That’s a wrap for the second edition of BigCom DevX. A community event for BigCommerce developers to share & learn from each other. This year, we had 4 fantastic speakers, 2 special guests from BigCommerce and over 120 attendees.
How to Build, Test, & Launch an App in the BigCommerce App Marketplace from Scott Williams at Human
- Best Approach on Building Interactive Mega Nav within a BigCommerce Theme from Marina Lippincott at MAK Digital Design
- Streamlining BigCommerce with a Staging Environment from Sabina Psuj at Hatimeria
- Crafting the Ultimate Checkout Experience: A Beginner’s Intro to Checkout JS from Loan Laux at Trellis
- DevRel Update from Heather Barr and Katie Hoesley at BigCommerce.
We’re grateful for such a selection of subject matters & experts to speak on each. Let me give you a flavour of each on.
Launching a BigCommerce app
Scott has worked with BigCommerce for a decade and has launched several apps during this time. His latest app, Atomic Widgets, was borne out of a regular need he’d heard from store owners and through a BigCommerce hackathon he was able to come up with an initial version. This app brings a library of PageBuilder widgets to help power up your marketing capabilities without the need for a developer.
Scott took us through:
- Ideation, Validation & MVP
- How can you spot the needs of the market and the pain points of merchants?
- How do you know that the pain point is worth solving?
- What’s the quickest way of having confidence that it’s worth solving?
- Building your app
- Lots of topics here: What is a BigCommerce app, where do you host, how do you best integrate with BC and what are the gotchas to be aware of
- Testing your app
- Different types of testing approaches and where to focus.
- Launching your app
- A detailed guide to submitting to the app marketplace
Best approaches for building a mega nav
With a wealth of BigCommerce projects under her belt, Marina took us through the importance of effective site navigation and practical design and technical implementation tips on how to create a mega nav. She shared from the context of a BigCommerce theme developer so you know how to create a great menu from within your stencil theme.
Her tips included:
- Not overwhelming customers with a large number of links
- Including images, particularly for promotional blocks to help guide customers.
- Making it easy for the store owner to manage – no big HTML chunks to edit!
- Use metafields for storing additional data. It can then be accessed with an app like Metafields Manager.
Is testing on production your nightmare?
Having the ability to reliably test new functionality before deploying to production is critical in any development workflow. Sabina is relatively new to the BigCommerce platform, but has years of experience with other e-commerce platforms and so shared her journey into our ecosystem to understand the different ways that you can perform quality assurance on BigCommerce.
At a high level, the different ways are:
- Upload a new theme but preview it with page builder rather than enabling it.
- Take advantage of BigCommerce multi-storefront to use a secondary store as a testing store.
- Run a development version of the theme with stencil and “tunnel” it to a public URL.
- Use StagingPro, a professional BigCommerce staging solution.
- Use a separate BigCommerce sandbox instance and try to align the environment with production as much as possible.
Crafting the ultimate checkout experience with Checkout JS
Arguably there’s nothing more important than the checkout on an ecommerce store. Loan advocates that it warrants a greater investment of time and effort on projects. While there’s a virtue in your checkout being consistent with the industry to bring familiarity to customers, that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be tailored to your brand with additional features like a delivery date picker.
BigCommerce has released its own React-based checkout open source and Loan took us through how to get a development environment up and running and how to deploy changes.
Heather (Developer Community Program Manager) and Katie (Senior Developer Advocate) from BigCommerce took some time to give us an update on the goings-on in the developer community and how to get involved.
- Get involved and start your own event, in person or online!
- Join an official hackathon…more news soon.
- Contribute to BC’s open source projects.
- New solution series is coming with BC & developer partnerships.
And with that, it’s a wrap. A special thanks to all our fantastic speakers. See you again next year!