eCommerce has evolved significantly over the past decade and is expected to surpass a $2 trillion annual haul by the end of 2017, according to IBM.
There are a lot of Content Management Systems (CMS), hosted solutions, and plugins freely available for you to set up your online retail presence. But in the end, it will all come down to your own skills, expertise, and to some degree the type of solution and the number of transactions you’re hoping to process.
If you don’t have any coding skills and you want to operate a relatively small online store, WordPress, WooCommerce, and hosted Shopify are great options. Also, Magento is the best platform for those who want more freedom to customize how the store looks.
With these (almost) turn key solutions, you won’t have to write a single line of code. There are also more than enough free tutorials and forums to support the build.
But if you’re a business that has enough resources to hire an experienced developer, you have to choose the appropriate programming languages for your eCommerce development project.
Each coding language will have its own strengths and weaknesses, so the choice will ultimately come down to the project’s requirements and the programming expertise that’s available to you.
Here are some programming languages and technologies that are best suited for building a highly attractive eCommerce solution.
Java is a popular object oriented class-based programming language that’s used to build eCommerce websites. It also comes equipped with robust tools to make developers more productive.
Because your online store will be built with Java, a highly versatile language, it will work well on all types of browsers. Java is also powerful when it comes to debugging and that will be critical for online businesses in the real world.
Furthermore, the Integrated Development Environment makes the whole development process efficient, seamless, and fast.
Because a lot of senior coders are using it and there’s a huge community supporting it, there’s much less chance of vendor lock in.
It’s also a popular component in software stacks like MEAN (and we’ll get to that in a bit). The popularity of this programming language can be attributed to its dynamic capabilities and because it works really well with CSS and HTML.
For eCommerce development, I would say that PHP is probably the most widely adopted programming language. It’s a highly scalable, functional, and object oriented language.
However, the coding style is different, so it might take a while for you to get used to it. A great example of a major eCommerce platform built with PHP is Magento.
HTML is the dinosaur that’s been in the game prior to even the days for DreamWeaver and FrontPage. In fact, most web development tools allow you to build HTML-based websites.
HTML is a great option to check out, adapt, and format the appearance of just about any element of a web page. This can be anything like headers, text, images, links, or even the layout of the whole page.
Python is another popular programming language that is highly efficient with enhanced readability. As a result, a lot of developers tend to favor this option.
This programming language is easy to learn and it turns complicated development into a walk in the park.
CSS is a popular choice among developers who are focused on building web pages that are visually driven. It’s a powerful style sheet language that’s used to manage the look and feel of content developed with HTML.
The key benefit of building your eCommerce platform with CSS is faster page loads and enhanced performance. This is because the browser will only download the rules once. After that, it’s just cashed and used for each new page load in the future.
- App code
- Client side code
- Database code
Its popularity has grown immensely over the last few years, so much so that tech giants like Google, PayPal, and Uber are all using it.
7. Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails is a popular option to get your eCommerce website up and running quickly. Ruby is very flexible and a highly efficient solution for building complicated online stores and websites.
While the performance may not be as good as some of the other options on this list, if you want a heavily customized online store that can handle heavy traffic, Ruby on Rails is the perfect solution.
While you can use all of these technologies to build your eCommerce website, the better approach is to select a combination of languages that will complement what you’re trying to do. This is because programming languages used in both front-end and back-end development serve different purposes.
To gain some insights into what technologies were used to build your favorite websites, check out BuiltWith.