Anybody who uses Drupal and is looking to sell products will ultimately come to this question. I'm gonna cut straight to the chase and say the better cart is Ubercart. I have used both and only have great things to say about Ubercart. I don't think it comes down to the type or size of the site you are building either. I'd use Ubercart for any site, large or small, auctions or no auctions, extreme customization or just plain and simple.

Let's start with what you SHOULDN'T use:

Drupal Ecommerce

This was the first shopping cart developed for Drupal and while it is functional, it is also frustrating. There are a lot of different options and it doesn't give you the feeling that everything really works together as one solid package. I think the largest problem with this module is that there isn't really a core group of developers who really grab it by the balls and get it solid with a clear vision. Everything is a bunch of hacks thrown together by various developers. Nothing is really linked together that well and it doesn't seem like there is a "core" ecommerce aspect to it. Just various options that may or may not work.

Versions

Another huge problem with this is all the different versions. There is like version 3 and version 4 for Drupal 5, but none of these are really complete and have all these different alpha versions. Couple that with a ton of different database tables and it just doesn't feel like something you should be messing with. In the past I've experienced lots of problems upgrading this module and trying to configure new options. Once again, everything is just sloppy. Oh btw, what about a Drupal 6 version? Is it going to be ec3 for D6 or ec4? There are like 5 different versions currently being developed and I don't even know what the plan is. I don't even know where I am right now.

On top of this a lot of contrib modules will sometimes be added to the main ecommerce package and make you have to redo some of your database tables and make sure everything is clean. This package requires much too much research on your part to make sure that you are completely in sync with the changes being done (which IMO are not always the best).

Usability

It still amazes me that this doesn't provide a simple shopping cart out of the box. You aren't really able to just sell 1 or 2 products on your site with ease with this module. You have to go through a whole workflow and setup and treat a small store like a big store. I think that they almost take this module too seriously and try to make it too powerful while ignoring basic simple things. I would estimate that most people who are looking to build an ecommerce site in Drupal are probably looking for something to sell 50 products or so and want to keep it simple. They don't need all the international BS and don't need all the other crazy stuff like fulfillment centers that eC attempts to accomplish.

And who cares if it has all these weird payment methods and things nobody even uses. I bet 80% of this module is never even touched by people, while the 20% that is is just plain sloppy and lacking. Most people want to use Paypal, maybe authorize.net and then move on. Cut the BS and let's sell some products.

API

The API is fine for eC for, but what good is an API if the main software doesn't do what you want?

So yeah, I'd give this a 2/5.

Ubercart

Ahhhhhhhhh, take a deep breath. It's all going to be okay. Ubercart does everything right. They have a solid group of core developers that have a clear vision and create a core collection of ecommerce modules that build a solid foundation. There are like 4 main modules to handle all the basic stuff you need on an ecommerce site. If you want to scale it out you can enable what you need with all the extra modules that are still part of core. Everything Ubercart does is super clean, easy to use and just get's it done.

Versions

Ubercart also has a clear development plan. Rather than bloating it up with features before there is a solid core, Ubercart chooses the path of going for a SINGLE solid release for Drupal 6. They aren't going to add any new features to Drupal 5, only bug and security fixes. They aren't even going to add anything new to Drupal 6 until they have a stable, solid version. At this point, then they will continue working on ONE versions that r0x0rs my s0x0rs on D6. That makes so much more sense to me than having a bunch of buggy versions dangling around, like eC.

Usability

But this is just the beginning. The customer and order management is waaaaaaaaay better than eC. You are able to quickly view all the different orders, make changes, update them and do all that stuff easily. You don't have to go through confusing sections or BS features. It's all just right there like it should be.

Checkout

People talk about Drupal eC being more customizable than Ubercart, but being a designer myself it's not really true. The ONLY thing that you can't really "theme" on Ubercart is the checkout page, and by that I mean you can't do multiple pages like you can with eC. That is seriously like the only weakness and it's not really a weakness because most people prefer a 1 page checkout, especially on a simple site (which most people build). Furthermore, there is a multi-page checkout contrib modules that is probably more clean than eC's main one anyone. Problem solved.

