I agreed to make an ecommerce shop for a friend, and am trying to figure out which platform or tool would be ideal for me.
I formerly worked as a contract web developer, typically building e-commerce sites for small businesses. At the time, I worked with a more experienced friend, and we generally made our projects in Ruby On Rails, and deployed them to Heroku. Now fast forward 4 years, and I have been working in computer science research, generally using software engineering skills, but not touching web development nor ecommerce.
About the Project
A friend who makes wine wants an e-commerce shop to sell it on. This means very few product types, and a small user base. Basically just a very simple e-commerce shop with a cart, the ability to see order history and re-order the same thing, and the ability to reserve an order ahead of time.
I was thinking of making the site with Shopify, but I do not love the transaction fees, nor the fact that developing a new feature would require either A) finding and buying a plugin, or B) learning the entire Shopify dev ecosystem, and developing and deploying an add-on in their rather idiosyncratic looking environment. I also wanted to look at open source Magento, as well as the potential of just making a rails app from something like https://github.com/drhenner/ror_ecommerce.
Does anyone have experience being in a similar situation, where you need something simple, and do not necessarily need to support all of the potential for scaling and complexity that many services offer, but also have a separate full-time job, and do not want to be consumed building features that have already been solved by someone more competent than you at this type of thing..? Keeping in mind that I would like some flexibility regarding adding features to the site.
Any advice on the trade-offs between different services or frameworks would be appreciated, with respect to: cost, ability for a developer to customize, ease of deployment, etc.