It’s been a while since I’ve put a blog post together, so I thought I’d highlight what I’m working on these days.
Spending a lot of time with the Magento CE shopping cart. It’s an open source Php/MySql based install, and it’s incredibly powerful. I’ve essentially been building stores, connecting it to back end systems (kind of), and integrating it with the PrintUI Web to Print solution.
I’m happy with it overall, and it definitely stretches my web development capabilities. I’m a marketer by trade, but as we all know, if you are going to do internet marketing in a professional environment, you have to know how to hack. And that’s essentially how I approach this, since the code and database structure is all pre-built.
This is a departure for me, as I had been working with the FoxyCart transacation software previously, which was far more….. open? That was essentially a payment platform, where as Magento CE is a true shopping cart.
PrintUI and Adobe InDesign
This was definitely a professional stretch for me, as I had no experience with Web 2 Print or Adobe InDesign previously. We’re using PrintUI, which is a fantastic SaaS that allows us to create templates in Adobe InDesign, prepare them for our website, and then allow people to design a custom binder, pocket folder, or a myriad other print items right on our site.
At the completion of the checkout process, a print ready PDF is created, and subsequently stored in the shopping cart. We print it, build the binder, and ship it out the door. The folks at PrintUI are great, and they are always moving forward with new ideas, and attempting to take advantage of all the capabilities Adobe InDesign has to offer. Very satisfied so far, especially since we are generating large format documents, which isn’t a possibility for a lot of the Web 2 Print technologies out there.
Definitely a growing market though.
Work-wise, I guess those are the 2 big developments this year. I continue to manage SEO, SEM, and email marketing across three brands, and I’m managing one full time and a part time employee. It’s a challenge, but it’s worth it.