WooCommerce vs. Laravel

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Being an e-commerce owner these days means deciding how you want to build your e-commerce platform. When the time to build comes, you can either choose a PHP framework like Laravel or a Content Management System like WooCommerce.

Choosing between Laravel and WooCommerce can be difficult, as both tools have their pros and cons. In this article, we go into details of the differences between both tools and evaluate the respective advantages of each.


What Is the Difference Between WooCommerce and Laravel?

There are many differences between WooCommerce and Laravel. But we’ll start with the obvious: Laravel is an open-source PHP framework while WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin.

Laravel is a ‘site builder’ used to create web applications, including e-commerce platforms, from scratch. In comparison, WooCommerce is merely a third-party integration within WordPress that makes it easy to sell products on your WordPress site.

With Laravel, you have to write code and build all features for your e-commerce platform one by one. WooCommerce comes installed with all the e-commerce functionalities, so no need to write code.

WooCommerce is offered by Automattic, the same company behind WordPress. It was developed by Mike Jolley and James Koster in 2011, who owned it until the Automattic acquisition.

A developer, Taylor Otwell, released the Laravel PHP framework in 2011 to make creating complex web applications easier. It incorporates elements of Symfony and uses a Model View Controller (MVC) architecture.

WooCommerce is, by a long margin, the most popular tool for building e-commerce sites. According to BuilitWith, around 30% of all online shops use the WooCommerce plugin.


Laravel vs WordPress For E-Commerce

The dominance of WordPress and WooCommerce in the e-commerce industry is undeniable. But Laravel has its loyalists who prefer a PHP framework over a ready-made CMS. Which is better for e-commerce activities — Laravel or WordPress? Let’s find out!

  • Installation and use
    In terms of installation and use, WordPress wins out against Laravel. Using the WordPress WooCommerce plugin, it’s incredibly easy to set up and run an e-commerce platform.
    WooCommerce is customizable, so you can modify it to suit your needs. You can sell products, control inventory, organize shipping, accept payments, and sort taxes automatically — without writing a line of code.
    Laravel, on the other hand, is quite complex to work with and may take some getting used to. You are building the site structure from scratch, something you don’t have to do with WooCommerce.
    Modifying a Laravel-based web application is also more difficult on average. Sure, it has built-in features, but you’ll still have to write code if you want to expand functionalities.
    In contrast, making changes to your WordPress-powered e-commerce platform is devoid of stress. There are thousands of plugins that you can install to expand your site’s functionalities.
  • Customization
    The WordPress WooCommerce plugin offers many opportunities for customization, as it is an open-source application. You can integrate other plugins or, if you want, rewrite the plugin code.
    However, the scale of customization will eventually prove limited — especially when you want to expand the site. That’s why WordPress is not the best option to build scalable e-commerce sites.
    Since you have the freedom to code from scratch, Laravel is much more customizable. As your e-commerce platform grows, you can modify the basic structure to accommodate the changes in scope.
    For those building small- to medium-sized online stores, WordPress is a great option. Anything approaching the scale of a large e-commerce site that thrives on scalability and intensive customization is better off with a Laravel-based framework.
  • Security
    Site safety is a big issue in the e-commerce industry. According to statistics, the online trading world suffers 32.4% of all successful threats annually. Common attacks against e-commerce platforms include credit card fraud, Denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, phishing, and malicious bots.
    Knowing that site safety is important, you have to build your website with a tool that promises greater security. In that case, opting for Laravel is the practical choice.
    This is not to say that WordPress is unsafe for e-commerce sites, but it has many vulnerabilities that hackers love to exploit. In 2018, WordPress-powered websites accounted for 90% of successful attacks against CMS platforms.
    Laravel is no fortress either, far from it, but it offers many security features that make hack attacks harder. Among these include password encryption, authentication and authorization, and route protection.
    Moreover, it has no use for plugins and themes — the biggest sources of vulnerabilities in WordPress. These third-party applications are useful for rogue elements who use them to breach e-commerce sites.
  • SEO performance
    The purpose of creating an e-commerce platform is to get people to buy your products. The best way for that to happen is for your site to show up in search results when people are looking to buy certain products available on your site.
    WordPress offers better SEO performance than other site-building tools like Laravel. With plugins like Yoast SEO and RankMath, it’s easy to tweak SEO settings to boost rankings for your WordPress-powered online store.
    Laravel has no dedicated tool for boosting SEO performance. You can still have proper SEO for your Laravel-based site, but you’ll have to expend enormous energy and time in the process.
  • Page speed
    Page speed is extremely important for e-commerce websites. While it increases SEO performance, better load speed enhances user experience (UX).
    In online sales, UX is king — an analysis by Skilled shows that 79% of customers ‘dissatisfied’ with web performance, i.e., page speed, are less likely to buy again. Another study by Crazyegg found that boosting page speed by just one second increased sales conversions by 7%.
    Because it requires no add-ons, the Laravel framework is lighter and promotes better performance. WordPress, on its own, uses extras like themes and plugins, which eventually slow down operation.


