HTML is not my native language…

I am rudely reminded of this whenever I attempt to make serious changes to a webpage. I have been using HTML since it first appeared, but I would use it for a few weeks and then many months would go by before I would use it again. So, I would have to learn it again and again and…

I have taken HTML courses over the years and have marveled at the increasing complexity and power of the language, while I was learning just enough to get my site to the next level of refinement. For me, that meant keeping the site easy to use and informative while I figured out how to make it look attractive to visitors.

Last year, I attempted to help a friend sort out some problems in a site and met my match immediately. The site design was elaborate and imaginative. It was also undocumented and had corrupted files. Unfortunately, it was built using Shockwave, PHP and Javascript. The parts that worked put on a great little show, if you had a DSL connection. Needless to say, I wasn’t much help.

I am wonderfully spoiled by the services available at TypePad. One can create great looking weblogs with the barest knowledge of HTML. I should find out if there are comparable services for non-weblog sites. I am sure there are, but the templates I’ve seen look so uninteresting that I gave up looking and have continued to do it myself.

Which leads me to the closing point of this post. I have finally gotten around to putting my latest products up on my Box-Carts website. If you have wondered what I do in my woodshop when I’m not blogging, you now can find out. You can also give me feedback on how well the site works for you.

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0 Responses to HTML is not my native language…

  1. Kathleen says:

    Cool designs! I particularly like the patio/potting table.
    And applaud your environmental awareness.

  2. John says:

    Nice. Here Bowen Island I have deer feeding by our stream from time to time as well.
    It’s good to see such clean craftsmanship.

  3. fletch says:

    It would be interesting to know how much business the internet site generates, as opposed to traditional marketing, word of mouth, etc. During the internet boom I encouraged a local coffee shop to sell coffee online, and after they did, I think I was the only one to purchase online and only because I felt responsible for the site being there. In the post boom net world, I’m curious if “cold” online sales is still a profitable source of income for a small business. By cold, I mean the purchaser is a total stranger who bought the product based on the website information alone.
    By the way, do you need an apprentice?

  4. David says:

    Thanks to all for the comments!

    As you can see this site is more of an on-line portfolio than an e-commerce site, although I could easily add a shopping cart etc.

    The prime purpose for this version of the Box-Carts site is to support direct marketing activities. I make most of my contacts in person and end up by giving the prospect my elevator pitch and my card with the website address on it.

    I also have some people representing me and they do the same. After a discussion of requirements, the prospect is told to check out the website for more information.

    When the prospect checks out the site, they can see whether I seem like someone who can deliver what they want.

    Almost 75 percent of sales involve a customized version of something displayed on the website. This involves a co-design session, which customers enjoy and which ends with an agreed-upon price.

    I have products in the pipeline which are more amenable to being sold through cold online sales. I expect to use eBay to drive business in on the site at that time. These are also products which could be farmed out for manufacture by others, so it might be appropriate to sell them under another label.

    At this point, the website provides the enterprise as much credibility as brochures can provide and it’s cheaper.

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