Fixation Design was my first foray into E-Commerce, running a store on top of a Premium theme the previous designer had built upon. Initially, I was asked why the web site was not sending e-mails. A checkup revealed the files were 47 versions out-of-date.
Not so fast! Remember that updating a WordPress theme overwrites the files which generate the templates. Because this erases any changes made to the files, customizations to the theme are to be stored elsewhere (a “child theme.”) This presented a major issue for Fixation Design: all of the custom code from the previous developer was embedded into the Parent Theme files and would be lost.
Furthermore, this client’s “bilingual” site was actually two separate WordPress sites installed to different subdomains. As a result, the client was paying twice as much on hourly labour when changes, sales / promotions or regular maintenance was required.
What’s worse, most of Fixation’s customers are French-speaking. If they share links on social media profiles, the previous theme would take the English-speaker to the homepage – instead of the product. Without a properly multilingual store it is not possible to provide one single link to both audiences, and twice as difficult to market to them.
Fortunately, the problems were all identified before any work began. Often times such tasks will conflict if performed in series, creating burdensome overhead which can be prevented by performing some tasks concurrently. In this manner, a genuinely multilingual store was designed alongside a custom “child” theme type. This will provide much more lasting value than what we were replacing.