Migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2, with the addition of multiple front-end eCommerce stores and improved functionality, were the key goals of this substantial project.
A complex build, creating the new Water For Health website threw up many challenges for the customer and the development team alike.
However, by working closely together and by keeping communication clear, we arrived at the desired result.
Water for Health
Water for Health was founded in 2007 and is based in Auchterarder, Perthshire. It is a company dedicated to helping people enjoy optimum health, naturally, through good nutrition and proper hydration.
Water for Health supply innovative water filtration products and quality food supplements throughout the UK and Europe. All their product ranges, which they import from several countries, are exclusive to Water for Health. The vast majority of Water for Health’s sales come through their eCommerce web site.
The company has a high reputation in the industry for their quality of service, quality of products and the ethos that underpins the family business. This is reflected in the awards Water for Health has received for its caring service. The company are viewed as one of the top UK companies in this field.
Magento 2 Migration
Water for Health had been operating a Magento 1 web store for approximately six years. A Scottish company originally built it, but it was managed and supported by a large firm of Magento developers in India for the last two years. The move to India was instigated by a need to gain better Magento support than was being provided. That strategy did bring results, but communications at a distance brought its challenges and proved challenging for Water for Health personnel.
Since Magento 1 was no longer supported, as of July 2020, Water for Health had to make several important decisions. They decided that they would relocate the project back to the UK with the new build and ongoing support. Secondly, they needed to evaluate if Magento 2 was the best option and seriously considered moving to a Shopify platform. On its face, this appeared to be a cheaper option, which it would have been in terms of the upfront cost. However, it was ruled out due to the high ongoing operating costs.
Water for Health chose ultimately to migrate their business from Magento 1 to Magento 2, with the hopes that the benefits of the platform would outweigh any initial extra effort, costs or challenges a build of this nature would inevitably generate.
These challenges stem from the migration itself, which can be a long and complicated task, especially for businesses like Water for Health who have hundreds of products and three front-facing stores all controlled by one back-end content management system (CMS).
Water for Health also wanted a more personal relationship with those managing the website development, to streamline communications and have better interactions. So, with our HQ a short drive down the road, we are delighted that they chose to go with Inspire for the project.
The initial goals for the new Water for Health website were:
A brand new design, built from the ground up
Incorporate the business's new branding and colour scheme to create a new site that is fresh, clean and modern
To retain, and improve upon, the single, functional CMS to be used for all three of Water for Health's online storefronts
Improved functionality for a better customer experience
Ensure optimised performance across desktop and mobile versions of the website
Some smart back end integrations to make running the business more efficient.
The New Website
We opted to use the Magento 2 Open Source version of the software. This gives Water for Health full control over its hosting and destiny while lowering maintenance costs. While in terms of functionality, the needs of the client were met by the Open Source marketplace and built-in features.
However, given the size of the project and the many different features we wanted to include, we faced several teething issues caused by the interactions between the many Magento 2 extensions that were being used.
For most Magento 2 builds, such issues would not have arisen. But even here, with a relatively complex set up, the problems proved to be surmountable.
While this proved to be an excellent opportunity for our developer team to fully explore what Magento 2 currently offers and how different extensions worked together, the situation could cause frustration for the client.
Here Roddy MacDonald, the canny eCommerce veteran who is founder and CEO of Water for Health, picks up the story:
‘On the whole, I'm very happy with the way things have worked between ourselves and Inspire. There have been one or two issues - we need to be honest about that,’ he says.
‘There are something like 15 modules or extensions on the system, and there was a conflict between two of them that caused a page speed issue.’
Some problems with the payment system also persisted for a while after launch, which were intermittent and difficult to pin down. However, the instance of this was significantly reduced after a detailed investigation.
‘So while we get occasional blips reported across the site, on the whole, I'm fairly happy,’ Roddy adds with a chuckle.
'Now to another person, my "fairly happy" might mean "it's amazing" or "fantastic". But I don't use terms like that!’
Roddy says that in general, the transition from the old site to the new has gone very well.
'The traffic volume is pretty similar to what we had before. We'd like to get more of course. The comments from users have on the whole been fairly positive,' he says.
'A website is an ongoing process, and I appreciate there will always be things that we want to improve as we go along.'
The new site is now live and open for business. With its bright look and clean design, we hope it makes a pleasant and smooth shopping experience for customers and allows Water for Health to manage their online store in the future easily.
Just some of the features of the new site are an integrated review banner, which allows customer feedback to shine on the homepage; a search function, which makes finding a specific product an easy task; and the Water for Health blog area which lets the business keep their customers up to date.
The individual product pages have an emphasis on clean design and giving the customer all the details they might need.
Clickable dropdown menus for subjects such as 'Ingredients' and 'Usage' make for easy navigation, while a shopping basket and payment options make for an easy purchase.
Magneto 2 is the leading eCommerce platform, and Inspire are well equipped to deliver projects utilising the functionality that this platform offers.
If you are looking to upgrade your business to a Magento 2 website, speak to Inspire Digital.