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This course shows how to build an online store using Drupal Commerce, a set of modules that extend Drupal. Author Tom Geller teaches the basics of configuring a store, processing a payment, and charging for shipping and taxes, as well as creating, displaying, and categorizing products. The course also explains how to integrate a store into a Drupal site, customize a store's appearance, and increase site traffic using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.
If you're already a Drupal user, you might get the itch to just install Drupal Commerce by downloading all the modules separately, and then configuring them by hand. You can do that. Details about what you need are on the page at drupal.org/project/commerce. If you go to that page and scroll down a little bit, you'll see the requirements here, and there is quite a long list of them. Fortunately, there's an easier way. The folks who created Drupal Commerce also created an installation profile that includes all those pieces and it preconfigures them.
That saves us a lot of time, and we're going to use this Kickstart version throughout the course. To get started, I am going to assume that you've downloaded and installed Acquia Dev Desktop, which was formerly called the Acquia Drupal Stack Installer, or DAMP. To get it, go to acquia.com/downloads. Then scroll down to Dev Desktop. The site will automatically indicate the platform that you're using. In our case, Windows, but a version is also available for Mac. It doesn't really matter whether you choose the Drupal 6 or Drupal 7 version, since we are not actually going to be using the Drupal that comes with Dev Desktop.
If you have any trouble with this step, see lynda.com's Drupal 7 Essential Training course. Once you have Acquia Dev Desktop running, go to drupal.org/project/commerce_kickstart. Once there, scroll down, and download the version you want. Since we're on Windows, I am going to use the zip copy, although if you're on Mac or Unix, you can also use the .gz version, which is a little bit easier to install, and is also a smaller download. I recommend that you use the one that's in green here, which is the latest stable version.
If you want to be on the bleeding edge, you can try the development release, which is down here in red. But for us, we will just click zip, and then go to our download location, which in our case is on our Desktop. Once there, you uncompress the file. On Windows, I do that by double-clicking, and taking the contents, and dragging them to the Desktop. This part might take a while. Once you've uncompressed the files, you can close this window, and throw away your zip file. I'm also going to rename our installation here, from drupal-7.8, to twotrees.
That reflects the name of the site that we will be working with throughout this course: Two Trees Olive Oil; a fictional company in California. The next step is to import this site through the Acquia Dev Desktop. To do that, we switch to our Dev Desktop Control Panel, go to our little pop-up, and More, and click Import. You then select the folder that we've just created. It's on the Desktop at twotrees, and OK, and create a new database. You can name this whatever you'd like, but just for consistency's sake, I'm going to call this twotrees, and the server I will also call twotrees, and then Import.
Once the import is complete, you will see a fairly standard Drupal installation screen. The big difference between this, and core Drupal, is this extra selection: Commerce Kickstart. Select it, and click Save and continue. We are installing in English, so we will just click Save and continue, and then Drupal Commerce goes through the standard Drupal installation process, but adding a few extra pieces, that make it Drupal Commerce. This may take a while. When that's complete, you will have the opportunity to change some of the information on your site.
You will be able to change this again later, so it doesn't really matter that much what you put here. But we will just put up Drupal Commerce, and for our site e-mail address, it will just be firstname.lastname@example.org, although of course, you should use your own e-mail address. Our Username will be admin, and for a Password, we are going to use drupal, with a lowercase d; d, r, u, p, a, l. We use that administrator username and password, admin and drupal, throughout this course, all in lowercase.
That's important, because when you use the exercise files, you may need to enter that username and password. Of course, you can use whatever username and password you want. In fact, you shouldn't use these in any site that you intend to face the public. We will scroll down, and Save and continue. We are almost done, and then there's one final step that's specific to Drupal Commerce. If you're setting up a site, and you want to just learn how to use it, and play around a little bit, it's a good idea to let it install these sample products and product display nodes. I'll be showing you how to create these things yourself, so I'll uncheck them, and then click Create and continue. There we are! To visit our new site, we click this link, and we're all done.
Now, for you experienced Drupal folks, I want to show you something very quickly about how Commerce Kickstart sets things up. It's a little different from how standard Drupal does things, and that means you have to watch out when you update your site. To show you that, I will go back to my Desktop, and open up my twotrees folder. Now, normally in Drupal, all of the information that's specific to your site is in this sites folder here. It would be an all, and then modules would contain the modules. But you don't see them here. Because this is an installation profile, all of that information is stored inside profiles, in this commerce_kickstart folder.
Now, I am talking about the things that are specific to Drupal Commerce; the modules, and the way that it's set up, and so forth. If we open this modules folder, we see some of that extra stuff. In fact, this commerce folder contains all of the stuff that's specific to Drupal Commerce. I mention this because if you try to update the site in the normal way, by just replacing everything except for the sites folder, you will actually lose all of your commerce functionality, so be careful about that. Now, some of you might scoff at the idea of using this prepackaged version, but it is the method that I recommend.
I mean, why reinvent the wheel? The less time you spend installing, the more time you will have to build your site. And if you don't like the way this installer does things, well, you can install Drupal Commerce manually. Just go to drupal.org/project/commerce, and follow the instructions there.
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