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III: Bullish on Solidus

Jared Norman
Jared Norman
It’s pretty common for me to get asked about the future of Solidus. My answer has stayed pretty much the same for five years or so now.

If you’re new around here, Solidus is an open-source eCommerce platform built with Ruby on Rails. It’s a Rails Engine that provides a ready-to-deploy storefront, admin, API, and more out of the box. It’s governed by a core team and stakeholders group, each made up of representatives from retailers and agencies who use the platform. I’ve been involved since Solidus’s conception, am on the core and stakeholders teams, and my company, Super Good, works almost exclusively with the platform.
Let’s face it: new digital commerce businesses are either using Shopify, or they’re using something else. Magento is potentially a more popular platform, depending how you count, but there are plenty of Shopify alternatives. WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Demandware, Squarespace, come to mind, but with all the hype around Shopify, if you pick something else, you probably have a reason.
Not beat up on Shopify, but there’s no shortage of motivations to choose the something else option. Maybe you need better internationalization or multi-currency support. Maybe Shopify’s limited promotion system doesn’t work for you. Maybe you’ve got a non-trivial subscription component. Maybe the frontend is too slow. Maybe Shopify doesn’t support your payment gateway. The variant limit could be an issue for you. Maybe you just don’t want to pay such high platform fees. The list goes on.
Solidus is one of those something else‘s. It’s the platform you choose when you need flexibility. The answer to “is X possible on Solidus?” is yes for all reasonable values of X.
More than any other platform, Solidus can be shaped to fit the organization, the problems, and the market of any business. There’s no one thing that makes it this flexible. It’s open-source, so you can change the platform itself. It’s built on Ruby on Rails, and inherits all the dynamism and flexibility of it. It’s designed to be extended and modified. You can go headless or use the traditional frontend. The business is in total control of the stack. There’s not even any lock-in; we’ve seen some larger organization go their own way and leave the open-source side behind. I wouldn’t recommend it, but that’s certainly another point for Solidus.
Sure, there are other things I can point to that make Solidus great (especially for really high-volume retailers), but for those under eight or nine figure sales, it always comes back to the flexibility.
These benefits are clear to anyone whose worked with the other platforms out there. One experienced eCommerce manager I spoke with put it well, if a little morbidly:
They can pry Solidus out of my cold, dead hands.
So yeah, I’m bullish on Solidus.
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Jared Norman
Jared Norman @jardonamron

computers bend to my will • founder of super good software • solidus core team • Rubyist • time abolitionist • not actually grumpy • he/him

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