The Portobello Bookshop

An independent bookshop based in Edinburgh’s seaside community of Portobello.

The Mission

“Our business is growing rapidly and we need a solution that allows the website to grow in tandem with the shop”.

That was the statement that prompted The Portobello Bookshop to get in touch with me and get the ball rolling on the project. The indie bookshop already had a web presence prior to getting in touch, but it was struggling to deal with the quantity of titles it provided and manging the fulfilment side of running an ecommerce website.


The previous site was built on SquareSpace which served the purpose initially, but the ecommerce side soon overwhelmed the SquareSpace platform. A more robust content management system was needed, and WordPress ticked all of the boxes. The design element was aesthetically good, but the user interface and user journey was confusing and cumbersome. The first step in the project was to redesign the website using the current brand and colours but in a more fluid and engaging way.


Once we started with development of the new website, my focus was on building a custom WordPress theme, complete with custom fields, post types, and a couple of bespoke plugins to provide the functionality that the website was sorely lacking in the website’s first iteration. I worked with several APIs to extend the functionality further and help Porty reduce workload in both ordering and fulfilment.


After working closely with the bookshop team, I provided a bespoke solution to enable simple stock management and a content management system that ensured that the website was up-to-date and would seamlessly remain competitive against other popular indie bookshops. The user-journey was also improved, offering a more seamless journey for e-commerce as well as offering a fun, aesthetically pleasing approach to stock display and staff recommendations. The Portobello Bookshop now has a solution that is custom, build specfically to both the needs of staff and customers. This has resulted in saving the bookshop team several hours per week on maintaining a website that was never built for purpose.


Services Provided