Migration from OpenCart to Laravel is:
Yes, we are different
We started our e-commerce development services with OpenCart. We know its weaknesses and that is why we started developing on Laravel. We are confident that we will be able to migrate (move) your project from OpenCart to Laravel with high quality.
OpenCart does not withstand significant loads on the product catalog or developers rewrite its code so much for this that the resulting product can hardly be called OpenCart. And this in turn will lead to incompatibility with modules and plugins. Accumulation of "technical debt" on the project by the developers in a year will lead to the impossibility of further not only the development of the project, but also its maintenance in working condition.
If your business has grown to a level where it looks more like a platform for other sellers, then it's time to think about the functionality of the Marketplace. But the problem is that OpenCart has a poor architecture for this. Migration to Laravel is a quite understandable and balanced step in this case.
We closely follow the technical innovations in the world of web development, and some of them we create ourselves. Technology makes everyday life easier, faster and cheaper.
The sites we create are a pleasure to work with: owners, end users and other developers. We create high-quality, fast-executive code that other developers can work with. We are pleased when customers work with us by choice, not because there is no other choice.
Technical limitations of OpenCart are significant, we think you have repeatedly heard from developers - it is difficult to do in OpenCart or even impossible. With Laravel, this will no longer be the case.
If your e-commerce website is visited by more than 1000 people per day, and the size of the product catalog reaches 5000 products, we advise you to move to the Laravel framework.
Small businesses can use OpenCart without hesitation until they grow to a medium size.
Provided that Laravel and the web server are configured correctly, your site will be able to serve more than 100,000 requests at the same time, like as an enterprise-level solution. This is an unattainable level for OpenCart.
The cost of migration work consists of the cost of creating a technical detailed specification document, work on actually development a Laravel based ecommerce and technical support for a certain period of time to fix possible bugs and further development of the project. Given the incompatibility of OpenCart and Laravel, "migration" can essentially be translated as the creation of a new site where possibly there are money savings on creating a design (provided that you want to keep it) and a transparent understanding of the stakeholders, what exactly should be the functionality in the Laravel based ecommerce site.
The hourly rate of an experienced OpenCart developer, who can be allowed to work with medium and large online stores, does not differ from the horly rate of a Laravel developer and is 25-30 US dollars. But the results of their work will be dramatically different, because the developer on OpenCart is limited by the capabilities of the outdated code of OpenCart.
Each of our works is a unique project in terms of functionality and requirements, consisting of hundreds or thousands of functions.
Boasting is not good, but very nice. Especially for a job well done.
Director, NDA. Children's camps
In the heat of the season, we created a product so practical and convenient that even now we have saved a huge amount of time, effort, and paper, as well as made the team's work easier and faster. We have minimized the influence of the human factor on the quality of the business process to such an extent that it is appreciated not only by me, but also by my employees, our clients, and partners with whom we work. In the age of technology there are two decisive factors that affect the quality of work with information: the quality and speed of its transmission and processing. And we managed to make a product that provided us with efficient work just in time.
Owner, Golden Lombard
The first association I have with your team is attitude.
Previously I worked with Estonian companies, and it's a completely different level, where you pay for something you don't understand, and nobody tries to explain what we do and why.
They just do something, without going into details about what's going on.
But with you, it's different. You're constantly clarifying, telling, teaching, explaining something to me.
And there is such a feeling that you are cared for, that you are not alone. I like it very much.
And I also often don't even expect that what we're doing will end up making our job so much easier.
I like that, too.
IC Studio supports several projects of climate technology for us. The total time of cooperation has already exceeded 7 years and we do not intend to stop!
Owner, Інтернет-провайдер "Batyevka.NET"
I like working with your team. Coherence, predictability of results, and an understanding of what we do and why we do it are very important to us in our work.
Owner, Flora Decor
Thank you so much for your approach, bonus benefits, and a huge help.
Content Marketing Director, Upwork
Igor is a talented developer/writer and his contributions are appreciated.
Thanks, everyting is perfect!
Owner, Olga Garkavets Institute of Practical Psychology
You are very comfortable and professional to work with. Thank you.
Guys, thank you so much for the site. We love you!
What are our next steps
We describe in detail the architecture of the project, the structure and functionality of the future product, etc. The result of the TOR development stage is a 100% understanding of what kind of product we will get in the future.
We create prototypes of landing pages, visualize the user's way from A to Z. A well-designed website interface always positively affects the website conversion rate and helps in lead generation.
Based on the agreed prototypes, the project is taken to the design development stage. The designer develops adaptive layouts taking into account UI/UX trends.
The stage of direct development of the functional part of the site. Creating the admin panel, setting up entities, creating entity links, setting up external integrations. Implementation of frontend to backend connection.
Filling the site with content: text, images, video. We parallel this stage with the development stage in order to gain time. Content management can be carried out both on our side and on the side of the Customer's team.
We test the correctness of the functionality, modules and active elements. We test successful and incorrect scenarios of functionality work in order to eliminate possible errors. Preparing the site for release in production.
For clients who are interested in promoting themselves to the top of Google, we carry out internal optimization of the site, based on a preliminary analysis of competitors and coordination of SEO promotion goals.
Upon completion of the key stages of development, filling and testing the functionality, the site is published in the production version and begins its work. From that moment you can continue its development: fill it with new content, continue SEO, etc.
Our company is interested in that clients understand what money they will pay and for what volume of services.
OpenCart is an open-source ecommerce CMS first created back in 1999 using the Perl programming language. But as it often happens with open-source projects, his developer Christopher Mann abandoned the development due to lack of time. The second life of the project OpenCart gave another developer - Daniel Kerr, rewriting the project code from Perl to PHP. The first public release of OpenCart 1.1.0 in PHP language took place 10 years after its introduction, in 2009.
