Kobold Press

http://www.koboldpress.com/

 

Wolfgang originally approached me about babysitting a store transfer from an old eCommerce store to a newer one. By the time we were done we had redesigned all of his websites and updated them into more modern, easily updatable formats. Throughout the months I worked with Wolfgang, we kept discovering new complications and reworking the projects. By the time we were done, we had him at a much better place.

 

Features

  • Simple, Clean Look
  • Responsive Design To Accommodate Multiple Screen Sizes
  • A blog that supports multiple authors and retains previous structures
  • eCommerce transfer
  • Integrated Store
  • Tutorial Videos

 


The initial project was supposed to be about 4 hours of work. When I discovered issues with the service Wolfgang was planning to use not actually transferring the options for his products, we restructured the project and found a new solution. When issues with that eCommerce transfer solution came up, I suggested a different eCommerce platform and showed Wolfgang the benefits of it. He had never heard of it but quickly decided it was much easier than his previous options. We refactored the project again and wrote out a brief for a blog overhaul as well. Sometimes those flies in the ointment lead to better solutions down the road.

 


Click image to enlarge

eCommerce Transfers

Are always a bit touchy. There are so many things that can go wrong. Often times, they require manual transfers. Our original attempt used a service (Cart 2 Cart) that promised more than it delivered. I did the research but didn’t discover the issues with the transfer until I ran through their test transfer and did deep verification and testing. No PDFs from the store got transferred over. That was a big problem that was conveniently, and vigorously, left out of the service’s promotion of its service. We found a different solution – a script that would transfer more options and I tested this one, discovering the same issue earlier in the process. That was the sticky wicket that required manual integration.

When I talked to Wolfgang about his options, I asked why he chose the platforms he chose and not other ones. It turned out he didn’t know about some of the ones that were out there. I was able to suggest better options that were more modern and provided more options. In one of our many video calls, I watched him become incredibly impressed with the Woocommerce platform and showed him how it worked for a different client.

Blog Redesign

Once we had worked out the particulars of the eCommerce transfer, Wolfgang and I talked about redoing his original blog. His company, Kobold Press, had moved from magazine publishing to an online blog and book publishing, but the site was created many years ago and needed an update. I talked with Wolfgang about his options and talked with some of his editors and authors to see what features they needed. We worked up a plan and I revamped and revitalized his old blog into a newer format. There were a few more fancy options I pushed towards, but the needs of the client are the most crucial so we settled for a more restrained design that stayed simple but looked clean.

One element Wolfgang wanted preserved was the seasonal color scheme. I reworked the custom script that changed the colors at certain dates and kept the accent colors from the old blog. 

Articles and Featured content is displayed on the main shop and blog page, pointing out news and information that needs showcased. The multiple authors (right) required special coding to match the old blog style and structure for linking content by author.

Working with the Kobold Press art and themes let me do a lot of fun things. The Kobolds (creatures from games that exist in the books Wolfgang publishes) provided great art assets to include with the various sections.

Knowing The Audience

Much like Gnome Stew, the audience for Kobold Press has certain expectations and needs that vary from other audiences. Gamers enjoy fun and interesting elements, so we could be a bit playful with the sites content and themes. I got to include some fun easter eggs between Kobold Press and Gnome Stew (similar blogs in the same field). If you enter the Konami Code with your keyboard, a cross site easter egg occurs. It is always great when you get to include small personal touches that fit within a sites theme and tone.