Anything else that you want to theme can be done easily.

Attributes

Want to do different sizes? Have different options? No problem, granted you're using Ubercart. Ubercart decided not to treat different sizes as new nodes that are rendered out and then sloppily organized. Nope. You create one node, and then add the attributes on that you want. They are stored in their own table and they don't create all these sloppy nodes. It treats it as a part of the node, not as a new individual node.

API

The Ubercart API is solid. I've needed to add a few things during checkout and hook into the core functions and everything was well documented and straight-forward.

Community

There's a strong community on the ubercart.org website and everyone there is really nice and helpful.

Ubercart gets a 5/5.

So which one should you use?

I know a lot of people say use Drupal Ecommerce if you're going to build a big site and use Ubercart if you need something simple. Well I say use Ubercart regardless. Ubercart can do everything eC does and if there is one small thing Ecommerce can do that Ubercart can't it doesn't matter because chances are it's done sloppy and lacks documentation or vision. You're better off just extending Ubercart and helping them bring solid things into core.

I know what you're asking yourself by now... was Q paid to write this post for Ubercart? If by paid you mean making money by using good software that gets the job done and allows me to scale and automate then YES!

I mean seriously, Ubercart or GTFO n00bs!

 Filed under: Internet / Tech, Drupal, Ecommerce, Ubercart

About The Author

Quinton Figueroa

Quinton Figueroa

Facebook @slayerment YouTube

El Paso, Texas

I am an entrepreneur at heart. Throughout my whole life I have enjoyed building real businesses by solving real problems. Business is life itself. My goal with businesses is to help move the human ...

More

44 Comments

Schoonzie: Good summary

Thanks for a good summary of both packages. I did a lot of development with the Ecommerce package about 18 months ago (I probably started just before Ubercart started getting traction) and I thought on the whole it was very good.

I haven't actually used Ubercart yet, but from the publicity that it is getting recently I'll have to give it a go.

The one thing I don't really like about Ubercart is they seem to have their own sort of community that is separate from drupal.org.

davexoxide: External Domains
@Schoonzie (view comment)

I think by Ubercart not living only on Drupal.org has allowed it to become more polished, more directed and in the end a better overall product. Seeing how Drupal has the ability to do so many things it's become very difficult to locate high quality or task specific modules.
Ubercart has set itself up in it's own domain but still does it's releases on Drupal.org. This process makes alot more sense to me and allows it's developers to get the deserved attention and creative freedom they deserve.

Andy: Ubercart Community
@Schoonzie (view comment)

Disclaimer: I am an Ubercart developer.

Many long time Drupal users are skeptical of Ubercart for having a community on a separate domain (www.ubercart.org). The concerns voiced include thoughts that Ubercart is somehow trying to separate itself from the Drupal community, or that it is a pain to have another website / community to track. I will attempt to alleviate / explain those concerns.

The Ubercart.org community is not trying to distance itself from Drupal. We prominently list, link to, and describe Drupal all over the ubercart.org site. Most of the issue tracking for Ubercart happens on Drupal.org. All the releases are hosted on Drupal.org.

I would like for experienced Drupal users to try to look at this problem from the point of view of a newbie and think of Ubercart.org not as a separate community, but as a portal to Drupal.org for new users who don't know about Drupal or Ubercart.

Drupal has experienced explosive growth over the last few years, and as a result Drupal.org has struggled to keep up. When we started Ubercart.org, the Drupal.org issue tracker was unusable for anyone but an experience and patient community member. The search feature on Drupal.org was throttled (disabled due to heavy server load) most of the time. Just a few months ago at Drupalcon Sezged the main topic was the website redesign meant to make Drupal.org more appealing and usable to new community members. Groups.drupal.org was a fledgling site and it was almost impossible to get any cohesiveness in a sub-community. Drupal had a strong reputation in the CMS community, but was unknown in the e-commerce community.

