Recstuff.com is an business to consumer ecommerce store.  It is hosted by BigCommerce.  The goal at the beginning of this internship was to move the store from the Blueprint platform to the new Stencil platform.  Blueprint was no longer being supported at full functionality by BigCommerce.  Plus, the site itself had not been updated since 2015.  The business was looking for an easier customer user experience, better navigation and more focus on the products with better call to actions.  When choosing the template I made sure to choose one with large product images to start.  These were further enlarged by taking the sidenav off of the product pages.  Search facets were utilized heavily to make it as easy as possible for the customer to narrow down what they were looking for.  A large carousel and tiles on the homepage are large and easily interchangeable call to actions.  

Once the new template was built and live it was a matter of optimizing it so that it ran as quickly as possible to limit bounce rate and abandon cart rates.  At this time it is at 1.75 seconds and is continuing to be optimized for speed, SEO and user experience.

Recstuff.com was able to give me most of the hours I needed for my internship.  Due to this I reached out on Facebook to see if there were any non-profits that I may be able to help build a new site.  It so happened that an ex-coworker of mine is a volunteer and reached out stating they may want to revamp their site.  The Wix site that the rescue had was functional.  It wasn’t great and there was a lack of call to actions and overall information regarding the rescue itself.  After setting up a meeting with the founder of the rescue I came to the conclusion that using WordPress would be the best choice as they previously had a WordPress and overall it is a very user friendly interface.  The major things I wanted to do for them was bring more information about the organization to the forefront.  Make it easy to apply to be a volunteer, foster or adopter and show loads of pictures of the animals.  I put a featured animal on the front page to help exposure, adding pages specifically for available dogs and cats and used a widget so that the viewer could see the available animals without having to move away from the site.  A donation button linked to the rescue’s Paypal and their Amazon Wishlist is easily accessible on their donation page.  Of course, the hope is with easier accessiblility for the viewer the donations will come quicker.  The last thing that will be completed is working on a Mailchimp template and popup for the site.  As discussed with the founder, monthly newsletters are a great way to keep the subscribers aware of new happenings and who minds getting to see cute animals once a month?


Badger Components is an OEM distributor.  This site is still in progress, but the overall look of the site is mostly complete.  The products and content need an update, but at this point it is up to the clients to continue.

Learning Drupal

After having used Wix, WordPress and BigCommerce to create sites, learning how to use Drupal was a pretty interesting learning curve.  At first it seems it should be a lot like WordPress and in some instances it is.  However, there is a lot more manual work and it’s not incredibly user friendly.  Using Drupal is also more difficult due to the lack of support there is to be found.  The truly useful information always seems to be for a previous version of Drupal and not compatible with the current version.  I could and would do more in Drupal in the future, but if choosing a CMS for a client it would not be at the top of my list.