eCommerce website that represents your brand perfectly and matches all of your marketing materials seamlessly.

However, custom eCommerce development has higher cost in terms of ownership and maintenance, which can be difficult for small businesses with tight budgets. Custom eCommerce development also takes a lot of time and resources, which can be challenging for companies who need their website up and running as soon as possible.

So, that was “brief” information about eCommerce development solutions. Now, let’s see if PHP is a good choice for your eCommerce website development project.

Read more about: Hosted vs Self-hosted eCommerce solutions.

What does PHP have to offer for eCommerce?

PHP is an open-source programming language that has been around since 1995 and it’s one of the most popular languages in the world.

The PHP programming language was initially designed to create dynamic web pages, but it has been expanded to include the ability to handle complex database interactions. PHP can be used to develop complex social networking sites, content management systems, etc., and its wide range of features makes it an ideal choice for eCommerce website development.

According to the statistics mentioned earlier, the PHP language has fairly high usage, and of course, a certain part of it comes from eCommerce development. Let’s take a closer look at what are the main features of PHP in building your eCommerce platform.

PHP is cost effective

PHP is an open-source programming language, which is free to use for everyone, and it has lower maintenance and subscription expenses than other similar tools.

PHP offers solid security

There are some common threats such as cross-site request forgery, SQL injections, and data tampering that mainly can be detected in eCommerce websites. By using PHP, you will be able to avoid them.

Also, in the most recent version, PHP 8.1 with the updates and fixes, the security protocol of it has been strengthened.

Development with PHP takes less time

PHP is a partially object-oriented language. It has a re-usability of code feature. These reusable PHP elements save a significant amount of time and work during the development process. 

PHP includes built-in functionality such as accessing the GET and POST methods, as well as working with HTML and URLs. And this helps businesses save time on development.

PHP is good with HTTP apps

If you plan to develop a web application for your eCommerce, PHP is an excellent choice. The PHP HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) functions allow us to handle the data that the web server sends to the browser.

The PHP HTTP’s goal is to provide a comfortable and robust set of functionality for major applications and make it easier to handle HTTP URLs, dates, redirects, headers, and messages in an HTTP context (both incoming and outgoing).

PHP offers various frameworks

PHP has a wide range of frameworks for eCommerce web development and can be used to create the ideal website for your business. The most popular PHP frameworks are Laravel, Codelgniter, Phalcon, Symfony, etc. to name just a few.

With a large community supporting them, each of these frameworks offers a variety of features, tools, resources, and modules each plays a different role for eCommerce development. Using a PHP framework for eCommerce website development provides structure and streamlines the coding process, which reduces errors, improves site quality, and provides powerful capabilities that differ based on the framework you choose.

Read more about: Why prefer PHP for website development?

From the frameworks listed above, we will talk about Laravel in more detail below.

Laravel for eCommerce development

Laravel is a free, open-source and cross-platform PHP web framework. It is one of the most popular frameworks in the world and it is used by major companies like Twitch, Warner Bros, The Walt Disney, WWE, The New York Times, etc.

Laravel ecommerce

Laravel is a full-stack framework that includes an expressive ORM (object relational mapping), a powerful templating system called Blade (a combination of Handlebars and Twig), a robust queueing system called Beanstalk, and much more.

Laravel provides developers with many tools to make their job easier such as an easy way to define routes for their application without having to worry about writing code for themselves.

Despite being a relatively new PHP framework, Laravel is thought to be the most popular one (launched in 2011). Laravel simplify functionalities like caching, routing, authentication, and security. 

Laravel was updated in early 2022 and Laravel 9 version has been released with new features such as New Query Builder Interface, Flysystem 2.0, The lang Directory, etc. 

