How do you promote the use of traditional paper notebooks and planners in today’s digital age? One of our clients approached us with the need to deliver “pen and paper” product in a global digital store.
Blueline Incorporated has thousands of printed products – receipt books, accounting supplies, calendars, and notebooks with unique audiences in Canada, the United States and Mexico. After months of development, GlobeRunnerSEO has launched our most site ambitious to-date.
This project needed a proven Content Management System (CMS) with a commerce solution which could handle multiple currencies, multiple prices for each product depending on the country, and multilingual capabilities.
Since the client also has other branded websites with different product offerings, we needed to import the product catalogs from a single source to all of their brands (www.blueline.com, www.rediform.com, and www.brownline.com).
To achieve this, we used the Drupal 7 CMS (drupal.org) along with over 100 additional modules. Our team optimistically says “there’s a module for that – or there will be soon”. We relied heavily on Drupal Commerce, along with Multicurrency, UPS Shipping, and Feeds to import the products. We used the Internationalization modules to provide language translations to the site and also made every product and image translatable. The Omega theme framework was used as the backbone of the user interface.
To satisfy complex tax calculations, we used AvaTax, an integration provided by www.drupalsalestax.com . Where contributed modules did not satisfy our requirements we built custom modules to fit the business needs and preferences of our client.
In addition to modules, the site required complex configuration to provide GeoIP look-up to ensure Canadian visitors see Canadian products and US visitors see US products. Coupons, Promotional Campaigns, Tax calculations, and product availability conditions all require use of Drupal’s powerful Rules framework.
The primary site launched in April 2012 after 5 months of development. After launch additional changes continued until July. At first, we used Drupal’s Multisite feature – allowing numerous sites to use the same codebase. However, in order to add unique SSL certificates to all three sites, the sites were branched out to three separate servers. And since our developers build sites on their local machines, and also have a staging and production server for each site, at times we had nine variants of the application. Additionally, since the client was adding content and customers were purchasing items, we created a workflow to protect live data while adding new elements. For this, we turned to the best practices of using Drupal Features, Drush, and GIT version control.
Our themes were designed by Alex Fox, our in-house graphic designer. Chris Lee worked on the site planning and built custom modules. Bobby Dean was the lead developer and themer. The project was managed by Sean Freebairn. Customer relationship was led by Hector Hernandez. This project challenged our team on many levels and also helped us learn many new things. We are proud to be a part of the Drupal Association and look forward to using knowledge gained for our future clients.
Blueline Inc knows that paper products are here to stay. And because of this new series of websites by GloberunnerSEO, they can depend on their digital Drupal platforms for years to come.