Living Systems: Migration to WooCommerce & Redesign

I had developed Living Systems previous website in 2011, as a development partner with a design firm. At that time, WooCommerce was not yet the powerhouse it is now – so we opted for the Shopp plugin. Back then, Shopp was a very developer friendly platform for ecommerce which made it easy to customize to their needs. The client loved the end result and it worked well for them.

Fast forward to 2021 and the original theme is still chugging along and has served them well. But Shopp has been abandoned and is starting to cause problems. The client approached me to upgrade the back-end, and at the same time update the front-end with a more modern look that aligned with their branding better. They also wanted a page builder tool to allow their staff to build complex page layouts.

First I wrote several custom scripts to extract the product data that Shopp had stored directly from MySQL, and then import it into WooCommerce. The migration scripts moved all their products over in one operation, including product images and galleries, categories, tags, complex custom specifications, and all pricing and shipping data.

With the shelves stocked, I set out to develop a custom theme that integrates with Beaver Builder to give the marketing team the tools they want, but also to provide a consistent framework and the customizations they required.

Another requirement was the ability for visitors to request a quote on products without going through a full checkout. Some of their items require customization and are quite expensive so are best sold via a sales consultation. I created a simple session based cart that allows customers to build a list of all the items they need and submit it for a quote. Gravity Forms is leveraged for the form, and the cart items are dynamically loaded into a list field.

“My experiences with Jackson have been great. Our website has been managed by him for a while, and I’ve personally been working with him for 4 years. Every time I’ve reached out, he’s prompt, accommodating, patient, and kind. Through delays, rounds of feedback, rectifying errors…all the stuff that can complicate a project, he has been excellent. We recently underwent a major remodeling of our site with Jackson at the helm, redesigning a site made by another designer around a decade ago. Now it not only looks sharp, but works better too.”