Laravel provides a number of features that facilitate eCommerce development. Some of them are:

  • A built-in package manager
  • Blade templating engine
  • Eloquent ORM (Object Relational Mapping)
  • Database migrations
  • Built in unit testing and mocking library
  • A Command Line Interface (CLI) tool called Artisan

Let`s be precise and reveal the standout features of Laravel:

A built-in package manager

Package management in Laravel is an important feature that allows you to bundle a piece of functionality. It is used to make the development process more efficient by providing the developer with a set of predefined features.

With Package Development, you can create packages for your projects or for other people to use with their projects. And, you can easily make your code reusable and shareable with other developers. 

Blade templating engine

Blade is a templating engine for the PHP programming language. It provides a way to separate the presentation layer from the business logic layer of an application.

The Blade templating engine is designed to work with PHP’s preprocessor, and can be used with any preprocessor that supports PHP code blocks. 

Laravel Blade is a simple, yet powerful templating language that offers basic conditional statements, loops, and expressions.

Blade templates are compiled into plain PHP code and cached until they are modified, meaning they have no performance impact on your application

MVC Architecture for superior support and performance

Laravel is based on the MVC architectural pattern which breaks down a larger application into manageable components. Model-view-controller (MVC) architecture offers a very practical solution for creating both big and small business apps. MVC provides developers with architecture to adopt when building apps. Thus, it helps developers in developing complex web applications with less code.

Eloquent ORM for easy interaction with app database

The Eloquent ORM is an Object Relational Mapper (ORM) for PHP that provides a simple ActiveRecord implementation for working with relational databases. The Eloquent ORM can be used as an alternative to the Data Objects (PDO) extension to access databases through an object oriented interface instead of SQL.

Eloquent ORM was originally created for the Laravel framework, but it can be used in any PHP application.

Some of the features of Eloquent are:

  • Model relations like hasMany and belongsTo
  • Model attributes
  • Custom query builder
  • Defining relationships between models
  • Creating custom methods & collections

Using Eloquent ORM, you can quickly improve any business application’s performance. 

By employing an elegant or expressive syntax, as the name implies, you can keep a simple interaction with your app database objects.

Laravel was designed with the MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture pattern in mind. This means that there is a clear separation between data handling, business logic, and display logic.

Developers can use Laravel’s Eloquent ORM for data handling in their projects because of its simplicity and power. When using Eloquent, developers can easily retrieve individual records from the database and work with them without any problems at all.

Database migrations

One of the most important features of Laravel is database migrations. Database migrations allow you to track any changes in your database schema and apply those changes to your database. 

Migrations are stored as files with a .php extension and they are executed using the command line interface or through artisan commands. Laravel provides some basic commands that allow you to create, modify, and delete tables in your database.

You can also use migrations to change the structure of tables, add columns, or remove columns from existing tables.

Mocking

Mocking enables developers to test their code without actually performing the operations. It’s also used in acceptance testing and system integration testing. It is a powerful tool that helps developers to find out how their program will behave in the future.

Mockery is a PHP package that provides a simple mock object generator. It allows the programmer to specify what to return when a method is called with specific parameters.

Artisan Command-Line for extremely simple and quick commands

Laravel’s Artisan command-line interface (CLI) enables you to streamline, accelerate, and simplify your development process. There is artisan script, which may be found in the application’s root has a number of useful commands that can assist you during your application development process.

Artisan Command-Line is used for generating a wide range of assets for Laravel projects, such as controllers, models, views, migrations and many more.

By offering such outstanding features, Laravel has been the top choice of many top eCommerce websites as well. 

Let’s put it all together

I would like to conclude by saying that if you want to be successful in the eCommerce industry, you should choose a technology that is scalable, easy to use and well documented. PHP has been around for more than two decades and it has proven itself as a reliable technology with a large community of developers.

PHP is also easy to learn and use and its frameworks i.e. Laravel that I talked about a lot are great for eCommerce website development because they provide a robust framework and an easy to use structure.

Narmina Balabayli
Narmina is a full-time head of content at Uvodo, lifetime artist, part-time cat lover. Love writing anything about digital. She has superpower to disappear.

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