Build Your E-Commerce Site Using Drupal - Blog - Sevaa Group
Light blue shopping cart in background with a blue and orange shopping bag branded with Drupal logo.

Why Drupal?

Not only is Drupal an easy-to-use content management system (CMS), it also offers out-of-the-box functionality for most themes. With an open source community run on GitLab, Drupal is constantly growing and improving. Choosing the right CMS is the first step in creating a website, and Drupal has always been a staple in our development toolbox.

If you’re trying to launch an e-commerce site, in particular, Drupal has an arsenal of modules to extend the default functionality of any theme among other beneficial aspects:

SEO

Drupal offers modules that make your website SEO-friendly and visible to major search engines.

Security

With the recent push for a safer web, Drupal developers strive to promote secure code. This is particularly important with an eCommerce site since visitors enter personal information when checking out.

Flexibility

Aside from making purchases, customers want to do more on your website. It’s common for e-commerce sites to incorporate forums, blogs, and reviews to attract and engage visitors.

 

Drupal E-commerce Themes

Next, you’ll need a theme. To begin, we often take a base theme and develop a sub-theme. We customize and enhance the sub-theme to extend your website’s functionality. A sub-theme allows us to build onto an existing theme (base theme) without altering the theme’s code. This way, any changes or updates can be made at the base theme level and will be reflected in the sub-theme. Here are four of our go-to base themes:

 

Bootstrap

Our lead developer, Dan, is keen on Bootstrap due to its thorough documentation. Bootstrap is an open-source toolkit used for developing with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. By default, this theme comes with Sass variables, a responsive grid system, prebuilt components, and plugins built on jQuery. In fact, Dan created an intensive guide to building a Drupal 8 Bootstrap subtheme using the SASS starterkit.

 

Foundation

The Foundation base theme for Drupal boasts a grid system and mobile responsiveness. This theme is available for Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.

 

Zen

Zen is a responsive HTML5 starter theme with component-based CSS and a grid design. This theme complies with Drupal 7, and there is currently a pre-release version for Drupal 8. The Drupal 7 version includes:

  • HTML5 markup
  • Responsive layout
  • CSS class names follow Drupal 8’s BEM naming convention
  • KSS style guide
  • Gulp.js task runner that uses libSass
  • Zen Grids plugin for grid layouts
  • Normalize CSS
  • Thorough documentation
  • Versatile layouts
  • Drush support
  • Built-in TL language support

 

AdaptiveTheme

If you don’t code and need a starter theme that’s less technical, look no further than AdaptiveTheme. This Drupal base theme is specifically designed for people who don’t code or for those who want to get more experience with CSS. With the AT Generator module, you can create unlimited sub-themes. You won’t have to deal with any of the core code, but AdaptiveTheme allows you to modify your theme through the CSS. Some features of AdaptiveTheme include:

  • The ability to create new rows and layouts
  • Select from a variety of web fonts
  • Choose from 8 different built-in menu styles
  • Incorporate slideshows and carousels

 

Which E-Commerce Platform is Right for You?

 

Drupal Commerce

Using modules like Views and Rules, Drupal Commerce is a viable e-commerce solution. With a focus on framework, developers have the ability to build with Drupal Commerce and customize the module based on your business’s needs. Core features include:

  • Product types with custom attributes
  • A variety of product displays
  • Order management
  • Tax calculation
  • Discount pricing rules

 

Ubercart

Ubercart is certainly one of the most popular modules for e-commerce sites due to its flexibility. Developers of all skill sets use this for everything from physical goods to billing services. Ubercart integrates with PayPal to streamline the transaction process. Features include:

  • Configurable catalogs
  • Single page checkout
  • Account generation
  • Checkout notifications
  • Integration with UPS, FedEx, and USPS

 

Shopify

If you’re website already makes use of Shopify, Drupal offers a simple integration. The integration will automatically sync your products to your Drupal site and customers make transactions through the Shopify workflow. This module is available for Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. Shopify requires no coding and is popular among e-commerce websites outside of Drupal as well.

 

Other E-Commerce Modules

 

Invoice

Just as the name implies, this module allows you to create and administer invoices.

 

Commerce Shipping

The Commerce Shipping module provides a shipping rate calculation system for Drupal Commerce. This module will integrate shipping service options into the checkout form and the order edit form. This module is a framework and is, therefore, meant to be used in correspondence with other shipping method modules like Commerce Flat Rate and Commerce UPS.

 

MailChimp E-Commerce

Most sites use MailChimp to promote their newsletter. With the MailChimp e-commerce module, you can connect your online store with your MailChimp account to capture customer data. This way you can tailor your content to engage your audience.

 

Currency

If you plan on doing business outside of the US, you should be using the Currency module. This provides your website with currency conversion, currency information and price display functionality.


Sevaa Group has over a decade of experience working with Drupal. Not only is it a great CMS, it’s also a very welcoming community that encourages developers to get involved and improve themselves. Whether it’s customizing a module or building an e-commerce site from the ground up, we can help!

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