For all the above reasons we decided that Ubercart needed it's own community site in order to attract and maintain new users. Drupal had a large community, but most of them were not using Drupal for e-commerce. We new that most Ubercart users would come from outside the Drupal community. We were concerned that these new users would get lost in the massive and wildly diverse Drupal community. We still believe that this is the case.

In summary; Drupal community members perceive Ubercart users as Drupal users who find the Ubercart module. The truth is that most Ubercart users are Ubercart users first and find Drupal as a result of Ubercart. From that point of view it makes sense to have a community on Ubercart.org designed like a stream or river flowing into the ocean of the Drupal community. These are some of the reasons for Ubercart.org
Peace,
Andy
Ubercart - A Drupal E-Commerce Shopping Cart.

grp: Drupal - ubercart
@Andy (view comment)

Parent = www.drupal.org
Child = www.ubercart.org

Those who wants to play with the child who has certain sporting abilities, does not mean the "parent" is disowned from the "child's" life! Parent-Child/ren relation is eternal even if some rogue elements tries to kill it....

I agree with Andy....

peace

Ben: I agree, but...

Your attitude makes it really hard to respect your opinion.

Ubercart is miles ahead of Ec for Drupal6 and I much prefer the way Ubercart handles product attributes, but the guys working on Ec have probably worked their butts off and you've gone and shit all over their hard work.

Even if your opinion is warranted, which I agree it is in places, your delivery sucks.

B: Just because I work really

Just because I work really hard for 10 minutes to get shit out of my asshole doesn't mean that it is a gold bar when it plops in the toilet.

Hardwork that results in a mediocre product is not something to be proud of.

B

Ben: I can't say I'm surprised by

I can't say I'm surprised by your response.

Anonymous: The documentation could be a

The documentation could be a LOT better in Ubercart.

I haven't tried ecomerce, but i don't think it's as dramatic as you put it. I have to agree with BEN's comment above.

peach: uhhm

"I mean seriously, Ubercart or GTFO n00bs!"

And Out went your credibility.

Drupal Berlin: delivery...

Gotta agree with Ben...

Ubercart decided not to be gay and...

Why would Ubercart not want to be cheerful?

Nigel: I have not used Ubercart but

I have not used Ubercart but agree with your comments on Ec. I could not recommend anyone to use Ec on a new project. V3 is unmaintained and buggy, V4 is a distant dream.

If you want to build a store and don't require the application framework abilities of Drupal, then go with Magento. Otherwise go with Ubercart.

Kevin: Hard to take you seriously

Intemperate anti-christian language spoils an otherwise non-technical comparison.

Can you provide a selection of sites you've completed using Ubercart?

It'd be interesting seeing the features that you think make Ubercart so much better than Ecommerce actually "in-situ" so-to-speak.

It'd be useful to know which features you're specifically using on those sites...

That would make a much more interesting post than "GTFO n00bs!"

B: EC

If you don't like EC then you don't like me as a person!!!!

I mean jesus, why is everyone getting so offended about this guys opinion? He obviously doesn't like EC, and if he doesn't thats fine, he doesn't have to use it because obviously there is a better option available. And why would you get upset if he says EC sucks, if you know it doesn't and you like using it, why would you get upset?

You all need to get a sense of humor.

B

dalin: ummmm.

"Ubercart decided not to be gay"

Woah. Your use of sexual stereotypes is _not_ cool.

Other than that I generally agree with the other comments in that while some of your opinions are warranted. Your arguments are lacking in substance.

Drupal Themes Garden: Thanks for this nice

Thanks for this nice summary.

Katski: Nice

Good summary and enjoyed the delivery - I always enjoy a post full of enthusiasm that maybe upsets a few people, but addresses some very real-world reasons ror a technology decision. And I'm gay.

Quinton Figueroa: Thank you for all the

Thank you for all the feedback guys! I hope I don't come across as rude in my post, I am mainly just messing around and having a good time while giving my opinion. I understand that eC has had a good amount of work put into it and I admire that. I just wish the people working on eC would merge forces with Ubercart and work on really dialing in 1 solid ecommerce solution than have 2 forked out.

