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Drupal or Magento for Ecommerce: Which One Should You Choose?

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In a saturated ecommerce platform market, it’s a hair-pulling task to figure out which shopping cart software best meets your needs. If you are considering starting your own store or already own a store, then chances are you have already gone through this experience.

While product features and costs remain the primary drivers for a business owner to select an ecommerce platform, some other key features to consider are the ease of setup, secure order processing, attractive templates (themes) and the ability to upgrade as necessary (paid or unpaid options).

In this post, we’re focusing our energies on the two prominent players in the ecommerce space — Drupal Commerce and Magento.

What is better – Drupal Commerce or Magento?

Columns of space have been devoted to the comparisons between Drupal and Magento. Here, we offer their strengths and limitations against each feature to help you as a business owner make an informed choice.

Core

Magento has a wide range of default features and offers unlimited customization options and a handful of extensions. Its robust product management combined with an ability to manage complex variants makes it a top candidate for any web store.

Drupal Commerce also offers a wide range of default CMS features and thousands of contributed modules, making it a #1 choice of the framework in the world for any type of website, especially CMS.

Content management

Magento’s content management tool is fairly simple and manageable with simple content structures. However, Drupal Commerce is a bit classier, offering various options to easily manage content, forms, blocks, menus, users and permissions, listing pages, as well as nice drag and drop features.

Administration panel

Magento’s admin panel focusses mainly on managing products, attributes, categories, pricing rules, promotions and discounts, and allows the admin to easily manage multiple stores from a single interface. Since it is an ecommerce platform, all its features are related to managing ecommerce store. Drupal also scores on this front as we’ve already seen in the above point; it focuses on managing content.

Theming

In our experience, Magento’s theming is comparatively more complex than Drupal, though it is not hard to master. Drupal has a nice theming system, which allows the developers to integrate plain HTML, CSS into a Drupal theme with less effort.

Commerce features (filtering products, cart, checkout, payment)

Magento provides a decent shopping experience to the end users with an intuitive interface for searching and filtering products, shopping cart, single page checkout etc. Drupal Commerce also provides a good interface but doesn't have that refined feel.

Extensions (plugins/modules)

Magento’s plugins are paid, while Drupal offers them for free on its website.

Landing pages for promotions

Magento is good with built-in promotion options as coupon codes, customer based discounts and catalog price rules are very flexible. Drupal makes it easier to create landing pages but the coupons and discounts system is not as good as Magento.

FAQs

In Magento, single page FAQs can be created easily, but if you want category based FAQs, you have to go with some extension. In Drupal, you can easily create normal / category based FAQs.

Videos

For enabling videos in Magento, you need a paid extension while in Drupal you can go with a module, which is free.

Image gallery for a product

Again, in Magento, you’ve free as well as paid extensions while Drupal offers all its extensions for free.

Scalability

Magento wins in scaling for large enterprise level websites as it is specifically designed to handle only ecommerce sites. Drupal Commerce, on the other hand, lags behind a little on this aspect, as it was primarily built to handle content.

Checkout process

While Magento’s single page or multi-page checkout is quite developer-friendly, Drupal Commerce’s checkout process takes a little time to fine tune and customize. We feel both are powerful and pretty smooth to setup and operate.

SEO

Drupal Commerce has a slight advantage when it comes to search engine optimization against Magento as it has a lot of out of the box features powered by the Drupal CMS.

Our take

Magento has emerged as the crown winner when it comes to large-scale online stores or websites offering a significant range of products. However, Drupal as a CMS solution would be an ideal option if your website offers a comparatively less number of promotable products, primarily with content marketing tools.

If you aren't sure, or you're looking for some guidance, please feel free to ask us!

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