Simple Commerce

The gist: build out a web app that allows sellers to add products that can be purchased on a public website. When a product is purchased, it creates an order for the seller to fulfill.

An eCommerce platform is simple to grasp since we use them on the regular, but there's a lot of complexity under the surface. It is certainly possible to build a simplified version, especially for learning purposes.

If you're interested in learning a new web technology, this project covers a lot of what you'd need to learn. Whether it's a server-rendered web app or a static site that works with an API, there's a lot going on.


  • Seller authentication
  • Add products in admin
  • List products in storefront
  • Add items to a cart
  • Accept payment to pay for items, Stripe is great for this!
  • Create an order for the purchased products that's visible in the admin


  • Non-trivial data models
  • Storing data in the database
  • Payment processing
  • Authorization (admin access vs public storefront)
  • Admin management area
  • Public rendering of data

Extra Credit

  • Associate photos with a product
  • Digital file uploading & delivery
  • Inventory management system
  • Emails for both seller and buyer
  • Allow sellers to customize their web storefront
  • Tax, friggin' tax!


  • Open source
  • Closed source
    • Big Cartel
    • Shopify

See Also