We met Augusta Auctions business needs with a website built in Joomla! 1.6 with a custom extension that allows them to directly upload data from their business system into the site.
Augusta Auctions occupies a unique niche. They take consignments of historic clothing and textiles from museums, estates, and individuals, then auction them off four times a year to collectors, institutions, and dealers. Over the course of the past several years they've accumulated descriptive analysis in thousands of lots and amassed a collection of over 20,000 photographs.
This was a tremendous resource which was unavailable to the public because of the design of their prior website. The only way to see the photographs was to browse through the auctions. There was no way to search for specific types of clothing or textiles based on textual information. Once you found the photograph, the only way to see data on the historic piece was to download a pdf copy of the catalog for the auction and look it up.There was also no way to bookmark the photograph.
The turn around time to update the website as they were preparing for new auctions was too long since they had to send photographs to a third party to code and update to the site.
We built their new site based on the new release of Joomla 1.6. This is a very early adoption that was possible because I've been working with the new release during its development and because the functionality of the site was either in core or based in the new extension I created for them.
The custom extension allows Augusta Auctions to upload information on the lots in their auctions along with pictures associated with those lots. It automatically creates uniform thumbnails for each lot and watermarks the photographs while it attaches them to the correct lots. They are also able to define their auctions with a description and links to directions, lots, online bidding and downloadable catalog pdf's.
Users are able to search auctions individually or lots from all past sales. They can search by category or era or by words in the title or description on the lot. They have several choices on sorting and can choose to display only lots with photographs. The results show a thumbnail photo, description and price.
They can see more details on the lot including all the photography.
Meg McCarthy Design provided a wonderful graphic design comp which I turned into a custom template.