Idahound Ecommerce Website Design

Idahound Ecommerce Website Design

Project Overview

Idahound is a niche raw dog food business based in Idaho (hence the punny name).

When I began working with them, the company was running a WordPress site with the Woocommerce plugin to run ecommerce on. They were having a very hard time maintaining the website.

Woocommerce, while sometimes effective, comes with quite a lot of baggage. It’s the go-to ecommerce plugin for WordPress – an open sourced platform for website design and development. Unfortunately, in large part because of WordPress’s open sourced nature, users often drown in a sea of software updates, and the associated issues with said updates.

Some software updates to the WordPress system, or to the Woocommerce plugin, or to an associated plugin, may “break” the site’s design or even the ecommerce functionality. This may not be an issue if a company has sufficient resources to maintain this kind of a website, but for a small company who is just getting started, a broken site can be detrimental. Hard fought site visitors may have a bad experience and simply bounce. Even existing clients may find a site too difficult to order product, and maybe opt for the next best alternative – a competitor with a functioning website.

I personally love WordPress for non-commerce websites. I recommend it for most marketing sites, and I even used it for this website you’re currently viewing.

Idahound was loosing valuable business trying to run an ecommerce business on WordPress. This was unacceptable, and may have lead to stagnant ecommerce growth. I was hired to help change that.

My Approach

Based on Idahound’s needs, I moved them over to Shopify.

Shopify is an ecommerce platform that has smoothed out the logistics of order management and customer management better than any other. Better yet, since the platform is not open sourced (like WordPress), the ecommerce functionality never breaks! All of Idahound’s hard-fought site visitors will experience the smoothest possible online shopping experience.

One small downside of working with Shopify: It’s kinda hard to design a good website on the platform. True, they do have premium templates that give a decent wysiwyg editor functionality and tools that make some aspects easy to design, but overall the platform is very rigid unless you know how to program in HTML, CSS and their preferred language “Liquid” (written in Ruby). Shopify isn’t nearly as easy as say, Squarespace to set up.

I, fortunately, know how to tailor Shopify websites better than anyone I know of! Given their branding and great photo assets, I helped the Idahound team set up their new site. Check it out, and shoot me a note in the comments if you have any feedback!

The Result

Since launching the new site in early 2018, sales are up. They just had a record year in 2018!

While I will never take credit for a good business succeeding, I will say I helped the founders to focus on what matters: creating the best darn dog food around and acquiring customers. I took them out of the weeds of managing a website, and helped enable them to succeed.

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