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Why not a simple 1-2-3 workflow for building a commerce site?

There is no 1-2-3 procedure for users to actually build with commerce. There are all manner of videos and documents. There is no - Do this first, do this 2nd, do this 3rd procedural videos or documents that tell new users really where to start and what to do first.

There is a lot of information available, videos and postings. Alot of this information is dated and has got to be confusing for new users.

I'm pretty well over the hump myself, piecing together all the information from watching hours of videos and reading documents to get comfortable with Commerce.

Why don't commerce guys just make or recommend a series of videos and documents that start at the beginning and work through building a store?

Many times I wiped the Mysql, and my commerce files in file manager and started over? It was easier to do that because removing some of the things that weren't quite right were a royal pain in the wazoo to delete or remove. Often, I got ahead of what I should have done procedurally. I realize it is possible to alter and abolish things to clean up the install, but some aren't easy to find and you can become confused about what to remove.

As it is, I would suggest for new commerce site builders not to upload any more content or products than you need to just check and test things. After you are comfortable with the competence of your store then you tackle the data building work for your store.

Also, have two installs of commerce kickstart and one should be the fully featured commerce demo store. This can help, but it doesn't give you step by step information on how to start and build the site.

Asked by: domineaux
on February 22, 2014

1 Answer

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I thought I should share this, because it can be a major problem for Drupal sitebuilders. We who are experienced with Drupal have for the most part followed specific procedures for building Drupal sites.

First, since my first days with Drupal I started by creating "Content Types". Since Content Types are the basic format for entering and displaying of content it was the place to start.

With the Drupal Commerce you can forget about building "Content Types" first for product content.

Start here:

First create "Variation Types". You must create the Variation Types for your planned product content and product display. You don't have to create any additional fields at the time you create your "Variation Types". You can work with the variation types just like you can regular Drupal content types. You can manage fields and displays from here, and edit them as needed.

When you first click on the Variation Types you will see a submit button that says"Add Product Variation Type". Click on that button and you will see a couple of click boxes.

One is the default product variations or this type to be saved as new revisions when edited. Another one is the "Create matching product display type". This is important, because the product display is created from the inputs you make to fields and display in the variation types.

Yes, this is where you create the product display...not in the content types. The content types will display the product display you create in the variation types, but you cannot create the product display within content types. This can be confusing, because you do basically get a mirror image of your variation types in the corresponding content types.

IMO, the product variations is the first place to start your product catalog, along with the taxonomy of course.

There are many video tutorials floating around about the product creation process. Many are not updated with the way product displays are created now. The learning message gets obscured by those old videos. Best practice is to look at the time those videos were posted and be aware the information may not be relevant today.

Answer by: domineaux
Posted: Feb 23, 2014