Lihra is an experimental and fully automated web project, providing inspirational quotes with a minimal and responsive design. It allows the visitor to send personalised postcards around the world for a flat fee.
How it works
The system consists of three main components:
- Craft CMS as the content management and backend system
- Stripe API for payments
- Kite.ly (Prodigi) API for print-on-demand service
The content editor has an easy to use interface with a lot of options to enter new quotes. We are keeping track of everything from original author, source, year of publication, theme and more information for each quote. We also do the same for the used images and are giving credit to the original creators as much as possible.
Once everything is available in Craft and displayable in the frontend we use an automated script running a headless Chrome to take screenshots of each quote. Or in other terms: We are using an invisible browser that takes pictures of each page and generates an image. This image is then used for preview pictures and will be needed for the next steps.
This one is pretty easy to explain. If you want to send a postcard, you'll have to pay for it using the Stripe gateway. We're supporting all major credit cards as well as Google Pay and Apple Pay.
This part has been the most difficult one to get right. We needed to do some research until we've found a good print-on-demand service that would send low cost postcards and then do some extensive testing. We were extremely pleased with Kite.ly (now owned by Prodigi) and their worldwide deliver of the items we wanted. Theoretically we could now easily expand from postcards to posters, calendars, mugs, or many other merchandise articles.
We send the generated image for the postcard, as well as the personalised message and address information through the Kite.ly API directly to their service. It then prints and sends out the postcard to nearly any destination in the world for a flat fee. The level of automation and also the quality of the finished product is rather impressive.
Once we have more quotes and some small new features ready, we want to promote the service and send out some cards to our friends and partners. Hopefully we'll be able to gain some traction and if that's the case we've got some new features already planned and ready to develop.
Want to give it a try?
Even with all the digitalisation going on, people still love to receive physical mail. So head over to lihra.com and send a postcard yourself!