Using Drupal to Sell Products

Naive Art OnlineThis past year has been a pretty busy year for us. We came out with the Q&A site, did a total redesign of The Pet Wiki with responsive design, and we also released a new site for selling paintings online, which we developed in drupal. We’ve teamed up with GINA Gallery, the only international naive art gallery in the world, to sell paintings online. Our site is called Naive Art Online. Pretty original, right? The site was release a couple of months ago and it’s starting to gain traction. That’s always a good thing.

We decided to use drupal to create this site for a few reasons:

  • We wanted a lot of control over the content types that we were creating
  • We needed multiple user types with different types of access to edit data
  • We wanted to user ubercart as our shopping cart

At the get go, we wanted to make sure that our users could get to our products in a number of ways. They should be able to find paintings by artist, painting, or subject matter. Since the site has paintings from all over the world, we also wanted to make sure that users could search by country. There are a number of ways of organizing the data, and drupal is perfect for that.

The gallery that we are working with also needs to have access to the painting in order to mark them as sold or on hold when their customers buy directly from the brick and mortar store. We also have a blog that not everyone needs to get to. Because of that, multiple level user permissions is a must.

Speaking of blogging on drupal, I have to say that drupal is far from the ideal blog platform. After working with many WordPress sites, I know what a real blogging platform is. To make the blog work as well as we could, we used the WP Blog module. Trust me when I say that it is not the same thing. We needed to make modifications to it to get it to work the way that we wanted it. A lot of content was lost because it doesn’t have auto-save the way that WordPress does. We also added a module to allow for revisioning because it is not standard with drupal content types. We still have some problems with how the blog works every now and again, but we work through them.

Ubercart is an amazing shopping cart. It’s really easy to set up and use in drupal. It fits in naturally. It’s much better than any shopping cart that I’ve found on WordPress. Setting it up to use special shipping rules was fairly painless. It hooks in really easily to paypal, which we are using for all transactions on the site.

Another thing that I felt was very important was the ability to allow people to zoom into the paintings. It’s hard to really get the feel of the texture of a painting without it. We are using MagicZoom, which does the trick very nicely.

With all my sites, I love adding social sharing icons to the page. It doesn’t matter what platform that we are developing on, we will always make it easy to share content on twitter, facebook, google+ and pinterest. Pinterest is growing in popularity. Any site that has images needs to have pinterest. We find that it does really well for sending traffic to the site. This is another thing that is missing from drupal modules – a module that supports more than just twitter and facebook buttons, but they aren’t difficult to add, so it’s something that we can live with.

All in all, we are really happy with the way the site came out. It’s really a lot of fun to work on a site that has such beautiful paintings. Check it out. Tell them Rena sent you and you can get a nice discount. 🙂