I'm in a difficult situation here. I have a list of requirements for an
eCommerce system (Magento) where i'm getting mixed opinions about what to
do. Note: i do consider myself to be a quite experienced PHP programmer and
certainly have the skills to either make the extensions or make everything
from scratch. Both do require month of work! First - for the complete
picture - the list of requirements for the eCommerce system:
- (buld into magento) Multishop has to be possible
- Different payment modules have to be possible (buckaroo, afterpay, ...)
- Online chat (with for example zopim) has to be possible
- Advanced product permissions (magento only has "manage" not more specific
as in "edit")
- Setting pruduct margins
- Abandoned cart alerts
- One page checkout
- Some javascript/ajax things like "instant cart"
- A very specific order page (the "Booking and Reservations" plugin can do

Thus far it's all oke. However, if i go to the magento irc channel i'm
getting really mixed opinions about what to use and what to create myself.
They basically say that i should prevent installing as much extensions as
possible and try to make most of the things myself. This is where i'm
getting really confused.

There are two possible routes to take here.
1. I can go for the magento route and just take the very steep learning
curve it has. It will be a slow process to make the modules required
(mainly the advanced permissions, setting product margins and a abandoned
cart extension). Two of those three are very difficult to make. Certainly
if you consider that i'm just starting developing in any eCommerce system.

2. Considering the steep learning curve of making extensions for Magento it
might be easier - in the long run - to build it all myself. In the
beginning that will be an even slower process then using Magento, but once
the structure is build it will be a much faster development process for any

I know it's usually a bad thing to reinvent the wheel and i am certainly
not intending that. However, right now i really get the impression that i'm
better of making it all myself. Both approaches take many months of
development where the self made version is going to pay off in development
time in the long run when compared to magento. I am just not sure what the
best solution might be.

So here is a list of pros and cons that i can think of for both approaches.

Pros/Cons for using magento
- [pro] a lot of existing extensions
- [pro] i don't need to worry about security updates since the come from
- [pro] living community around it to help out if there are any issues
- [con] very steep learning curve
- [con] not straightforward to start developing in
- [con] takes a lot of time till you can even use the basics

Pros/Cons for self made
- [pro] Development will go a lot faster
- [pro] i can make it more specific for one goal
- [pro] a much easier extension model
- [con] security all depends on me
- [con] i have to make complicated extensions like buckaroo and afterpay
- [con] no existing library of extensions to use

Again, i'm puzzled by this. If i follow the #magento (on freenode) list
then i should pick magento, but make every extension myself or only use the
really good ones. Thus that will require a lot of time to develop them. I
'm guessing about half a year. Then again, if i make it all from the ground
up it's probably also going to take half a year to develop (or slightly
more) but it will obviously be much easier to maintain since i know every
single line of it.

What is your recommendation? Build it myself? Use Magento? or another
option that i didn't even consider yet?

Kind regards,

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