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magento & ecommerce

Laravel vs. Magento: The Best Framework for Online Marketplace

Creating an online marketplace comes with plenty of challenges. Luckily, numerous content management systems and PHP frameworks ease up the development process. Two of the most popular solutions for creating user-friendly online shops include Laravel and Magento.

But what makes them popular, and, more importantly, how can they benefit your business? If these questions resonate with you, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll compare the two options and provide you with enough information so you can choose which one is best for you.

What Does a Framework for Online Marketplaces Offer?

First, let’s explain what a framework is and how it can help you in online marketplace development. Developing a marketplace requires coding, designing, testing, and it can be a challenging task, especially for beginners. Frameworks help entrepreneurs by providing them with a base for their e-commerce website. This means users have pre-made solutions at their disposal to customize their website according to their needs.

Basically, with a framework, you get a streamlined way to creating applications and websites. All necessary codes and data are already included, making your job much easier. So, the million-dollar question often literally becomes, “Which e-commerce framework is the best?” As you can guess, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing the best framework for your business. It all comes down to finding the one that suits your budget and needs best.

Introducing Magento

Magento is a popular e-commerce platform framework for small, medium, and large-scale retailers. It was released in 2008 and works as an open-source Content Management System (CMS), operating on more than 100,000 websites. Most e-commerce business owners are familiar with this system.

Magento is a PHP platform written in PHP, meaning it serves to create PHP web applications. Magento uses Symphony and Laminas, two of the most popular open-source PHP frameworks. Much like other popular solutions, Magento offers code libraries for popular functions. Thanks to these in-built tools and libraries, it takes less time to develop an application.

There are three Magento editions:

  • Magento 2 Community Edition (free)
  • Magento 2 Enterprise Edition (charged)
  • Magento Commerce Cloud (charged)

Popular brands using Magento include Nike, Ford, Liverpool, Nestle Nespresso, Landrover, Joel & Son, Cox & Cox, Warby Parker, and more.

Magento Pros

  • Flexible
  • Unique features
  • Big community
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Scalable

Magento Cons

  • Expensive
  • Slower loading time
  • Complex coding
  • Requires hosting

Introducing Laravel

Laravel has quickly grown to become one of the leading PHP frameworks for developers worldwide. Compared to Magento, it’s a relatively new framework, but it has even managed to surpass it in terms of searches in many regions. People like Laravel mainly because of its scalability, easy maintenance, universal acceptance, and code simplicity. Laravel follows the model-view-controller (MVC) design pattern, dividing the UI, data, and application logic into different objects. By doing so, it turns the complex application development tasks into a more manageable process.

Much like Magento, Laravel is an open-source PHP platform. However, there is a slight difference. Magento is owned by eBay, while Laravel is an independent platform.

Famous brands and companies using Laravel include Pfizer, 9GAG, BBC, Ratio, TourRadar, PedidosYa, and others.

Laravel Pros

  • Latest PHP features
  • Fast development cycle
  • Easy to learn
  • MVC structure
  • Plenty of packages and resources
  • Great ORM

Laravel Cons

  • Small community
  • No inbuilt support
  • Heavy documentation

Laravel vs. Magento Battle

We’ll compare the two frameworks in terms of technology, cost-effectiveness, support, SEO-friendliness, developers, security, code complexity, extensions, and libraries.

Laravel vs. Magento Battle

Technology

At the time of launching, Magento was undoubtedly the best e-commerce framework solution. Today, Laravel has an advantage in terms of relevancy to the new technology. It has all the latest features a business could need to create a stunning online marketplace. Plus, it allows all that on a much more user-friendly UI.

Cost-Effectiveness

Development and maintenance cost is a critical factor to consider when investing in an e-commerce framework. For both platforms, the pricing mostly depends on the level of customization. But overall, Laravel has a less expensive payment structure.

Laravel e-commerce works as a one-time purchase deal, which many people find more convenient. You get to customize your shop without worrying about ongoing monthly payments. Their pricing plans start from $499 for the basic version that offers three-month free technical support, payment gateways, product filters, etc.

Magento has three pricing plans for different business sizes. For example, the Magento Community Edition provides users with essential functions to set up their online marketplace both for mobile and website. For more prominent marketplaces, there is an Enterprise Edition and Commerce Cloud option.

