J&L Orchids Site:

This site involved a complete cosmetic, coding, and functional makeover with a focus on accommodating e-Commerce. Following a review of the client's desires and needs, a solution was proposed that addressed all of the required factors. View the new J&L Orchids web site design.

View live J&L Orchids web site designSince the client had an established print catalog format for which they were well known, it was decided that the new site needed to carry over many of the elemental design layout characteristics of the print catalog as well as retain some of the "feel" of the previous site it was ultimately to replace. Conceived was a fully standards compliant web site design that would present a totally new and fresh "face" to the public, while retaining some of the simple-to-use & fast loading text / list based content features of its predecessor. Additionally, the replacement site was to include an indexed product catalog, gallery of available images, references, and a calendar of events.

While these features are reasonably customary for commercial sites of this nature, it was the desire to include a Content Management System (CMS), while retaining the site's public pages in standard XHTML which added a new level of challenge to this web design project.

View of J&L Orchids Site Administration - List of existing products.Incorporated in the final product was a client-accessible relational database driven back end - allowing the client to log in and edit most aspects of the sites' contents, including: product information, prices, product categorization, image associations, public display/availability of products, as well as travel and event schedules, and special features on the home page.

While there are many CMS systems already available on the market, none are likely to have been able to accommodate the required taxonomically arranged catalog system, a trademark for which this business has long been noted. Therefore, to meet the exact needs of the client, a custom relational database-driven application was written in ASP (Active Server Pages).

Following Administrative editing of the databases' contents via the CMS, the client has the option of simply saving changes or, alternatively, updating the web site. The latter option instructs the application to review the entire database and regenerates the publicly accessible html pages incorporating the new data. The update also generates a new sitemap.xml file reflecting the new web file's information.

View of J&L Orchids Site Administration - Sample product being edited.

Primary Design Points:

  • Provide a custom relational database for accommodating the taxonomic hierarchal categorization of the products and essential content.
  • Web-browser accessed administrative back-end for maintaining the database content.
  • Generate fully standards compliant static XHTML output files for public access.
  • Present a clean, straightforward, and easily navigable public web site with eCommerce capability.
  • Provide a modern user interface while retaining the branding already established through other forms of media in the past.