E-Commerce

What is Laravel and Why Is It Used?

Laravel has over the years gradually matured into a household name in the ecommerce industry. Its ease of use and seamless integrability with other applications are only a few of the many reasons why it’s become one of the most popular frameworks for developing web applications. It is also among the most widely used solutions for building eCommerce sites.

In Spite of its widespread use, some people are still oblivious of its use or applications. This article is an exposé on everything you need to know about laravel and the perks of using this application ahead of others.

What Is Laravel?

Laravel is an open-source PHP framework used for building large, robust web applications. It is based on a Model View Controller (MVC) architecture and incorporates elements of Symfony.

Laravel is the brainchild of Taylor Otwell, who launched it in 2011. It provides developers a simple toolkit for building complex, full-featured web applications such as online stores.

Since 2011, Laravel has seen an increase in its popularity across the globe. This is due to its reputation for reliability, performance, scalability, and great features.

Being a web framework, Laravel is different from popular Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress. While CMS are ready-made applications, using Laravel requires writing code from scratch.

Besides, WordPress and other CMS use plugins and themes to provide functionality. Laravel is different in that it uses in-built features to provide functionalities like authentication, routing, caching, and sessions.

The MVC architecture is another notable feature of the Laravel framework. It reduces the difficulty in building web applications and maintaining their functionality in the future.

In particular, Laravel’s modular structure offers online businesses opportunities to scale and grow. This is highly important because the eCommerce industry demands scalability for survival.

Laravel has even more benefits for web development, which we will discuss later on in the article. In particular, you’ll see why Laravel has become the go-to framework for building eCommerce sites and other web applications.

Why Choose Laravel for eCommerce?

Laravel is hardly the sole PHP framework for building eCommerce websites. If it’s this popular, then it must be doing something right.

Research shows that the Laravel framework does a lot of things right. We’ll go over these and show why it’s great for building eCommerce platforms.

  1. Improved site security

    Site security is a huge concern for online entities, including eCommerce platforms. According to a 2019 Accenture study, security breaches have increased by 67% over the last five years.

    Having a site that’s susceptible to hackers isn’t good for your online business. Rogue individuals can breach your network and use it to harvest confidential information of users to perpetrate fraud.

    Laravel offers a robust security apparatus that protects websites against common attacks like cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and cross-site request forgery (CSRF). It also provided safety-enhancing features like password hashing, route protection, and user authentication.

  2. Better performance

    Performance is a major consideration when building online marketplaces. Buyers want a fast, seamless experience when buying products; anything asides this becomes a turn-off.

    Thanks to its clean code, Laravel is lightweight, fast, and efficient. Compared to ready-made CMS, Laravel-based eCommerce sites have faster page speeds.

    Laravel supports cache backends like Memcached and Redis, giving developers more options for caching configuration. The Laravel framework also allows for speed optimization tactics like database indexing and memory use reduction.

  3. Seamless integration with third-party apps

    Every eCommerce store will have to integrate with third-party applications that provide services, e.g., payment systems. Laravel provides clean APIs that facilitate seamless integration with third-party web applications.

    Maybe you need to integrate payment gateways like PayPal, Braintree, or Stripe. Or, perhaps, you need a third-party service to monitor marketing and site analytics. No matter what third-party service you need to integrate with your site, Laravel has you covered.

  4. Scalability

    As explained earlier, scalability is important for eCommerce sites. Your eCommerce platform will need to add more features, products, and media as it grows. Ready-made CMS like WordPress often cannot encourage scalability and limit growth.

    On the other hand, the Laravel framework is great for scaling your website. Its clean code, OOP principles, and MVC architecture allows developers customize eCommerce sites to handle increased demand and traffic.

  5. Relatively quicker development

    Laravel is one of the easiest frameworks for building web applications, e.g., online shops. In fact, many developers prefer it to other web frameworks because it reduces time spent on website development.

To start with, Laravel features well-organized and easy-to-understand documentation. This makes the developer’s job easier, meaning you’ll get your eCommerce store faster.

