Case Study

Kieffer’s Appliances

About The Project

Back in 2014 Kieffer’s, a luxury appliance company and industry leader, requested a proposal from my former company Satori Design. On the surface, the project seemed fairly straightforward; convert their existing website into a better and more resourceful one for their customers. As we started to dig in, the scope increased significantly allowing us the opportunity to solve a variety of problems with solutions that were truly innovative for WordPress at the time. With limited documentation left after all years, here is a rundown of a few challenges and solutions we implemented.

Role

  • Project Scoping
  • Creative Director
  • Project Management

Challenge #1

Size and Age:
The website’s code and design were dated and mostly unusable. Kieffer’s wanted to go big and show customers and trade partners the entire inventory of over 30k products. This couldn’t slow down the database and needed to be updated on a recurring schedule. 

Solutions:
We scripted a chron job to pull in and parse a 3rd party XML feed that allowed select data to be queried and used within the custom WordPress framework and tooling. Using the information architecture mapped during the discovery phase we effectively recreated the catalog/browsing experience without any e-commerce plugin dependencies.

Kieffers Showcase

Challenge #2

Complex Customer Resources:
Kieffer’s had tons of brand videos and buying guides along with product images and rebates parsed from the XML. They wanted to host the videos in the cloud and control where they display them along with the rebates and guides. Additionally, while developing solutions for the resource center we uncovered a data reliability issue that the vendor was unwilling to fix at the time.



Solutions:
To create the resource center, we developed new brand, rebate, and video pages while ensuring all data was properly related and parsed under various conditions. To accomplish that and ensure data integrity we created a tool within WordPress to safely correct the parsed XML and protect it from being overwritten by the weekly chron run.

The video library was layers of complexity that were elegantly executed by our team. Our solution, powered by FFMPEG, allowed the WP admin the choice of using a YouTube URL or uploading a video to be processed, and then selecting a thumbnail based on the timestamp. The video was converted to the appropriate web formats, uploaded to AWS, and new CDN URLs were automatically routed for display throughout the website

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