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If you’re not used to working on websites a lot, you may not realize just how much work can go into creating them. Right now we have several projects that we’re working on… and, at the moment, it’s a one-woman show. That means man (or in this case, woman) hours are limited as to what can be accomplished. Sure, there are tools that can help with some tasks…. but more often than not, those tools cost more than I’m comfortable spending. There’s also the issue of finding just the right tools for each task.
Shopping carts are a prime example of this particular issue. Right now we have several stores under construction under our Lake Travis Gifts name. I’ve tried several different shopping carts and shopping cart plugins. Not all of them are easy to understand or figure out, but finding ones I can work with takes most of the initial set-up time. Then we have the issue of adding products. This can be an absolute NIGHTMARE of a task, let me tell you. I’ve seen tools that were reasonably priced to help get this task accomplished, but there are none I’ve found so far that will do exactly what I want them to do. This leaves me with the task of making something that will do this myself. Another daunting task, but also another work in progress. There are times when I get stuck on the coding and have to wait for my coding genius husband to have time to give me a hand. Not like he doesn’t have his own work to do, right? Right.
Here’s how we’re going… a sort of time-line, if you will…
Lake Travis Gifts sells merchandise on eBay. We have it on a website of it’s own that’s fully populated with product plus we have the Facebook page set up. Updating product inventory is a little tricky, but not impossible.
Now I have the Electronics store that’s at the data entry stage… yeah, my favorite step, can’t you tell? The Electronics store is using WP-Online Store, which is based on OSCommerce. Found a way to get products uploaded, but now I have to go in and manually add pictures and make little corrections to things that aren’t correct.
Hill Country Gardens looks beautiful, I think. We talk about the things we’re doing in our own garden and I decided to try the WooCommerce plugin for that store. A few glitches with the code that have now been worked out and we’re at the data entry stage again. (Did I mention already that it really, REALLY is my favorite part? NOT!) The store plug-in is free, but any add-ons cost money. They do have a nice bundle package, but there’s nothing in that bundle that I’m interested in at that point… so no thanks, guys!
Ree’s Moongrove is the jewelry store. It’s named for my mom (her online name) and is a topic that both of us are interested in. She makes beads and chainmaille when circumstances allow and I make jewelry as well. It’s a fun site to work on, but I haven’t determined how to set up the store for it yet. I think I’ll work on building up the content for it first, then (after the other stores are populated) I’ll worry about that part.
The 409th ASA website is up and running. Stats look good for it already, although I have to admit that the old site is helping tremendously with that. People are signing up for the site and we’ve already had an update request come through for a vet whose whereabouts were previously unknown. They aren’t used to having a forum yet, but I’m sure that will start picking up in time.
This site… well, with everything else I’ve been doing, this one has taken a seat on a back burner. That’s probably not a good thing, since this is the main business website. I made the templates for five of the six websites mentioned in this post as well as some others. I plan on putting in a template section here with paid and free templates for people to download. Since I won’t really have a store on here, I decided to use iSell… I just don’t have anything on here for sale other than the hosting and web design yet.
Anybody know someone with decent computer skills who might be interested in doing some data entry??