eCommerce is not just about moving online anymore, it incorporates a whole range of activities. The evolution of eCommerce shows that from the very base – tech stack to marketing activities, everything changed drastically. If a decade ago eCommerce was about just having a website and selling your product and service online, now it’s more complicated than that.
With the thrilling idea people have on their minds after seeing all these videos like “How I made $3K in a week with Shopify dropshipping” type of content, people fall into the “trap.” They subscribe and start using an eCommerce platform with big dreams and spend a good amount of money on tools but things turn out not as desirable as advertised on YouTube. Moving online is not easy, and should not be. That’s why Shopify’s closed store rate annually is about 77%. That’s a lot, right?
Today’s topic is not about why “Shopify entrepreneurship” is not sustainable, but about the fundamentals of moving online which starts with choosing the right tech stack. I’ll talk about eCommerce programming languages, especially PHP.
Let’s start from the beginning. Not from the “some fifteen billion years ago, our universe began with the mightiest explosion of all time”, but from the beginning of eCommerce building then let’s move to why we prefer PHP for eCommerce development.
eCommerce tech stack
As a first step, the transition from retail to eCommerce requires choosing the right technology stack. eCommerce tech stack, from the programming language to digital tools, is a collection of applications, frameworks, platforms, and other solutions that online store owners use to run and manage their eCommerce business. These tools collaborate to optimize day-to-day processes in sales, marketing, customer care, order payment processing, fulfillment and returns, and other critical areas, as well as provide customer insights that may fuel development.
For eCommerce web development, we can divide the tech stack into two: frontend and backend. Let’s take Uvodo as an example.
So, to answer the question “which technology stack is used at Uvodo?” is: on the backend, Uvodo is pure PHP with concepts of Layered Architecture and Domain Driven Design while on the storefront and admin UI, several frontend technologies such as PUG, VueJS, and TypeScript are included. These are the server-side apps and languages that help your eCommerce website and software solutions connect with one another.
Choosing the right technology stack for an eCommerce project is important since it has a huge effect on the performance, maintenance, and eventually customer experience and satisfaction.
What is PHP?
PHP is a widely-used, open-source scripting language. It is one of the most popular programming languages. According to data, PHP is used by 77.5% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.
As a developer or tech-savvy entrepreneur, you will surely consider what’s the best language to build an online store. Or, if you consider eCommerce platforms, you’ll check which tech stack is used in the development of that platform.
With the wide variety of languages available, PHP remains a widely used language in the web development niche.
With its rich features and functionalities, PHP has proved to be a reliable programming language for developing large and complex websites. Many tech startups and corporate giants like Facebook, Yahoo, WordPress, MailChimp, Tumblr, and Etsy used PHP in their end-to-end computing infrastructure.
PHP is here to stay, thanks to rising demand from some of the world’s most powerful software companies. There are lots of reasons why PHP open-source language is a choice for the development of powerful web applications.
PHP frameworks are powerful for eCommerce development
It is safe to say, there is no scarcity of PHP eCommerce frameworks; they will not become extinct as long as the majority of developers use PHP.
Here we have a list of amazing PHP eCommerce frameworks below:
Laravel is a young framework with a lot of functionality. Among these characteristics are its clear syntax, proclivity for scalability, and design that promotes gradual expansion. Laravel has a huge and supportive community as well.
Laravel framework is simple to comprehend and has little boilerplate (repeated) code.
At the same time, Laravel is powerful enough to create sophisticated apps. This approach is aided by more technical capabilities such as a template engine, routing, security, and authentication.
Laravel is described as expressive by the majority of developers.
The Slim Framework
The Slim Framework is a PHP micro-framework that helps you quickly write simple yet powerful web applications. It is a relatively small (5KB) and lightweight (~700 lines of code) framework to help you stay productive. Slim has no dependencies, so it’s easy to install and customize.
Symfony is more than just a framework; it also includes a collection of reusable PHP components and modules. Reusable components reduce duplication in the coding process.
Symfony was initially inspired by the Spring Framework, a Java micro-framework. Having said that, Symfony is quite comparable to Lavarel, however, it is said that it is a little more difficult to get started with.
CodeIgniter is a PHP MVC framework for swiftly constructing web applications. CodeIgniter includes libraries for connecting to databases and executing different tasks such as sending emails, managing sessions, uploading files, etc. The built-in functionalities are intended to function independently, without relying excessively on other components which makes it simple to maintain and improve.
