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Partnership with top online designer glasses retailer

Monday, 1 September 2014 16:29 by Ben

Today Invosoft are proud to be starting a new partnership with premier online designer spectacles shop, Toni & Guy Opticians. Toni & Guy is the place to go for designer glasses and sunglasses. They have one of the largest ranges of high quality designer frames from brands like Booth & Bruce, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, Ray-Ban and Ted Baker. Not only do they stock a fantastic range of eyewear, they are optometrists and glaziers par excellence. All their lenses are enhanced by high-tech coatings to give extra performance. Each lens has a free easy-clean, anti-reflection and tough coating. You can choose one or all of these benefits during the online checkout process, as well as ultra-thin or varifocal lenses.

Invosoft will be working alongside Toni & Guy Opticians to enhance and upgrade parts of their current IT and ecommerce infrastructure. More developments to follow soon: watch this space.


Opticians Logo

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New Music T-Shirt ecommerce shop

Friday, 11 November 2011 18:09 by Ben
In conjunction with designer Paul Dean, Invosoft have developed a new online T-Shirt shop, onlyteesin. 
Onlyteesin specialise in Music T-Shirts, or ‘Music Tees’ as they like to call them.  They have a range of original Music T-shirt designs, including Jimi Hendrix Music T-Shirtsmusic T-shirts for men and music T-shirts for women.
Onlyteesin stock a range of about twenty music T-shirts and will be constantly adding and updating their collection. 
The site is feature-packed with a graphically rich user experience.

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Installing Magento eCommerce on Windows and IIS 7

Wednesday, 20 July 2011 15:07 by Ben

Don’t be too put off by the system requirements on the Magentocommerce website, Magento is surprisingly easy to install and run on Windows and IIS 7.

We are currently developing a new ecommerce platform for an online t-shirt business specialising in music t-shirts.  In the past, we have used dashcommerce with great success, for example on Logs Direct. Unfortunately, dashcommerce has ceased to be living open source project.  Also, we develop primarily using these days so I wanted to find an ecommerce solution based around 3. 

The best solution I could find was Orchard.  This is a really great platform but it doesn’t have a mature shop or ecommerce component, which is unfortunate, and perhaps somewhat strange, as I believe the codebase is founded upon Rob Connery’s MVC.NET ecommerce Kona project.

So, despite numerous reservations about Magento (the platform has a reputation for being slow, overly-complex, unwieldy, unsupported on Windows, good at marketing itself but lacklustre at delivering what it promises), I decided to have a bash at installing it on Windows Server 2008 running IIS 7.5 just to see what would happen/how hard it was.  It was surprisingly easy.

These are the steps I followed:

  • Prerequisites: We already have a Windows 2008 IIS 7.5 server setup running a number of PHP platforms (SugarCRM and CakePHP based web applications) so I think this helped a bit.  I didn’t have to install any extra components but these are the relevant ones I believe you need to install using the web platform installer:
    1. PHP 5.2.17
    2. IIS: CGI
    3. Windows Cache Extension 1.1 for PHP 5.2
    4. URL Rewrite 2.0
  • Install MYSQL: Once you have IIS setup, you also need a working mysql instance
  • Upload Magento Install: Create a new website in IIS and copy/FTP the Magento 1.5.10 install files into the website directory.
  • Setting up the URL re-write rules:  This step is the key to a smooth Magento install.  Create a new web.config file in the base install directory and then copy the following URL rewrite rules in:
  • <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> 
         <rule name="Imported Rule 1" stopProcessing="true"> 
          <match url=".*" ignoreCase="false"/>        <conditions> <add input="{URL}" pattern="^/(media|skin|js)/" ignoreCase="false" negate="true" /> 
          <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsFile" negate="true" /> 
          <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsDirectory" negate="true" /> 
        </conditions> <action type="Rewrite" url="index.php" /> 
  • Permissions: I also encountered some permission problems which were a little tricky to diagnose as magento hides errors by default.  You simply receive a generic “There has been an error processing your request” message.  To print errors to screen, I followed the guide here -  

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Logs Suppliers Upgrade their Online Shop

Friday, 13 August 2010 23:19 by Ben

Invosoft client Logs Direct have recently undergone a number of improvements to their e-commerce system to compliment the company’s new and improved product range.  Logs Direct, based near Lancaster are already UK market leaders for seasoned firewood logs and kiln dried logs. They hope to expand their range with a number of chimineas,  summer offerings and wood coal. Their e-commerce system has been improved, to enhance usability, cope with demand for new forthcoming product ranges, and their ever increasing customer base. 

Further improvements to improve the usability of the website and to upgrade the payments system are to follow shortly.

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Invosoft Launch New Logs Direct E-commerce Site

Wednesday, 16 September 2009 19:14 by Ben

Invosoft have just completed construction of a new e-commerce website for national carbon-neutral fuel supplier, Logs Direct. The North Lancashire based company supply ethical fuel products to the likes of B&Q and the National Trust. They stock a range of softwood and hardwood fuel logs as well as kindlingfirelighters and wood pellet fuels. They are also the main distributors for Blazers, an ethical and effective alternative to wood logs.

Not having a wood burner or multi-fuel stove myself (yet!), it was an area on which I knew little. One thing I do know is that wood burners perform best when burning very dry, seasoned wood. After chatting to Andrew Foulds, Managing Director of Logs Direct, it seems the best wood in terms of performance (heat output, efficiency and value for money) is kiln dried woodKiln-dried logs have a 10% to 15% moisture level which ensures they burn hotter for longer. We spent an afternoon in Andrew’s purpose-built production facility getting to know the products and the one thing that stands out from that day is aroma from the kiln dried stuff – nothing beats the fragrance of a real log fire!

The website is based on the 'dashcommerce' codebase –  kudos to the team there for all thier hard work! We found the platform very easy to customise, in both design and functionality terms.  We, however, added lots of custom features not present in the standard platform, such as our video guides section and delivery calculator based on postcode. The system is feature packed, user-friendly and easy to manage and maintain. You can view the results for yourselves at:

and here are a few tips on using wood burning stoves and selecting the the right firewood.

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