If you guys want me to get more technical and specific I can, I just figured most people would want a general overview.

And I'm joking by calling people n00bs. It's just a goof.

Anonymous: Ubercart - can't have decimal product quantities

The last time I looked at Ubercart - it couldn't handle decimal product quantities ie; 1.5 lbs or 2.5 meters, etc...
Not everything is sold in integers.

WOW - what a major MISPLAY for any ecart. FIX that MAJOR bug and maybe it could compete against other ecart systems.

Dan

Greg: Ubercart

I agree that ubercart is ahead of ecommerce having just used it on a live d6 implementation and previously jumped through hoops with eCommerce and event integration. I would disagree that Ubercart's API is robust, though, especialy this: "Anything else that you want to theme can be done easily."
That's just not true at all. There are several points where Ubercart eschews good Drupal practice by not providing theme functions and instead just provides raw HTML. Want to include a different field on the order summary in admin (like username), sorry, there's not theme function or hook for that. Want to change the invoice that the customer sees? Sorry, you have to put an itpl.php file right in the template folder _inside_ of he ubercart directory because that's where it's hardcoded to look for them. Want to add a column to the cart view? Sorry, it's not a view, it just a hardcoded table. If I missed something and can theme that stuff, please correct me as it'll save me five hours of having to rewrite and redirect a bunch of crap. Show me how to get the SKU listed alongside the product in the cart. That would be awesome.

Don't get me wrong: Ubercart provides a lot of functionality out of the box and it's a free cart solution - but it seems like a lot of open source projects in that it was built for a specific solution and has been slowly gaining abstraction. Were I to get a large client again similar to the most recent one that I implemented Ubercart for, I would recommend that they go with an outside vendor for a shopping cart solution. There are plenty of cart solutions our there that are less expensive than paying developers to hack their way into unthemeable displays or spending their time writing patches or wading through two different forums, multiple issue queues, etc.

PS - The "gay" line makes the post sound bigoted. May I suggest replacing your usage of this word in your vocabulary with "lame"?

Anonymous: 'replace gay with lame so as
@Greg (view comment)

'replace gay with lame so as not to sound bigoted'

thats the gayest thing i've ever heard. & the lamest

jtuck2: Any recommendations?
@Greg (view comment)

I realize this is an older post, but hope you might still be able to respond. I've been comparing Drupal/Ubercart with Magento for three days now and I'm getting really tired (I'm not a techy, but I need to understand what I'm getting into because I realize the importance of the decision).

I hear what you're saying about the shopping cart alternative, but I'm honestly not up to starting to compare those. The costs are all over the place and so is the functionality. Do you have any favorite ones I should look at to narrow the scope of my search?

Thank you!

Quinton Figueroa: Have you worked with Drupal
@jtuck2 (view comment)

Have you worked with Drupal before? Is your site pretty much only going to be a shopping cart?

I have never used Magento but I have seen a lot of nice sites using it. The only complaint people say is that it's a bit slow, but that wouldn't keep me from using it. If I wasn't as technical as I am and was mainly looking for something that was powerful and easy to use I would go with Magento. From what I've seen it's a great cart.

I would use Ubercart if I was looking to supplement my Drupal site with a shopping cart. I use Ubercart for all my stuff because I run everything off Drupal and it allows me scale all my sites similarly and have more control over them. With Ubercart I can tie all my community and user features right into my cart.

But if I was strictly looking for a stand-alone cart and had little to no experience with Drupal I would go with Magento most likely.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous: nOObs ? GAY ?

HEY! I am a nOOb AND I am also GAY and YOU just made me CRY!

Whaaaaaa, Boo-HOOO., I'm gonna tell my MOMMY now., and I will NEVER visit your site EVER again, no matter HOW useful it is to me., so there!

(Jeez, I mean really, let's just get a LIFE, shall we?)

