One of the goals we’ve always had as an organization is to remain agile. Agility in technology is, to us, the most important characteristic to keep at the foundation of an organization. In the mid 2000’s we saw many development agencies go out of business because of their inability to adapt their organizations to open source and support PHP based frameworks and platforms. In the mid to late 2000’s, we saw many web development firms go out of business as a result of not being able to integrate analytics and metrics with strategy into their projects. In the late 2000’s, we saw may Ad Agencies go out of business because they just didn’t want to adapt and learn digital. We feel there is a similar shift happening in the ecommerce industry currently. It’s a trend that most people know as truth deep down inside, but won’t admit it until the data and facts overtake their inability to see change coming. The fact is, for technology, times are always changing and it’s our role as an agency to address the changing times and make strategic decisions to stay in front of them. We feel there is a fundamental change coming in the middle market ecommerce space. The change will see more platforms emerging with non-PHP frameworks such as Ruby on Rails or ASP.net. What are the changing currents causing the change and what do we see shifting? We’ve outlined this below, but to summarize the end of this post, in 2015 Commerce Acceleration Group’s ecommerce platform of choice will be Spree Commerce. Here is why…
Why Does PHP Currently Dominate the Ecommerce World?
The short answer is open source. PHP is an easy language to learn and because of the quick development of early adopting communities like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla, PHP became the foundation for many new software platforms because of the existing ecosystem of human capital (developers) that knew the basics.
Why is PHP Not the Future of Ecommerce?
PHP in general is not the most effective programming language for the future of commerce. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going away any time soon. The ecosystem of platforms and technology leveraging PHP is too large for this to happen. In our opinion, it will be displaced over time. PHP is resource heavy compared to Ruby on Rails and some other languages, sometimes taking up to 10 times more code to accomplish the same functionality. Most PHP software requires larger hosting and IT infrastructure to run than comparable software on Ruby or other languages. With the increasing dominance of mobile usability, site speed and performance becoming an absolute necessity, the costs of operation to ensure optimal performance are less from a server perspective with Non-PHP technologies as a site scales.
Why is Ruby on Rails Now Viable?
Ruby has always been viable, but the big concern in the market is the availability of talent. Because the market demand for developers, has been greater than the existence of quality developers the cost for development has been higher. We are starting to see this shift now. Ruby is now gaining more traction internationally, which is allowing for the offshoring of code. This allows companies to build hybrid US and offshore development teams to reduce overall development costs. This trend will continue to drive down the cost of development for Ruby moving forward. Also, in our opinion, the Ruby community has the most traction for growth. It doesn’t have the largest community, but it has a lot of strong growth, which will start to drive the existing open source projects more.
Why Spree Commerce
To us, we look for platforms that meet the changing business climates of our customers. We look for speed to market, speed of platform, ease of use, stability and scale and we also look at the ability to integrate a platform with third parties. From our initial analysis we are finding that Spree excels in all of these areas. While Magento and other ecommerce platforms may have a large library or third party plugins and extensions, we find Spree makes up for the lack of maturity with the overall intuitive ease of use with the platform.
We will continue to update our progress with new projects throughout 2015 and share our additions to the Spree Community. We have several new clients lined up for Spree implementations in early 2015. We’re excited to deliver world class ecommerce results and would love to connect with you regarding your project.