About Afana Pouliot

At Afana Pouliot, we specialize in manufacturing custom-made footwear for the specific needs of individuals with structural foot deformities and unique mechanics deficiencies. We are an entirely Canadian company, owned and operated by foot professionals and master shoemakers. As a result, we have achieved a fantastic mix of the latest technology and the finest craftsmanship.

Afana Pouliot wants to make sure that only qualified people are looking after your needs. That is why all of our Affiliates and Wholesalers are foot professionals, such as; 

  • General Practioners
  • Orthopedic Surgeons
  • Podiatrists
  • Orthotists
  • Prosthesis’s
  • Pedorthists
  • Chiropodists
  • Foot Nurses
  • Health Care Providers

Afana Pouliot
101-420 des Meurons Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2H 2N9
T: 1-866-297-2817
C: 1-204-889-0917

 100 Eagle Drive, WPG, MB, CANADA, R2R 1V5

 1 (800) 486-4328 // 1 (204) 633-1999

 1 (204) 694-1612

 Mon – Fri: 9am – 5pm CDT

The Problem

I’ve been working with the good people at Afana Pouliot for many years. It started in 2015 when the Owners were looking for a website that was easy to update and could present their Custom-Made Orthopedic footwear to their customers. 

The first website I created for them used the website platform called Business Catalyst. Business Catalyst was an Adobe version of a CMS (Content Management System) that included a built-in CRM system and an Email Marketing system, and other bells and whistles. It was a great online marketing tool for the time. 

Unfortunately, Adobe discontinued the tool, leaving Afana Pouliot in a bind. We ran their entire online business through the Business Catalyst, which included their email marketing, their entire website and all the information their sales team gathered through the CRM System. Below is a list of problems that I had to overcome to keep their business going. 

  1. New website for users that were not members 
  2. New Membership only section
  3. New Blog System
  4. Transfer of Email Mailing Lists
  5. Transfer of CRM System data
  6. SEO Maintenance
  7. Training on a new system 
  8. Site User Database transfer
  9. DNS Redirection 
  10. New Email Newsletter Designs


The Solution

We decided to move everything onto WordPress because this platform can run systems like a CRM system, Email Marketing and more through Plugins. 

Let’s go through the list, and I will explain what I did to overcome each challenge. 

New website for users that were not members 

We wanted to keep a similar look to the original website. The tool I used to accomplish the task was Elementor Pro. I could re-create the entire website using this tool, including a member-only section. 

The original website I created for Afana Pouliot was built on Business Catalyst and was completely hand-coded. As the site sat in that state, it was hard to make updates and develop new tools continuously. However, using the power of Elementor, I was able to create a website that was, in my opinion, 100% better across the board. Mobile Responsive in just a few clicks, adding animation to elements is a breeze. 

Click here to see the live site in action.

New Membership only section

Afana Pouliot runs a membership system through the website. To build this, I again used Elementor Pro to create the layout of the members-only zone. Afana Pouliot runs two separate members-only zones that cater to two different markets. One market is customers that require Orthopedic Footwear like shoes, boots, sandals, etc… The other market caters to customers that require motorcycle boots and riding boots. 

The challenge I had here was to redirect people to their appropriate dashboards through one login page. So I used a fantastic tool called Ultimate Member Plugin to accomplish this. Using this tool, I assigned users to specific pages on the site, including separate navigation menus that prevent users from crossing over to a page that isn’t part of their membership. 

New Blog System

Through Business Catalyst, I created a blog system that Afana Pouliot occasionally used to upload posts. Now that Business Catalyst was dead, I used WordPress to re-create and improve their blog system. 

Again Elementor Pro is to the rescue here. Using Elementors built-in theme development tools, I re-created the blog system. I improved on it by adding SEO, new featured images and overall better quality posts that resonate with Afana Pouliot’s Clientele. 

Transfer of Email Mailing Lists

We were running various email marketing campaigns through Business Catalyst. We built up an extensive mailing list, email newsletters, and data from each campaign that we sent out. Now that Business Catalyst is done, we need a new email marketing system. 

