My recommendation: WordPress + WooCommerce plugin (this is effectively the most supported and most common solution with a plethora of online tutorials and resources to rely on too) -- OR -- WordPress + SureCart plugin (the newer player on the block which aims to be a much simpler WooCommerce with even more better features)
Thanks everyone for your input.
My state of mind currently :
I had wanted to use OpenCart but I can't get it packaged for Cloudron (and can't update the previous custom package on git.cloudron.io). Also a native installation seems broken for now.
I usually shy away from Wordpress. Seen too many impossible to maintain installations. But WP + Wordfence + WooCommerce (or SureCart) might be workable. I just have to get over my "PTSD" about WP.
Snipcart looks interesting but it is one more component (and fees) which seems unnecessary just to get buyers to Stripe, which is my preferred payments platform. (Paypal almost stole £5k from me so they're banned )
It's not new but I have discovered that Stripe have
payment linkswhich give a URL which I'm hoping can be put on a button in Ghost or other simple CMS. They don't provide cart functionality, but they're neat as a one-click purchase mechanism.
Stripe does have a checkout module, but I haven't worked out if it can be used with something like Grav (or Ghost).
I managed more over 200 WP + WooCommerce shops in my active time in roughly 20 years in the business. I really don't get where that "hard to handle" myth for WordPress comes from... try working with SAP - THATS hell on earth xD
For a purrrfect cache solution, Check out SwiftPerformance
@d19dotca Surecart got me interested so I watched some of their feature videos on their YT channel. A lot of the good features are behind a paywall and for basic variations (color, size, etc.) you need to be on the Pro plan ($199/yr; that's with a 50% coupon). I feel their pricing doesn't fit their audience though. A "simple" shop owner shouldn't have to pay that much for what is considered a basic ecommerce feature. The 100 product limit on the free plan is understandable for example. I feel that in Tim's case, a WP + Stripe checkout pages is a much better route. Especially since he intends on using Stripe so he can use Stripe's dashboard to manage his finances and orders. But if Stripe checkout is the option he takes, then WP might not be needed and other platforms might do the job, even a static site generator which would eliminate the need for caching, security plugins, etc. (general WP headaches ).
The main question is scale; even 200 wp is a small group, especially if you don't let your customer install what they want from the store, and the store that you have don't have custom code in it, that needs to be tested, or are regionals store that doesn't need to scale.
And in any case, wp is not modern, it tries to stay up to date, but it is a monolithic software, which means you have disadvantages.
- Lower security because the frontend has access to the DB, which allows more exploitation.
- Front-End and backend are together; this doesn't allow you to scale quickly/easily.
- Plugin compatibility with different versions of PHP.
- WordPress is terrible in rollback, you need to use a backup.
- Working on multiple branches is not possible, in some cases not even staging is possible.
Maybe in some cases, the advantages (easy to find a compatible provider, plugin ecosystem, easy to find documentation, visual builder) make it a good option for you, but you can't say that is not a hard solution to maintain compared to a JAMstack solution.
But if you ask me what you should start with, if you want to build an e-shop, I would go on JAMstack almost in all cases, vue and svelte are super easy to learn and you can do a lot with almost 0 understanding of JS or TS, copy and pasting from the documentation.