Catalogue Sites

Catalogue sites can vary greatly in their definition and we will cover most common types in more depth later in this article. They can be product based showcase catalogues for manufacturers, product lists for distributors, location based catalogues like restaurant or museum guides, and anything in between. They are generally complex projects, and are very similar to online stores in their production.

Product based catalogue sites

Product based catalogue sites are the most common type. Their primary role is to present a company's line up, and/or provide product information. They are nearly identical in structure and production as online stores, except without the sales capability. That being the case, on most such projects we use the same setup and building blocks as for stores. There are a few major benefits to this:

  • Firstly, the fact that the best tool for showcasing products is a shop itself
  • Secondly, you may be planning ahead already or decide down the track that you wish to start selling those products online, in which case you already have a store, and we simply set up the sales parts as well, and you're ready
  • Lastly, as one of the catalogue projects we built, you may be distributing your products and you don't want to run it as a store, but would like to be able to do online ordering yourself for your clients in the admin area. It's a shop, so you can have that capability.

Purpose built catalogue sites

This type of catalogue sites can be anything. It can be a guide to all museums in the city, a recipe book, a business directory, event guide, very specific products showcase, really anything. As such, they are usually custom built solutions. But, not so much custom in the sense of custom programming which is the most expensive type of programming, and is usually a big part of purpose built projects. Rather, we still use Joomla! CMS platform, but instead of a shop like for product based catalogues, we use a CCK (Content Construction Kit). There are a number of them available, and we have been using Zoo CCK since around 2011 for these kinds of projects. It allows for quick prototyping and production of custom applications, again bringing the production costs down compared to completely custom programmed solution. As a programmer I enjoy custom programming, but why reinvent the wheel each time on parts that are readily available?


How much does a catalogue cost?

As with any project, it all depends on requirements. Since their complexity is on par with, or more complex than online stores, their price ranges are most similar. The industry estimates anywhere from AUD$10,000 to AUD$100,000+ for small to medium businesses, depending on how/what with it is built, and the amount of work it will take to complete.

Since we use Joomla! CMS (Content Management System) which you can read more about here, and solutions mentioned above, most catalogue sites we've built so far, despite having been very complex, have ranged from AUD$15,000 to AUD$55,000.

What's included?

Structure aside as it is completely dependent on the project at hand, each website includes:

  • the build
  • responsive visuals
  • basic newsletter system (upgradeable)
  • image optimisation*
  • site optimisation**
  • basic SEO for all content pages***
  • any applicable licenses (where required)
  • administration education
  • optional long term maintenance (recommended) and administration packages available

* Image optimisation means preparing your images for the web. Reducing image size and image 'weight' in terms of storage. It does not include image processing, improving images or modifying image format ratios.
** site optimisation means improving content delivery by means of compressing data sent from the server to reduce load times and improve user experience and page speed ratings
*** basic SEO means we cover SEO title, description and image alt tags. In depth SEO is available as an optional service.


There are no licenses for the site or its use, and there are no hidden costs. Above mentioned licenses are strictly for additionally required components (added functionality if required, or main building blocks) that may not be free, and come with a free updates period (3-12 months in general). Any such license purchased is yours for life (rare subscription based services if needed, are excluded).

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