Support

Due to its reputation and long history, Magento has been used by many programmers and companies as a reliable e-commerce development tool. This means there’s a large community and forum selection compared to rather restricted support and the community at Laravel. When a new Magento developer has an issue, they’ll most likely be able to find help at any stage of the development process. Laravel, on the other hand, is a newer platform with fewer contributors.

SEO-Friendliness

Both Magento and Laravel come with plenty of tools for SEO. Basic Magento 2 aspects include SEO-friendly product URLs, meta tags for products, Home Page and category pages, image optimization, canonical tags, site indexing control (robots, XML, HTML sitemap), and additional Google Analytics support.

Laravel has plenty of SEO packages with virtually any SEO feature. It is overall more adaptive and responsive for SEO-friendly marketplace creation than Magento. Both platforms accept popular SEO plugins such as Yoast SEO. At the same time, Laravel has a special Laravel Meta Manager package for adding meta tags and artesaos/seotools as the most popular SEO plugin.

Developers

Developers are essential for PHP framework solutions because they make the system alive. Due to the age factor, Magento currently has a more significant number of developers. Laravel is still in its evolving phase, but its customers have found a turnaround. Companies will hire Magento or other PHP framework developers and train them in Laravel, boosting the demand for experienced Laravel devs but also paying them more.

Many retailers choose Magento over Laravel because they believe the development costs are too high. If we compare the total cost of purchasing a ready-to-use online marketplace, the customization expenses, and the total cost of the Laravel framework and the plugins, then Laravel is a more cost-effective option in the long term.

Security

The main downside of both platforms is that they are susceptible to hacker attacks. The fact that they are open source makes their security questionable. Prevalent online framework threats include injection or sending untrusted data to an interpreter, executing unintended commands, broken authentication, sensitive data exposure, broken access control, and more. Many site victims find that their website pages redirect to other malicious websites.

Both platforms have ways of protecting the system from these threats, but still, hacking is quite common.

Code Complexity

Magento is the older platform between the two, meaning it has undergone plenty of updates. Little by little that has led to increasing the code complexity. However, the platform still has many useful options for building robust e-commerce applications. The main downside of its code system is that it tends to get sluggish and difficult to read, troubleshoot, and debug. If another person has written the code, it may be hard for you to read through it and fix the problems.

Laravel, on the other hand, uses the MVC architecture, making coding much more convenient. As a Laravel developer, you can understand other developers’ codes effortlessly. Laravel doesn’t rely on traditional SQL scripting but uses PHP-based Object Relational Mapping (ORM) coding. This mapping system converts data between incompatible type systems, making it easier to work with databases.

In terms of simplicity and code maintenance, Laravel certainly takes the lead.

Code Complexity

Extensions

Magento has a huge marketplace with almost 4,000 extensions and integrations. Each extension offers additional features to the default setting. Plus, plenty of modules are available outside of the marketplace, sponsored by third parties.

Laravel, on the other hand, has a limited number of extensions. They have some third-party integrations available, but not nearly as much as Magento. However, this is not necessarily a limitation. Laravel has a rich ecosystem with plenty of integrations and products, including:

  • Vapor – serverless platform
  • Forge – server management
  • Nova – administration panel
  • Lumen – micro-framework
  • Dusk – browser testing and automation
  • Etc.

Libraries

Laravel and Magento have a great collection of presets and templates in their libraries. However, Laravel makes it a bit easier to customize them, while Magento only allows limited changes of presets.

Which Framework for Online Marketplace Is Better?

Ultimately, the best framework for your online marketplace depends on your business size and needs. Here are the overall highlights of each platform to help you narrow down your choice.

Why Choose Laravel?

Laravel has a straightforward coding style, MVC architecture, and ORM-based data, making it more suitable for small- and mid-size businesses and those that require less technical skills. Due to its simple payment system, it’s also more cost-effective in the long term.

Why Choose Magento?

Magento has a huge supporting community, plenty of developers, great premium features, and it’s primarily suitable for medium- to large-scale businesses. If you have a marketplace with a large inventory, a big budget, and require advanced tech skills, Magento may be a better option.

Made Your Choice Yet?

Let’s be honest here – perfect software doesn’t exist, and neither does an ideal framework. Otherwise, everyone would use it. Both Magento and Laravel are dominant frameworks in the PHP ecosystem due to their outstanding features that allow the creation of user-friendly web applications.

The sooner you understand what your business needs, the faster you’ll be able to choose the framework that fits those patterns. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand how Laravel and Magento work and what you can get from each.

By interactivated • on January 10, 2022

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