But if you ever DO need a complete ecommerce package and new theme installed on 12 hours notice…

Out Of Place (Stock Photo By Adam12) [ID: 701011] - stock.xchngThe other day I was in a routine morning meeting with a client who wanted to add ecommerce and a theme upgrade to their site.  Next month.  And their marketer mentions they’d told the entire mailing list to buy a new product on their website.  Tomorrow.  Not next month!

The client felt, correctly, that they couldn’t afford to burn every customer on their mailing list with false information. They asked if I could add ecommerce to their site by morning.  I said yes, I was familiar with the WordPress plugin they were intending to use for their store.  They said please go ahead.

A couple of hours later the commerce site was working well enough to show that… their old WordPress template was completely incompatible with the ecommerce plugin.  So after a quick consultation the client asked if I could also add the new theme software that we’d also planned to have ready for the roll-out… a month from now!

Well, fortunately I also am familiar with the new theme framework.  And since fixing the otherwise obsolete theme would have been just as time consuming I said yes.  They said please go ahead with that too!

And you know what?  I got it done!  Next morning their customers were able to come to their website and purchase their new product… with a much more powerful, more forward-looking theming system to boot!

Best of all?  This was a “crash” job, right?  A major, non-stop effort to finish what had been a one-month project in 12 hours!  And so in the morning of course there were some bugs, typos, and other minor issues to clean up.  All of which I was able to resolve in less than half an hour!


It’s still going to take the client a month to refine the site, establish policies for further expanding their ecommerce product line, optimizing shipping, taxes, terms of service, and so on — it wasn’t just me who was caught off guard.  And I’ll continue to work with their designers and, yes, their marketer to refine their new website design, also in time for their “proper” rollout a month from now.

And I really, really, don’t recommend hiring me or anyone else to add a full ecommerce package and template over night.


Wouldn’t it be nice to know that if it happened to you your web developer could make it work for you?

I’m not sure I’m really comfortable bragging about this.  And to be honest I’m a little shy about leaving this post up.  But you know what?  Even though it’s not the sort of thing I want to do every day, or for that matter ever again, I’m pretty darn proud that I was able to meet my client’s needs.  They’re happy.  And I’m happy too.  So I hope you’ll forgive my little end zone demonstration.


David Innes, RealBasics.com

I've been building and maintaining websites since 1997 and building and supporting similar hypertext-driven software since 1987. I've done maintenance, support, and maintenance for physical and digital systems since 1981. And no, I still haven't seen it all but by now I usually know where to look. More about David Innes...