Wordpress vs Ruby on Rails for e commerce site
I'm building a site very much in the vein of airbnb and relayrides. Peer-to-peer rental. Those sites include: listing your item, people searching for that item by date and location, c.c. transactions, splitting payments btwn the owners of items and me(the site owner), account info, profiles, databases, etc.... The site is designed and I'm interviewing front and back end developers. Areas in which I have little to no experience or knowledge. The 2 best candidates are a guy who works with Ruby on Rails, Cass and HAML and the other will build it in Wordpress and then build it out to add all the functionality I need.
A friend who is a developer of some renown scoffs at the use of haml and the use of any plugins for ruby and says I should have the site built completely from scratch but I don't have $50,000-$75,000 laying around. It will be $10,000 for the ruby guy.
The wordpress guy is fairly accomplished as well. Done work for nike and few other large clients. But wordpress doesn't have much history in the ecom world and I can't find anything as complex as what I'm attempting to do coded with it. Will it be to heavy? To buggy? Security risks? Waiting on a price quote currently.
If anyone can shed light on this or offer advice I would greatly appreciate it. I'm about to spend a lot of money on something I'm pretty confused about. Not a good feeling.
Ruby developers think everything should be done in Ruby. It could as well be built from scratch in PHP, perhaps using a PHP framework (much as Rails is a Ruby framework), or in a .NET environment/language, or Java, etc. I suppose it *could* be done with Wordpress, but would probably require a lot of custom code unless there are already some plug-ins out there that support your specific needs -- I have no idea. I'd personally prefer to build it on top of a PHP framework, since that's where my personal strengths lie, but that's in part because I've never bothered to really learn the inner workings of WordPress so that I could do major modifications -- it usually gives me a headache when I try to wade through the WordPress API.
"Please give us a simple answer, so that we don't have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don't fit the way we want the world to be."
~ Terry Pratchett in Nation
Wordpress is a application (mostly used for blogging) while RoR is a web application framework. Its like comparing oranges to apples.
Having said that, learning RoR will definitely give you more versatile web development skills. Its not that php is any less powerful, but RoR will expose you to valuable MVC fundamentals. There are PHP frameworks that are MVC based but in terms of popularity RoR is more popular.
If your skill level for both php and ruby is almost the same, I think learning Ruby (and RoR) will have better payoff in the longer run. Rails development is definitely faster (and cleaner in terms of code readability) than writing the same thing in php.
While you will have a good start with WP and you can immediately roll out pretty stuff pretty fast, but if you are aiming for a very feature rich web application with lots of customization, Rails is what you should be exploring.
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