OpenCart was a very in-time product, filling the vacuum formed in the market of ecommerce CMS at the beginning of online commerce boom at 2010-2015 . OpenCart competitors in the free edition were either very limited in functionality or even more outdated. Until today, the only competitor of OpenCart can be considered WooCommerce, but not everyone likes the need to install the core of WordPress, while OpenCart - a pure ecommerce CMS with significant feature list as for a free system.
By the way, the first eCommerce CMS of our CTO (Chief Technology Officer) was exactly OpenCart, you can still find its module with almost 5000 downloads in the official store applications OpenCart.
OpenCart's popularity is primarily built on the size of its developer community. The official OpenCart forum has over 125,000 people registered as of September 2022. Even assuming no more than half of them are developers, this is a significant number that allows the system to live and evolve.
Inside OpenCart there is an extremely simple core - what the developer calls the Framework, which is surrounded by client and administrative applications. The client and administrative applications exist separately from each other. There is a basic distribution of applications into code folders.
OpenCart has gained popularity among PHP-developers precisely because of the simplicity of its code and the low entry threshold for development on OpenCart. A basic study of the structure and coding principles of CMS, sufficient to create your own or customer's site can take from days to weeks. By comparison, for the basics of Laravel, you'll need at least 2-3 months, provided you understand PHP at a sufficient level. And you can become a confident Laravel developer in at least 1 year of constant work with the framework.
Other advantages of OpenCart are the large number of free and cheap modules and plugins (at the level of $10-20), the relative ease in finding both individual developers and teams. The presence of a large number of ready-made templates for the site on OpenCart, which are also free and not very bad. Everything seems to be great? And why do you need to move from OpenCart somewhere?
The worst thing about OpenCart is its source code. The code of OpenCart itself and the code of modules written by other developers. Let's look at each of these problems separately.
Chief Mentainer (the person who maintains and is responsible for the code) OpenCart - Daniel Kerr personally communicates with numerous developers community on GitHub, where you can see the countless battles, when developers propose local or significant changes to the underlying code OpenCart. On more than one occasion, these bickering has escalated to and personalities.
Somewhere between PHP versions 5.6 and 7.0, OpenCart is "stuck" in its development on the long development of OpenCart 3. Differences in code that needed to be made in order for OpenCart to take advantage of powerful new PHP features were at odds with what had already been written. Moreover, significant changes threatened to make most of the paid modules presented in the OpenCart marketplace not ready to work with the new kernel version. And this marketplace began to bring its owner, Mr. Kerr, a significant profit.
After PHP 7.0, the language began rapidly upgrading, making the chasm in the OpenCart technological gap even deeper. Developers who began their journey with PHP on mature projects and had a chance to work with OpenCart didn't hold back in their sarcastic comments about the code quality and lack of must-have technologies. OpenCart didn't know how to work with composer, wasn't ready to use git, there was no ORM to work with the database, namespaces weren't used and much, much more.
A certain lag has been overcome only in the recently published version of OpenCart 4, published in May 2022. But it should be borne in mind that the owners of sites on OpenCart 3 and OpenCart 2, which are almost 80% of all working, need to create their stores from scratch to move to the newest version of OpenCart, and a huge number of modules and plugins have not had time to develop a version for the new OpenCart. In addition, as we noted above - the cost of developer time on OpenCart and Laravel is about the same, which makes upgrading OpenCart version without transferring to Laravel even more pointless action.
If the OpenCart core code was only obsolete and difficult to update, then 99% of all known massive site crashes on OpenCart were due to extraneous modules and plugins. The low entry barrier to module development for OpenCart, the lack of official unit tests and strict typing played a cruel joke with OpenCart. Beginner developers began to massively create modules and plugins and publish them in the marketplace OpenCart or just lay out the archives on the sites. No one even tried to monitor the quality of these applications, preferring quantity over quality.
According to our calculations, to make more or less modern functionality online store on OpenCart need at least 20-30 modules, such as simplified checkout, integration with payment systems, marketing tools and analytics, feedback orders, product bundles, discounts, revised items, uploading and updating product catalog from the various accounting systems warehouses or ERP, etc. If the business owner can not wait to make more and administrative panel OpenCart more attractive, functional and useful for employees, such as the distribution of orders by managers, the number of plug-ins grows to 50.
Most of them are paid modules, which require licensing, and to prevent other developers from using them for free, the code of these plugins is coded with ionCube technology and site owner does not see what code the author of the module sells to him. That is, you are buying a pig in a poke.
Few of those developers check the compatibility of their modules with others, and the search for the guilty of bugs turns into a real quest. Over time, your site starts to look like this:
In conclusion, today an hour of work for a developer on OpenCart who isn't afraid to allow a working project is almost no different than an hour of work for a developer on modern, safe and fast Laravel - $20 to $30.
The platform is for adult businesses. Anything you want can be implemented. Laravel doesn't limit you in your choice of administrative control panel or frontend type. You can use classic Bootstrap or Tailwind as well as JS frameworks and libraries like Angular, Vue.js.
The short answer is yes. But there are timing issues.
If you have a small site, which visits 10-100 users a day, the number of products no more than 500 or you have recently made a new site on OpenCart, then probably there is no urgent need to change the platform.
But if: your site is active, visited by >1000 users per day, you have a lot of suppliers, the catalog consists of more than 500 products, there is a bonus system or you want to create a real marketplace, where vendors can fill in the catalogs themselves - then Laravel is exactly what you need to look at.