Ohh., and THANKS for a most worthwhile comparison., sob sob., :-)

kay: Ecommerce or Ubercart for Drupal 6 ?

Ecommerce or Ubercart for Drupal 6 ?

Hi, do you think that ecommerce or ubercart is the right choice for an online shop now with drupal 6 ?

Thanks.

Quinton Figueroa: I'm not too sure on what's

I'm not too sure on what's going on with Ecommerce as far as D6 goes. I know Ubercart is currently in beta for it and I hear that the beta is running well for most people.

I would go with Ubercart, but that's just me.

FRanklyMyDear: U b e r c a r t - V S - E C o m m e r c e

I hope Ubercart becomes much more themeable. That would really let it take off, on a relative quality level.

Fashion: Nice Post

This blog Is very informative , I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog . It helped me with ocean of knowledge so I really believe you will do much better in the future . Good job web master .

ruth: e commerce

E commerce is important especially when it is regarding with business. you need to engage in an e commerce to be able to utilize more ways in improving your business and let your patrons know more about your products

lopsta ecommerce: i found ubercart as well

i found ubercart as well much more usable than the ecommerce project.
but i think there might be special cases where ecommerce is better, that might be not the typical shopping cart projects, but some content/permission/subscription websites.
but i can't think on a example right now.
i can only remember some cases when i came across some more capabilities of ecommerce compared to ubercart.

NettieBunnell: Here are a few more online

Here are a few more online debates on who's better than who:

http://drupal.org/node/188814
http://groups.drupal.org/node/10684

Hope these resources can give additional points to ponder on.

----

Alex: Drupal and Ubercart

I realize there's loyalty issues at stake, but ultimately Ubercart should have the freedom to be used on any system. Drupal proves itself superior to other CMS's in many other ways.

diamond earrings: Nice sharing. Thanks. Last

Nice sharing. Thanks. Last time i was made a module, in which it shows different pictures of diamond earrings for drupal. Its very easy. Now after read your post I know some more tricks to make better module.

PapaBloggerDotCom: I'm using Ubercart for my

I'm using Ubercart for my clients since a year ago & it's doing a great job. =)

ecommerce web development: Great

Thanks for sharing useful information. This is really a great work

Jean-Yves: New player in town

Qualiteam has released their Alpha version of an ecommerce solution integrated with Drupal. Check it out at www.litecommerce.com. Qualiteam has been designing shopping cart software for over a decade (X-Cart). I beleive it will be difficult for both shopping mentionned in these post to keep up with this player! Competition is great!

Water Proof Jacket: Great minimalist designs.

Great minimalist designs. I'm a firm believer in the k.i.s.s. design method. After all, most of the biggest sites on the web use minimalistic designs, like Google, eBay, Amazon, etc. As long as it's a good user interface, minimalist design is a great choice.

online casino: I have read a few of the articles on your website now

I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites website list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my site as well and let me know what you think.

gold buyer: I like your post and all you

I like your post and all you share with us is up to date and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job.

Web development firm: well, rightly said there is

well, rightly said there is no actual linking between core information of some field. Hope forums might be the exception for the same as we can get all the required information about the topic over there.

devonn: Thanks for the interesting

Thanks for the interesting review. The online shopping experience is obviously becoming more complex and it's only natural for the software developers and website owners to make the experience easier and more comfortable for the customer. I'll keep in mind everything you said about Ubercart as I intend to use my blair rewards quite soon.

tooman: comparing two great drupal

comparing two great drupal module for bussiness, but ubercart have biggset community than e-commerce module

santa: great blog

great blog

Tomas Norm: UberCart A+

They are almost the same. I've been testing out both carts, since I had migrated to Drupal from Ubercart, actually I had used Cart2Cart for this purpose, so I advice this tool as well.
Drupal platform is worth attention, but it still needs some time to get more features developed.

Rumah Minimalis: Great

Here's a quick tip to boost your SEO rankings for the website is having a look at the taxonomy modules and using your keywords as terms. This way your content gets connected to each other and your keywords get spread through the website.

Add new comment