We have been weighing out the different open source cart solutions to determine which is the best choice to recommend to our existing and future clients.
PHP was a requirement, but we did consider Shopify as an alternative. Unfortunately for Shopify, transaction fees were too high when a site is generating enough traffic and sales.
We opted in for solutions we could host ourselves. We narrowed our choices to this...
- OpenCart 2
- Magento 2
Whilst we develop and support all the above, we found that Magento 2 was the better choice for development.
The Magento platform, built upon Zend Framework, is the only option above that has adapted to modern day standards. Yes, we believe in PSR compliant coding standards! As legacy PHP coders, we feel the only way for the PHP language to progress is to move forward, enforce some standards on how we should be coding and stop letting B grade developers submit terrible PHP solutions online - it makes the entire language look bad and results with the community seeing PHP as a joke.
WooCommerce, built upon Wordpress, the world leading CMS blogging platform. This solution is actually quite nice and well done in terms of quality against other plugins available on Wordpress... however it's still Wordpress. Wordpress does not define or enforce any standards or measures of quality when it comes to submitting code on their platform. Also, Wordpress is still a blogging platform first, we'd like a solution that is built to be a shopping cart first. Wordpress is not an enterprise grade solution. It's very sad to see that Wordpress maintains its lead. It sets a poor example of success for PHP developers. It will (and already does) falsely lead developers to the belief that this is an acceptable way to code.
OpenCart 2, built on its own platform. When it was released, we had hoped the plugin and extension system would be better... but it's still poor. VCMod has become OCMod... there shouldn't be a need to do this kind of modification to code. It's a nice solution in terms of the functionality, but developing for it is painful. The market place lacks useful free plugins. The only decent plugins can become quite costly.
Magento 2 is a large, enterprise ready solution that is PHP 7 compatible, PSR compliant, utilises modern tools such as Composer and Grunt, well recognised, has great community support, the list continues. The biggest downfall is the size... it's a very resource hungry solution in comparison to OpenCart 2 for example, which is lightweight. However, over Magento V1, it has made many improvements and continues to maintain its lead over competing products.
We're using Magento 2 - we recommend you do too.