I converted the previously custom-coded CMS web site to WordPress running WooCommerce.
The previous iteration of the web platform was a custom-coded CMS running a LAMP stack, drawing content from a dead-simple set of relational tables architected around the product details. The code base evolved over time from a pretty slap-dash mix of procedural PHP scripts, XHTML and SQL queries to a much better-organized set of OOP product and query classes and templates. There was a feature to ‘favorite’ products, and the many quirks of a fairly complex product lineup were neatly handled. Complexities include a mix of simple and variable products available on multiple substrates and in multiple sizes based on image proportions and resolution. Product count (not counting variations) totaled around 12-13,000 items.
Eventually most of our competitors had instituted user accounts and whatnot for stored light boxes, that was our next obvious move. I spent some time attempting to add user authentication to the custom CMS. It worked — but not entirely reliably.
I knew that other CMSs (like WordPress) had the features I wanted, I just had to undertake the work of porting a complicated set of product lines and features somehow over to WordPress. So I spent several months doing that while maintaining the old CMS.
Unsurprisingly WordPress and WooCommerce have their own quirks and complications. Fortuitously I came across the excellent local WordPress support group TechLiminal. With group help and individual consulting help from Anca Mosiou of TechLiminal, I was able to shift the code base to WordPress/WooCommerce.
I’ve referred to this as an e-commerce site, but if you visit you’ll notice the lack of actual commerce. Image Conscious is a wholesale business, and so far prefers to do business over the phone. So I removed the actual transaction parts while using WooCommerce to handle the product display.