So, you’re ready to start selling online, but aren’t sure which platform (WordPress or Laravel) is best for you, right?
It can be a tough decision because these 2 platforms focus on building the same types of websites and have a similar set of tools.
That’s why we are going to compare these two (2) platforms and find out which one is better for you in 2022.
What is Laravel?
Laravel is an open-source PHP framework that was designed to make web application development. It makes them easier to create by providing built-in tools to help speed up development and mitigate mistakes.
Of course, the framework evolved and eventually found a home as a web development tool.
Today, it is commonly used to create blogs and eCommerce websites. In terms of usability, it is a code-heavy platform where the developer must understand and know how to use HTML, PHP, and CSS to create a working website.
As such, it is not a platform for beginners looking to build their first website. That said, if you have the necessary experience, it is a platform that can easily scale to a project of any size.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source CMS that is currently the world’s most popular website builder. It has a market share exceeding 40%. Or in other words, 40% of the internet uses WordPress to power their websites.
And that percentage is growing every day.
So, how did WordPress dominate the industry? It is free, easy to use, and has a huge community that is ready to help. Unlike most CMS, WordPress does not require any knowledge about coding to use, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t help.
Instead, most of the heavy lifting is done by the theme and plugins you install. Plugins are almost identical to apps for your phone. They add specific features to your website that would normally require coding.
So, the Difference?
WordPress is a platform that was designed to build websites, while Laravel is a framework used to design web applications.
In the case of WordPress, users do not need any coding knowledge,
while that same knowledge is required when using Laravel.
Beyond that, each platform has its own set of unique features that separate it from others.
So, let’s start focusing on individual areas.
Right off the bat, you need to know how to write and read code to properly use Laravel. And for many, that instantly makes the platform a bad choice for beginners. However, that’s not a completely fair assessment since the platform was built for code enthusiasts.
So, the real question is how does the platform work in the hands of its target audience?
Most agree, it works great. The platform is intuitive to use and built on a solid structure that experts believe is coded better than WordPress. As a result, the platform actually ends up running better than the competition.
There are a ton of resources at your disposal in Laravel, and a lot of built-in tools like authentication help keep your website safe with minimal effort. However, there’s no denying that the platform is one of the more complex to develop a website.
It started off as a simple blogging platform but quickly evolved into a system that can build any kind of website without writing a single line of code. As such, it is one of the most accessible platforms to build a website.
And a big part of that is all thanks to the huge library of themes and plugins it has available.
As I mentioned earlier, plugins allow you to add new features to your website with the click of a mouse.
Need to add an image gallery? No problem, install an image gallery plugin. Need to add a mortgage calculator? Fear not, there’s a plugin for that as well.
There are tools for basically anything in the WordPress ecosystem, and most of them are free. When it comes to themes, they are highly customizable and just require you to tweak a few settings to get professional quality.
Accessibility Conclusion: WordPress
While Laravel is great for the people that have the coding knowledge, that’s just too big of a hurdle for the average user.
As such, WordPress is much easier to use than Laravel.
That can be seen directly through the size of its community and the platform’s continued growth year over year.
Make no mistake that Laravel is an amazing platform when it comes to E-commerce. It has multiple E-commerce packages you can choose from including Aimeos, Bagisto, and Mage2. Thus, you have plenty of options.
Each one is fully customizable and has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages.
However, what really makes Laravel shine over other E-commerce solutions is that everything is uniformly built. Traditional ready-to-use E-commerce solutions are loaded with independent parts that all need to be updated individually.
That’s not the case here. Instead, everything is connected and that means less maintenance for you.
With all that said, it is once again worth reminding you that you will need to do a lot of coding for an E-commerce site. Thus, it isn’t easy. But it is rewarding.
When it comes to E-commerce, WordPress, or more specifically WooCommerce, is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. It currently supports well over 5 million online stores. And that’s just one option that you can use in WordPress.
