Looking Big on a BudgetCase Study of a Client Site on a Budget

For those of you without a TV, for many years TLC had a show called Trading Spaces. Neighbors would swap houses and let each other redesign a room with the help of a Trading Spaces Designers. One of those designers, Lauren Makk decided to pack up and move to Hawaii after falling in love with the islands.

Besides her media appearances and local and national design clients, Lauren had the idea for a home accessory store showcasing in her words, Practical, Affordable, Design. Hence, PADHawaii was developed and launched in August of 2013. Not only does Lauren feature innovative and modern design elements, but the store (and website) act as the hub of creative influences in the community.

Besides having physical goods that can be bought, PAD Hawaii also hosts monthly events such as Home School and after {work} shop. Both are events where Lauren and guests teach DIY and creative skills for the home. These events could be all day or for a couple hours and she needed to be able to accept payments online and have a calendar of events.

Lauren hired me to build out the vision of her website. Because of the high cost of rent, labor, and especially shipping goods into the islands, she did not have a large budget to build out her website. Yet, despite these constraints, she expected the site to act as her activity and store hub, have all the functionality she needed, yet still incorporate the design elements any demanding designer would require.

WordPress was obviously the best solution for her needs. WordPress allowed us to create a beautiful website with all the functionality she needed. We ended up using a premium responsive theme to create a beautiful site, while keeping development costs low, as well as making the site mobile ready out of the gate. We then added in a couple plugins to build out the functionality of the site, such as a calendar to display Home School and after {work} events.


We Pay Case Study

While Lauren had used PayPal in the past she did not like the idea of people leaving the site to prepay for courses. At the same time, we did not have a budget to build commerce functionality on site (shopping cart, SSL, etc). What we were able to do is sign Lauren up with WePay. WePay allows Lauren the ability to embed buttons on her calendar pages for preregistration of her events.

The beauty of the WePay solution is that when customers click the registration button, the entire checkout process works on site creating a seamless experience for customers. On top of this, the fees can be lower than PayPal if customers are using a bank or debit card. This can make a large difference for the full day classes.WePay Case Study

If you live in Honolulu or are even just visiting, you should check out PAD Hawaii as there just might be an event worthwhile to attend. You might even go home with a unique and creative piece only from Hawaii. When you go to her site, just click the Calendar button on the menu bar to see upcoming events.

Finding the right tools

While we did not have a large budget we were still able to create a professional, functional and beautiful website by taking the time and effort to find the right tools for the customer. Even if you do not have a large budget, don’t despair as the right consultant can work with the limited budget you have to make you look larger than life.

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APRIL 2014 Edit: For some unknown reason, since I wrote this post, WePay got rid of the one feature that made them a viable alternative to PayPal for your website, and that was the embed function. Instead they are concentrating on “API integration” which puts them back in competition with PayPal, Stripe, Braintree and a ton of others that are already way ahead of them. Unfortunately, this means I am pushing people back to PayPal again.

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