American Creative Team is a Wordpress-based wholesale website found at us-act.com. I was in charge of creating a new website for their company. The goal of the website is to make it so that other companies can view their products, as well as be able to submit a quote request. The purpose isn't to allow actual orders being placed, but rather, to act as a catalog website where the marketing and sales team can update and manage the website. Not only that, one crucial component is to develop it in such a way, so that it won't compete against their main retail site in terms of search engine ranking.
There wasn't a set deadline for the project, but along with my other job responsibilities, I felt like 1 month was a safe enough margin to get the job done. The goal was to make the website so the non-technical members of the company can manage the website.
Because it's going to be hosted on a shared hosting platform, and that it had to be non-technical friendly to maintain, I opted to go with Wordpress combined with Bootstrap so it's mobile friendly, and takes care of the CMS side of things - perfect!
As far as SEO goes, because they requested for it to not compete with their main retail site, I abandoned most SEO optimizations (except the basic meta titles and meta descriptions). I also had to reword some of their product descriptions to avoid search engines thinking it was duplicate content.
There were a few challenges with this project unlike other projects I've faced in the past.
I took care of the ecommerce functionality through the use of the Woocommerce plugin, which basically gives any Wordpress site the ability to act as an ecommerce store with payment processing abilities and product management. So that's one huge chunk of the problem solved.
The next part is disabling the "Add To Cart" functionality while adding a "Add To Quote" feature. This part, I brought it up to the company, and suggested we invest a small amount of money (about $10 more or less) on an official Woocommerce Quotes plugin.
The final challenging part was the homepage. Because I was using Bootstrap, the navigation bar was tricky, especially since it had dropdown menus. Normally, it would be as simple as following the Bootstrap documentation for navigation; however, due to Wordpress' code architecture, I had to use the wp-bootstrap-navwalker library to handle dropdown menu items. It provided a solution where it made Bootstrap's dropdown menu syntax work with Wordpress' syntax.
The design challenge of the homepage had to do with how to present the information while not being to SEO optimized. I opted for a simple 4 featured category solution, each with a overview picture. When the user hovers over it, it will show an overlay with a brief text describing that category. It's also clickable, which will take the user to that page category.
In the end, I was able to create the website which met all of the requirements functionality wise while addressing their SEO concern. The part I wasn't satisfied, which mainly had to do with my lack of experience and knowledge of Wordpress theme development was adding features so that it's more user customizable, so the overall design suffered and ended up being a poor representation of my web design skills. I did address part of this issue by learning and implementing the "Theme Customization" menu ability of Wordpress.
If I were to go back in time with my current knowledge and experience, what I would do differently would be to focus more on improving the web design aspect of the theme since I found it to be the weakest part of the project.
Interested in working with me? Let's have a quick chat, and see how we can make your project come to life. :)