Upgrade from 1.5.4 to

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Experience Level: Intermediate
Dear Anwar,

We are a small home-based, family-run ethical company in our 12th year of trading. Though we are small, we cover a lot of territory. We have two small London shops, an Amazon Shop, and an OpenCart webshop with around 500 products that are created by hand by our own team of artisans. We also have a database of around 150 wholesale customers.

As a micro-business all of us wear many hats so we’d like to use the quieter post-Christmas period to optimise our website for 2015.

Site History
We are currently on our 3rd site and second OpenCart site. Our first OpenCart was a customised form of 1.4.1 and the upgrade, implemented last year is 1.5.4. The original site had limited functionality and therefore a lot of bespoke parts & extensions were plugged in to accommodate our unique requirements as retailers, wholesalers and creators of our product.

A new team took over as our developers and undertook the upgrade to 1.5.4. The upgrade was fraught with difficulties due to developers farming out work to third parties (with more limited experience & less capability than our original team). Communication & continuity broke down as teams were working with different coding language and in different time zones.

We’d like to work with an experience team/person to update to the most current version. Given our history it is important for us to stay with the same team or person until the process is successfully completed.

Important points to consider
Our next busy retail period starts at the end of June and we’d ideally like work & testing to be completed by then. If we finish the upgrade by the end of May that allows 1 month of testing before we need turn attention to receive our summer range.
Due to multiple stores we have 2 urls, multiple domains with a wildcard ssl certificate.
There may be plugins that we have that are no longer needed due to more optimised version of OpenCart. Others plugins may have been superseded by newer, better versions.
Due to mulitple programers working on the site we’d ideally wish to streamline the site so that deviations from the core or diminished as much as possible.
As a hands-on home-run ethical business we’d like to have as much control over editing content as possible.
Currently the site has a number of quirks that are fine once you know it - but make it difficult to to train new staff about its functionality. We’d like to address this.

Our objectives

To upgrade our site to version
To maintain or improve all current functionality of our three stores (retail, wholesale & camden, which we used for shop orders for our Blaze On shops)
To add Amazon checkout to our retail store (i.e. it must not be visible for our wholesale store).
To set up the site for integration with Amazon (while not sacrificing any of our current functionality).
To reduce percentage of customers abandoning basket.
To increase the number of customers following through with payment.
To make analytics on the site as trackable as possible.
To integrate Google in all its aspects - product feed, analytics tracking etc..
To optimise our homepage for SEO and make it more current & streamlined.

Aspects that need a wider discussion
Homepage, look, design & seo
Mail for marketing purposes.
Shipping - at the moment it’s working but temperamental and buggy as we have very different payment , invoicing, minimum order, postage & free shipping incentives & structures for wholesale & retail

We understand from your excellent reviews that you are well versed OpenCart. We’d be grateful if you could send us a proposal as to the best means of approaching the above, and quote for the completion of all aspects listed. It would also be helpful to understand whether you work independently or with a team - and if so where they are based.

Don’t hesitate to contact if you have any questions or if you need any further information.

Light and laughter
Kate Durr Blaze On Fairy Lights & Candles

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