E-Commerce: Top Practical Uses of PHP, part-1

by Prashant Kumar Sharma

E-Commerce

E-commerce is one of the major uses for PHP. From a small business level to an enterprise level, businesses are always looking to create additional streams of revenue online. If you know how to integrate existing e-commerce solutions or build your own from scratch, this gives you a distinct advantage with your clients.

Beginners

If you are new to PHP, or you just know some basic PHP programming, I would suggest using an existing e-commerce solution. Some of the available options are:

While I understand that each of these solutions has its own quirks, it might be easier to spend a few days with the documentation or a tutorial than to learn PHP from the ground up. It really depends on how much time you are willing to invest in tackling e-commerce.

Advanced Coders

If you want to build your own shopping cart application, you can either code the entire application from scratch or implement a PHP framework. If you are an intermediate to advanced PHP coder, I personally recommend using a framework such as CodeIgniter or CakePHP. CakePHP has a bakery section with readily available source code for e-commerce applications. For instance, you can integrate Paypal with your site using ready-made scripts. CodeIgniter has a user guide and a few tutorials to get you up and running quickly. Both of these frameworks have extensive documentation on how to create web applications from the ground up; which one you use is really a matter of personal preference.

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