Tips to Build an eCommerce Website With Drupal
If you’re in the process of building an eCommerce website, you may be unsure of which web development option to use. Keep reading to learn tips and tricks for building an eCommerce website with Drupal.
Drupal has become one of the most popular web development options for launching, maintaining, and customizing an eCommerce website these days, and for good reason. The open-source content management system is free, has a huge development community that is constantly innovating, and content management is robust and easy at the same time. Drupal is also built to be scalable so that you can take your business from small volume to big-time sales with the same system.
Here we’ll take a closer look at Drupal’s features, benefits, and the steps you can take to get started with Drupal development for your site.
Why use Drupal to build your eCommerce website
There are several reasons to consider using Drupal for your eCommerce site, but perhaps the best reason is just how much a Drupal website can offer. There are contributed modules already built by the Drupal community for just about anything you can imagine, including search engine optimization, security, payment processing, shipping, international currency conversion, and the list goes on and on.
There are also countless theme options to provide your site with a great, customizable look right from the start. And when you want to make a sale, those first impressions matter. Being able to jump right in with a site template and then customize it for your business, your brand, and your needs or goals is a huge asset and one that a Drupal site offers right out of the box.
And with the volume of mobile traffic to eCommerce sites seemingly growing with each passing week, knowing that Drupal offers a mobile-first architecture offers peace of mind. You can be sure with Drupal (including Drupal 7 and Drupal 8) that your site will function on multiple devices, that your images and inventory will display properly, and that the purchase funnel is as easy for your customers to use as possible.
Top features of Drupal for eCommerce site development
We mentioned a few great Drupal development features above, but there really are a ton of terrific features and capabilities that come with Drupal and can benefit your eCommerce site.
It’s impossible to stress the importance of great checkout and payment functionality for any business, and for eCommerce sites, Drupal Commerce is like a Swiss army knife for your site. Drupal Commerce has quick, seamless integration, improved APIs, and support for more than 30 payment systems. From familiar names like Square and PayPal to a whole host of others, Drupal makes it easy for your business to do business.
Drupal also allows you complete control of specific settings for multiple online stores. If you’re operating different stores for different product lines or for different countries/regions, you can set up unique settings for each such as default currency, contact/support information, and so on.
And the Commerce Price Rule module allows you to enable dynamic pricing on the site, automatically displaying the correct pricing information for buyers based on their country or on pricing rules you put in place (member vs. non-member, for example).
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Benefits of using Drupal for Building eCommerce Sites
Those features obviously come with their own benefits for you and for your customers. But specifically for your site development experience, what benefits does Drupal offer?
An important area where Drupal excels is in both user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). A site that is engaging and attractive is much more likely to result in conversions, and Drupal’s modules and customization options we described above make it easy to develop an eCommerce site that not only looks great but functions just as impressively.
In addition, UI/UX is also a big factor in how Google ranks sites, so finding your way to the top of the SEO rankings means having a site that offers a great, convenient user experience. Drupal gives you the control and the modules you need to ensure that your content, navigation, and purchase process all offer a great user experience thereby improving not only sales but also your search ranking.
Steps to take toward developing a Drupal eCommerce site
When you’re ready to get started with Drupal, the first step to take is to download the Commerce Kickstart from Drupal. This is the quickest way to get things started, whether you want to jump right into custom development or get started on your site with a templated design and the eCommerce modules you need.
Once you’re set up with the Kickstart, you can begin creating product listings for your site. The straightforward process begins by choosing Add Product, then following the steps outlined and filling in the information needed.
With your product information entered, you can move on to creating Drupal product displays. While you have built the product itself in the step above, it isn’t yet displayed and available to customers until you have created a corresponding product display. If you prefer, you could manually download, install, and enable individual modules from Drupal and configure things yourself. However, Commerce Kickstart combines the core and modules in one package so that you can get started more easily (and more quickly).
Then comes the fun part (for some people) – testing. You’ll want to make sure that things are working, and there are some site audit tools available to help you check functionality, security, stability, and so on. From code to content to links, these tools will help you find any areas that may need improvement before you launch.
Get Your Drupal eCommerce Site Started Today
Hopefully, this information has helped you decide to get started with developing a Drupal eCommerce site for your business. And this is really just the tip of the iceberg; from tutorials to videos to full-service development services and beyond, Drupal’s popularity for business and eCommerce development has allowed a huge and supportive community to come together and combine their efforts for great results.
You also can’t beat the number of modules, templates, and features that are already available for Drupal, all of which work seamlessly with one another to allow you to create a robust site that can really drive your business. And with eCommerce projected to continue growing at a speedy and steady rate, there’s no better time to get started with Drupal development than right now.