"Politics is downstream from culture. "
"Politics is downstream from culture. "
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:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There's a strong community on the ubercart.org website and everyone there is really nice and helpful.
Ubercart gets a 5/5.
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