🔻🔺  The Pros & Cons of Drupal Commerce
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🔻🔺 The Pros & Cons of Drupal Commerce


– Is my hair okay? – You gotta say action first– – My hair. Is my hair okay? – Actually, no, you got like
a total piece sticking out. – Oh, sorry, didn’t see you there. Hey, I’m Steve. – And I’m Shawn. – And this is Acro Media’s High Five. (upbeat electronic music) That’s you, bud. – No, we were gonna
switch things! (laughs) – Go ahead. – What are we talking about today, Steve? – We’re gonna talk about the pros and cons of Drupal commerce. ‘Cause I hear that
you’re an expert on this. – What an interesting topic
you’ve thought of, Steve. – Oh, thanks. I put a lot of time into thinking
of these things, you know? I know you don’t appreciate
how much planning I put into these episodes,
but I do really care. – You probably spent
one, maybe two minutes? – Yeah. – I’m proud of you, Steve. – [Steve] Thank you.
– [Shawn] Okay. So, we’re gonna talk
about some pros first, and then we’ll switch over and talk about some stuff about Drupal
commerce that’s not so good. First thing is, and probably
the best part about Drupal in general, and this
extends to Drupal commerce, is it’s a really flexible
framework, you can do anything you need to do with it. If you have a weird,
like, if your product is not standard, if you have
an odd checkout flow, if you need to ask people weird options, it’s set up for that,
it can be customized to do whatever you need it to do. There’s pretty much no limit on there. It might cost a lot if
it’s really complicated, or there might be performance issues, but you can mix it up to do anything. A proprietary system, maybe even another open source system, not
necessarily gonna be as flexible, or it’s gonna be
more difficult to flex with, so if that fits, that’s
okay, if it doesn’t, the customization is what you want. – So, let’s maybe kind of give an example, like we’re talking about flexibility, we’re talking about another system. Let’s maybe compare say, like a Drupal to maybe a Joomla or a Magento, like how is one more flexible than the other? – Yeah, so Magento’s probably
a pretty decent example. Joomla’s a bit more of a CMS, Magento’s dedicated ecommerce. You know, if you have a
fairly standard checkout flow, so you just have products, they have a couple of attributes, you need them to go in, you know, you sell t-shirts, you sell something that’s a normal
sort of commodity good, it’s not so bad; if you
need something that’s a bit more of like a Wizard style option where you have many customizations, you maybe have a bit of a
builder that it displays, Magento’s not as great on that. It’s meant for the product
catalog type of layout. If you need something where it’s something you build, it’s like it’s more like a car, it’s something that gets customized, you build custom PCs
or something like that, it doesn’t lend itself as well to that. You can sort of shoehorn
the interface to it, but it’s gonna be both
cumbersome on the back end and it’s gonna be fairly
cumbersome for your users. – So when was it that you decided to actually move from
something like a Magento to a Drupal, did you ever
have a preference of one before the other? – Yeah, I mean, this can
actually switch into a con here. Segue is, Drupal commerce isn’t as… Evolved as some of the
other ecommerce platforms, it’s a bit newer, Drupal
as a platform, as a CMS has been around for quite a while now, and it’s a very mature platform. Drupal commerce is a little newer. We’ve been using Drupal commerce or it’s predecessor, Ubercart
for six or seven years now, but it started off as nothing, and so it’s been growing into something
bigger and bigger. So it took a bit before
we were confident in doing the switchover for everything. We did do a few sites in Magento. We’ve done some in some older platforms that we did because it would, if we needed a lot of functionality that
wasn’t already built in it it could be a lot of work for us. That’s becoming a problem less and less often now, but, you know, so we did switch because of the flexibility, but that was one of the things holding us back. – And in terms of
flexibility, what’s something you’ve done recently that can
prove that it is flexible? – We do some pretty difficult
layouts for ordering phones, and so with phones
there’s lots of different, there’s rate plans, and
terms, and accessories, and there’s a lot that comes
into building a phone package. And getting subscription
things like a rate plan is not the same as buying a product, it has monthly costs, sometimes buying certain stuff lets you buy other stuff, and you have to combine them together to hit a specific monthly
rate that might give you access to certain details and stuff. So we have some very
customized product pages that I think there’s not
much else, platform-wise, that we could do it in; it would almost certainly have to be an open source setup, and even then, a lot
of the ecommerce ones, if we tried to do it in
X-Cart or something like that, it would be a lot of work, and I’m not sure it would even be completely possible. – One of the things that
I know about Drupal to be awesome is the fact
that it’s open source. Maybe should we just even define that for people watching in case they’re not sure– – Yeah, open source,
oftentimes it’s sort of synonymous with free, that’s
not really what it means. What it means is you
have access to the code. So you can change the code
to do whatever you want. You have to be a developer,
probably, to do that, but you do have that ability. So if something isn’t open source, you can’t change it,
you can only change it within the parameters; if
it has some settings, sure. If it doesn’t have the
settings to do that, you’re just out of luck, there’s literally nothing you can do. Maybe you can build a second program that does that or something, but you have to build something entirely separate. If the functionality isn’t
there, the only thing you can do is hope that the company that makes it adds that functionality, and if they don’t, tough, you know? You’re basically SOL,
you have to hope that they want to; maybe you can pay them a bunch of money to do that, but if you’re just one of their customers, they honestly probably don’t give that
much of a shit about you. I mean, yeah, they probably
like their customers, but if it’s not a priority for them, why would they bother? They’re into the platform for everyone, not just the platform for you. So that’s the detriment there, whereas if something is open source, you can always hire some developers to add on to it. It’s maybe not the most
