Founded in 2002, Bella Pictures is an award-winning company that is transforming the wedding photography and videography industry. Bella's technology-driven approach brings new standards of quality, service and transparency to capturing and sharing your wedding memories.
Founded by a team of professionals with backgrounds in photojournalism, e-commerce and marketing, they provide superior quality wedding photography by certifying photographers throughout the United States.
This unique approach removes the guesswork in picking a wedding photographer and ensures a quality product every time.
Bella's flagship website is the heart of their business and was the roadblock to their future growth. What the organization needed was a more flexible system that allowed them to react and adapt to an ever-changing market in a cost efficient manner. The technical team extensively researched a number of proprietary and Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS) and Shopping Cart solutions.They chose Drupal, and Ubercart, for the renowned flexibility and the frameworks proven track record in SEO.
The real question was where to start. Replacing the current website with a new platform was unrealistic. Bella's technical team, led by Steve Morgan, chose to start with StudioBlue.com, a new property focused on the cost-conscience side of today's wedding market.
1. Develop a Drupal/Ubercart website in less than two months
2. Prove Drupal could truly meet their organizational challenges
3. Integrate transactional data into the existing Bella infrastructure
4. Customize the shopping cart to allow for a recurring payment plan
5. Create reusable code to allow partner websites on the same basic code base
6. Allow the in-house team to maintain and make future enhancements
7. Repurpose code base to future BellaPictures.com project
With the project and platform in place the Bella Pictures team realized they didn't have the bandwidth or the depth of Drupal knowledge to complete the task successfully. They chose to partner with Achieve Internet due to our extensive experience in Drupal architecture, integration, module customization and overall project management. The first step in any Achieve website build is a face-to-face Architecture and Training phase. Since Drupal is essentially a series of modules that are responsible for every action and page on the site, architecting the proper workflow, data structure, 3rd-party integration points and module installation is critical to the success of any project. Having everyone on the same page with the terminology and basic Drupal features is also a very critical step towards a successful project launch.
Once the project was fully defined an accurate estimate could be built that gave both teams a clear understanding of budget, timeline and deliverables.
As we have done several times in the past Achieve was more than happy to work with the internal Bella team in the development of the project so in the future they could manage and enhance all their Drupal sites. This also made sense since the StudioBlue.com platform was going to be leveraged to create branded websites for Bella's partner program. It was mission critical to Bella that their internal development team be able to support those partners in the future.
The first real challenge was registration. As always it is important to make sure the correct data was being collected, especially since this new property needed to integrate with the existing Bella Pictures infrastructure. Built on the Cake PHP framework the current infrastructure is responsible for everything from scheduling to payment processing. In StudioBlue we separated scheduling from registration and ran it as a standalone item. This streamlined the registration process and allowed the visitor to interact with the true power of Bella without the stress of commitment. Since StudioBlue.com is a lower cost solution to begin with the offer is not available in all regions and during all dates. This in turn removed the burden from the Bella sales staff to follow up on every inquiry essentially reducing the cost of acquisition.
Ultimately the largest technical issue for the project surrounded Payment Plan options. In today's economy Bella felt it was important to give couples the option to set up a payment plan to make the purchase easier on couples' bank accounts. To accomplish this task Achieve wrote a custom module to handle this complex ordering process between Drupal, Ubercart and the Authorize.net system. This custom module ensured payment reminders were properly scheduled, sent and accurately accounted for in the Bella ordering system.