Many businesses both large and small would like to take better advantage of their web presence by selling their products or services directly online. Setting up e-commerce, however, can be a very daunting task. There are several options with varying complexity. Many hosting providers offer e-commerce or "shopping cart" packages that may be either included with your web hosting plan or available for purchase. Other services, such as PayPal, offer simple ways of including means for simple purchases using an HTML form that submits to their processing system. There are other options still for using dedicated e-commerce packages, both open source and proprietary, that you host and configure. The biggest issue with all of these methods tends to be the lack of integration with the rest of the website—all shopping cart functions and checkout take place within the other, external system.
The other complication with e-commerce implementations is that there is real money involved for both you and your customers. Customers will be providing credit card details and other sensitive information, so we need to be aware of security implications.
This chapter will introduce the following module:
Provides a full e-commerce package for running an online store
To follow along with the hands-on example in this chapter, install Drupal using the Online Store install profile, which installs Drupal with a few sample users and basic settings, as shown in Figure 10-1 and found at http://store.usingdrupal.com. For more information on using the book's sample code, see the Preface.
Figure 10-1. Sweet Tees' completed website
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