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Recommended Host for Ubercart
What is Ubercart?
Ubercart is perfect for Drupal users looking for a compatible e-commerce platform for all types of products and services. Drupal is an open source content management system licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It allows you to create, publish, edit, and store a variety of content on your website.
Ubercart is one of the most popular e-commerce options for Drupal users. It was built specifically for Drupal and integrates seamlessly, and is also open source and licensed under the GNU GPL.
The integration between Ubercart and Drupal allows for features such as optimized URLs. The secure framework keeps your customers’ data safe. Of course, it allows you to build a complete site as opposed to just a storefront page and cart. This lets your customers participate in forums, blogs, and product reviews.
What is Ubercart used for?
Ubercart can be used to offer many types of products and services. You can manage subscription services, and sell digital downloads as well as physical goods. The product catalog is configurable. You can display product categories, assign product classes, display multiple product images, customize product attributes, add file downloads, and roll promotions. Single-page checkout and automatic account generation at checkout boost conversion rates.
Order creation, editing, and processing are simple. Shipping quotes and fulfillment are included, plus integration with major shippers. The Ubercart payment system is a bridge between payment methods and gateways. As of May 2015, 14 payment systems are supported including PayPal, USA ePay, CyberSource, and Authorize.net. Ubercart also produces reports on sales, products, and customers. It does require a handful of other Drupal modules to work properly. For Drupal 7 those modules are Rules, Views, Ctools, Entity API, and Entity tokens.
As of May 2015 Drupal is in version 7.37. Drupal is designed to be easy to run on nearly any server. It is written in PHP, and also makes use of the most common internet languages: CSS and HTML. Drupal stores information in a relational SQL database.
Drupal only needs about 15 MB of space for basic installation - though a site with a lot of modules and multiple installed themes may require closer to 60 MB of disk space. The posts, media, and other information stored in the SQL database will be in addition to the installed disk space. In any event, you don’t need a ton of disk space to host most Drupal installations.
Drupal will run just fine on a either a Windows or Unix server as long as a relatively recent version of Microsoft IIS or Apache Web Server is installed. As far as the database is concerned, Drupal supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.
What does Ubercart cost?
Ubercart and Drupal are both completely free and open-source software. However, there will be some cost involved in setting up payment gateways depending on which checkout methods you choose to implement. Of course, you will also have to set up hosting for your site.
How do I get Ubercart?
The easiest way to get Ubercart is to purchase a hosted Ubercart package. You may purchase Ubercart hosting packages from a few providers. Typically, those plans include enhanced support options and free installation of Ubercart. Current Drupal users looking for strong eCommerce software and newbies who need some handholding while building a beautiful eCommerce site will find Ubercart hosting to be a strong contender.
If you don’t choose a hosted Ubercart installation then you’re looking at a two-step installation process: first install Drupal, next add-on and enable the Ubercart module. Many popular hosting providers offer easy one-click installation of Drupal. So you’ll want to check that option out first as it will save considerable time in getting Drupal up and running.
If you already have a hosting account or are eyeing a hosting provider that doesn’t offer to install Drupal for you, and also doesn’t offer a one-click installation, then you can always handle installation yourself. While it will take some time, it is not overly complex. As long as you’re comfortable with FTP, setting up an SQL database, and have set up a site or two in the past you should be able to handle the installation process for both Drupal and Ubercart.
If you choose to set up Drupal and Ubercart on your hosting account yourself installation is a multi-step process. The details of installation can be found at the Drupal website, and we suggest you follow their detailed instructions.
Once you have Drupal set up you’re ready to install Ubercart. Before you can do that though you’ll need to make sure you have the necessary Ubercart module dependencies installed. For Ubercart version 3 the necessary modules include: Rules, Views, Ctools, Entity API, and Entity tokens. In addition, Colorbox, Google Analytics, and Token are recommended modules to get the most functionality possible out of your Ubercart installation. In order to install all of these modules, as well as Ubercart once you’re ready, you just download the modules from Drupal.org and then upload the modules to the module folder of the Drupal installation on your hosting account. Once you have all of the modules uploaded simply go into Drupal’s admin panel and enable them.
Ubercart isn’t just one module. Since not all eCommerce sites have the same needs Ubercart has been broken up into several modules so that you can install just those modules that you actually need. At a minimum you’ll want to install and enable to core Ubercart modules before moving on to any additional specialized modules. The core Ubercart modules are:
- Cart: Add the shopping cart to your site.
- Order: Enable receiving and managing orders through your website.
- Product: The tool you’ll use to create product listings for your site.
- Store: Provides a way to manage store settings and your Ubercart site.
There are several additional optional Ubercart modules you can check out to see if they might provide additional functionality that you’re looking for. While we won’t list them all here - you’ll have to head to Drupal.org for the complete list - we will mention some of the most noteworthy options.
- Attribute: Offering a shirt in three colors and six sizes? You’ll definitely need the Attribute module to make sure your customer gets the color and size they want.
- File downloads: Are you wanting to sell digital downloadable products such as e-books, audio files, or video content? You’ll need the file downloads module.
- Payment: Virtually every store will want this module as it provides the interface to connect your site to a variety of payment gateways.
- Payment gateway options: Once you have the payment module set up, you’ll also need to install modules for the payment gateways you want to use. Available payment gateway options include 2Checkout, Authorize.net, Credit Card, Paypal, CyberSource, Payment Method Pack (supports non-electronic methods of payment: cash, check, COD, etc), Recurring Payments, and a Test Gateway to be used for store and payment setup testing.
- Fulfillment modules: Provides several options for freight payment including optional integration of UPS and USPS freight quotes.
There are many additional modules you should check out so you have a complete picture of the functionality offered by Ubercart.
What are some alternatives to Ubercart?
There are two big fish in the Drupal eCommerce world: Ubercart and Drupal Commerce. In May 2015, according to recent statistics, Ubercart powers around 50,000 sites while Drupal Commerce powers near 60,000.
The general consensus seems to be that installing and getting the hang of Ubercart is easier. However, Drupal Commerce tends to be viewed as the better option for large and complex eCommerce sites. If you have a small store in mind Ubercart is likely what you’ll want, but if you plan to take over the eCommerce world Drupal Commerce will probably keep you happier. We’d recommend you check them both out before making a commitment to either.