Carey’s Pipe & Tobacco Shop Magento/WordPress eCommerce Website

Oct 31, 2010

For this website the real key was enabling customers to engage via social media and to create a place where pipe smokers could discuss their hobby. Due in part to the way in which smoking in public is becoming less tolerated but also due to the banning of advertising through so many traditional channels the internet and especially social media was an avenue our clients were very keen to utilise. While they had run a success e-commerce website for a number of years they were not happy with their current site, or the technology it was built with and we were able to suggest Magento as a cutting-edge alternative. While, Magento is a fantastic e-commerce platform, it is somewhat lacking in content management for the average shop owner. To address this issue we suggested building a WordPress blog that integrated with a Magento shop, allowing for the best of both worlds.

Take a look at the screenshots below, or visit the Carey’s Pipe & Tobacco Shop online. Following the gallery, I have discussed some of the specific features in a little more depth.


The homepage of the site was built as a WordPress site and displays blog articles as the main content in the centre column of a three column layout. This is where the first piece of WordPress-Magento integration was needed with the inclusion of featured items, selected by Magento category in a custom-built WordPress plugin and automatically displayed using a Magento block, from the Magento portion of the site. The same was done with the shopping basket, although this needed the extra provision for sharing sessions between the two systems.


The tobacconist area of the site is where the Magento system is used fully and takes the user from an information based site to a pure shopping site. The design is consistent between the two, with appropriate design elements and functionality shared or replaced as deemed sensible. The homepage displays some featured products, while drilling down by category the site takes full advantage of Magento’s layed navigation feature to make the buying process as simple as possible.


The salon, was essentially a message board that was built as part of the WordPress site and intended to try to stimulate discussion about the companies products. This section has been really succesful and the community has started asking and answering questions and has given the clients an oppourtunity to talk directly to their consumers. Customers can leave comments using their Facebook logins, to make it as simple as possible.

The knowledge

The knowledge was built as a WordPress plugin and is a list of places and events, displayed on a google map. The system allows users to log-in using their Facebook accounts and add places and events to the map. The whole thing can then be moderated by the client through the WordPress control panel. This is something new for this industry and we are hoping to really push the feature in the near future – while we do not want to scare-off the customer base with too many changes too quickly.

Client Opinion

Working with James, Peter and the rest of the team at SWN has been a real breath of fresh air and the results truly speak for themselves. We picked SWN from a shortlist of 4 as from the outset they showed an understanding and genuine enthusiasm for our project, and this has never waned. In addition the solution they proposed – Magento e-commerce with elements of WordPress to enable social media functionality – has followed through on the high expectations we had for it in every way. The integration with our existing payment and order processing systems has worked from Day 1 and has enabled us to combine increased functionality with improved efficiency. We are absolutely delighted with the end result, delivered on time and to budget, and consequently have commissioned SWN to build a new Magento site for us in 2011.

Marcus Jones, E.A.Carey (Europe) Ltd