There are multiple choices of email marketing tools: Aweber, Constant Contact, Get Response, MailMonkey etc. These are all great choices, but all come with a membership fee. We were trying hard not to increase the monthly payments at the rebuild, so we sought a different solution. I found a WordPress Plugin called “Newsletter for WordPress” that allowed us to keep all marketing tools in one place, the website. 

Exporting the email subscribers was the easiest part of this task. Within Business Catalyst, I used an export function that made the process very easy. Once I had the data, I moved on to the next step, collecting Campaign Data and then the recreation of email templates. 

To export the campaign data, I created excel files and manually extracted the campaign data to the Excel Spreadsheet. As long as we had the data, we could afford to lose it on Business Catalyst. 

Next, to rebuild the email newsletters. The original newsletters were all hand-coded on Business Catalyst, and after a few failed attempts, I couldn’t merge the actual newsletters to the new system. Luckily the Newsletter plugin comes pre-built with an email composer. This tool allowed me to, rather quickly, rebuild Afana Pouliot newsletters to look almost exactly like the originals. Because it was so easy to create newsletters, we made various styles for different occasions. 

Transfer of CRM System Data

One of the essential tools that Business Catalyst offered was its built-in CRM system. The sales team at Afana Pouliot used this tool extensively to keep notes, meetings, phone calls logs, etc… in one place.  

Now that Business Catalyst was no more, I had to come up with a plan to extract the data and place it all into a new system. Again, the challenge was finding a tool that wouldn’t increase the monthly budget and can still be used in one place. 

I ended up going with another WordPress plugin called WP ERP. This plugin came with many features, but the CRM system was the most important. 

On Business Catalyst, I exported the entire database into an excel.CSV file and then uploaded it to the new site. Some issues arose from the data merger but nothing too severe, and we overcame those issues within a week. 

SEO Maintenance

One of the most important aspects that I had to maintain was their SEO. When making such an extreme update to a site as I did for Afana Pouliot, you can lose your SEO standings if you’re not careful. 

To overcome this challenge and ensure we don’t lose any SEO, I re-created every page with the same page name, information and Metadata. I then used YOAST to re-optimize the website, and luckily we had minimal losses and recovered quickly. 

Site User Database Transfer

As Afana Pouliot contained numerous members, I had the challenge of exporting the users from the system and then importing them to the new website and hopefully using the exact login details. Of course, this thought process was wishful thinking, and I knew it but still had to try. 

The result here was the ability to export the member’s general details, like username, email, contact details etc. Once I had that, I uploaded those details to the new site. Unfortunately, what I could not grab was each member’s password. If I had everyone’s password by chance, I would have been able to create a seamless transfer. 

To solve this issue, I needed to create an email message that contained information about the new site upgrade and that we required them all to reset their passwords. So all the members received an email with a password reset link, so all members had to click the link and reset their password. Once they did that, they all could access the members-only section once again. 

DNS Redirection 

As the domain name,, was already pointing to Business Catalyst, I had to get into the DNS settings and redirect the domain name to point back to the new site. This process takes anywhere from instant to 48 hours. So to cause the least amount of frustration with their members and staff, I wait until Friday after hours to start the process. By the time Monday rolled around, the new site was live. 

Training on New System

Once the website was online, the next challenge was to train the Afana Pouliot sales staff on using the new systems. Again, I tried to keep the backend systems as similar as possible to decrease the learning curve. However, these are entirely new systems, so we had to be strategic with the learning process. We started with the CRM system and moved our way through the entire system one piece at a time. It took some time for everyone to speed up, but eventually, everyone caught up, and away we went. 

From start to finish, the entire project lasted about three months to complete. Within the first month, I just worried about re-creating the website on WordPress and getting all the system up and running. Once that was done, I moved to input all the raw data to the new members and made sure that all the new systems would operate properly as they did with Business Catalyst.

I trained the staff on the final month and offered constant support until they felt comfortable with the new systems. This event from the time of this writing was three years ago. Afana Pouliot has since used the new website to grow their business continuously.

Completed Project Samples

Below I will leave you with samples of work I have completed for Afana Pouliot

Blog Post Samples

Social Post Samples

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