The Kranich's have been selling jewelry since 1907, but they had a problem, an aging site that was starting to look very dated and also costing them a fortune in monthly hosting. They wanted to set themselves apart from every other jewelry retailer, and add some functionality that would help bring in more business. This is what I do best, taking something bland and turning it into something really outstanding.
Some of the custom features of this site is an "Amazon" style checkout using authorizeNet Customer Information Manager. This allows customers to store their card for return purchases. The cart also features a Kohls style animated add-to-cart functionality which was all custom built.
For their custom jewelry, I implemented a new mothers ring application, which allows customers to select stones, engravings etc, and custom tailor the jewelery.
This front end experience all lays on top of a one-off backend, which is similar is style and usability to Shopify, but with more specific features tailored directly to Kranichs business practices.
Their current site was built on a CakePHP framework which I previously had helped them maintain for a few years. This was where I learned a lot about MVC frameworks and how much they can improve effeciency and reduce overall development time, while maintaining clean and consistent code. But my Rails server blew the doors off the CakePHP server as far as speed, response and overall affordability.
For their old site they were using two seperate cloud servers, one just for a MySQL database, and one as a webserver for the CakePHP code. These servers were totally maxxed out on RAM and were costing the Kranichs 5 times what it would cost on a rails environment. They also were using a very expensive third party host for all of their images, called Adobe Scene7. While it had some cool functionality it really was just not worth it. So overall they were paying way too much.
After the implementation of my Rails backend, we are now down to one server, and using Rackspace Cloud Files for the image hosting. This allows a much easier user experience for the Kranich's data entry folks, before they were uploading images seperately to Scene7 then pasting in the image paths to the CakePHP backend. With my new Rails based backend they are able to add a product, add the images, and details all in one page edit experience. The images are automatically cropped and stored on the cloud thanks to a Carrierwave/Fog gem stack. After everything I implemented the monthly costs dropped 700%!
This is the largest project I have taken on, and I am really happy with how it all turned out. Take some time to do some shopping on their site, and check out that shopping cart functionality!