ImageCMS Cloud

Multisite SaaS platform for ecommerce

Challenge

The initial task of the project: unfold the existing CMS for ecommerce on cloud and make the SaaS interface for the quick creation of online stores by users with further development and marketing options. 

Users should have separate access to files, extended billing options, and all the necessary marketing tools for gaining and engaging the target audience. 

Key peculiarities of the project: billing and geo-distribution of users from Ukraine, Europe, and the USA.

Discovery Phase

First, we had to decide on the necessary minimum number of tools for sales and the scalability options for various user types. 

The deployment system for ensuring continuous integration of the platform in the production was also outstanding. 

We involved a DevOps expert to analyze all possible options. 

At this stage, we also sketched the prototypes for all the versions of user accounts, billing, and the user support system. 

Additionally, Backend and Frontend developers worked on the project’s future architecture and evaluated the primary options for the technical solutions.

Since the existing CMS was in PHP, we picked the Symfony framework for Backend development. We chose Python for the SaaS server creation, as it ensures faster end-user builds.

At this stage, we involved a team of:

One DevOps, one Backend developer, one Frontend developer, a product manager, a  marketer, two designers, and a business analyst.

The duration of the phase – 1.5 months.

Initial Phase

During this phase, we developed the key elements of the platform: Continuous integration server, SaaS server, user account, and billing, as well as three production servers for registering users from around the world.

At the same time, the developers and designers developed the Frontend part and the essential design of the project.

As a result, everything was ready for the development of the central part required to launch the MVP of the platform.

Also, at this stage, we analyzed all the tools for marketing: project analytics required by users, installations, basic metrics, a well-thought-out and interactive system of platform for admin panel usage, internal notifications, and marketing emails sent after some specific actions  for attracting users.

The team for this stage involved:

Two Backend programmers, two Frontend developers, a product manager, a marketer, two designers, a business analyst, a QA engineer.

The duration of the phase – 2 months.

Development Phase

This was the most important phase of the project. Apart from developing all the elements of the SaaS platform, and testing and deploying it to the necessary servers, we still had to update the CMS itself, as the updates were due every three weeks.

In total, three teams worked on the following: 

  1. Development of the SaaS version
  2. Implementation of CMS platform updates
  3. Website development and marketing tools.

The team that worked on the project included five Backend developers, three Frontend developers, two designers, three QA specialists, a product manager, and a business analyst.

In addition, a team of marketers consisted of: Marketing team lead, two SEO experts, two copywriters, one Google analytics and PPC specialist, and an email marketing specialist.

The duration of the phase – 4 months.

Further development and support

A team of developers continue to update and support the SaaS platform. The project has reached over 3000 installed active online stores around the world and has served as a perfect ecommerce tool for hundreds of small and midsize businesses.