When Abdallah Candies approached us last year about updating their website, we were eager to take on the challenge. Not just because their chocolate is amazing, but because it gave us the chance to continue honing our skills in ecommerce. We’ve built many ecommerce sites in the past, but this one had a list of more complex features that couldn’t always be solved with typical plugins. They also needed a responsive web design, per the updated guidelines from Google, in order to continue ranking in search.
If you’re not familiar with Abdallah Candies, they are a fourth generation, family owned, Minnesota based chocolate manufacturer who got its start in 1909. Their commitment to quality over the years meant that they needed to take their website to the next level. The previous site, besides not being mobile-friendly, was hard to update and some features were abandoned due to their complexity. Our goal, was to take their style, move their site to WordPress, and create the best possible user experience for their customers.
As mentioned above, their site had a few complex requirements. As a chocolatier, you can imagine that shipping chocolate in the summer can get tricky. You want to be able to serve your customers across the country or in warmer climates, but you don’t want their chocolate to melt before it gets there. Even with ice packed boxes, being in transit for 5 or more days can be detrimental to the quality of their brand. First, we sought out a WordPress plugin to do the job. We had hoped to save time and money by using a plugin that had already been developed. When we discovered that the only two plugins out there were incompatible with the other features on the site, we built the code ourselves to allow Abdallah to choose the maximum number of days in transit by shipping zone. This can be adjusted by Abdallah in the Dashboard of their site so that they have full control over what those numbers are based on the season.
Another, and perhaps more exciting, feature was the re-introduction of their Pick n Pack boxes. On a previous iteration of the site, visitors were able to create their own box of chocolates from the 150 candies they make in bulk at the store. Users could choose from two to eight tiers, and Abdallah would pack it up accordingly. Once again, we sought out a plugin to do this. Through trial and error, we went through a couple of options before finding one that finally worked with Abdallah’s requirements, and also didn’t have any incompatibilities with the other plugins on the site.
Other features included: multiple shipping addresses, USPS address validation, bulk discounts, custom carousels, a custom slider, and more. When launching, we also worked closely to make sure their SEO wasn’t impacted. We manually set 600+ redirects to be sure that there wouldn’t be any broken links from the old site. Yoast SEO was set up to provide additional SEO support, and we monitored keywords during the launch to identify any problems that might arise.
We are excited to show you the work we have been doing on this site, and hopefully you’ll find yourself picking out a few goodies of your own.