yii for me or fudge wordpress, zencart and phpbb together?


I am looking to develop a webstore with integrated news/blog and forum functionality. Initially I was thinking of using zencart, wordpress and phpBB and bridging them up somehow so that they use the same user registration, styling etc. However I think it will require some ugly hacks to make it work and won’t survive updates very well. So now I am considering using a framework (yii seems to be the best) to get this functionality in a cleaner way and also gain a deeper understanding of how my app works along the way. My php skills are pretty basic at present although I think I have the aptitude to learn it. Given my skills are not great yet which course should I take?

  1. Frankenstein hack of wordpress, zencart and phpBB.

  2. yii (or other framework)

thanks in advance for any advice.

While I strongly believe in highly customized solutions, tailoired to the exact needs of the business, I’d recommend Wordpress + WooCommerce + bbPress for your case. Building a fully functional e-commerce/news/forum application from scratch is an enormous amount of work for a single developer (you didn’t mention a team) and requires strong application design skills.


I guess you are right about building from scratch being too ambitious. It is only me and I have only a small budget but I suppose if I frankstein something together that just works well enough then eventually I’ll have enough dough rolling in to pay a pro to do it right. Your suggestion would be slick only I’m not sure that WoCommerce is featureful enough, though I suppose I could use it as a base to extend it for the extra features I want. What about Drupal?

I’m not familiar with Zen Cart so I can’t do the comparison. I worked with OpenCart and the good old OSCommerce and I’d say that WooCommerce is comparable with both, in terms of feature set and - as one would expect from a Wordpress extension - integrates very well with Wordpress.

If you hack a solution together I would just be conscious about security. I would keep your shopping cart running on its own server and not have it shared with Wordpress or phpBB. Also think about how you share data between the apps. I’d be nervous giving other apps any type of write access to your ecommerce database, either directly, or through scripts. It’d be better to allow your ecommerce app to push data to the other apps.

Are you taking credit cards in your application, or are you using a Paypal/Google Checkout type solution that sends the user to their site to collect data? Are you storing credit cards on your server?


At present I have stopped considering hacking together standalone applications. Now I am looking very seriously at drupal, it seems to sit somewhere in between an application specific CMS and a framework, as it has framework flexibility whilst still shielding the developer from having to mess with code. All the functionality can come from configurable modules. It will probably take a little more work than phtamas’s suggestion of wordpress + woocommerce + bbpress but should result in a site that is slicker, more customisable and more scalable to increasing traffic. Or so I think.

I’d like to avoid storing credit card data and offload that responsibility on to the payment gateway.