Latest client project: Shop for Sanna Annukka

I’m delighted to have launched a new site for Brighton-based print and textile artist Sanna Annukka, allowing her to sell her art and promote her work.

I had worked on the previous version of her site, which was based on the Cubecart e-commerce platform, with help from Alex Farran. Unfortunately the upgrade from v3 of Cubecart to v5 has not gone smoothly and our polite summary of the experience was that Cubecart v5 isn’t ready for prime time yet.

Having lived with a website for a year where the public side looked great, but the admin side was a even more of a pain to use than previous versions, Sanna saw the admin area I’d made for her partner’s website and asked if she could move on to a version of it for her site. I was happy to agree, having also become fed up with trying to develop with Cubecart’s foibles.

Usually if a client wants to sell through their website, I recommend using an off the shelf piece of e-commerce software. However, having built a few websites for artists and their particular needs for exacting layouts and interactivity, it can often be easier to have a small, bespoke system without the flexibility a larger shop brings, but also without an admin interface that tries to take account of every way a trader may ever use a shop. Sanna now has a  relatively small, simple shop which does very little, but does exactly what she needs. It is built using PHP & MySQL, and uses her existing payment gateway to take customer’s card details so she didn’t need to switch provider.

She’s happy with the new site, I’m happy with the new site, and her customers are too, which is of course the most important part. Future updates and amends should be easier than they were, and we can keep it looking exactly how Sanna wants with much less effort and expense than before.

If you are interested in art, or are looking for an interesting present, please check out her site.

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