cost-effective thing, but it is possible, and so that’s why you want something that’s open source. For that benefit. If you’re totally fine with what the closed source product has, and you never want to change it, you’re okay. Maybe it’s a better deal. But, you know, if you think you’re gonna need to change, probably
go with open source. And then also you can’t get stuck in the licensing agreements if you
have a proprietary system. They could also change
the licensing agreements and say, “Oh, now you used
to pay 100 bucks a month? “Now it’s 200 bucks a month, “now it’s 1,000 dollars,”
or something like that. Hopefully they’re a good
company and they wouldn’t, but you have no power over that. They control it. – So when’s a good time
to actually be using, you know, a proprietary system, you know, and maybe this isn’t even
a proprietary system, but, you know, Shopify,
that’s a really popular platform right now, you
can make some edits to it, a lot of people seem to be
jumping on that bandwagon. What are your thoughts on that? – It’s when you’re smaller,
and if it’s gonna do everything that you need it to do, you can go with that, especially if, like at Drupal, that’s another one of the cons we have is, it does require a bit of setup to get going, and you’re probably gonna want to do some customization, so if you just want to get
something up really quick so you can sell some simple products, for us, we could make one really quick, but if you don’t have a
tech farm or something that’s probably a bit
out of your wheelhouse, so if you want something quick, simple, you can get it set up,
and then when you outgrow something like that,
when you outgrow Shopify and you need customizations,
you have 10,000 products, you know, you want to do
customizations outside of their software’s service
model, then you move to something else, but if you want it fast and quick, that’s it. If you’re doing a big system, I’m honestly not a big fan of a proprietary system in any instance for the big setup if you’re gonna need customizations, because it’s just always going to tie
you to that one company, and now your business is
tied to their business. – So, if I’m talking to a client of ours, or something like that,
and they’re talking about growing their business, and expanding, and have more product customizations, it’s looking like the only
option is custom ecommerce, really, in terms of if you need to do, pretty much, have a unique flow– – Yeah, if you’re doing,
if you’re not doing something custom, it
better have every feature you are ever going to need, ever. And you probably haven’t even thought of what all those are, and
your business model is probably going to change since then, so if you’re really
confident in that, which, I don’t know how you
could be, go with that. But, if you think your business model is gonna change or grow at all, go with something that can be customized. Maybe it’s not Drupal
commerce, but go with something that’s open source
that you have control over. If you go with a proprietary
one you’re at their whim, so it better be damn good at the start. – I can agree with that. – (laughs) Well, I’m
so glad that you agree. (laughter) Your approval means so much to me. – Yeah, man. I appreciate
that you know that. Is there anything else that you wanna add, anything about, you know, on the pro side, anything on the con side– – Yeah, I got a couple more things. We’ll talk about some
cons ’cause we’ve kind of glossed over that a little bit, and not everything about Drupal
commerce is perfect. I touched on it before, there’s lots of configuration you need out of the box. That’s getting better, but the strength is it’s customization, so it’s
not big on the canned solution. So if you want to get something
up really really fast, it’s not that easy, and it’s
probably not something that, Shopify site, as a business owner, you can probably set up yourself. A Drupal commerce site, ooh, probably not. You need someone with tech experience. Maybe your in-house IT
can do it or something, but you have to have some
tech savvy to set it up. – Do you feel privileged
that you get to use Drupal? – I wouldn’t say I feel
privileged. (laughs) I’m not, like, the
chosen one or something– – Do you feel like you might be blessed? – I feel like I’m better than everyone, but that’s not specifically
Drupal related, that’s more of an
intrinsic part of my being. – I felt like I was
trying to get to a point to drop a hashtag bless down there. – I wasn’t pickin’ up what you were throwin’ down, Steve, I’m sorry. – Perfect. Now that we know that, is there anything else you
wanna add or should we kind of sum this up with a too long; didn’t read? – Just one more little bit
that I just wanna touch on, and then we can roll into
the too long; didn’t read. For… The biggest problem, I would
say, with Drupal commerce is the third-party support
is a little weak still. If you need integrations
with lots of other setups you can always build them, of course, it’s great, it’s super
modular, it’s open source, it lets you do that, but if
you just want them to work, and you want them to be cheap, the real major ones are probably there. The sort of tier two ones, probably not. We’re workin’ on that, it
gets better all the time, but that’s the weakness,
I think the tradeoff with the flexibility is well worth it, but it’s probably our biggest weakness, and a weakness of Drupal commerce in general that we try to work around. – All right. Sum it up for us today. – You should go with
custom ecommerce, for sure. Drupal’s really good at being custom. If you need something simple, quick, go with an out of the box thing, go with Shopify, go with
something else like that. Shopify, actually, go with
that one, it’s pretty good. – All right. So yeah, guys, if you wanna
subscribe to our channel ’cause you think that what
we’re talking about is pretty interesting, go ahead and do that. If you comment or have a question, we’ll do our best to answer those. Shawn, do you have anything else to add? – Yeah, follow us on
Facebook, pretty please. Only our moms follow us, and
it’s really embarrassing. – We have two followers. – Yeah. But it’s just our moms. My dad doesn’t even
follow me. He’s ashamed. (laughs) And, uh– – That is probably true, actually. (laughter) Well now I’m just depressed. You can also check out
our blog on our website, AcroMedia.com, we’ll probably
post lots of stuff on similar topics like this. – Thanks, man. This is Steve, signing out. – This is Shawn, and I’m
not sayin’ somethin’ corny. (upbeat electronic music)

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