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American Stirling Company Website

August 14th, 2012

Stirling Engine Animated ExplanationI have been doing website re-development on the American Stirling Company website. The new site has now launched and is fully operational. The site sells stirling engines and related products. A stirling engine is a mechanical engine that runs on heat differential. One side of the engine is heated, while the other side is kept cool. the greater the difference in temperature the faster it runs.

My job for this website re-development was to re-built their old site to have a back end content management system and a new shopping cart that is integrated with their drop ship company API (Application Programming Interface). This means orders are processed and sent out to the customer automatically. I did not do the graphic design work or structural design for this site. I was asked to keep the site looking and functioning identical to the old style. So although the style of the site is old fashioned, the programming behind it is fresh, functionally and optimized.

Stirling Engine Website ScreenshotI started with wordpress and a shopping cart plugin that was written in PHP. I then customized the site to match the old site and function the way the client specifically requested. I wrote the code for the the order processing in PHP and mySQL. When an order is placed, the information is validated, then securely sent to the drop ship company (using CURL). The credit card is processed by the drop-ship company. I also wrote a PHP script that checks the status of an order to update the wordpress shopping cart with the latest information so the client only needs to check one place to find out what is happening with the order.

There were or course many variables and unexpected issues that were resolved. Some had to do with limitations with the drop-shipping company. Other issues came up when manipulating the existing code to function the way the client requested. The order processing PHP ended up being about 700 lines of code with comments. Now that the site is launched there are still some minor bugs that are appearing, so I will continue to do updates until the site is running smoothly.

Visit the site StirlingEngine.com to view the products and learn more about Stirling Engines.
American Stirling Company Logo