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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.
Up until now, we've only talked about the commerce functions of your Web site, but when you install Drupal Commerce, you automatically install Drupal, one of the most popular and well supported Web site construction kits around. So it makes sense to build out your store as a full site in Drupal, rather than trying to integrate it with some other Web site platform. This video shows you some of the possibilities of Drupal, but it's so big a topic that lynda.com has several courses just about building sites in Drupal, and of course, I recommend them.
So how do you make your site this amazing? Well, there are two ways. If you have an existing Drupal 7 site, you would simply add the Drupal Commerce modules on top of it, and then start building the store. The way you do that is by going back to your site, and then clicking Modules. Then you'll install, enable, and configure all the modules you need in the usual way. This Install new module link is the key, but for full instructions, see lynda.com's Drupal 7 Essential Training course. But which modules do you need? The Drupal Commerce page tells you.
Let's go back to drupalcommerce.org, and click Download from drupal.org. This is where you actually get the software itself, and as you scroll down, you see this requirements list here. There are quite a few of them, but again, if you know Drupal well, you'll be able to install it and configure it yourself just fine. And best of all, you can do that on top of an existing Drupal site. The other way to integrate your store with a Drupal site is to start with the store, and then add the other site features. That's what we basically have here in the site that we've been building for Two Trees Olive Oil.
So here are some quick ways to add common Web site features. Let's start with some basic pages. First we go back to our site, and we'll close out this overlay just to get back to our front page, just to see what we're doing. And then to add stuff, you go up to Content, and Add content. I am going to create a basic about Page. So I'll use Basic page. There is also an article content type, which is slightly different, and again, you can see the Drupal 7 Essential Training course to understand the differences. But for us, we'll just do a basic page. There's a title, and a body, and I am going to get that information from my exercise file.
There's my title; paste it in, and the body. As I scroll down to the bottom, there are some additional options. I think I will actually create a Menu link, and the Menu link will be About. I am also going to create a URL path alias, so that it shows up in the URL bar up here, just as about, and then I'll save it, and there's our page. And in fact, we have our little tab here, so if we go back to our front page, we can go to it very easily by just clicking About, and there it is.
That's a good start to filling the site with content that supports the store, but doesn't advertise a specific product. You'd obviously repeat this process many times as you build and expand your site. So that's how you add content. Now, to make a site like the one you saw earlier, you'd also need to add some functionality, such as that map widget, and photo gallery. You do that with modules. Go up and click Modules, and here we see the modules that are already installed. These are the core modules. You can close up this group if you want, or open it up to see exactly what's inside it, and then we see some things that Drupal Commerce installed as part of the Commerce Kickstart package that we started with.
The important part is this Install new module bit, and if you want to see what modules are available, you can take a look at this link here; find modules and themes on drupal.org. I am going to open that up in a new tab to show you how many there are. Take a look; there's almost 9,000 available. Now, that includes some repeats. For example, it counts twice the ones that are available for Drupal 6, and Drupal 7, but there are still thousands of them. The first thing you want to do when you're searching is to filter by compatibility.
Since we are using Drupal 7, we say Drupal 7, and search, and wow! There's still over 2000. The other part of building up your site is the design. To do that, let's go back to our Modules page, and you can see that it's also possible to download themes, which are entirely package designs for Drupal sites. You can do that not only from here, but also from the Appearance window. Install new theme, let's take a look at what themes are available, and again, it's very similar to the Modules page.
We'll filter by compatibility, and search, and we see there's over 200 themes, including several which are sort of base themes that let you do your own custom programming. You can also completely create your own custom themes. lynda.com has a course on Drupal theming, so check that out if you want to go beyond these readymade ones. Finally, you might need some custom programming. This is, of course, a little more difficult, but lynda.com does have courses on CSS, and PHP, and other skills that will help you. One of the interesting things about Drupal is seeing how people balance its many features.
You could have a huge site with only a single button for donations, which is handled by Drupal Commerce, or you could have a big catalog, but only a single non-product page, which is pretty much what our own site is at this point. Creating that balance between information and products is a big part of what will give your site its personality.
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