Kowata Tree. We met last Monday to discuss WooCommerce and the configuration task. Once again, the settings will require decisions on many details that affect order taking, taxation, shipping, tax, etc. At this time the client is not prepared to fill in all the details.
Since I was busy with portfolio night preparations, we snuck a small meeting in as follow-up to the WooCommerce configuration challenge, only this time he focused on his accounting needs and having potentially having some integration. Frankly, this is outside the original scope, but is something that will be required.
We agreed to put this on hold until my classes were wrapped up, and determine what role I can still play in the bigger picture. We’ll be meeting next on May 13.
Kowata Tree. I spent all day this past Monday preparing for and conducting the 360-degree rotational photo shoot. I was anxious to prepare each of the 30 images shot at 12-degree increments using Photoshop. After four hours I made it through half of them. I improved my proceedure for the second half of the 30.
I created some info dot path/features on the output file that is used on the website, and got the viewer configured, and was able to see my work on a web page. Very satisfying.
I created a machining video, mainly to test the lighting and best angles to shoot from. Then I embedded the video into the theme and experimented with display/config settings. In prep for our next meeting, I installed WooCommerce after watching another Morten Rand-Hendriksen Lynda series. It was invaluable as he went through the configuration settings, which is something the client will need to decide on.
Kowata Tree. I was still trying to get some web development time in, even though it might be a little premature based on some of the business complexities. So, since he was OK letting me go down this path, we discussed the sort of images that would be best for the site, and what new photos or videos might be needed. Knowing the 360 degree photo shoot was in the near future, I scoped out a studio rental and made a reservation.
Shifting gears back to site development, I figured that I could proceed, using existing content just to make some progress for discussion purposes. I created a MAMP environment, created a child theme, installed WP and plugins, and configured auto backups. I cleaned up some of the existing photos deemed to be useful going ahead, and then created some WP pages as I explored this theme’s features.
I uploaded existing content to the WP library, and created a new header from bits of the old web site using my Photoshop skills. I had some challenge with the menus laying out right, but worked through it. Then, it was time to finally load the web360rotate viewer plugin. I used some demo images supplied by that company, and met with the client yesterday to show him the 360rotate feature as part of WordPress and review some sliders for preference.
I went into the shop this morning to make the carousel for the photoshoot that I have arranged for this coming Monday.
Early in the week, I made a few maintenance changes on the KowataTree existing site. Since no backup was performed for a while, I also cloned the site to a local drive after I struggled with FTP a bit. Since some of the existing content would be re-used, I spent some time charting the assets to make it easier to use them later.
I had talked the client into 360 degree photography product marketing, so I read up on what components I’d need to build a carousel and what photography equipment would be involved. I ordered the components from Amazon. I also began looking at WordPress themes that were advertised as being most ‘compatible’ with various Ecommerce plugins or solutions. I felt that using WooCommerce would be less costly as a trial solution, and that it has a large installed base with decent user ratings.
We met again earlier today to review my findings and recommendation. I needed to back up a bit, and explain the CMS approach vs. a HTML/CSS approach. He was on-board with a WordPress approach, and we toured a few of the themes that I found, picking one to proceed with.
Took the opportunity to get my timesheet approved, too.
Kowata Tree. Having research some furniture sites and a few other custom order product sites, I was prepared to share my findings at our Wednesday meeting. It was a needed, albeit lengthy review, to see some of the driving business models and how the order processes were structured and explained.
We ran out of time on Wednesday, so we picked up again yesterday. Our discussion turned to a reality check on his manufacturing capacity and the related lead-time on addressing custom orders. Due to the varying size of some prospective products, the topics of packing/handling and shipping methods and costs were discussed.
It was challenging to walk through some of these topics. Fortunately the client has a strong business background, but it was evident that moving the business model to an ecommerce platform would add complexity to the process. It was at this point where we both realized that there would need to be more research done, both on the business model/manufacturing issues and about how an ecommerce solution could be a fit. We needed to let some of this sink in.
Kowata Tree. I finished a draft of the internship agreement and met with the client on Monday. We reviewed the agreement and I needed to make some changes.
During Monday’s meeting we had a productive session, white-boarding the business process for his prospective custom furniture manufacturing. We also discussed the types of products and challenges with each, based on lead times, size, packing, and shipping. Another topic was about his thoughts on how the products and site could be marketed. I thought it would be helpful to talk about the envisioned customer profile, as well as any competition that he was aware of. Following the meeting I merged my notes.