Drupal + Ubercart vs Oscommerce vs Magento
Updated: May 13
I have been asked this question a couple of times. With so many options in open-source world for e-commerce stores, clients are often thinking which open-source solution to choose for their online shop. Its crucial what you choose because depending on your project requirements, one system may serve the purpose better then the other. Choosing the wrong system might land you into trouble with huge custom development costs or deciding to build from scratch using another system later. I will try to compare the three to help you get better idea of what each system has to offer. My main comparison would be between drupal + ubercart and magento but i have discussed oscommerce because many stores are still using it for their e-commerce requirements. Complete development from scratch is something that is not discussed because i consider it a waste with so many out of the box solutions available unless you are building something revolutionary.
The first option is odd one out because drupal is a content management system with so many things to offer other then e-commerce and the other two are solutions that have only one focus and that is e-commerce. In drupal, e-commerce is just a plugin but the strong framework has made us use drupal for a number of e-commerce projects and a top choice for any website that requires extensive customization and strong content management features.
When it comes to Drupal, we got two options, e-Commerce Plugin and UberCart plugin. On comparison, ubercart surely stood out between the two as lot of problems in core areas in e-commerce plugin plus bad reviews on the community stopped us from exploring e-commerce plugin further. Ubercart has a solid team of core developers and all the things are simple and easy to use. The updates to community are much frequent and its much easier to setup.
Having said all this, drupal + ubercart is good for anyone looking for a strong content management system and wants features likes blogs, social networking, forums, directories and also wants to sell online with basic e-commerce features. One can also cover advanced e-commerce features as modules are available but would require an expert handling and some custom development work to fix some bugs or make things work your way. The custom development becomes feasible in this scenario because of the other things required in the solution..
Now lets focus on open-source e-commerce giants, magento and oscommerce. Oscommerce was definitely the top choice for many stores for so many years with a large number of modules and strong core framework enhanced and stabilized over a number of year. Mangento is new player in the market and has overtaken oscommerce as a top choice for new online stores. I read this transcript of magento’s creator interview here and found out that his agency was using oscommerce for a number of years before they decided to write down their own e-commerce framework. It was the process of evolution of internet that brought online shopping to a stage where it oscommerce couldn’t be enhanced more and a new e-commerce framework was needed. Oscommerce was there when SEO, tableless structures were not important and community developed modules with time to fulfill there needs. Having a solid experience with oscommerce and knowing its limitations, magento was developed.
You can check a detailed feature list here .
Magento filled in the gap of what was missing from oscommerce and is now the top choice of community developers for creating plugins and shop owners. If you need a a strong and easy to use e-commerce solution with simple content management needs. Magento is definitely the way to go. If you already have an oscommerce site and want to move to magento, you would need to do a feature comparison for all your custom work + add on modules and magento. There is a magento connect module that does the job for importing all the data but you might consider an expert help for smooth transfer. You might consider this magento extension for transferring data here
On a conclusion note, drupal + ubercart is suitable for any system that has either strong content management features required and there is a lot of custom development involved and magento is good for anyone looking for strong e-commerce solution. If you require a strong content management system as well as a strong e-commerce solution like magento, drupal + magento integration might work great but this is something that is still in progress in community. Hopefully, the community will have something on this in near future.