When we think of ecommerce websites, large-scale shopping sites like Amazon or Ebay probably come to mind as examples. Although these sites have a custom-built sales framework, adding ecommerce functionality is now easier than ever if your site runs on a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal. Over the past few years, ecommerce has become even more feasible for smaller businesses that require a basic, straight-forward service for their products or services. For WordPress sites, we recommend using Cart66, an ecommerce plugin available in a free or premium package. Ubercart is a Drupal system that also offers great functionality and is also free.

Common features of ecommerce :

The shopping cart:

Online shoppers are mostly familiar with the interface of the shopping cart to manage orders and track purchases. Both plugins support the shopping cart feature and allow a certain level of customization for managing orders.


Shoppers often go online to get a better deal. The right ecommerce plugin can help you set discounts, promotions, and special offers, enticing customers to make a purchase.


Paypal has become the standard online payment system and integration of Paypal and other security features are important to consider when looking for an ecommerce addition to your website.

Conversion and Shipping:

Beyond placing orders and making payments, it is important to have shipping options available that can be customized to meet a shopper’s needs. For example, shipping to multiple locations, setting local currency and figuring out the tax by province or postal code are features that will simplify and enhance a shoppers experience.

Things to consider:

1) Size

I believe the single most important factor is the size of the website project, which in turn determines if the implementation will be more simple or complex. For simpler websites that need to be built quickly, you can get away with using a more basic CMS such as WordPress. However, if you have a complex multisite project, a more feature-rich CMS such as Drupal would be more ideal.

2) Control

Some clients want to be able to control every piece of content on the site, while others may only want to update the content once a year or would rather outsource the content management administration. We find that WordPress has a much more user-friendly backend interface. WordPress’ dashboard is also consistent among all other websites with WordPress installed. If you’re already used to WordPress you’ll find it easy learning how to manage content on a new wordpress website. Furthermore, you can also set various roles and permissions making it easier to manage many contributors to a website.

3) Development

Programmers may have a specific CMS that they prefer. We find that Drupal is very developer-friendly due to the Drupal community support (www.Drupal.org) . As an open source system, Drupal has thousands of contributing developers who build modules. This in turn helps other developers save time and resources with common issues and bugs. WordPress also has a community, but we find that it doesn’t offer the breadth of resources that Drupal does.