Need to create a website for a printing company, where do i begin?


#1

Hi all

So I’m a graphic designer at a printing company, for years we have had the same basic website offering nothing but a few pages and a brief description of the products and services we provide, nothing fancy. I’m wanting to build a new updated site where customers can upload artwork or pay us to design artwork for them for printing.

A great example of the type of website I would like to design would be that of Helloprint I would want a fixed header which contains our logo, search bar and account and basket, then underneath would be the main nav bar which would contain all our products; of course given that everyone is using phones these days, i would need this all the be responsive.

My main question is where the hell do i start?

Although im a beginner in all of this, i do know some basic HTML and CSS and have picked up pieces of javascript and bootstrap, (which sounds like the way forward if Im wanting to build the kind of website im looking for) but as for actual design aspect I don’t really need much guidance, unless anyone can offer a better method of designing a similar website to the one above? All the other stuff like handing customer orders, payment protocol, customer registration, sending out news letters, all these frameworks, ecommerce, what happens to a users inputted information on an order after it is submitted and can i send that data such as a design brief or a uploaded image to be printed to one of our design team to handle the order? I’ve got so many questions and I guess thats what coding is, finding answers to questions but i’ve been looking into it all and i’ve been trying to find the right path to study but It feels like there are hundreds of different methods to reach my desired goal, just not sure which one to take.

Help would be appreciated.

Thanks.


#2

The fastest route in my opinion is to use WordPress. If you have the time, this video walks you through the entire process as he builds a website from scratch, including setting up the domain name, hosting, installing plugins - literally everything! Check out the video description to skip over parts you may already know.

  • customer orders and payments can be handled via WooCommerce, check out their video for an overview of what it does
  • newsletters can be managed via the Newsletter plugin
  • registration is baked into WordPress so you don’t need to worry about it, but if you want to hide registration behind a paywall then Paid Memberships Pro is an excellent option (and works with WooCommerce well)

Everything is free, although if you need extra features or support you can always upgrade (although I usually find it unecessary). That first video uses a plugin called Elementor to help you build out websites, but if you’d like to skip that too then you can install a pre-made theme (Google will turn up many thousands of free and paid themes).

The WordPress ecosystem is quite mature by now, and you can roll out any kind of site and even many types of apps with it relatively quick. These forums also has tons of experience WordPress developers so any questions you have should be answerable!


#3

Thanks alot for the info man, Ill check out the video and see what I can learn. I have contemplated using wordpress to set up my site but haven’t really looked into It, I just assumed to achieve the design I wanted I would need to custom build everything.

The video was very informative, I ended up drifting somewhat away from the tutorial and started doing my own thing, I already feel pretty comfortable working with wordpress, but there are a few things that I’m not sure I can achieve via woocommerce, such as; As a printing company we use many different types of paper stock, all set at different prices, we also print and finish products in many different ways and sizes and all these different selections can be set by the user and by the end of the order they will have a, finished size, type of paper stock, quantity and delivery options, all these options will need to be selected and depending on the customers selection the prices will change accordingly, I noticed variable products in woocommerce but correct me if I’m wrong and maybe I need to ask else where but It doesn’t seem like I can offer our customers all those different selections which change the final price in woocommerce? It seems like their are a few extensions for woocommerce like you said that may give me the features I need but I really need to keep most of this cost free.

We currently use a piece of online software called “Printlogic estimating and production management software” which is basically a database of all our paper stocks set at prices, where we can change and add prices, stocks etc and we will go through the process of booking in a job and by the end of it the software will generate a price calculated by the various selections. We also have to add each customer in to the system, so i was wondering and maybe i should contact Printlogic directly but if there would be anyway to integrate this piece of software into woocommerce? It is a powerful piece of kit that I see our company using for the future, so Its important that we can use this software in tandem with our website and online ordering process or if there is another piece of software which is similar and can be incorporate then we would choose that. I’m just not sure wordpress can offer that kind of flexibility for an online printing shop, but I do really love how easy and fluid working in wordpress is to build and design websites and If I can get the exact design and feel, plus the pricing of different paper stocks, sizes and quanitites etc figured out I will be using wordpress to build my website.

Thanks a lot for the help!


#4

@masterofnone. Welcome at the Sitepoint forum. It is never a bad idea to contact a company that suplies such a system. From my eperience, in may cases, they have different systems that can be included in different frameworks, like for eample Wordpress


#5

Thanks and yeah I have contacted them myself (which i should’ve done to begin with) and they have told me that they are capable of integrating it into Wordpress. Couldn’t believe the answer was as simple as that, had it in my head that I would need to build everything from the ground up, although whilst learning HTML and CSS i had fun so in future I probably will dive deeper into the coding side of things, but for this printing website it seems like the best course of action is to integrate Printlogic into Wordpress and build my site that way.

Thanks for the help!