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Comprehensible e-commerce

Expanded brand reach and profitability in the direct-to-teacher curriculum market with custom e-commerce development for The Comprehensible Classroom.

The Story

Equipping language teachers with training and resources

Martina Bex, a teacher turned businesswoman, is internationally recognized for her expertise in the world language teaching profession. In 2010, Martina began producing content that would later evolve into The Comprehensible Classroom. What started as a simple blog offering tutorials to assist teachers implementing Comprehensible Input into their curriculum has grown into a business with nearly 2,000 products and blog posts, garnering a substantial audience.

After a decade of growth, the business had extended across three websites, with sales occurring online through third-party platforms and offline via traditional methods like email and check (hooray for no processing fees!). However, there was no centralized platform to manage the business online, and it lacked an effective way to serve the largest potential customer base: school districts. In 2023, The Comprehensible Classroom partnered with us to resolve these challenges.

Services provided:

  • Copywriting
  • User Experience Design
  • Content Migration
  • E-Commerce Development


This project was a massive undertaking, and working with Zaengle made it feel easy. They broke down large projects into small tasks with manageable deadlines and worked with us to make sure we kept moving forward.

Martina Bex


Project Challenges

This is gonna be easy, right?

  1. Complex business rules - How to build a sensible checkout flow for two types of customers (teachers and school districts) that purchase the same products with completely different purchasing requirements?
  2. Content migrations and management - To consolidate multiple websites into one experience, we needed to pull together some 2,000 pages of content into a new design and provide a source of truth for content management.
  3. Existing brand - Coming into the project, The Comprehensible Classroom's brand was limited. They had an established logo and a good amount of branded digital products to use as a starting point. But there was no brand guide or true visual language, with each website having its own look.
  4. Turning over the proverbial apple cart - Though it might not have been ideal, their customers were used to the old way of doing things. Would adoption for the new site, specifically sales, be high enough to justify the investment?

Content and Design

Unifying multiple sites

To kick off the project, we took a full inventory of all content across the three separate websites, which we then used to create a brand new site map to pull the sites together. Creating wireframes for each page helped us structure the basic content and build page flows that accommodated different goals for different types of customers.

Alongside this work, we performed keyword research to ensure the content would be optimized for both search engines and real customers. We wrote copy for each of the marketing pages and worked with the client to finalize a good amount of the content as the design was taking shape.

Information architecture and copywriting

Given the different types of customers served by The Comprehensible Classroom, we needed to structure the content to make it seamless for users to find exactly what they're looking for. Ease of navigation was a top priority for us — all while making sure the content was written in a friendly, professional tone that demonstrates trustworthiness.


We wanted the website design to convey a light, friendly tone with the visual language. We eschewed original photography in favor of custom illustrations, expanded the color palette, added an iconography set, and changed the typography. The biggest part of the design was a component library to be used as a flexible page builder in the CMS.


Custom e-commerce

Due to the project's unique requirements, we couldn't use an off-the-shelf e-commerce platform. Instead, we built a custom web application with Laravel to power the e-commerce system and account management. A custom web app didn't feel like the right solution for every day content management though, so we built the marketing site on Craft CMS

100% of the site's content, including products, are managed in Craft. This allowed us to avoid asking the client to edit content in two places. To ensure Craft and the web app are aware of one another, we built a product sync tool that automatically pushes product data from Craft into Laravel and Algolia, the latter of which powers site search. Finally, we customized Laravel Nova for Comprehensible Classroom's admins to use for order management.


  • Stripe Checkout
  • Purchase Orders
  • License Management
  • Download Tracking
  • Product Versions
  • Sales Exports

Custom purchase order workflow

Coming into the project, The Comprehensible Classroom identified school districts as their largest possible customer base. While teachers will make up a larger share of individual purchases, school districts buy at a larger volume and more frequently. But whereas a teacher's purchase process is simple — add to cart, provide credit card, and check out — districts have a multi-step procurement process that mostly happens over email. To make The Comprehensible Classroom appealing to districts, we turned this cumbersome, old school process into a breezy online workflow with loads of automation built in, including:

  1. Tax exemption
  2. Quote
  3. Purchase order (PO)
  4. PO approval
  5. Access to products before paying


Zaengle completely took the pressure off of us to develop solutions and workflows that would serve our customers. We explained to them our needs, and they worked internally to create a user experience that completely exceeded our expectations.

Their solutions automated processes that we didn't even realize could be automized, giving us back hours of time on a weekly basis!

Martina Bex



Content Rodeo

We had two goals for the client with content management. First, we wanted them to have a single place to manage all content, including blogs and products. Their current setup required data management in multiple places, which isn't sustainable. Second, we wanted them to avoid the cruel fate of creating 1,000+ pages of content from scratch. Fortunately, their product data was stored in a well-formatted CSV, including product images. After getting the Craft content model right, we used Craft's import tool to migrate the products, setting the client up for review. This was a case of a few hours of development saving weeks, if not months, of manual data entry. Blogs proved to be a more complicated matter.

WordPress to Craft isn't always a straight line

Moving WordPress blog data to a new WordPress site can be a straightforward process. But moving from WordPress to an entirely different system can be messy. WordPress data exports include WP-specific things like shortcodes that don't import cleanly into a non-WP site. They also tend to include a lot of malformed code, requiring weeks of manual cleaning. Gross. 🤮

This problem is compounded when the source site has been through multiple WP migrations over many years (as was the case with this client's data), since each version inherits a lot of WP "stuff" along the way. To solve this problem, we built a WordPress sanitization application that processes every WP post to clean it up. It took some effort to fine-tune, but we were able to get every post cleaned up and flagged content that needed manual review. In total, we imported more than 900 blog posts, while preserving the old URL structure and requiring minimal manual cleanup.

The Results

Yeah, but did it work?

In the first quarter after the new launched, early returns exceeded expectations. The Comprehensible Classroom's keyword search presence experienced a large, sustained increase, early adoption among teachers took off like a rocket ship, and the biggest target audience — school districts — began creating accounts almost immediately, far outpacing what we and the client expected.

Early Results

First Quarter Post-Launch

  • 7.2


    Keywords Ranked (Top 100 Search Results)

  • 1000



  • 80

    School Disricts Signed Up

  • 1000