If you search on Google, you can find several ready-to-use eCommerce solutions that have different unique features. But the fact is that most of these solutions don’t work for all the users, and by the time they realize that it was a wrong choice that didn’t meet their requirements, it would have been too late to switch to another solution.
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If you ask a web developer which framework is better while choosing eCommerce solutions, of course, they will nod at your question and will suggest a good number of web development frameworks like Magento, Laravel, Volusion, Shopify, etc. However, those who are particular about having premium features for their eCommerce application to suit specific requirements always prefer to develop custom eCommerce solutions. Here arises the question: Which is the better custom framework for ecommerce development – Magento or Laravel or some other platforms? Since custom-developed eCommerce solutions can be tailor-made according to your requirements, and technology won’t be an obstacle when it comes to adding extra features, it offers numerous advantages over a ready-to-use platform.
Before rushing into a decision on the platform for your eCommerce solution, continue reading, and get a basic understanding of the frameworks to be considered for your online business solution.
Frameworks for eCommerce Solutions
What exactly is “Framework” in software development? A framework can be defined as a library of source files with open or unimplemented built-in functions which can be selectively modified by additional user-written code, to create a custom application. Frameworks offer a more extensive scope and include almost everything necessary to make a user application according to his requirements. Since most of the components of the framework are pre-built, the web developer can complete the project in a considerably shorter time instead of trying to build each of them by yourself. However, choosing a leading eCommerce developer is very much important to get your online business solution built in the way you desire and as per your needs.
Before getting deep into a comparison of Magento vs. Laravel, two popular eCommerce development platforms, keep in mind that building a custom eCommerce application as per your requirements is not as easy as you think. You need a future-proof database on which your application will be built; a UI Designer and UX developer to develop an intuitive user interface; programmers to build the application. Only an experienced eCommerce solutions company can help you overcome all these hurdles. Finding a suitable web development company would be a critical decision in terms of cost, experienced Laravel developers, and reliability.
Laravel vs Magento: PHP Frameworks for eCommerce Development
While most of the CMS solutions provide limited freedom and possibilities to customize an eCommerce website, PHP frameworks are secure, maintainable, and offer greater chances for the programmers to build a highly customizable website, especially the eCommerce sites. Developers who shortlist these two frameworks are often confused about which one to choose, because of umpteen features. If you, too, are finding it hard to choose between Laravel and Magento, go through the below aspects of both frameworks and decide which technology you should prefer for your online shopping cart.
For almost one decade, Magento has been the most preferred choice of eCommerce developers because of its advanced features, availability of tools, plugins for the platform, etc. Statistics show that this development package was downloaded more than 2.5 million times, and over 100,000 eCommerce sites have been developed using this platform. Magento is a full-fledged e-commerce development platform favored by many programmers.
Laravel is a comparatively new framework that has really advanced in development and is now regarded as one of the most popular PHP frames around. Released in 2011 by its founder Taylor Otwell, this framework underwent several changes and was rewritten in 2013. Currently, Laravel is a universally accepted eCommerce development framework with increasing market acceptance owing to its extensive features, including scalability, code simplicity, and maintenance, etc.
If age is the deciding factor, Magento has the edge over Laravel; on the other hand, Laravel is a new edge framework, which is technologically advanced than the other.
Open Source Platform
Both Magento and Laravel are open source frameworks written in PHP. Magento is an open-source platform now owned by eBay, and Laravel is a free, open-source platform that enables digital entrepreneurs to build, manage, and enhance their online business. Open-source software platforms, both Magento and Laravel, are equally acceptable for the developers. It also enables programmers to extend the platform when they get stuck with some inherent limitations of the platform. This feature is a risk as well because these open-source platforms get exposed to security risks, and this increases the chance of hackers to attack the applications built using the framework.
Complexity of Code
Since Magento is a decades-old software framework, it has undergone several iterations, and this increased the complexity of codes even though it includes a lot of convenient and beneficial options to build solid e-commerce applications. The major criticism against the Magento code is that the code written in this framework can get sluggish, making it difficult to read, debug, and troubleshoot. Hence, you may find it very tough to read through the code written by someone else and fix the issues.
On the contrary, Laravel, with its modern MVC architecture, the code structure, and management seems much easier for the developers. A Laravel developer can easily understand the code written by other developers and fix the issues without much effort. Instead of traditional complex SQL scripting, Laravel uses PHP-based syntax with ORM (Object Relational Mapping)-based coding; thus, making the database administration easier. Therefore, while considering the simplicity and maintenance of codes, Laravel is the best-preferred platform throughout the industry.
Availability of Developers
When it comes to the availability of developers for Magento and Laravel, the number of Magento developers are relatively higher owing to its age factor. While Magento is one of the oldest and matured development platforms for PHP, Laravel is still evolving, and thus the number of Laravel programmers is relatively lower. Due to the less availability of Laravel developers, companies usually hire Codeigniter or Magento developers and train them in the Laravel framework. This increases the demand for experienced Laravel developers, and obviously, they are highly paid also.
Though companies favor Magento over Laravel thinking the high development cost, it is not fully true. If you compare the total charge of buying a ready-to-use e-commerce solution, the customization cost in addition to the total cost of the Laravel application, and the necessary plugins, you can understand Laravel is much budget-friendly, with the added advantage of custom features. Hiring PHP developers experienced in other MVC platforms and giving them training on Laravel is one alternative to solve the shortfall of Laravel experts.
Since Magento is one of the oldest PHP development platforms, it has wide acceptance among programmers and enterprises as a reliable framework that works well for eCommerce development. Unlike Laravel, which is an evolving platform, Magento has good community support. Also, with numerous communities and forums related to the Magento platform, the developer may not find it challenging to get help regarding issues they meet during the development phase. In terms of communities, Laravel lags behind Magento as it is relatively newer and has a lesser number of contributors. So, definitely, in terms of community support, Magento scores high.
Laravel vs Magento – Ecommerce Software Platform
Despite the fact that Laravel has less community support, limited availability of developers, evolving platform, it is currently one of the best-preferred PHP development platforms for websites, especially the eCommerce sites. Though the huge availability of Magento developers, a long history of development, and the best community support favors the Magento framework, a lot of sluggish codes added to the package make the coding complex; thus, making it hard to maintain the database. Compared to other available frameworks such as Yii, CodeIgniter, etc., Laravel is preferred by a huge number of developers because of its ORM-based data access model, neat coding style, MVC architecture, and ready-to-use eCommerce solution features. Laravel is a reliable open-source platform that provides exceptional surplus advantages that allow developers to build secure websites and portals very quickly. The best part regarding the Laravel framework is that it empowers you to develop the entire website from scratch, giving you an excellent opportunity to define the scope of your eCommerce site.
If you are planning to develop an e-store for your business, pick a web development company experienced in developing Laravel e-commerce solution to obtain a more stable product with an intuitive user interface and better performance.