MerixStudio

Merix studio

Beginnings

Everything started as usual from simple enquiry about new website creation. The one who contacted us was Chris Adjani, our partner from California with whom we had contact in the past. He mentioned that he will be designing new website for Herb Alpert - well known US musician and song writer. He asked us if we would be interested to develop that site with him. Knowing Chris' skills and determination we agreed without hesitation.

Gathering requirements
and prioritizing

Main idea was to create a portal consisting of one parent site and number of subsites. Parent site would serve general information whereas each subsite would have content created strictly for particular artist/area of interest. Structure of each subsite would be similar. As for the functionalities it was requested to have: blog, music store, galleries, timeline section, related content, common account system, integration with social media services and tons of JavaScripts and AJAX. In addition content for all the subsites was supposed to be inserted from one central CMS system that would allow sharing particular entries among them.

Having long list of expected features on one side and desire to go live asap in other, forced us to create list of priorities. From that list we have selected the most crucial ones on which we would focus for the launch.

Technology Selection

Once we finally agreed on the list of features that would be required for v1 plus having overall picture of the project and the things that will come in the future we have decided to use Django Framework as an engine that we will use for an entire project. Other solutions that were taken into account were WordPress and Drupal.

However after analyzing all the pros and cons of each and having in mind what the aspirations and further plans are, choice could be only one - Django.

Development

Project development finally began. During next months we have worked at full steam solving various issues that appeared on the way (among others: design updates, change requests and flu epidemic). During that time we had conducted hours of Skype calls, exchanged tons of emails and gigabytes of data.

In the meantime, to sweeten waiting time of Herb's fans we have created microsites that were introducing new site is coming soon and was giving users ability to already sign up for an account that they could use in the new site. We have also helped our client in server selection and domains configuration.

Beta version release of v1

After over 3 months of development and 4 weeks of testing and bug fixing we were ready to launch first beta version to our client. It still didn't have all the features (among others work on store part was still in progress), but it made possible to start getting familiar with the CMS and slowly add content to the site.

After that moment we were fixing issues that were revealed during content insertion and further tests plus worked on store completion.

Store was completed a month after. We were constantly testing and improving the site.

V1b, V2 requirements

After working with the site for few months Chris has decided that it requires layout lifting. He has sent us new layouts that would allow refreshing the site mostly by CSS changes. In the same time he was working on completely new v2 version.

V1b launch

4 weeks after agreeing on scope of layout changes we have released version 1b. It had all the features of version 1, but layout was refreshed. It was great bridge between version 1 and 2, making entire transition process much smoother.

V2 launch

Middle of April 2013 was a date when we were finally able to launch 2nd version of the project. Scope of changes was impressive and covered complete rewrite of HTML/CSS/JS, plenty of new features, clean ups and a lot of updates on the CMS side.

After launch, next to the small amendments that were required, we have been working on additional functionalities plus optimizing the code to increase website performance.

Currently, future

At this moment, without any heavy promotion, site already has almost 1000 of registered users and nearly 400 orders in their music store.

Chris now takes his time to learn how users use current site and then after some time of analysis he plans to start working on the 3rd version of this project which we will be more than happy to help him with.

Herp Alpert Presents