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PHP – Hypertext Preprocessor is a scripting language used in the server-side for web design and development. It is a powerful tool to design dynamic and intuitive web pages. It is being used all over the globe.

PHP has a lot of features and benefits for the developers that help them design or develop more and more options and features for the consumers. E-commerce, as we all know, is exponentially growing with no limit. There are many platforms that support e-commerce for PHP.

Today, we will check some of the best E-Commerce platforms for PHP along with its important features. Best platforms can be evaluated via a few pointers.

Some of these important pointers are:

  • Product Catalog
  • Scalability
  • Business User Control
  • Report and Analysis
  • Search
  • Performance
  • Integration
  • Interoperability
  • Synergy
  • Payment Gateway Integration

With these factors in mind, we will find some of the best e-commerce platforms for PHP.

Magento

Magento is well-known for its feature set. The wide range of features with unlimited plugins and add-on capabilities is sufficient to make it one of the best platforms for PHP. Let’s get to know more about it to help you understand its features and benefits.

Magento comes in two versions: Open source and Commerce. Magento Open Source was earlier known as a community edition.

Magento has impressive capabilities and it is certainly not recommended for amateurs. You would need to partner yourself with a certified Magento user in order to maintain your platform or else it will be difficult for you.

Even with these restrictions of veteran programmers or users who can effectively use Magento, it has won 3 awards over the years: #1 Platform Internet Retailer Top 1000 (2015), #1 Platform Internet Retailer B2B 300 (2015) and #1 Platform Internet Retailer Europe 500 (2016).

This platform is usually web-hosted or licensed. It is scalable in many factors like the size of your business or the types of devices your websites need to access and more.

Pros:

  • Free to Download
  • Highly Customizable
  • Strong User Community
  • Scalable
  • Excellent Feature Set

Cons:

  • Need for Developers
  • Steep Learning Curve
  • No Customer Support

OpenCart

OpenCart is an open-source shopping cart which is free to download and use. You can even upgrade to the latest version using this open-source platform. The platform alone isn’t going to help you build a unique website via PHP but it can be made unique via add-ons and plug-ins.

OpenCart has a huge number of diverse developers who develop more and more extensions that are added to the present 13000.

OpenCart alone isn’t good enough as I informed you earlier but, it still makes it to the list of the best due to its impressive features to support add-ons and PHP. When you decide to use OpenCart for your e-commerce business, be ready to purchase lots of add-ons.

Some are free yet some have to be purchased. There are two types of installations here: Cloud-Based or Locally-Installed. It needs PHP 5.4, web server, curl enabled and a database.

OpenCart provides a Demo Version that helps you understand how it works. You need not download the actual file to check it out.

Pros:

  • Free to Download, use, and upgrade
  • Well designed UI
  • Highly Customizable
  • Numerous Integrations

Cons:

  • The need for developer skills
  • Limited Customer Support
  • Add-ons often necessary

PrestaShop

Another open-source shopping cart solution developed with PHP, PrestaShop is free to download and use. If you have sufficient technical knowledge, you should be able to buy a few useful modules, web hosting and more.

If you are not so technically good, a web developer would be a better option for you. The modules you purchase is used to integrate different types of software programs required for your site.

The demo version of the platform provides enough information to know how it works and what are the things that you would need to purchase for your site. Some of the hardware requirements for this platform are PHP 5.4+, Apache 1.3 or Apache 2.x, MySQL 5.0+ with a created database.

As we talked earlier, there is an only demo available since PrestaShop doesn’t offer any trial period for their platform once you download the file. Whatever is needed to be checked or verified, the demo version is the best option to do so.

Pros:

  • Free to download
  • Highly customizable
  • Numerous integrations
  • Impressive support tools
  • Excellent user community

Cons:

  • Expensive customer support
  • Developer skills are much needed
  • Limited integration with hosted version o the platform

Shopify

Shopify is an excellent platform that assists you to build your own e-commerce store. This platform makes it to this list due to various features, diversified tools, and options it provides.

Shopify is a hosted platform; so, there is no hassle of buying web hosting as such. Since it is a hosted platform, you need not worry about anything as everything is available for you right there; you just need to look for it and embed the add-ons or plug-ins to your online store.

Even software programs can be bought and installed with ease. Shopify has a huge user database due to the pricing being as minimum as $9 per month with limited options or capabilities.

Another thing to notice would be the security that Shopify offers. They have a built-in security feature that is unique and makes the users more comfortable with an extra layer of security.

Pros:

  • Quick and effective loading
  • Excellent UI design
  • Add-ons and PHP compatible
  • Security

Cons:

  • Shopify starts from $9 with barely any features and it becomes expensive after that
  • Coding done is unique and not every developer would be able to assist you when are in need of assistance

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a WordPress oriented platform for e-commerce which is compatible with PHP as well. WooCommerce is an open-source shopping cart that is compatible on all WordPress sites.

It is free to download but not free to use since there are a few things that you would need to purchase. You would need to purchase a web hosting and a few extensions needed for your online store to run advanced features.

WooCommerce is quite popular for another reason, that is, it has the capability to integrate into the platform that you are currently working on. It can either be web-hosted or licensed based on your decision.

Some of the things you would require to run WooCommerce without any hassle are PHP 7.0 +, MySQL 5.6 +, WP Memory limit of 128MB or higher and HTTPS support.

This platform is useful for veteran e-commerce merchants since it is compatible with almost every platform that you are working on or have worked on.

Pros:

  • Free to download
  • Customizable
  • Numerous Integrations
  • Scalable

Cons:

  • Limited Customer Support
  • Add-ons often necessary and need to be bought
  • Steep Learning Curve

Final Thoughts

When it comes to e-commerce platforms, there are a lot more that could have made to this list. However, these 5 are people’s choice.

Based on their reviews and the pros-cons of the product, we have selected these products. Hope these e-commerce platforms turn out to be helpful to all the e-commerce entrepreneurs out there!

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