The cornerstone of the project was to choose which CMS platform to use. We were torn between WordPress (with WP e-commerce and WooCommerce plugins) and PrestaShop. However, PrestaShop did not suit us as it was harder to get started with it than by using WordPress. The WP e-commerce plugin is the most popular plugin for e-commerce, but there were a lot of negative user comments (50%) about bugs and other issues. Therefore we created a small prototype to test the functionality of the WordPress plugins and check if they could be the solution to our problem.
The winner of these trial runs was one worthy plugin which can integrate with WooCommerce for subscriptions and also has the ability to create email campaigns. It uses the mailchimp service. We were able to download and integrated it with WooCommerce.
It was decided early on that we would use an existing WordPress theme for the design, and we presented three different themes to choose from to the client. In the end, we chose a highly adaptive scene that would play well with mobile layouts, however, we had to tweak it slightly for the store, where not all of the fonts changed their sizes for low resolutions, making some buttons overlap.
In terms of making the finished product not only usable, but also attractive, we completely re-designed the landing page, and once this was approved by the client, we started work on the remaining pages.
Some of the other tweaks which we applied to the design and structure of the website were:
- Adapting the application for a responsive design, to ensure the best possible user experience, regardless of device.
- Applying the Disqus comment system used for easy management of comments within the WordPress admin panel. Provides full integration with Facebook and Twitter accounts, making it easier to post comments.
- Creating an own plugin to integrate Mailgun with WooCommerce.
At the end of the project lifecycle, we deployed the project to the production server. First, the application was protected with a password so that our client would have a chance to register articles in the database, but this was removed when the site was ready to be used by buying customers.
The finished website consists of the following features:
- Wine shop
- Blog with news
- Coupons and account management functions