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bytemine Shop Evolution

Posted by Bernd Ahlers on Friday, October 16, 2009

The next step in the history of our online shops has been taken! We’re proud to announce that we just put our new bytemine shop online.

This is the third generation of bytemine shop applications. We started with a simple html form and some javascript on our home page which served us well for some years. The problem was that it didn’t scale well with our growing range of products so that we started to look for a lightweight shop system.

Since we like Ruby and Ruby On Rails, we had a look at some shop applications written in Ruby and Rails. After some tests we decided to go with Spree which is a nice e-commerce application project developed by a small team. We wrote our own layout template and created some small extensions to handle some of our needs. (like special shipping decisions) The shop was running fine for about 10 months. Over the time we discovered two big issues with our Spree setup. The lack of features and the fast development speed of Spree. The lack of features problem could have been solved by ourselves with dedicating time to write some extensions. But we think it’s better to spend that time on our own products and business. The rapid speed of development in the Spree project is related to that. Since we didn’t touch the shop for some months it would have taken lots of time to update it to a more recent release and adjust our extensions. Again, time we don’t have or time that we don’t want to spend on building a shop system. That’s where Magento entered the game.

Magento is a feature-rich open source e-commerce platform which one of our partners is using to build internet shops for their customers. That’s why we gave it a try. The default installation almost satisfied our (current) requirements and it also has a huge collection of extensions available. Our first tests went pretty well so that we decided to switch to Magento as soon as possible.

After installing some needed extensions, adjusting the desing templates and doing lots of tests, our new shop is now ready to be used.

We think the move to Magento is a big step in the right direction. It will improve the shopping experience of our customers and it will ease maintenance for us.

Maybe now is a good time for you to surf over to our shop and place some of our products in your shopping cart! :)

Have fun!