How is creating a functional, high quality website for a tech startup different than creating one for an established brand? For one, flexibility is key, and the following story of our work with Caruma shows just how important it can be.
Caruma is a California-based startup that manufactures a smart automobile dash camera system. The company needed an attractive promotional website with e-commerce functionality. After hiring an out-of-state agency that failed to deliver, Caruma decided to start from scratch with JD Softtech.
We had to design a modern, impressive-looking website for Caruma in order to reinforce the value as an upcoming tech leader. Moreover, we had to do this on a tight deadline, since the company had already lost several months of development time.
As with all our projects, we began with a roundtable project discovery process. Our team consulted with Caruma leadership to determine their place in the burgeoning vehicle automation market, and how that would reflect through their website.
Since Caruma was understandably in a rush to get material up, we began by designing and uploading the first version of the site in HTML and putting it up. This ensured that prospective Caruma enthusiasts could get the information they’re looking for while we worked on the final, polished brand presentation. We took the design into WordPress and developed each page with Page Builder, giving ultimate content flexibility to Caruma.
With a working HTML site up, we were ready to begin working on the e-commerce portion of the site. The main issue here was that the product was not ready for delivery, and would not be for more than half a year.
As a result, our e-commerce solution needed to focus on pre-orders. Although there was a tentative desire to collect payment right away, in the end it was decided that payment will be collected once the product is ready to start shipping.
The site, replete with cutting edge jQuery work on the front-end, was now ready to go live and give Caruma the professional presentation it needs to succeed.
Perhaps the most important challenge with this project was delivering top-notch results on a very limited timeframe. In the end, we operated flexibly, creating and uploading the “must-have” elements before moving onto the rest of the site. This approach meant that the original design needed to be integrated into WordPress as a custom theme, and tasked our resources to operate at maximum efficiency, but we did it.
Another challenge we faced was making sure the website animations were responsive. In the end, the most user-friendly solution was to create mobile-specific sections for certain pages. Complicating this was the fact that we combined a complex HTML design with heavy use of jQuery and put the result through WordPress Page Builder.
This project offered us a few interesting opportunities to gain useful experience. For instance, Caruma wanted to host the site on Google Cloud servers—something we had no previous experience with. We learned how to operate these servers and how to optimize websites on them with the same deadline-oriented speed and flexibility that characterized the rest of the project.
This was also the first project that called on us to develop a pre-order system. We discovered that the payment gateway only allowed funds to be held for up to two weeks, which is part of the reason why we, along with Caruma, decided that payment should occur once the product is ready to ship.
Caruma was pleased with the work we performed, especially our rapid response. After several months of non-progress with the previous web designers, we managed to achieve full website functionality in only eight weeks. Caruma even decided to have us manage the website post-launch.