Splash of Color Designs – A Full Ecommerce Site in About a Week

Every now and then, odd circumstances present themselves and the near-impossible has to be done. In this case, it involved building a full ecommerce site from scratch so it could be ready to take some orders for Christmas gifts. Not that much of a problem if the request had come in around October. That, of course, wasn’t the case here. Nope, the request came in right at the beginning of December.

The Client

Carrie Johnson, Splash of Color Designs (custom hand-made jewelry)

Splash of Color Designs Home PageThe Situation

An old friend of mine who has made jewelry for a long time finally decided it was time to put up a website to display and sell her creations. This was something a few of us had been on her to do for years, so I was overjoyed to help out. The problem was, she wanted it done in time to get some orders in (and shipped) by Christmas. It was already the beginning of December.

The Criteria

The site had to be easy to update with products, display multiple images per product, have the ability to set different options for different products, track inventory, have multiple categories of products (some organized by color), and, of course, allow the purchase of items.

The Solution

Because the organization of products was going to be a bit complex and the fact that there were some other options she wanted to eventually add in down the road, Drupal was the sensible choice. The wide variety of modules available coupled with the flexibility of the content type and taxonomy systems meant most of the rough stuff could be done relatively easily.

The Ubercart module, along with a few modules related to that project, took care of just about all the ecommerce stuff, including special discount coupon codes to use in promotions and variable shipping charges.

The Views module allowed for the easy grouping and sorting of products based on color (which was noted using taxonomy terms on the individual products) and provided the ability to have dynamically generated pages.

The Context module helped enhance the default block functionality to allow for some more variety when it came to placing the individually grouped products on various pages.

While we were working on the site, I put up a placeholder page with a MailChimp email capture form (“Sign up to be notified when the site goes live!”) and we started building her a mailing list. By the time the site launched, there were a half dozen people (mostly friends and family) who’d signed up. Once launched, that email capture form moved to the top of the page and has continued to add new subscribers to the list.

Thanks to my friend’s organization and the clear ideas of what she wanted, we pulled the whole thing together–including her photographing and entering dozens of wonderful hand made earrings–in just under ten days. We’ve continued to tweak and work out some kinks in the site as time has gone on, but there hasn’t been a single major problem that’s come up.

Looking Ahead

So far, the site has been running and generating her sales without a tremendous amount of promotion. She sent out a notice to a number of people she knew and I publicized it via my preexisting social media channels. In the coming months, there will be more publicity as she’ll be teaching some of her beading techniques at a conference and working out some cross promotional plans with a couple of other sites I’ll be working with her to create.

About KierDuros

Hi, I'm Kier. I've been on the web since there's been a web to be on. In that time I've used it to tell stories--both my own and other people's--and help numerous organizations and businesses find their niche while making the best use of available technology.