Laravel e-commerce from scratch? Ain't nobody got time for that.

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August 3rd, 2018, posted in #coolstuff
by Diana, Paul

1 domain, 20+ countries, 8 languages, hundreds of products, hefty customization to be made. Sounds like fun, right? This is an e-commerce project requested by one of our clients. 

 

I’m a full-time developer at UPDIVISION, a company that builds mobile and web apps. Among the multitude of projects we typically get our hands on, 1 in 7 is a complex e-commerce platform. And when I say complex, I mean thousands of products, sophisticated queries, advanced search, hundreds of promotion possibilities and heavy traffic from 20+ countries. That level of complex. 

 

This story is about our decision to ditch e-commerce CMSs such us Magento or Prestashop and instead do it all from scratch on Laravel. And so eStarter was born – because no developer should start a Laravel ecommerce project from scratch. Ain`t nobody got time for that. 

 

Every cool project starts with a pain. Our pain was called PrestaShop. 

Three years ago, an international beauty retailer needed a new e-commerce platform to sell its products to a growing base of online shoppers. We were the company selected to build the platform. And of course the deadline was yesterday. We made a quick analysis and we chose PrestaShop to speed up development. Boy, we were wrong! 

We managed to build a solid e-commerce Prestashop platform in the end. But because of the high level of customization needed, it would have been more time and cost effective to do it from scratch in Laravel. Not to mention that maintenance and new “creative” features would have been much easier and faster to implement.


Enter the scene: Magento

We understood the limits of Magento when one of our USA clients that had a huge Magento shop selling parts for automobile and industrial machines asked for our help. He wanted us to build a Laravel app in order to match each spare part with potential replacements and feed everything into the Magento store. And we are talking about millions of combinations. 
 

Who said an obsession is a bad thing?

So little by little we got obsessed by doing an e-commerce on Laravel. I’ve personally ransacked the Internet for an elegant and simple Laravel-based solution that supported multiple storefronts and complex products. 

I found nothing worth taking seriously.

So, together with two of my colleagues, we’ve started to develop our own Laravel e-commerce framework. Crazy idea, I know, because every developer knows it takes hundreds of hours of development and testing to launch even an alpha version. Yet, we’ve persevered and, one year later, launched eStarter into the world. 

eStarter is a Laravel installation with a functional shop backend and a do-it-yourself frontend. It's a framework that works as a solid foundation for any medium-to-large e-commerce project, giving you the codebase, as well as the freedom to expand site functionalities as needed.  

 eStarter includes all the basics:

♦ Atributes and sets of attributes

♦ Currencies

♦ Carriers

♦ Taxes for products and specific prices

♦ Order statuses and email notifications for users

♦ Multiple product images in one go, using dropzone

♦ Product groups

♦ Product clones

♦ Clients

♦ Cart rules

♦ Users with different roles & permissions

 

Check out our Github page for more information on eStarter and how to start using it right away! 

That’s right, we’ve made it open-source, so anyone can play with it, the Laravel way.

Explore open source with your peers
In a few words, eStarter is:
Open-source. You are not tied to other closed platforms. 
Fast. Deployment time is reduced.
Highly customizable. Lets your project grow over time, as it is easily scalable. 
Secure. eStarter inherits the security stance of Laravel. It has its own authentication mechanism, strong 256-AES encryption, binding parameters to fight off SQL injection, cross-site request forging and XSS protection.

 

It also comes with excellent code quality, as it’s based on our well-tested Backpack, a collection of packages for Laravel 5.2, 5.3, 5.4 and 5.5. You can use BackPack to build custom admin panels fast, for various projects such as presentation websites or complex web applications. Don’t worry about bugs or vulnerabilities, over 6,000 developers use and test it monthly to successfully build ERPs, CRMs, e-learning and e-commerce sites.

 

Best part? It’s FREE  for non-commercial use! But if you cash in, every commercial project will cost you $49, the value of a Backpack license.

So, give it a go, we really appreciate feedback and any code contributions. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Happy coding!

 


About the author

Paul

I am a self-taught full-stack developer. I like to take things apart and understand how they work. And then do my own improved version. This is true not only about code, but also about hardware and cars. I stay curious and I’m always hungry for the next challenge.

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