I Like Handmade

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I like handmade is a recently created business by Elaine. The website acts as both a craft blog and also an online store.

The beginning of development started before the business was made public and a central part of how the business would operate. The design of the project had no main idea around the interface of the site, so several designs were created, and simple prototypes were made for the main page alongside Elaine’s favourite parts and what you are able to see today.

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A Blog Article

The Design

During the design phase I experimented with each part of the site and added texture so it looks like piece of fabric or material and layered small shadows on to each element. I believe that this combined with the handwriting style font gives the website a craft feel in itself.

Another important factor was the use of colour and an important part to consider while the site was under construction. It was agreed that each part of the website should have its own colour and texture allowing for visitors to navigate and see each part of the site. Accessibility and navigation was made a priority.

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The Shop

How It Works

This website was built on top of the Laravel PHP framework in order to make development faster and much more organised. The biggest reason is having security which has been looked into by multiple security professionals and the open source nature allows for community vetting and improvements.

During development of the site, finding a shopping cart for Laravel I proved difficult as I was not satisfied which was found, so I wrote my own simple system based around cookies on the browser that are manipulated during the checkout (e.g. For cancelling, placing and adjusting orders).

From very early on from the start of the project Elaine wanted customers to place orders without having to make an account. Currently accounts can only be used on the entire website for management purposes. This means that the checkout has a form which asks for the users details after the order is placed and the shipping address.

Payment transactions for goods from the site is completed via PayPal. Subsequently the website never needs to know customer credit card details, but customers will be able to pay.

All code on the site is done using the PHP SDK linked to the PayPal website (that has now been replaced according to its own GitHub page, so the new version is now being used)

The articles on the site are produced using a modified version of my Merlin news articles system with stacked blocks to make a news article. These blocks range from paragraphs, subheadings, images and on I Like Handmade and embedded You Tube videos.

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