Back to main portfolio page

MiaoCrafts - Ecommerce (Internet Store)

Miaocrafts brochure site

Summary of skills used:

  • Prestashop
    • Install & Upgrade Software and required Modules.
    • Create bespoke Theme to match MiaoCrafts style.
    • Template & Stylesheet changes.
    • Setup store ready to trade.
  • SEO - on-page optimisation, category names, adwords

Project Brief:

Miaocrafts required an online store to enable direct selling of goods to the public. It had to handle multi-currency, multiple payment methods, order processing and more.

It is a subdomain of the main Miaocrafts site. Details of the original site project can be found on the Portfolio page.

Key Points

In view of the complexity of some of the requirements, it was decided that an entirely bespoke solution would take too long and be difficult to manage in the long-term. Prestashop Ecommerce software was chosen as the 'engine' behind the project for a number of reasons, including:

  • It is Open Source, widely hosted, has a thriving online community, and is regularly updated.
  • It is based on PHP using the Smarty template system, so Hewson Digital have the skills to make bespoke changes.
  • There were modules available for all functions that were required for this project.
  • It has a comprehensive back-office for management of products, categories, shipping, customers, orders, currencies, languages and so on.

Following software installation on a development server, a bespoke Miaocrafts theme was created so that the store would maintain the look and feel of the main brochure site. Changes were made to add new modules, remove superflous modules, change the layout and style of all elements of the site. Changes were tested and documented at every stage of the process. A number of bugs in the underlying code were uncovered during development of the site and successful workarounds were implemented, pending official bug fixes from Prestashop. Once completed, the Miaocrafts theme was copied to the live hosting server.

SEO work was a continuation of work that had been carried out for the Miaocrafts brochure site. Product categories and product naming conventions were based on this work, along with other on-page optimisation. This was important to keep the adwords cost-per-click as low as possible, as well as increase the ranking position of the site in the search engines.

The Prestashop back office provides statistics about the site traffic, conversion and sales data. Extra SQL scripts were written to interrogate the statistics database so that we could get a deeper insight into traffic sources and elliminate erroneous data. This has helped identify genuine interest and evaluate where promotions may be concentrated. It has been particularly useful given recent changes to visibility of keyword data from Google Analytics (a lot of previously available keyword data is no longer provided).

The online shop is now live and operational: Miaocrafts: Handmade Ethnic Miao Arts & Crafts

Back to main portfolio page