Our annual Golden Ticket Competition picks one lucky person for a trip to WooConf, on us! This year the WooCommerce Developers Conference is in Seattle, and we’re pleased to announce our winner is Kevin Eulenberg. Woo!
Kevin is a frontend developer , UX interface designer , co-founder of Froux.co, passionate musician and vinyl lover and, of course, fan of open eCommerce. His story of relaunching Canvasco.de on WooCommerce stood out, and we can’t wait for you to meet him at WooConf in October.
Read on for more about Kevin, his WooCommerce story and why he landed the golden ticket.
Choosing a winner, not easy!
We say it every year. But gosh ya’ll make it hard to select a winner!
The caliber of entries was off the charts, and we had a whopping total of 95! We went through every single one, read your blog posts or emails about them, checked the sites and, after creating a shortlist, had a staff vote.
We looked for an entry that showed beautiful design and innovation and exemplified our theme of open eCommerce. The 11 other entries that made the shortlist are:
- highplainsspicecompany.com | Amber Hinds
- yogahive.ca | Julie Rankin
- diviframework.com | Matt Knighton
- iceshavers.com | Jarom Higely
- mamoriginals.com | Joan Artes
- iciam.it | Diego Giuriani
- dronefishing.com | Iwan Pieterse
- origenarhuaco.com | Zay Zambrano
- nutsaboutgranola.com | Joseph Sites
- bonshop.se | Vilhem Josander
- thenorthernangler.com | Chad Kelsey
Take a walk through the above, and you’ll appreciate what we mean! But there can only be one winner, and Kevin came up trumps. He said in his entry email: May the Woo force be with me, and it seems it was 🙂
A short history of our lucky winner & his entry
Kevin got started with WordPress 10 years ago, first using it as a platform for his first tech blog and then later began developing and designing themes for smaller company websites during his apprenticeship as a media designer. He also attends meetups around Hamburg and Berlin to share his experience and improve frontend dev and UX design skills.
He discovered WooCommerce in 2013 when developing a small food delivery store for an Italian restaurant in his hometown of Gardelegen. Having collected both customer feedback and knowledge about B2C commerce in recent years, he developed a second online store in 2016 for a Vietnamese restaurant.
Being a part of the development process for big online stores in the automotive, phone and clothing industries exposed him to eCommerce platforms such as Hybris SAP, TYPO3 Multishop and Shopify, and thus an opportunity to compare. In his opinion: Other platforms aren’t bad, but there is no eCommerce platform like WooCommerce on WordPress that unites simplicity and a strong, open-source based community.
Kevin and Froux.co co-founder Eric recently relaunched Canvasco’s webshop – including everything from concept to design to the whole backend and frontend development – and completed the project in 6 months.
Hard work paid off: Conversion rate doubled in the first two weeks of launch with many customers ordering a broader variety of products than before.
The main goal of relaunch was to improve/increase sales, but the secondary goal was to create a user friendly, fresh, modern and responsive design. The former shop was confusing and not really intuitive.
They needed to import more than 1,400 products in 32 different product categories from an old TYPO3 webshop, plus a lot of existing customer accounts and multilingual content in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian.
Last but not least there was the challenge of building a new ‘bag configurator’.
Kevin listed 11 reasons they chose WooCommerce:
- It’s open source: The free version has very professional functionalities that every shop needs in its regular scope without any premium plugins.
- It has a large open-minded community of developers and users who provide good support and an exchange of experiences and solutions.
- There’s a multitude of well-coded WooCommerce premium plugins and free plugins that save your time to focus on the work that really matters.
- (++) WooCommerce itself is built on WordPress , and WordPress also has a huge open source community and, again, there are many plugins to make use of.
- It’s self hosted. You can also choose a managed hosting plan from any of 1000 hosting companies.
- It’s easy to maintain and configure in the backend. The menu and interface are well structured, and the regular features should offer everything you need to get started.
- A lot of common payment APIs are easy to migrate within minutes, e.g., PayPal and Stripe for credit card payments, highly recommended!
- It’s awesome: There are good and free plugins for multilingual content. We used qTranslateX.
- The WooCommerce team also offers officially developed plugins to migrate content (import and export automation) via CSV, XLS and JSON — it’s working phenomenally well and has spared us sleepless nights.
- Previous knowledge of WordPress made it easy to debug and write my own extensions very quickly.
- WooCommerce and WordPress itself are updated frequently, which make them secure and reliable for both you and your client.
Kevin’s top tips for building with WordPress and WooCommerce
- Always choose a managed (manageable) hosting solution for your webshop: Especially if you lack the effort and time to handle maintenance of unknown server/mailing errors and traffic peaks. Downtime and server problems impact conversion.
- Choose WooCommerce with the power of WordPress – it makes it possible to do anything. For most problems that popped up while building Canvasco, there was already a solution for it.
- Use plugins with care. Not every plugin is optimally coded. In Germany we say: Too many developers ‘over salt the soup.’
- Take control of scripts styles and fonts that are loaded by WordPress. There are good ways to enqueue unnecessary resources to reduce http requests in the end.
- Make your feature work first! Don’t waste time with unnecessary mockups, tweaks and fine tuning in the beginning
- Ask other developers from the community and premium support services when you run into problems, or move to the next task. Come back to the problem later, after collecting your first feedback.
- Create backups as often as possible!
- Develop a good workflow for your code deployments and create a flexible infrastructure to deliver your release to the client side. Deploy with git-flow and use multiple test instances to show your progress.
- Keep your customer’s journey appealing and guide customers with a good design. Shopping on the web is storytelling.
- Work hand-in-hand with your client because they know their brand best 🙂
We look forward to welcoming Kevin to Seattle in the fall, and hearing more from him on stage! Upon hearing the news, he responded with this GIF:
What’s that?! Haven’t got your ticket for WooConf yet? The early bird special ends June 30, so buy a ticket now!