Why Do We Need an E-Commerce Website?
Today we have a lot of stores selling their items online. In the current scenario of work from home and social distancing, sales from e-commerce platforms like Amazon, E-bay, Target, and others have increased, and it is growing day by day. Even small to medium-size stores are having their E-commerce websites built for getting more orders from customers who can’t reach their stores in person. For these stores, they can’t afford to have an infrastructure like Amazon, so they use e-commerce platforms available which can create your e-commerce website in almost no time.
What are our options in E-Commerce for a start?
So you may be curious about the technologies behind all of these e-commerce websites and how to build an eCommerce website. If we take an example of Amazon, it has a team (A big one) for its application development and maintenance, that’s why they are up and running 24*7 in all parts of the world. The basics of building an e-commerce website are the same everywhere, but handling scale requires very capable servers which requires a lot of money.
Now, Amazon is Amazon, so let us see another idea to create our e-commerce website. Isn’t there a platform where I can go and put my products, everything is set, and I can start selling? Yes, there is, and it is called an e-commerce platform. So how does an e-commerce platform work?
E-Commerce Platforms and When to use them
Remember? I have told you above; the basic idea is the same; you are providing an online shop to the customer. So, these e-commerce platforms provide any shopkeeper with already built e-commerce websites (in some cases, apps as well) over which stores can upload their products, payment gateways, and go ahead with their business. Following are some of the best e-commerce platforms being used these days.
Benefits of Using an E-commerce Platform:
With these e-commerce platforms you get many benefits and dome of them are:
- An already built infrastructure that can scale
- Better tools for managing your site
- Least technical work to be up and running
What are the Limitations? Then?
The question is, why do all these programming languages and databases I am studying when these are already available? I wanted to create e-commerce, and it seems everything is already done.
It may seem like you can do everything with these platforms, but this is not the case. These platforms are built with a flow in mind, and they obviously are configurable, and in some of them you can do some programming as well to suit your needs, create custom plugins, etc., but they will have some issues.
- The source code is not yours.
- There is already some boilerplate code that may prove cryptic to many experienced developers and well.
- Writing custom code and attaching it to an already built platform may or may not go well together
You can understand the whole scenario with only one example. Take a set of Lego-toys. Suppose you have a set of 50 of them and you can build multiple models of cars with them. All goes well until you need a completely new Lego which you can think of, but that is not available in the set. See what happened here? Your thinking now goes beyond that Lego-set. Now you will need to learn about how to create a new one according to your needs.
In the same way, until your business surpasses the limits of already built and customizable e-commerce platforms, you can go with them. Now if you need the control of every bit of your e-commerce website in your hand, well, you need to go with custom development, and that is where these programming languages come into play, and we need to learn about creating an e-commerce website.
Creating an E-Commerce Website:
For starting the development of an E-commerce website, you will need the following:
- Database (where all the data resides like MySQL)
- Programming language (PHP 8.0 is the latest stable version )
Check the latest features in PHP8.0 below:
- Constructor Property Promotion
- Validation for Abstract Trait Methods
- Incompatible Method Signatures
- Arrays Starting With a Negative Index
- Union Types 2.0
- Consistent Type Errors for Internal Functions
- throw Expression
- Weak Maps
- Trailing Comma in Parameter List
- Allow:: class syntax on objects
- Attributes v2
- Named Arguments
- Nullsafe Operator
- Saner String to Number Comparisons
- Saner Numeric Strings
- Match Expression v2
- Stricter Type Checks for Arithmetic/Bitwise Operators
3.Code Editor (Visual Studio Code Editor, Notepad++ or sublime text)
4.Server (AWS, GoDaddy, Hostinger, etc)
5.E-commerce Website Design
Whenever you start writing any application (not just e-commerce), you should think about how to correctly store your data. A proper database structure is very necessary for any e-commerce website. Without it, the code you write will keep giving you issues.
We will use My SQL as a database. My SQL is a free and open-source database that doesn’t need any licencing so we can use it without worrying about the cost. Following are the benefits of using a My SQL database:
⦁ It is simple to set up and use
⦁ It is recognised as one of the fastest database engines
⦁ Most Linux (and many Windows-based) web hosts offer MySQL
⦁ MySQL is closely integrated with PHP, which makes it an ideal candidate for many web applications.
2. Programming Language (PHP 8.0):
PHP(Hypertext Pre Processor) is the language we are going to use because it is free to open source and goes hand in hand with SQL servers.
3. Code Editor:
We will need to write the code somewhere. There are a number of editors that are out there. You can choose any of them, the most commonly used are Visual Studio Code, Notepad++, Sublime Text.
PHP requires an apache server to run and just like our language and database; this is also a free server and open source.
5. E-commerce Website Design:
Our e-commerce site should have a design. You can download many free E-commerce designs in HTML from freecss.com. They are free to use.
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Q1. What are the requirements for an eCommerce website?
The basic requirements for an e-commerce website include quality customer support, high speed, well uptime and scalability. After that, a decent web hosting provider offering all those features should be chosen wisely. Your website is ready to be launched now!
Q3. Can we create eCommerce website using PHP?
Yes, we can create an e-commerce website using PHP as it has become the optimum choice for building many websites, either static or dynamic.
Q4. How do I build an eCommerce website?
Steps to build your own e-commerce website:
1. Choose a name for your website and get your domain.
2. Choose your ecommerce platform such as BigCommerce, Shopify etc
3. Pick your website builder like Wix, Weebly etc.
4. Plan accordingly and create your website.
5. Create logo and brand imageries.
6.Construct data and set up the marketing tools.
7. Your website is ready to be tested.
8. Launch your website.
Q5. Can I learn PHP by myself?
Yes, there are several resources like PHP Manual, Learn PHP, Code Course etc. Especially there are a number of books from Oreilly from where you can learn PHP coding easily.