Self-Hosted E-Commerce Shop
Established in 2011, Belle & Blaire is an online retail shop that sells handmade bath & body, skincare, haircare, and personal care products. Understanding the benefit of selling on another platform in addition to Etsy, the owner set up a custom domain (belleandblaire.com) on Big Cartel. As the number of products outgrew the Diamond plan (100 products), it wasn’t feasible to upgrade to the Platinum plan (300 products). The owner opted to self-host a shopping cart after considering several popular hosted e-commerce solutions. The website relaunch in November 2014 featured a self-hosted e-commerce shop powered by WooCommerce. In summary, a self-hosted website allows flexibility to have unlimited products, blogging features, content control, and customization that would be more cost-effective than a hosted e-commerce solution.
- Client: Belle & Blaire, LLC
- Industry: Online Retail
- Features: Self-hosted shopping cart installation, responsive theme design, social media integration, and mailing list subscription setup
- Relaunch Date: November 2014
- Website: https://belleandblaire.com/
- The purpose of the relaunch was to move the online shop from a hosted shopping cart (Big Cartel) to WooCommerce, a self-hosted shopping cart on WordPress.
- Transitioning to WooCommerce gave the shop owner the flexibility to expand the product line while having complete control of all aspects of the online store without additional costs to increase inventory.
- Upgraded WordPress to the recent version which included a responsive custom template design, plugin configuration, and search engine optimization.
- Configured WooCommerce settings to adhere to the product, tax, checkout, shipping, accounts, and email requirements.
- Content creation; added multiple pages for doing business.
- Added the blog option to the main domain; previously the blog was created under a subdomain due to the main domain primarily being used for the hosted shopping cart.
- Installed a plugin option that would automatically share a blog post on the shop’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- Set up a MailChimp mailing list account and created a customized newsletter template; added a signup form on the website to allow visitors to subscribe.
- Provided in-person training sessions on how to update website pages, create blog posts, and basic website maintenance.
- Ongoing support and maintenance.
Redesign December 2020
- The purpose of the redesign was to upgrade to a new theme designed to work seamlessly with Gutenberg blocks.
- Transitioned the full site from the WordPress classic editor to the Gutenberg block editor.
- The redesign improves site performance and minimizes the number of plugins required to run the site with full functionality.