Drupal is the best content management service for ecommerce for a variety of reasons. But first, for those who have never heard of Drupal (or are just finding out about it), Drupal is a free, open-source web development platform for online content and associated user communities. It is used by some of the busiest and largest websites and can be used alongside any visual design you already have implemented. Changes to Google's algorithms including Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird have further caused content marketing to become a centerpiece of your strategy, so when planning for all of your goals in 2015, a stronger and more powerful CMS might be in the cards.
The Basics of Drupal Compared to Other CMSs
Drupal is both powerful and flexible as a platform and the 3rd most popular open source CMS (WordPress being first and Joomla being second). WordPress is the most popular because it is easies to learn and operate for users, and Joomla isn’t too far behind. Unlike Wordpress and Joomla there is a bit of a learning curve with Drupal; however it is capable of far more.
The reason that Drupal beats current standalone ecommerce platforms like Magento or Prestashop (which can then use Wordpress systems for content management) is because they do not have the combined capabilities of the Drupal system. As your company grows, your option of incorporating multiple platforms may not become a good fit—you need to have a well-performing content management system to have a successful ecommerce site. Drupal (and its associated feature Drupal Commerce) is therefore an excellent solution for an ecommerce platform.
13 Reasons Why Drupal is a Great Option for Your Ecommerce Site
As an SEO/SEM specialist, there are a few things that I like about Drupal's flexibility specifically for a company that offers ecommerce ppc management services. Generally speaking, ultimately ALL Ecommerce sites must incorporate a well-designed content management system in order to be successful. A few of the reasons Drupal can make this happen include:
Good content management.
Drupal cannot be beat for online content management and marketing. Another feature that you can opt for, Drupal Commerce, is also very well integrated into Drupal and ensures that both users and customers have a positive experience when using your ecommerce website. Once again, Drupal is more powerful than a system like WordPress, which means anything that you could possibly want to do with content management can be done with Drupal. Get fancy with scheduling, layouts and different types of content, assignments for writers, social aspects and more.
Drupal is an open source CMS.
Drupal offers an integrated platform for your store while putting content management at a high level of importance. As mentioned earlier, when using standalone Ecommerce platforms like Magento you have to install another decent CMS to work with the content you produce. There are apparent disadvantages to this. The first problem is the time and money to learn, develop, and manage the 2 different systems (i.e. a commerce platform and a content platform). Secondly, there are several obstacles to render their appearance to look similar and work well together. This is where Drupal beats the competition; because it had the flexibility and ability to both manage content and your store.
One of the most important aspects of an ecommerce site is high security. Drupal is rated very high in terms of security (even the White House website is built on Drupal) and this is a huge difference when compared to a system like WordPress. This CMS informs the users common security vulnerabilities and bring them security reports.
Drupal is able to integrate with external systems.
If you want to integrate your Ecommerce platform in order to complement or extend the functionality found in Drupal and Drupal Commerce with third-party systems, you are able to do through a built-in feature of the platform. With the Drupal Feeds Module, you are also able to import content from external systems
Easy third party and external system integration.
This goes right along with the last point and is one of the core strengths of Drupal. Drupal modules have been built so that it can interact to one another and connect with the Drupal core firmly. If you need to connect your ecommerce to PayPal, 2checkout, MoneyBooker, MailChimp, Amazon, Google maps, Google Analytics, etc., then they are all there to be integrated with a few minutes. This is one of the best features of Drupal and is sure to be one of the most convenient for ecommerce.
Less time spent developing (compared to a two-platform system).
With Drupal, there is no need to develop and maintain between two separate systems. Because of this, there is also no need to (A) develop two versions of your visual templates, and (B) no need to configure the CMS with information about products held in the ecommerce store. These two factors alone should convince you that development is time consuming between two platforms. This is why Drupal is praised for its structure and its extendibility.
Ongoing management and maintenance.
A Drupal Commerce site’s ongoing management and maintenance is easier since there is only one platform to learn. Additionally, Drupal's management tools are flexible and highly configurable and can manage any administration task you might have in mind. This makes Drupal great for franchise companies who have multiple websites and work with multiple managers and editors. It helps keep things simple and make sure your system stays up to date and away from hackers
SEO, CRO (conversion rate optimization), and website analytics.
As mentioned before, with Drupal you only have to manage one platform for your ecommerce site. This means that it is much easier to control SEO, CRO, and analytic aspects of your site. It all comes down to the fact that you only have to work with one system, not two. Because it has more power, you have an easier time incorporating SEO techniques into your CMS such as keyword usage, load time, and other organic optimization tactics for your company. Being able to see advanced analytics all in one place is huge if you’re managing a large company.
Drupal Commerce's order management tools.
One thing that I really like about Drupal when compared with other systems is that the administration toolset is all founding one place. This means that you can view, manage and update orders on the website and send update notifications via the website.
Reporting and analytics tools.
Tools found in Drupal are great for reporting and analytics. They allow you to view how many visitors the website is receiving, the rate at which those visitors convert into paying customers, and statistics relating to order value and frequency.
Drupal offers granular user and role management.
What this means is that you can use these specific management and user functions to control access to functionality within the CMS and the online store, as well as controlling the features available to your customers. This obviously makes it great for a team based and collaborative platform. Platforms like WordPress and Joomla do offer this or can offer this, but Drupal offers more advanced role management features such as working through a permissions system. It’s as easy as clicking on and off what tasks you want to give different staff members permission to use. You can learn more here.
Drupal Commerce is free.
Unlike the Magento and WordPress communities, the concept of "premium" plugins or modules that you have to pay for doesn't really exist in the Drupal community. However, you do not compromise on features in the essential modules. There are also several free modules and additional add-ons and “premium” development features, which you can pay for if you wish. For many this won’t be necessary because the basic Drupal platform is usually enough, but the option is there if you want it.
Keep in mind that your ecommerce website is not just an online store, but also a place where online marketing can take place. Therefore you should have a long-term strategy with a content marketing plan. This includes a blog with frequently updated contents and a comprehensive SEO for your store and the content. Drupal can make this possible and streamline within the platform.
You can get started with Drupal and reading about more features here. What is your experience from using Drupal? Do you have more to add to this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.