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Category: WordPress Websites

CakeItUpCakeStands.com is one of those special websites that sells a unique niche product and needed extra consideration because of the complexity of the custom product being sold.  There are many aspects of this highly customized website I could tell you about, from the custom image galleries that give instructions on what options to choose to replicate the pictured cake stand, to the “Birdie’s Chirps” (little thoughts the owner wants to share)  homepage rotator that displays the text in the shape of a heart, to the Shoppe page main image that links to all the shopping cart categories.  But what I will focus on is the dynamic custom WordPress plugin we created for the custom cake stand ordering page.

The Creation of a Dynamic Custom Product Shopping Cart Page

A lot of careful thought had to be put into finding the right shopping cart.  The custom product has thirteen variables (i.e., fabric, ribbon, monogram, etc.) that together have over 500 individual options and each option needed an image.  Imagine a product page with 500 pictures on it… the page would be a yard long, and I don’t think I am exaggerating with that estimate!  As a page that long would be too daunting for any customer to deal with we needed a way to dynamically limit choices to just the ones the customer actually needed.

Once I choose the shopping cart with the best product option image solution, then the task was making those long pages more manageable. The final solution was actually accomplished in three stages…

Stage One: Dynamic Variable Choices

viraul_mockup_cakestandFirst we created a decision tree that laid out the most efficient process based upon the options that went together, and in what order to present them so the whole process would be efficient.  For instance, if you wanted a cake stand covered with satin fabric wrapped in a rosebud trimmed ribbon, then the other 10 variables for regular ribbons, monograms, etc., do not need to be displayed. So far so good… now for the technical part…

With the help of a talented coder, we worked to create a dynamic page that opened and closed the variable sections based on the previous choices.  If this choice is clicked then open these variables and close those variables… repeat until there are no more possible choices.  Then go back and make a different initial choice and follow that one through until no other choices are possible.  Repeat this process again and again, until we finally had a dynamic product page that work perfectly.

Once this part was done and I stepped back and viewed the dynamic page with fresh eyes, I saw there was another problem that needed to be addressed…  We were showing the customer the pictures of each option as they chose it, but what would all their choices look like together?  What we needed was a “virtual mockup” that would dynamically change as they selected and deselected options. So back to work we went…

Stage Two: The Virtual Mockup Tool

Visual Mockup ToolThe Virtual Mockup Tool is a floating popup window that is fixed to the left side of the screen so it is always visible on the page and is integrated into the eight custom cake stand pages.  As the customer clicks on a product variable option, an image of that choice is added to a layered image area.  For instance, first the fabric covers the area, then the ribbon choice is layered on top the fabric, then the brooch on top that.

visual_mockup_image_outlineBelow the mockup image is an outline list of choices the customer has already made, like: “Fabric: Satin Dusty Rose”, “Ribbon: White – 029”, etc.  Now the customer can see an image of how the choices will look together, plus have a short list of the specific choices altogether in floating box that is always in view.  All that was left was the beta testing.

After just a few beta testers we knew there was another problem that needed to be addressed…

Stage Three:  Dynamic Instructions

visual_mockup_image_outline_instructionsPeople were picking a fabric choice and then had no idea what to do next.  They needed more specific instructions.  So the last part of this Visual Mockup Tool plugin was to add instructions.  “Choose a fabric”, “Now choose your trim”, and so on… all with a little hand that points in the direction of where you are to go.  Once this was added the custom cake stand pages were now manageable.

Try it for yourself.

Completing the plugin is a “Close Mockup” button the removes it from the screen but leaves and “Open Mockup” button to get it back.  This was important for customers accessing the page from tablets and cell phones.  Additionally, we added a “Clear & Start Over” button and the total cost of the item as you are assembling it.

It was a lot of work and the end result is a tool that customers find helpful and that the owner can use to help her clients put together “the cake stand of their dreams!”

Birdie, CakeItUpCakeStands.com

This is not a simple she’s the best! This is a “There is no one better to design your website!” Intimated at first because I had so many parts of the Cake It Up trademarked brand that all I knew was I needed a website that showcased the Brand and it’s colors and I needed a shopping cart for a complex product.

Trishah and I have never met in person. I thought that would be a problem. Little did I know, we would also become friends on a professional level.  What does that mean? It means she communicates her expertise to solve problems while considering what you are trying to convey. She personified our Brand, Birdie’s Chirps, and all our products speaking with my voice. She told me it would be a fun process and it was. She never stopped until it was perfect! She found the professionals needed for the one-of-a-kind Virtual Couture Cake Stand Mock-up Tool that was a fete in itself. You must visit and try it!

I wanted the site to be inviting, have a blog, have a shopping cart, and a place where my inspirational Birdie’s Chirps quotes on Life and Weddings would be housed and showcased.  She invented and designed that. She thought of ways to make a real shoppe where you could go shopping. She took our logo and the Birdie and incorporated that into so many elements on the website. She designed a custom gallery, pdf forms, shipping information, and so much more. She was happy to brainstorm with me when we would come up with an idea and weighed the good, the bad, and the what ifs for down the road. We also worked on a Birdie’s Banner for advertising that looks unique, not mainstream, and not the typical cascade of billboards you see everywhere else. She went over everything from adding Social Links to Privacy Policies meaning everything from A-Z!

I would be remiss in adding that my husband, an architect, was so impressed with my site he finally bit the bullet and is having Trishah.com design a site for him too.  After 30 years in the business, he waited I guess for the best too! I am so happy to be “Caking It Up” with Trishah and I can confidently Chirp "Trishah was the one that made www.cakeitupcakestands.com come to life and Stand Out From The Crowd!   Chirps xo Birdie

Beth "Birdie" Carnevale
Cake It Up LLC
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December 22nd, 2013 Posted In: WordPress Websites
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