Human Element launched two new Magento Enterprise websites last week: Shambhala Publications and Roost Books. And forgive us a brief moment of self-flattery – but we’re pretty happy with how these two applications turned out. We are especially proud of their quick search dropdowns, unique author page components, and smooth blog integrations, just to name a few high points. During the beta, one tester said, “Just wow.”


The new face of Shambhala Publications!

So yeah. We’re stoked.

Shambhala’s line of hardcover and paperback books, CDs, multi media, and eBooks cater to those looking for “an enlightened approach to every aspect of life.” Bodhisattvas, yogis and wisdom-seekers worldwide have espoused the value of Shambhala since the company’s birth amidst the 1960s counterculture. Their titles range in topic from Buddhism and Zen Poetry to Psychology and Personal Growth. They further break down their categories into key topic areas, with over 100 topics to choose from in their layered navigation. Although all of the publisher’s products are managed in one Magento installation, they are displayed separately on and

As a separate Shambhala imprint, Roost Books represents a more family-oriented experience for users who may not be familiar with the works of Chögyam Trungpa or the Dalai Lama. With a softer, more feminine look, Roost titles are devoted to topics like parenting, cooking, and crafts for kids, yet the site maintains the key functionality pieces of Shambhala.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the overall Project Goals for these two Magento Enterprise sites:

  • Update and modernize the look and feel of both Shambhala Publications and Roost Books;
  • Provide Shambhala with an automated feed of their data to update products in Magento;
  • Improve the speed and accuracy of both the Magento quick search and the Magento search results, as well as sorting the results by relevance;
  • Integrate with Shambhala’s outside order fulfillment warehouse and automate order updates in Magento;
  • Create a separate product area for Zen Art, a collection of high-end curated scrolls which required a different presentation and approach than core Shambhala products;
  • Create custom reports in Magento for Shambhala so they can maintain their current accounting procedures;
  • Maintain a high-performance site to handle significant amounts of traffic during peak seasons;
  • Make both Magento web sites a destination by creating content-rich areas around authors, books, and subjects, leading to improved SEO and higher conversion rates.

Overall, we think we accomplished these goals and then some. Shambhala President Nikko Odiseos had this to say about Human Element:

I wanted to congratulate you and say a big THANKS for helping to create what we think of as the nicest publisher’s site in existence. You all did a simply amazing job. I know it was not an easy project but you were outstanding and I am happy we can be a poster-child for you with your future projects.

Thanks, Nikko. We are some proud nerds today.