In truth, there are dozens of E-commerce plugins you can use to build an online store.
Let’s focus on WooCommerce for a second. This tool will transform WordPress into an E-commerce juggernaut and it will cost you zero dollars to do it. WooCommerce even gives you access to nearly every payment gateway (PayPal, Stripe, etc.).
When it comes to customization, the platform is unmatched. Just the vanilla WooCommerce install is enough to keep you happy, but add a series of effective add-ons to it and you get an unmatched E-commerce platform that is easy to use and free.
E-commerce Conclusion: WordPress
While both of these platforms can produce some really great online stores for free, WordPress seems to be the clear winner.
And if you need some evidence, just look at the stats.
WooCommerce is the most widely used eCommerce platform.
Laravel has a ton of customization options available in the form of packages. Some of them are even free, but the majority of them are not. But it’s not that different from paying for a premium theme or page builder.
But make no mistake, there are fewer options if you are planning to stay free.
However, in the hands of a talented web designer, you don’t need to spend a penny to make an excellent website. You can code everything yourself and create beautiful and responsive pages without any packages.
That said, most users will use packages that have templates and more unique features available that can be very difficult to replicate. Overall, as long as you have the knowledge, Laravel can be a powerful design platform.
WordPress is one of the most highly customizable web design platforms available. It has over 4,000 free themes to choose from in addition to thousands of premium themes.
And that’s just a starting point.
You can use a page builder plugin to build something completely unique for your website.
Each theme is customizable. You can change all of the colors, fonts, and layout (to a certain extent). In reality, if you pick the right theme, you have already done about 50% of the work. The other half is customizing the layout.
It’s worth mentioning that while you can design a great website without writing a single line of code, you can create your own custom CSS to customize your theme even further. Thus, you get the best of both worlds in WordPress.
Design Conclusion: WordPress
Both of these can make a great-looking website, but it’s just so much easier and quicker on WordPress.
In Laravel, you are limited in the way you design a website, whereas, in WordPress, you can choose the tools you use to design with.
If you’re not happy with a set of features, just use another plugin to get a different one.
Search Engine Optimisation
Much like the rest of Laravel, setting up your SEO is not an easy thing to do. All SEO routes need to be defined, which actually makes the platform a bad choice for bloggers. The good news is that the community is aware of this problem.
As a result, there is a solid amount of SEO packages available.
These packages were designed to help streamline the SEO process and ultimately make it easier for beginners, which they often do. Most of them are free, and you can download them directly from GitHub.
The good news is that websites that use Laravel often run much faster than the competition, which will help them rank higher.
However, if you are not using these tools, setting up SEO is a real pain as the platform just doesn’t have any native SEO tools to help you along the way.
By default, WordPress has a decent set of SEO tools available. You can change the URL structure, set and control taxonomies, most themes are natively responsive and much more.
However, where WordPress really shines is when you install an SEO plugin. And in WordPress, there is a no bigger name than Yoast SEO.
This plugin will create an XML Site map, track keyword usage, give you a Google Preview, track internal & external links, and so much more. On top of this, it even gives you tips to make your content more readable.
Yoast is just one among many SEO tools you can use.
One downside to WordPress is that website speed can vary. If you don’t have a good web host and have a large number of plugins installed, your website could run sluggishly. Thus, impacting your SEO rankings.
S.E.O Conclusion: WordPress
WordPress is the clear winner. While many improvements have been made to Laravel concerning SEO, WordPress’s default tools are superior.
When you add in a plugin like Yoast SEO, you have an unmatched force in terms of optimization.
Overall Conclusion: WordPress
WordPress won every category because it is easier to use and has more options to accomplish a single task.
Most importantly, it doesn’t require deep coding knowledge, which makes it accessible to beginners.
WordPress can build any kind of website, it’s free, and has the largest community out of any CMS.
When you combine all of this together, it’s not hard to see why the platform is so popular.