BigCommerce and Building with Stencils

Design for this project was provided by Solo Stove staff. Link and images at the bottom.

Solo Stove Logo

Solo Stove reached out to us needing to implement a new design into their existing eCommerce platform, BigCommerce, which is not known for being easy to customize. BigCommerce had just launched their new theme framework, Stencil, and Solo Stove was using the previous framework, Blueprint. They asked for our opinion on revising their current site code in Blueprint or building from scratch in Stencil. This was our first BigCommerce project so that meant it was time for some research!

Keep the Old or Embrace the New?

We tried to find ways to keep the site in Blueprint to lessen the project scope but it just wouldn’t have been a good solution. It’s not a good idea to put resources into a framework that is being phased out and they would be missing out on anything new BigCommerce had to offer. We also found a lot of technical issues where Blueprint code wasn’t acting like the documentation said it should. Perhaps a sign of the reduced support since it was being retired. In the end, our recommendation was to build a new site using Stencil for the reasons above. The client agreed and we were off to the races!

A Collaborative Effort

The Solo Stove team was great to work with and really valued our input and collaboration as we did theirs. We included heavy customization to enable them to update many components themselves without having to engage our development time. We had to get creative to find solutions to BigCommerce limitations throughout this project and in the end we had a very successful launch. Since then we’ve helped Solo Stove with more design revisions, A/B testing, and additional functionality including some impactful features that BigCommerce support said couldn’t be done!