kaleidoscope site launch

Time is definitely flying by. A lot I’ve been wanting to write about, but when I think about firing up the blog, everything I want to write about sort of clumps together and clogs the pipes. So, I’ll catch up, a bit at a time, as the mental Drano starts working (which, in my case, is working in the garden and forgetting there is even an internet while I get my hands dirty. Which is what I did over the weekend.)

Kaleidoscope, children's clothing, gifts, and accessories, Stamford, CT(Click on the image to see it larger) What I want to write about now is a new site we just launched last night: http://www.kaleidoscopekid.com for a store, Kaleidoscope, in Stamford. Kaleidoscope sells kids clothes and gifts.

For now, it’s a brochure with contact information and directions to the store. Down the road, the site owner wants to set up a store on her website, which will be interesting to work on, with the goal of making it as easy as possible for the owner to add new products as the seasons change. I’m not sure which shopping cart we will use yet other than it will be based on a PHP/MySQL platform and not Perl/CGI.

One thing I’ve been learning a lot about is shopping carts and ecommerce. We’ve been using PayPal for years, as well as RTWare for http://www.charlieandgrace.com, which is pretty much a “you build the buttons” solution though is getting a bit hard to manage as the company adds more and more products. So we’re thinking about moving it to Zen-Cart. We have http://www.famous-artists-school.com and http://www.cursos-ingles-cortina.com on Zen-Cart, and it’s working really well on those sites. The bitchy part about Zen-Cart is setting up the zones—a tedious pain.

We’re building a “shopping mall” with osCommerce, which might be finished some time in this century. In this case, it’s a lot of different storefronts with the same back end database, and is pretty tricky, especially since the site owners keep moving the goalposts. On some sites, we’re stuck using ClickCartPro, which is a clunky Perl-based application that can’t handle lots of traffic. I find it extremely difficult to use. I’ve been curious about really trying CubeCart—I installed a demo and like it so far but haven’t really needed it yet (it didn’t do the mall stuff, which is what I was looking for). The price is right (under $100 gets you a LOT of bells and whistles), and this might be what I use next, just so I can test it thoroughly.

Besides working on Kaleidoscope (which was a lot of fun and will get an About Us page pretty soon), working on the shopping mall and storefronts (skins), and working on what’s turning into a gorgeous site for a resort in Mexico, we’ve had a lot of activity going on for most of our clients.

Oh, I nearly forgot, there’s another website we launched recently, http://www.fearlessmountainfilm.com—which is a work in progress. Tony Anthony made a documentary about some Buddhist monks. More about that in a later post. (But check it out!)

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