Is Drupal Suitable For E-Commerce?

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Is Drupal Suitable For E-Commerce?If you are building a website for business, you want it to make your business run better. Many businesses are turning to content management systems (CMS) to help build their e-commerce websites. One of the CMS platforms gaining more popularity is Drupal.

Drupal, if you aren’t familiar with it, is an open-source platform and can be adapted to virtually any type of design. It works well within the cloud. And, for those on a budget, Drupal is free. These factors make Drupal and e-commerce, as one website put it, a match made in heaven. As the site Drupal Science put it: “This is a no-brainer, and in fact, you probably already have it. E-commerce is basically a set of small modules that dramatically extend Drupal’s commerce-related functionality, making it easy to set up a shopping cart, checkout pages, and product pages, as well as to calculate balances, taxes, and discounts. In addition, ecommerce helps you manage your inventory and product listings and can create powerful reports, order histories, and summaries.”

Another reason why businesses are turning to Drupal for its storefront is the ease of design. And, as the Elance Blog points out: “you must offer eye-catching, engaging, delicious-looking photographs and video, if possible. Multiple angles of a specific product are recommended. Front-page or accent photos may be found through existing free or paid services, but photos or video of the model holding or using the product will sell better.”

There are a few modules in Drupal that Drupal Science said are essential for e-commerce within the Drupal platform. They are: Ubercart, which allows for the easy creation of product listings and interactive catalogs; invoice, which allows you to customize the way your invoices look; barcode; Amazon Store, which is essential if you plan to sell through Amazon; Adsense, which allows you to generate revenue via your site; SEO Checklist, which allows your site to be more easily found in search engines; and Currency Exchange, which shows the exchange rates of different currencies, a must if you plan to do international sales.

For those just starting to build their Drupal e-commerce site, using the Ubercart module may be the best way to begin. According to the Commerce Guys website, it allows you to work right out of the box, so to speak. “It offers the standard shopping cart features, integration with several payment and shipping quote services, and the ability to automate your order workflow without writing any code. Additional features can be added by dozens of related contributed modules, and with over 18,000 live sites and hundreds of users and contributors, you’re bound to find support for the functionality you need,” the site explained.

When your site is designed and just about ready to go, Drupal makes it easy to do a test run to make sure everything is working well.

For a growing number of companies, Drupal has become the CMS of choice to create an e-commerce site. And with release of Drupal 8, which should make the admin much more user-friendly, Drupal may gain an even greater advantage over other CMS platforms.

Sue Poremba is a freelance writer focusing primarily on security and technology issues and occasionally blogs for cloud service provider Rackspace Hosting.