What Sylius is and what it is for
When deciding to create an online store, we have many platforms to choose from. The most flexible ones are open source platforms. It is also important that the website is owned by us (unlike SaaS). So, what to choose? WooCommerce, PrestaShop, Magento? We suggest giving Sylius some consideration because of its many advantages.
What is Sylius?
Sylius is an open source e-commerce platform created by Polish programmers based on the Symfony framework. It consists of independent components. We can choose the ones we need and use them in any PHP application (including those not using Symfony). Therefore, we have a chance to use the full Sylius package or create tailor-made ones.
The platform can be used as a back-end when implementing e-commerce software created in Java Script (such as native applications, SPA or PWA). It is a headless system, i.e. one in which we create the front-end ourselves, according to our own requirements. It does not rely on ready-made templates.
In addition to the free version, Sylius Plus is also offered. Its advantage is support based on an SLA agreement with one contact person or the possibility of creating an international store with many branches. We can also use the functionality of returns management, sending goods from a selected source or loyalty system.
Advantages of Sylius
- support for different channels
Thanks to the fact that Sylius is "headless", i.e. without front-end, we can easily handle various channels with it. Once you enter the content, e.g. product description and price, it will appear both on the website and in the mobile application or kiosk. It is a quick and convenient technology, as well as more future-proof, as it is open to the emergence of new channels.
Headless also means the ability to flexibly adjust the front-end to the needs of developers and marketing specialists. Developers will also use different frameworks, depending on their preferences. In addition, work in the back-end is cut off from work in the front-end. This allows Sylius administrators to carry out their activities, even while the developers are working on the external layer of the application. There is no need for downtime, during which no value is generated for the company (and specialists are paid anyway).
- open source
Sylius is open source software, so not only is it free, but you can freely modify its code. Thanks to this, the platform is flexible and allows you to adapt it to your needs.
A large community has already formed around Sylius, as over 3,000 stores are based on it. Users are eager to share their knowledge, thanks to which a company's specialists can work with this platform faster. Community members also create plugins. More and more of them are created, thanks to which the store has a chance to better adapt to the needs of consumers and the market.
- many plugins
The platform can be developed with separately available plugins. There are over 80 of them in the Sylius store and almost all of them are for free (3 plugins are chargeable). One can find there, for example, plugins created by the makers of the platform that allow you to issue invoices and handle returns. There are also plugins that integrate the platform with payment systems, courier services or other applications (e.g. Mailchimp), allowing you to add a search engine, as well as facilitating SEO optimization. Thanks to plugins, you can personalize the store so that administrators can operate it faster, conduct more effective marketing and increase its usefulness for clients.
Sylius is based on the popular Symfony framework. Thanks to this, it is not difficult to find specialists who will build and expand the store. In addition, the platform is characterized by high quality and code transparency, making it easy to work on.
The big advantage of Sylius is that it can be used by small, medium and really large stores. It has suchextensive possibilities that it is serious competition for Magento. At the same time, it makes sense to implement this platform, even when the store is still small (with Magento it is unprofitable). However, we leave room for development (also because the Store in Sylius is easy to migrate, e.g. from a single server to the cloud).
Sylius is a good platform that should be considered as an alternative to more popular e-commerce platforms. Its biggest advantage is flexibility. We can adapt it to our needs (which is also atypical) and we are able to develop the business freely, without fear that over time it will be necessary to change the platform.
However, it must be remembered that in the case of Sylius, we do not get a ready-made front-end. There are no templates that will make the shop ‘appear’ right away. We need programmers who will program the external layer of the website according to our requirements and design. It is therefore not a beginner's choice.
At the same time, it must be remembered that ready-made templates in other platforms often require modification. It can be expensive. Using Sylius, we can create a tailor-made solution and modify it freely.