At this stage in the project I need to start considering how I will implement the functionality of an ecommerce web application. The functionality must include the ability to add products to a cart, process an order and also allow the retailers the ability to control their inventory and edit and process both products and orders.
The options available are to either build this functionality from scratch using a database and a server side scripting language or to use an existing solution.
In choosing which solution to implement I thought about how stakeholders may be able to make use of the interface I create for this project. I believe it would be beneficial for retailers to be able to easily implement the front-end interface I create with an existing back end solution that is well documented and easily downloaded and installed.
Through my research I have identified that Wordpress with an ecommerce plugin powering the back end of the site would allow me to create a theme for the front end and distribute it free of charge in order to gain effective feedback from stakeholders. Not only would retailers be able to give feedback on the conversion rates for mobile visits, but developers who implement the solution for their clients could give feedback on what areas may need improved.
I have some experience in creating themes for Wordpress by using underscores as a starter theme to strip out all of the styling and allow creation of a theme from scratch without having to adapt an existing theme to meet requirements.
While I have had success in using this approach in the past I have decided to use this opportunity to learn how themes for Wordpress work from the ground up, and therefore will follow an online course in Wordpress theme creation from scratch.
In order to learn the best practices in creating themes for Wordpress I will be following Treehouse’s online course, “How to Build a Wordpress Theme”. This course will cover theme functions, use of forms and converting static HTML into Wordpress Templates.
With over 2.3 million downloads to date, WooCommerce will be the ecommerce plugin I will use to give the site the functionality required. This plugin will allow any future developers who decide to use the theme I create a secure, well documented and regularly updated solution to their needs.