Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Violin Website Woes

Sorry to you readers out there for not keeping up on the old blog. We've gone from three posts a week to once if we can make it due to all the business. Don't believe me? Just look at my outbox! It's overflowing with all the online customer databasing I'm having to keep up with.

Speaking of e-commerce, we've taken a massive overhaul over the old website. It's now php driven so a lot of the mechanics of the website occurs from scripts on a server. In another words, the shopping experience is now designed to be more consumer friendly and dynamically driven for searches.

Our webmaster, Nestor, has been real patient through the whole process. Alex would be constantly relaying messages during the whole developmental phase. He was also kind enough to let me in on some of the planning aspects as well. I'll have to interview about him one day in our blog. He's got an interesting background that ranges from being a talented programmer to a professional flutist.

Nestor pulls most of the strings in the website operation, but we have to do our part too. Every single item that you see on the website has to be filled out in a special form as part of the website interface. Typically each form item has the following things to fill out:

  • SKU number
  • title
  • manf.
  • description
  • short description
  • product type
  • item type
  • level (entry, intermediate,artist)
  • 1 main image path link for
  • 7 path links for images stored on the server
  • 3 options (e.g., wood: ebony, rosewood, boxwood)
  • website price
  • m.s.r.p.
  • shipping
  • oversize
  • tax (enter 0 for no tax)
  • sold out (enter 1 for out of stock items)

That's just a preview of all the details I've gone through to get this website up and running. I made the first pass by filling out the potential selling items and then Alex checked each copy. Then I'd make my second pass by uploading photos to the server for each item. Sounds easy enough, except, when one image can yield as many as four different dimensions and 7 different views. Example, a violin with its various views of its front, back, side, scroll, midsection, label, button, means each of one needs to be resized to a tiny, main, large image, and one thumbnail sized image.

(6 images x 3 sizes )+ ( 1 main image x 4 sizes)= 22 images to upload

It's also a nightmare to correctly label these image files as well. Thank goodness, Nestor found us a batch renaming software.

As of now, we've gotten most of the accessory items up. Some of the instrument images need to be updated after our upgrade in our downstairs lighting studio. All I can say is that this is an ever evolving project:)

No comments:


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.