February 27, 2011

∴ Sunday Hacking

I spent a few hours fooling around with the web site for our shop. My idea of a good time: Sunday afternoon race on the TV, hacking on a web site CMS, enjoying a good beer. In this case a 2 Below from New Belgium Brewing.

We'll be opening an online store to accompany our Warrenton storefront in the next week or two. This will be our third stab at the online market, which is crowded with fabric and quilting supply retailers. Our first effort involved my writing the storefront code in PHP and MySQL, which was fun. We did ok, but not stellar, and it was ultimately not worth the effort.

Our second attempt was running an eBay storefront. If you have any notion of going the easy route to sell stuff online, do it with eBay and PayPal. They make it ridiculously easy to set up a store and sell stuff. Our intent that time was to unload non-selling items from our Warrenton store. Again, we did ok, and ended with a 100% customer rating. I hated to let that rating go, but the store was doing just ok on sales, so I shuttered it.

This time around we're working with an established web host, a very handy CMS (content management system) for the main web site, and a nicely flexible online store and shopping cart interface. Shopping cart interfaces aren't easy to get right. Amazon, the king of the hill, is run by freaking geniuses. They make the selling process slide on oil (hat tip, Jeff). This one should give us a pretty face to go with our great, custom-made kits. We'll let the customers decide.

Yes, I'm watching NASCAR while I do this. No, it's not just a dumb-ass redneck sport. We used to attend a couple of races each year, beginning with the Las Vegas race in March and often including Charlotte (great track) and Richmond (another great, shorter track). We even made it to both nights of the Bristol night race BEFORE they repaved the track, which (if you're a NASCAR fan) you know was The Cat's Ass. They dropped the green flag and about a ton of debris covered the first several rows as 43 cars came down the front stretch. We were in the eighth-or-so row. That was a super experience.

NASCAR isn't quite as much fun these days, but it'll suffice now that the NFL season is (sob) over.

Hope your Sunday was as good as mine.