The Maybestand Experiment Simon Stevens wrote this on 3 Aug, 2012

The first step in turning a fantastic design in to a usable, refined e-commerce website is experimenting with the various platforms available.  Stumbling on to the winner straight away is nice, but 2 or 3 iterations is more usual.  Eventually you discover the best foundation for your vision.

For the new 3DPixel.net website, we experimented with Wordpress which seemed intially to provide a fantastic platform for the website.  Half way through development though a friend of the company introduced us to the Lemonstand e-Commerce Engine which we immediately recognised as a future industry leader.  It wasn't until we helped develop the new Mountain Valley Wines e-commerce website though that we really realised aside from being fantastic for e-commerce, it's also the best framework we've ever worked with, offering unparalleled customisation that simply removes any restrictions on what is capable with the platform.

Let the Experiments Begin!

http://maybe.3dpixel.net was soon created with a fresh install of Lemonstand to investigate whether it could run the 3DPixel website.  We soon discovered that Lemonstand could not only handle the intricacies of domain registration, and renewals, but that handling Hosting Accounts, SalvageMySite.com cases, Website Maintenance billing, and all manner of custom payments was a breeze also.

Lemonstand has no limits

With the e-commerce proof of concept in place, we got more adventurous and attempted to push Lemonstand to it's absolute limits.  Our next experiment was to re-code Mantis on the Lemonstand framework, to really pull all aspects of the business under one Lemony roof.  We soon learned, that Lemonstand simply doesn't have limits.  It's framework provided foundations that seem to grow like magic beneath the weight of a now hefty backend.  

The supposedly  still "experimental" installation updated domains, email addresses, databases.  The experiment now controlled not only the e-commerce side of the company, but also the technical challenge of updating vast numbers of servers in a way that our customers could easily understand.

Maybestand was born!

With the experiment phase over, we were now in full development mode.  The concept was proven, any new challenges could be overcome, and we had a site to finish.

The months following taught us much about Lemonstand, and more importantly about how own business operated.  We refined our workflows and practices to tie them together with the new highly automated e-commerce engine.  We questioned what our customers really wanted from a hosting website, trimmed down the confusing and unnecessary and emphasised the helpful and informative.

What now?

We're planning a 2 stage launch of the site.  Stage 1 is the public facing e-commerce side of things which handles renewals, purchases and the behind the scenes administration.  Stage 2 is the Mantis Control Panel (with new Lemony flavour!) which will launch at a later date.

We'll be documenting each step we take in the roll out of our new website, so be sure to check back for new articles!

...and don't forget to tell us what you think in the comments!

Simon Stevens Google+ More Posts

Simon is the resident web developer and co-owner of 3DPixel Ltd. formed March 2003.

Having joined 3DPixel Ltd. in February 2006, Simon adds considerable expertise in client side and server side scripting.

Comments

  • Simon Stevens 03 August, 2012

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  • Simon Stevens 03 August, 2012

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  • Simon Stevens 03 August, 2012

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam at eros et libero vehicula dapibus. Duis lobortis quam nunc. Praesent quis dapibus sem. Mauris tristique, lectus at tristique molestie, enim nisl posuere mi, eu porta leo ipsum vel orci.

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