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Web Site Designs for the Retail Market by ET Productions

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 Our Answers to the Migration Challenge
Screen capture of BayberryMonograms.com Yahoo Store after makeover
After Migration to Yahoo Store
 The Dark blue of the company logo was a must keep from the old site. But we felt that it alone gave too drab a setting for proper framing of the store's elegant offerings. We decided to work in an image of a bayberry bush covered with berries, and the National Park Service was nice enough to give permission to use a picture from one of their sites. We sampled the green in the leaves and periwinkle color of the waxy bayberries themselves to complete the design palette.
      Next we turned our attention to navigation. The original site's top-level only navigation kept the left nav column to a reasonable length. But it also meant that quite a few clicks were required to reach third and fourth level categories. A quick test or 2-level navigation showed that it resulted in a left nav column that was simply too long. So we opted instead for a fly-out arrangement that expands one section at a time to reveal all 2nd level sections within it when the user is anywhere within that section. We call it context sensitive navigation.
      Finally, there was our ever-present friend, search engine optimization (SEO). We modified the default RTML to incorporate complete META tags and unique Title tags on every page. All navigation uses text rather than the Yahoo Store standard image-map. And page headlines are likewise rendered in text. Images have meaningful ALT text. And we trained the site owner in how to target key phrases and how to write keyword rich headlines, titles and content.
      Visit the site and see how you think it compares with the old version (opens in new window). While you're there, expand the window and see how the site scales to fit available space.
 
 The Migration Challenge
The original site was begun, but never completed. The store owner had enlisted some family members to put it together for her. After over a year perhaps 1/10th of the job was completed. The store owner decided it was time to bring in a professional.
BayberryMonograms.com Yahoo Store before migration
Before Migration

The original design looked decent and clean, something we wanted to preserve. But it suffered from SEO. No surprise, since the relatives who did the design had virtually no experience as Web developers.
      Our biggest challenge turned out to be database development. Unfortunately, the original site was developed using includes to pop text snippets into pages, and there was no clear way to just extract those snippets.
      The only way create the Yahoo Store database, then, was for someone to visit the existing store page by page and cut and paste it's product names, descriptions, pricing and so forth into the Yahoo Store editor.
      As of this writing, that process is still underway. Therefore, the store is not yet open for business. The URL we've posted to it is a temporary one and will be replaced by the actual domain once the database is completed. 
      Read about the migration.
 

ET Productions portfolio of web design and writing work