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General Info required on best website back ends to use. i.e. Magento, Drupal etc

Posted on 2012-12-24
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Last Modified: 2013-01-07
Hi,

I'm more after some valuable info rather than a solution please.

I've done some research and found a few but not sure if, they are right for what I want to do.

In the new year I plan to open a small website to use to sell Canvas Prints (Saturated market but I enjoy it) I like photography, taking pics with Macro lens, Details of Nature etc.

The website needs to be a little flexible with design, have the shopping cart and the ability for the customer to upload an image to their order.

Im ok with webdesign, I built my own photography website, which is non functional, more a portfolio with a few fancy Action Scripts, I found on the web from other kind people who like to share their work.  

I usually use Lynda.com to study a new subject to get an understanding and they have quite a few good tutorials for Drupal, but not sure I should invest the time if anybody can recommend another online shop??

Any Help, Tips, Info is more than appreciated!!

Happy XMas to All!!

Rich
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Question by:squidlings
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10 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
oliverpolden earned 1600 total points
ID: 38718324
Sounds like an interesting project :)

I would say that you will probably find an issue with Magento with customising it for example allowing users to upload their own pictures but don't take my word for it because I don't have much experience with it.

Wordpress has come on in leaps and bounds and is a great solution for 90% of sites now.

In terms of real flexibility to do what you want then my choice would be Drupal. There is the Ubercart module which is good for an out the box shopping system and also Commerce which is very complex but gives you greater ability to customize. However as you mentioned Drupal can be a lot more work to set up. There are books for "business case  recipes" etc for Drupal that may be helpful:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Using-Drupal-ebook/dp/B007TCTWUQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356347024&sr=8-1
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Drupal-Business-Solutions-Trevor-James/dp/1849516642/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356347001&sr=8-1

Be careful with the Using Drupal book, most editions are for Drupal 6, it seems there is only a kindle version for Drupal 7, just check the description.

Happy Christmas to you too!

Oliver
0
 

Author Comment

by:squidlings
ID: 38718350
Sounds encouraging for Drupal... I've just wordpress a little bit for a blog on my photography site but my GF uses it more than me.

Many Thanks... I'll hopefully get a few more responses and dish out the spoils :)

Rich
0
 

Author Comment

by:squidlings
ID: 38718354
Actually on that note, I've already started a video tutorial, the fella said Drupal was quite tricky to customise? He recommended Drupal more for a very stable backend etc.

Although he showed a few websites, i.e. Sony and all their artists, the Latvian Government who use Drupal for their sites all looked very nice and very personal to themselves.

Rich
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Assisted Solution

by:oliverpolden
oliverpolden earned 1600 total points
ID: 38718370
Drupal 7's theme layer is better than Drupal 6's. I would say that it is no more difficult to customize (in terms of theme/appearance) than any other CMS. At the end of the day it's just templates, HTML and CSS. Drupal can be a bit more rigid and requires understanding otherwise, yes it can be more difficult to customise, but when you do it the right way, it's actually easier. For example, Drupal has theme functions for almost everything e.g. Theming menu items. Now if you don't understand Drupal you might not realise that you can override the theme function to customise the HTML.

Just find the correct way to do things and it should be pretty straight forward.

Drupal is more of a framework than Wordpress or Magento, so yes, the code and structure of the system is much more developer centric. Wordpress on the other hand is built for usability, quick out of the box, but not great if you are a developer yourself or want to plug modules/plugins together.
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Author Comment

by:squidlings
ID: 38718371
Sounding more and more like the CMS for me!  I don't mind taking the time to learn, I just didn't want to invest my limited time on the wrong path...  I have a busy life, full time job, part time business and a 3 yr old daughter :) this advice is more valuable than you'd think so very pleased!!! Many Thanks
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LVL 53

Assisted Solution

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 400 total points
ID: 38718486
Don't waste you time on going only 1/4 of the way.  Having a "site" for selling is only half the battle.   Your product sounds perfect for http://www.etsy.com/.   Otherwise, if you want to build your own, simply install open cart.  With etsy you have built in marketing of sorts since this is where your kind of product is found..
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:oliverpolden
ID: 38718533
I agree with padas. I've just had a look at Etsy and it looks like just the place to sell your products. There is also social media integration so you can do things like automatically post your products to Facebook etc. It would be much easier to get exposure for your products on Etsy rather than on your own site since they already have lots of users.

The only thing is that it probably doesn't allow your users to upload photos however do you know how much demand there would be for this? I know that there are lots of well established companies that also allow you to upload images and get them printed on to canvas.

I'd say, go with Etsy, see if you can test the water by connecting with customers and potential customers through Facebook and then when you know there is demand for your specific service to then set up a website.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Scott Madeira
ID: 38727988
If you go with your own site, I suggest you look at Zen Cart as a full shopping cart / store system.  It is fairly easy to configure and set up and has an active support community that may have advice on how to allow photo uploads if a module doesn't already exist.

If etsy works for you I would start there because it has a solid infrastructure in place already to help market your products.
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:lenamtl
ID: 38736467
I suggest Opencart because it's easy and fast to set.
http://www.opencart.com/

Demo:
http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route=demonstration/demonstration

Extensions: http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route=extension/extension

To test it on your PC you can install a webserver using Wampserver
http://www.wampserver.com/en/


Good luck
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:squidlings
ID: 38751177
Cheers all. Apologies for delay in closing question.  Forgot :(<br /><br />More help than expected,  I'd never heard of esty.com there is some really cool stuff on there!! Mega thanks for that. <br /><br />I want my own website for the photography side of business.  I'm testing out other market places like ebay and amazon as well so esty is a breath of fresh air.
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