Visual Thinking Inc. (Store)

A companion site to Visual Thinking's main site, this e-store provides a mechanism for clients to purchase educational materials for personal enrichment and corporate training.

The e-store acts as a point-of-sale for industrial clients to enroll in online courses and acquire books that supplement learning and organizational change.

When Dr. Galsworth is traveling, she can provide workshop and conference attendees with a link to her store to take orders and enrollments on the spot, commoditizing her concepts.

Framework or Technology

Visual Composer, WooCommerce, PHP, Bootstrap, Sass

Project Type

Hybrid

Cost or Package

$7300 - $14500

Services Provided

Prototyping, framework development, PHP templating, custom scripting

Enabling clients to implement their own Visual Workplace.

It was clear from the onset that all additional subdomains of Visual Thinking Inc were to include the same branding schema, so maintaining the ecosystem and navigation, body styling, and footer styling was absolutely necessary. However, the site has since departed in early 2018 from my original recommendations and development efforts. This was the first time I implemented both Visual Composer and Toolset in the same project for an e-commerce store due to the sheer lack of time that was available for this website buildout, and it's a combination that I would never use again due to the sheer number of buggy implementations and sloppy code from product developers. While my preference would have been to hand code this theme and its functionality, VTI had neither the time or the budget for another several months of production time. Instead, this ended up being a hybrid approach with Visual Composer and Toolset hooking into a custom WordPress theme using the woocommerce.php method and implementing custom PHP logic to switch templates based on the sections or pages being viewed. Lessons learned, but the project was fast, functional and contained an array of starter products and services that the company could add-to as they progressed. Clients who purchased courses would have been automatically enrolled in the online e-learning system and would receive login instructions and credentials. Every aspect of the checkout process, including post-purchase, was customized for this business. The site was fully secured and integrated with a subscription model and custom messaging to clients after purchase, with an automated data port to MailChimp for inclusion on mailing lists for targeted drip campaigns. I no longer provide any planning, design or development services to this company and have severed ties. The screenshots provided here are what's left of this project when it was still in my care.

Client project cover image.

Keys to Project Success

E-Commerce Needs

A subscription module was essential for revenue generation, while maintaining the small-scale enterprise ecosystem. The site needed to support multiple product types and methods to order.

Speed and SEO

One of the biggest concerns with using a visual builder was the final speed of the site. SEO optimizations were made to ensure realistic load times, mobile friendliness, and crawlability for search engines.

Integrations

A subscription module and e-learning API was essential for this business model to flourish. An integration with MailChimp was also needed to maintain a client pipeline with data also ported to a CRM.

DONE RIGHT THE FIRST TIME

As a professional developer that focuses on providing services to other agencies, don't ask me to cut corners or put a band-aid on it. There's a right way and a wrong way to reprioritize work and speed up production time that doesn't involve creating problems for clients. If you want my help, we're going to do this ethically, correctly, and to standards.

REALISTIC PROJECT PLANNING

When I work with your agency, expect me to be a good listener, to be confident in what I do, and to never sugarcoat things for you. If something needs to be said for the sake of your reputation and the client's project, then expect to hear it from me first. We'll work together to come up with a realistic, professional plan for your clients that won't cause them pain.

RIGHT TOOL FOR THE RIGHT JOB

I don't believe in slamming out cheap templates, using stock settings, or working fast and cheap. It's not only your harming your business image as an agency, but it will destroy my reputation as a professional developer. While I'm more than happy to help you, don't ask me to do things that should be found on cheap offshore contractor sites.

COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIP

My goal is to work in unison with your agency as a contracted senior member of your team to augment the skills and expertise you don't have in-house. We'll need to work closely together and learn to trust one another. So expect a tight working relationship with professional pushback, and you'll need to be ready to grow from day one to be successful.