Other features of the Laravel framework that promote faster development time include:

  • Object-relational mapping (Eloquent CRM)
  • Model View Controller (MVC) architecture
  • Command-line tool (Artisan)
  • Library manager (Composer)

Disadvantages of Using Laravel

Without doubt, Laravel has many benefits for enterprise eCommerce solutions. But you must know the cons of choosing Laravel for your online store so you know what you’re getting into. Here are the disadvantages of Laravel:

  1. Higher development costs

    Building an eCommerce site with Laravel requires considerable programming expertise. If you’re not a code geek, hiring a developer becomes necessary, which will increase your development costs.

  2. Limited SEO performance

    SEO is very important to eCommerce sites. A study shows that better search engine rankings increase sales and conversions by x.

    However, Laravel isn’t the best site builder for you if SEO is a major consideration. Unlike other eCommerce options, Laravel offers limited out-of-the-box features for improving SEO performance.

    Nonetheless, we must mention that the Laravel framework has packages that help eCommerce sites improve SEO, among other things. But these eCommerce packages aren’t free, unlike the open-source SEO plugins available with other eCommerce software.

  3. Longer development cycles

    Of all web frameworks, Laravel has one of the most efficient development cycles. But its development cycle is still longer than other ready-made eCommerce solutions like WooCommerce and Shopify.

    Using the Laravel framework means you have to build the site from scratch. This is not WooCommerce or Shopify where you can improve site functionality by installing a plugin.

    If you want your eCommerce store up and running in a short time, Laravel is not the best option.

  4. Steeper learning curve

    Learning how to run a Laravel-based eCommerce site can be quite challenging if you have no background in coding. It has numerous out-of-the-box features that you must learn how to use to run your site successfully.

    In comparison, eCommerce solutions like WooCommerce and Shopify are easier to learn. They require zero coding and provide plugins for easy expansion of site functionalities. That’s why they are more popular among beginners who have little technical expertise.

What You Must Consider Before Choosing Laravel

When building your eCommerce site, you have to evaluate many factors so you don’t make the wrong decision. Here are some things to consider before picking the Laravel framework for your eCommerce site:

  1. Skill level

    You must have some knowledge of PHP programming to build and manage a Laravel-powered site. If you have little to zero coding experience, it would be best if you considered other options.

  2. Budget

    As highlighted earlier, development costs for Laravel-based websites can be high. This won’t be a problem if you have a sizable budget to cover costs of website development.

    A small budget may leave plug-and-play solutions like WooCommerce or Shopify as your best options. You don’t have to pay a developer to help set up the site, reducing development costs.

  3. Business needs

    While Laravel is a great web development framework, not every eCommerce site will need it. In fact, Laravel is better for enterprise eCommerce companies. Smaller eCommerce outlets are better off using cheap and easy-to-use options like Wix or WooCommerce.

  4. Growth considerations

    This is obvious already; if you want to scale your site in future, Laravel is your best option. The question is: are you planning to scale?

    Small businesses who don’t plan on becoming enterprise-level stores offering thousands of products can make do with ready-made eCommerce software. But the future is unpredictable so it may be better to use Laravel in case you suddenly want a scalable site in future.

Frequently Asked Questions about Laravel

Is Laravel For Frontend or Backend?

As it uses PHP (a server-side programming language), Laravel is a backend development framework. You can use Laravel to create full-stack web applications that need a backend, including user accounts, exports, and order management.

Is Laravel a programming language?

Laravel is a framework that uses the PHP programming language. A framework is a toolkit for programming in any language. Meanwhile, the programming language is the actual grammar and syntax used for writing code.

What is Laravel good for?

With its development tools and advanced features, Laravel is great for rapidly building robust web applications. The clean and reusable code Laravel uses helps simplify the development process for web developers.

Conclusion

Laravel is the most popular web framework for building eCommerce stores for a reason. It allows developers to create enterprise-level eCommerce sites that are fast, secure, and scalable.

If you feel Laravel is the best bet for building your online business, then reach out to us at Daalder. We offer a comprehensive Laravel-based eCommerce solution that promises great ROI. Give us a call today!

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