SparkWeb Interactive

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  • PHP

We are very excited for you to meet our good friend David Hollander from SparkWeb Interactive. Not only is David an amazing designer and devloper, but he is the genius behind the wildly popular FoxyCart integration FoxyShop

Questions

Answers

  • Hello! Could you tell us a little about yourself? Who are you? What’s your company? How’d you get started in web development or with your business? What types of work do you enjoy doing? What types of clients do you typically serve?

    I’ve been working in web development since 2002. After college I decided that instead of getting a job, I’d just start freelancing. I had no idea how difficult that would actually be. But between pizza delivery and scraping together work wherever I could find it, I made it through that first year and started to make connections. I worked with another web developer for a few years until I had built up my own base of clients and then struck out on my own in 2004. I’m a freelancer which means that instead of having one boss, I have fifty of them. I’ve worked with some big companies, but most of my clients run small to medium sized businesses or non-profits.

  • What skills do you have in your arsenal? (html, css, javascript, php, ruby, nunchucks, etc.) How would you rate your level of expertise with those skills? Any favorite apps you use for development or new technologies you’re excited about?

    While studying graphic design in college, I taught myself classic ASP and that’s what I built everything in until it became obvious that it was a dying technology. The switch to PHP was uncomfortable but I’ve never looked back. I started using WordPress and found that the tools it provided for rapid development and ease of updating were a great fit for the sites I was building. It really made it easy for my customers to update their own sites and that’s something I’ve always believed in.

    My toolset is pretty simple: Photoshop CS5, Textpad, Firefox with Firebug, CuteFTP, and Tortoise SVN. I’d like to say I use Putty to manage my servers but the reality is that I use it every six months which is just long enough for me to forget everything about how to navigate in linux.

  • Please describe your experience with FoxyCart. How’d you find it? Why’d it appeal to you? What are your favorite features or aspects of it?

    I first heard about FoxyCart from Chris Coyier’s screencast in 2009. I loved the idea that FoxyCart could fit into my programming rather than having to redevelop my entire site. I kept hacking WordPress to make it work with FoxyCart when, in early 2011, I decided to build a proper WordPress plugin that would build and manage a store which in turn would feed right into FoxyCart. FoxyShop was born and I haven’t looked back since.

  • Did you have ecommerce experience prior to using FoxyCart?

    I actually built an ecommerce platform in 2002. I learned a lot through the experience but after a few years of fighting with templates and then struggling with PCI Compliance, I quickly realized that it was much better to offload that to the pro’s.

  • Has FoxyCart helped you better serve your clients? Increase your revenues? Improved your overall quality of life? :)

    It’s been a huge help to have a really quality ecommerce tool to offer to my customers. Being able to lay in FoxyShop/FoxyCart makes the installation and customization of ecommerce into an existing or new site a seamless and easy process. And as a web developer I like that. A lot.

  • Got any FoxyCart websites we can look at? What were your favorite parts of each? (We’ll insert screenshots of each, and add them to our featured sites.)

    Too many to mention! As of this writing, FoxyShop has been installed on hundred’s of websites.

  • What has been your favorite FoxyCart project? Why?

    My favorite is livefashionable.com - the customized cart really works with the site’s design and the multi-ship is a killer feature.

  • What would you say to other Developers/Designers/Merchants who are looking for an ecommerce solution?

    FoxyCart provides a high-quality service. Having worked with these guys for a couple years, I’ve seen first-hand that they are fanatical about providing great customer support and when they make a mistake they own up to it honestly and transparently. They’re a solid business partner for you and your customers.