CakePHP is an open-source and considered one of the best frameworks for PHP coding. One of the most significant benefits of employing a CakePHP framework is its ease of customization to fulfill the demands of developers.
CakePHP is widely used on web pages and online apps. Because it supports a wide range of languages, developers may easily design a wide range of applications. CakePHP development has a variety of tools that allow for intricate and powerful website building.
This framework allows you to validate data and create quick and safe code for web development. It enables developers to shield the program against critical flaws while also maintaining the application’s safety. CakePHP guarantees that all of your data is secure and that users can rely on it.
PHP role in eCommerce
As a programming language, PHP has been around for decades and is undeniably one of the most popular languages out there today. Some of the advantages of PHP are that it has a rapidly growing community, it’s easy to learn and there are plenty of tutorials online to help you get started. You will receive assistance and guidance from the community of experts.
Using a PHP-based framework for eCommerce website development provides the following advantages:
- Analytics options. PHP frameworks provide a sales analytics tool that may inform online retailers about client preferences, which strategies are successful, and what is contributing the most to growth and sales volume. Using data from sales analytics, businesses may make smart merchandising selections, increasing eCommerce shop profitability.
- Strong security. Online retailers manage a large number of financial transactions, storing critical transactional information that must be kept secret. PHP frameworks have built-in security capabilities that manage and safeguard any transaction data collected from a variety of devices.
- Budget-friendly. PHP has always been open-source, thus you can save money on subscriptions. Furthermore, because it is a widely used and standard language, you won’t have to go far or spend a lot of money on developers. You can forget about paying for expensive licenses and, instead, spend your investment on improving the functionality of your online business.
- Rich eCommerce solutions. PHP frameworks enable the creation of feature-rich, customized, and scalable eCommerce solutions for creating, promoting, and managing an engaging and responsive eCommerce website.
- Wide range of plugins. You can create a reliable and consistent user experience using plug-ins, themes, and components that may be integrated into an online store, such as product inventories, an online payment gateway, different currencies, languages, and so on.
- Mobile-friendly. PHP is a strong server-side programming language that is used to build feature-rich websites. It may also be used to build your own mobile-friendly website.
- Support. Fantastic support from a vast developer community that contributes code and creates new extensions to keep the platform up to date.
Developing an eCommerce website in PHP
It is not as simple to develop eCommerce solutions as it is to enter the entrepreneurial race. Many factors must be considered, including security, user-friendliness, rapid adaptation to changes, ease of updating, and so on. All of these are determined by the technology, framework, languages, APIs, extensions, and SDKs used in eCommerce development.
PHP and its frameworks are widely used for eCommerce development since they are compatible with practically any software and allow for the creation of complicated applications in less time and effort.
Let us summarize 3 main advantages of developing an eCommerce website in a PHP framework:
PHP feature-rich frameworks leverage a customized experience
PHP frameworks may be used to create feature-rich and configurable eCommerce solutions that provide clients with an engaging and consistent experience. The pre-built plug-ins, templates, and components may be easily combined to provide more functionality to the store, such as product inventories, online payment gateway, various currency acceptance, fast checkout, and more.
PHP frameworks offer strong security
Many financial transactions are handled by Internet retailers, who keep critical transactional information that must be kept discreet. PHP frameworks have built-in security capabilities that manage and safeguard any transaction data obtained from a variety of devices.
Analytics platforms can be integrated with PHP frameworks
PHP may be used to link your website to an analytics provider. The most well-known is Google Analytics, although integration is also available if you use a dedicated CRM. There are specific sales analytics tools built into off-the-shelf eCommerce platforms. Knowing which of your items are the most and least popular might help you make smarter business decisions.
Takeaway: PHP for an eCommerce project
Creating an eCommerce website is one thing, but keeping its functionality up to date is another. PHP is a professional website maintenance solution that improves general operation while also resolving bugs on the website. PHP is useful for eCommerce applications that require a specialized backend panel. In this way, the PHP framework contributes to the end product, ensuring that the customer has a consistent and engaging experience.
There are ready-made plug-ins, templates, and other components that enhance the store’s functionality. Not to mention some PHP admin templates assist in the rapid development of the project.