Founded by fellow artist Peter Ward, Online Ceramics is a Peterborough based company that Jigowatt have helped develop from a small “start up” to a vibrant and fast growing business.
The site was originally designed to promote exclusive ceramic work from the UK’s most acclaimed artists, but it evolved to be much more than that. In 2015 they ventured into the events market; to accommodate we added a new event section which allows the sale of tickets integrated into the existing shop system.
With a relationship lasting over eight years we’ve seen Online Ceramics outgrow its humble beginnings. Online Ceramics’ previous site was designed and built in 2010, whilst it still received compliments from users it was obvious that the site needed to be redeveloped for today’s mobile audience. It did have an adaptation to become more mobile friendly but something built from the ground up to be responsive will always be better.
Design & Development
The first job was to evolve Peter’s Logo, we took the essence of the old logo and brought it up to date, overlaying the initial letters to subtly indicate a transparent glaze effect. We looked at the existing colours from the original site and picked the strongest two, both work well across the site and aid continuity and familiarity. We also kept a nod to the old site by using the same textured background.
To help speed up the development of the site we used a theme framework which allows the sections on the site to be easily editable by Peter and doesn’t require developer level knowledge to maintain the website.
At the top of the homepage we wanted more room to highlight news, promotions and areas that may be of interest to new and existing customers. We decided that a two thirds slider would be the optimal solution allowing Peter full control to easily change on a regular basis.
Peter stressed that the artists needed to play a more prominent role on the site. So we utilised the superb photography that Peter himself had taken and highlighted featured artists as one of the first sections on the website. It adds a much more personal feel when you know exactly who you are buying the product from, it’s also common that customers may repeat buy from the same artist in order to complete their collections.
Peter travels the country to meet all artists plus see and photograph their collections, so to give the homepage an extra personal touch we included quotes from the artists about Online Ceramics.
The time consuming part of the job was converting the website from one eCommerce platform to another. In this case Shopp to WooCommerce. Over the years WooCommerce has grown in size and includes features that Shopp doesn’t and has unrivaled levels of support. We managed to bring him over to the new eCommerce system seamlessly keeping all the products, customers and orders that had been made in the past eight years.
Peter’s choice of products is outstanding and the new site certainly helps showcase these. The product photography really makes the site standout. Shot from every angle at Peter’s own studio you can study the detail of every piece.
After working together for eight years, we continue to work with Peter. Helping support the site, add additional features, providing feedback about how he can improve his sales and improving his SEO rankings.