Client SiteHoffmann's Lures
How I built Hommann’s Lures E-commerce website.
When I build a site for a client, I like to be as forthcoming as possible with the process. To provide you with insight into the process, I’ve outlined the details on how I built this site for Hoffmann’s Lures.
To run the site the client required all the technical aspects be addressed. The proper platform was required that would allow the client to manage the site himself. Hosting was also required that would be fast, secure, and allow for potential growth of the site. The client also required a method of accepting payments online without requiring the client to process transactions directly on the site to avoid having to house and secure the personal and financial data of his customers.
Addressing the technical requirements of the site was easily solved by the flexibility of the platform I design exclusively in, WordPress. WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) in the world and powers approximately 30% of the websites on the internet as of April, 2018 (source: W3Techs). With available plug-ins, pre-built graphic themes, and easy to use interface, the WordPress platform was able to handle all the client’s needs.
The site had to house thousands of images to support the online store so I was unable to provide the client with hosting directly; however, I set the hosting account up for the client with one of my favorite hosting providers, SiteGround. For more information about SiteGround, check out my blog post, “SiteGround Hosting Review”.
The best way to accept payments online without having to process credit/debit card transactions directly is through PayPal. I set up the client’s payment processing through PayPal and integrated it directly into the site through the e-commerce system.
The design of this website presented the challenge of developing a theme that would allow for multiple elements on the home page as well as the flexibility to adjust these elements.
The client wanted a design that would provide a way to announce sales and product specials that would grab the attention of the visitor. Another requirement was the design had to allow for a way to present both the latest featured blog posts and product listings directly on the home page.
The design also had to feature a shop section that would organize many products in a way that was easy to navigate while providing the required product information to the visitor. All these elements had to be well organized and presented a visually appealing format.
To address all the requirements of the project, there were two possible solutions: find a pre-built graphic theme, or create a custom design. Finding a pre-built theme is usually far more cost effective than a custom built site and given the budgetary constraints of the project, finding a theme was the best option. Fortunately, after searching numerous resources, I was able to find a theme from Template Monster that fit the customer’s needs.
The theme was a perfect fit and was a fishing shop based theme. I was able to adjust the theme’s design including element placement, color scheme, and navigation structure to fit the project requirements.
One of the reasons why I design exclusively with WordPress is the availability of thousands of pre-built themes. Finding a pre-built graphic theme is the ideal way to design a new website, especially for new sites or small business sites with small budgets. Using a pre-built theme not only reduces costs for design and graphics, but also cuts down on development time.
For more information about WordPress and Themes, see my blog post “Why WordPress?”.
The site for Hoffmann’s Lures had to support an e-commerce solution that could easily handle hundreds of similar, small products with the ability to add more more products on a continuous basis. Hoffmann’s Lures is always adding new designs to their inventory so the system had to support categorization and sorting abilities.
The e-commerce solution also had to fully integrate into the design of the site and allow for order management, sale products, coupon codes, and shipping. Payment processing needed to be integrated into the e-commerce solution as well.
WooCommerce is a very popular and robust e-commerce solution that integrates with WordPress. By installing and configuring WooCommerce to meet the client’s needs, I was able to provide Hoffmann’s Lures with an online store that is easy to manage and keep up to date. WooCommerce is also a full-fledged e-commerce management system that also allows Hoffmann’s Lures to process orders, ship their products, and keep accurate records. While the main modules of WooCommerce were sufficient for Hoffmann’s Lures, there are many plug-ins and extensions available that can be added to meet practically every e-commerce need. For more information, check out my blog post, “WooCommerce Plugins & Extensions Review”.
WooCommerce also integrates directly with PayPal for payment processing. By using PayPal, Hoffmann’s Lures customers can purchase products securely with their credit/debit cards, even if they are not PayPal users. The PayPal system also saves Hoffmann’s Lures from the necessary and costly requirement of keeping the sensitive financial data of their customers safe since all financial details are processed by PayPal.
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