Describe the Project (Goals, Requirements, and Outcome):
West Chester wanted a mobile and tablet-friendly website that would allow their customers to search product offerings based on specific needs and applications via a faceted search, as well as a very intelligent keyword search. They wanted the ability to manage the products and website content without having to rely on a development house. In part, this required building a method to transfer product data from their internal Product Manager to the Drupal database so they don’t have to manage hundreds of products in several places. They also needed a user-friendly way for customers to contact sales representatives on the spot to ask questions about certain products, and also to provide a way for potential customers to locate a distributor.
Why Drupal Was Chosen:
A CMS was necessary to allow West Chester to manage their products and content after the site launched. We were drawn to Drupal specifically because faceted search functionality is capable of what we needed with very little modification, and it integrates with Apache Solr for highly customized searches. Additionally, we knew from experience that the Omega theme and accompanying modules make it very easy to develop responsive websites.
Key Modules, Theme, and Distribution Used:
Omega theme + Delta module + Context module were used to create a fully responsive website.
Views + Flexslider allow for fully responsive slideshows and other dynamic content.
Apache Solr, via the Solr Search module, powers a highly customized product search.
Faceted search powers a dynamic, user-friendly product finder.
Google Store Locator provides a distributor locator.
Why these Modules, Theme, and Distribution were Chosen:
The responsive suite (Omega, Delta, Context, Flexslider) was chosen because it is imperative the site be visible on all devices since a number of their customers will be checking in from job sites where mobile is their only option.
Solr was chosen because of the vast number of ways products needed to be searched. For example, part numbers may be searched from a torn tag where only the middle several characters are legible (for example, the tag for model number GG42SI may only display G42), where things like industries and applications would want to search from the beginning.
The Google Store Locator module was chosen because it is the best way to display multiple points on a map.