Calum Childs Blog

Just stating the facts.

Introducing Calum Childs Shop

10th April 2021 Updates & Videos No Comments

Over the past few years, I have been taking photos and sharing them with everyone on Facebook, Instagram and my portfolio site.

Today, I am announcing the launch of my new online shop, Calum Childs Shop. It currently sells prints and canvases of many of my photos that I have taken over the past few years. There are currently 34 photos available to buy as prints, but more will be added every week, so if you want to be the first to know when new ones are released, you can sign up to the mailing list.

I have been working on this shop since the beginning of November 2020. Creating an online shop to sell prints of photos I have taken and edited is something I have always wanted to do.

What is available on my shop?

I am selling prints, canvases and postcards of photos I have taken from as little as £1.99, with multiple print and canvas sizes available and free postage for UK addresses. You can see the prints available here, the canvases available here and the postcards available here.

I’m also selling wall collage sets, something that has become a trend on bedroom walls in the past few months. They are a set of photos (usually of around 50 prints) that are of a wide range of things – fashion and nature – but they are all shades of one colour. I currently sell wall collage kits in pink and blue, with more colours on the way! (Tip: Buy them directly on shop.calumchilds.com for lower prices!)

How did I make this shop?

I set up this shop using WordPress, the same content management system that I use to host this blog and my photography portfolio. To create an online shop, I installed a plugin called WooCommerce, which adds the functionality needed to run an online shop. I created my own custom WordPress theme to make sure the shop looks consistent with the rest of my website.

To deal with payments, I use Stripe, a payment processing platform. I looked at other payment processing options, including PayPal and WooCommerce Payments, but Stripe was the only one that allowed the widest range of payment options (credit cards, Apple Pay, etc.) to be accepted at the lowest commission rate and was the easiest to integrate into WordPress.

Where else will I be selling my products?

As well as on shop.calumchilds.com (where the products will be sold at the lowest price), some products will be available on the following platforms from later today:

I am planning to sell on these platforms, but I need to wait until I meet the requirements needed before I can start selling:

Making the website

The first thing I did to make the website was to create a WordPress installation with the WooCommerce plugin installed. I then created a basic WordPress theme with a navigation bar and a header with the page title.

An early version of the shop website – screenshot taken 22.3.21

This was OK for a first draft of the homepage but I knew that this wouldn’t be good enough to attract visitors to the website and encourage them to keep exploring the online shop.

So, I decided to create a custom home-page instead of a page like the one above that just displays the available products in a particular order. I decided that there would be two rows of a wide range categories so people could choose what kind of photos they like.

The set of categories that I decided should be on the front page “Latest Photos”, “Seasonal”, “Landscapes”, “Flowers” and “Tropical” (photos taken on the Greek island of Thassos in 2019)

The homepage has a special header with the main gradient of the shop and the logo.

Homepage header with gradient and logo – screenshot taken 3.4.21

Once I had figured out the key design elements, I decided to just focus on fixing bugs and making improvements to the design.

Making the graphics: Logo

I had two main logo ideas for Calum Childs Shop, which you can see below. I created multiple variations of each logo to see which one would work best:

All the logos and variations of logos that I was considering for my shop – screenshot taken 22.3.21

I thought that, whilst the logos on the left were quite safe and were consistent with the rest of my website’s brand (it uses the same typeface as the logo for my main website and this blog), it seemed too… identical. It was just some text saying “Calum Childs Shop”, which probably doesn’t stand it in a good place for standing out in other environments (such as on Amazon and eBay, where I will also be selling my products.)

So, the logo that I chose was the logo with the blue-pink gradient for the website (it combines the two primary colours that I use for my website) and for the black-and-white logo, I chose the one where the “S” in “shop” is capitalised, but the rest is in lower-case.

The black-and-white logo that will be used in places where colour can’t be used, such as order confirmations and possibly on packaging.
The colour logo will be used where colour is needed to stand out, such as on adverts and on the front page of the shop’s website.

Making the graphics: Social media

For the launch of the shop, I created several graphics to advertise the shop on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat.

For Facebook, I wanted to create a simple graphic that would declare the launch of my shop without too much clutter that would distract from the main message. This was the graphic I posted on Facebook (with the promotional code taken out):

Instagram, whilst owned by Facebook, is completely different in terms of the type content and how it is presented. Unlike Facebook, Instagram is more centred around photos rather than text. I decided to do a 4-photo slideshow (you can post slideshows of up to 10 photos on Instagram.) These were the slides I posted on Instagram (again, this version has promotional codes taken out:)

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