CodeIgniter vs Laravel vs WordPress

At this point, you probably understand Laravel and WordPress, including their respective upsides and downsides. But you likely know little about CodeIgniter.

CodeIgniter is similar to Laravel, meaning it’s a full PHP web framework that uses Model View Controller (MVC) architecture. Like Laravel and WordPress, it can be adapted to build web applications for e-commerce purposes.

A three-way comparison between Laravel, WordPress, and CodeIgniter would have to take into account the unique qualities of each. Then you can easily see what works best for you out of the three.

To start with, WordPress is the easiest to use among the three frameworks. It doesn’t require coding like the other two, making it the best for those with no programming experience.

While it requires coding, CodeIgniter has a lower learning curve compared to Laravel. Laravel remains the most difficult, advisable only for expert web developers.

However, Laravel wins the battle for scalability; it offers more opportunities for further customization than CodeIgniter and WordPress. CodeIgniter lacks support for modular code separation, making updates difficult.

Even at that, it is more customizable than the average WordPress platform. Unlike CodeIgniter or Laravel, WordPress doesn’t allow you to write code to change site behaviour; you can only use plugins. This severely limits the changes you can make to your e-commerce site.

In terms of site security, Laravel is the winner — again. Laravel offers strong authentication and authorization features that safeguard against malicious attacks.

CodeIgniter doesn’t have the built-in authentication and authorization features of Laravel. However, it has other safety features like XSS filtering, CSRF protection, register-globals, and URI security measures.

WordPress is the least safe web development tool in this group, mostly due to the plugins and themes that it utilises for greater functionality. Hackers can use rogue plugins and themes to attack sites that download them.

WordPress is, however, better for SEO, compared to either Laravel or CodeIgniter. It offers out-of-the-box features for increasing SEO performance, something that’s absent on Laravel and CodeIgniter.

Overall, Laravel is the best framework in this group, with CodeIgniter and WordPress coming in second and third places. But, what you choose will depend on your needs.


Laravel vs Django

Both Laravel and Django are web development frameworks for developing complex websites and web applications. Offered by Django Software Foundation, Django is built with Python and uses Model View Template (MVT) architecture. In contrast, Laravel is built with PHP and uses a Model View Controller (MVC) architecture.

For starters, Django has a more secure framework compared to Laravel. Sure, Laravel has safety features of its own, but it cannot match Django’s security architecture. Django lets developers handle site safety issues like clickjacking, cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, and SQL injection.

Moreover, Django has better speed than Laravel. In a 2018 JSON serialisation test, Django returned 69k JSON responses per second while Laravel only returned 8k JSON responses per second.

Laravel wins in the code segment, with its code described as “intuitive” by programmers. In comparison, Django has a complex-looking code that’s harder to work with.

Laravel also offers RESTful API capability that allows you to build client-rich applications easily. Django lacks this feature, so you’ll have to use a library to implement API functionality.

If you have enjoyed reading this blog, don’t hesitate to share it across your social channels. Also, remember to contact us for your Laravel e-commerce solutions!

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