I’m looking for opinions on the pros and cons of MySQL and Firebase when it comes to developing a new site for my company. We’re a B2B wholesale business that is in the process of redesigning our site from scratch. The main purpose of this site will be for customers to have a self-service system to browse the products and quickly make their own quotations, and in the near future to incorporate payment gateways to allow for payment with credit cards, Paypal and wire transfers.
We have contacted with a few web development firms to work on proposals for the new site. I’ve narrowed it to a couple of proposals, but today the topic came up about using Firebase or MySQL for the site. I am a marketing professional, and while I am also a techie and have a passable knowledge of web technologies at a basic level, I am by no means a developer, so I’d like to gather as many opinions as possible to help me decide on this topic.
The initial website would have the self-service system with inventory management for aprox. 200 products, with several variants in most of them, for different combined variables (size, color, materials, packaging), and a couple price scales; a registered user area with order history, customer details, etc., as well as the usual bells and whistles of a business site. The site would be in two languages (English and Spanish), with the possibility of adding a third in the future.
On the short term, we’d like to evaluate customer feedback and user experience to decide if we should develop a Progressive Web App so our customers can have easier access to the system. As we don’t anticipate needing to use a phone’s hardware (GPS, accelerometer, etc.) we think a native app would be overkill, and believe our customers would appreciate the small size and fast install of a PWA.
On the medium to long term, we’d be adding more products, categories, shipping options (some with SDKs and APIs to external providers) and payment processing; as well as more product images, maybe product videos and a resources section with tutorials and industry white papers; and increasing traffic not only from new customers, local and foreign, but by encouraging our existing ones to use the self-service system. One thing we’ve also considered is leaving the door open for third-party vendors that might be interested in selling related products through our platform.
All this considered, what would you recommend we choose for a database system? Firebase or MySQL? Considering that my main concerns for the site are scalability, performance/UX, efficiency, cost of hosting, as well as future proofing the system for new technologies and tools we might want to implement on the system.
I am aware no system is perfect and we’ll have to sacrifice some of these things for others, but I’d still like to hear your opinions in order to make an informed decision. I have been reading on Firebase, but most of the posts about it I’ve found are a couple years old, and I am not sure if the issues brought up in 2017 are still valid today.
Thank you so much for your input and thoughts, and if I forgot to add any relevant information, please let me know.