My ever growing pipe collection is getting out of hand. Looking at my collection the other day I decided some of them had to go. It’s not that I don’t love them any more, it’s just that I have some that I never, or rarely, smoke and I find myself looking around for other pipes anyway. It seemed logical then, to sell off some of those that I rarely use and put the freed up cash into more pipes that I would like to own. I decided to look at auctioning them off.
Ebay was, of course, the obvious candidate but the auction fees are huge. If I had to make up for that, then I would have to extend my prices. Other sites were no better. Shipping is also a bit of a bind. Postage ain’t cheap anymore. All this would eat up my pocket money. There is but one solution to this. I have to have my own market place. So I made one.
Easy said, Exile, but not so easy to do.
First one has to figure out what one wants to do. Designing a webside is easy enough with a page editor and, with a bit of work, one can make a working page in a few hours. I did this.
Then I thought about a sort of order form. Linked to my home page. I built that too. Then one has to think about some sort of “Thank you for your business page” to follow and confirm the order. How does that work? The order has to be linked to an email address too. Otherwise, I wouldn’t get it, would I? And pictures? Well, you have to have them hosted somewhere so that you can link them in. A Photobucket account will do that. Free, believe it or not.
What if someone just wants to enquire about one of the items up for sale? A contact page has to be built too. Again, it has to connect to your email. Another page to confirm that the enquiry has been sent would be a nice addition.
It just kept going. Finally it was done. It all worked, more or less, on my computer.
So far, so good. Steady as you go Exile.
Webhosting was the next problem. There are many out there, and half of them are more in it for the money than for anything else, so don’t be fooled by “Free webhosting”. Nothing is free. You need a domain name. You have to buy that. You have to register your domain. That is not free either. A good web hotel is going to cost you something. Each month.
But hey, it’s free to sign up to. That costs nothing. Everything else will though.
I found a good one here in Denmark. It is not expensive and the service is very good. The support is very good too. Live chat with a capable support guy is invaluable. If you want to know where, then drop me a line.
So, I had my domain, my webhotel, my access codes and my raw websides. I needed a file transfer program now. Filezilla is good. And you can download it for free. It works too. I transferred all my files to my new swanky website.
It didn’t work. At all. Nada. Zip. Butt kiss. Oh, bugger.
The support guy got me up and running but none of my secondary pages worked. He couldn’t help me with that so I had to find a crash course in html language to get my stuff going. They are out there too. Just Google for html tutorials. Then read. For hours. Then you fiddle about with your webside’s raw scripts and correct hundreds of code lines. With luck, it will only take a day or two. Like Einstein once said, “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research.” I am not Einstein, so my “research” was pitifully slow in coming to anything like fruition!
After a long weekend and some really bloody marvellous guesswork, I finally had it going. It loads in seconds because I have kept it simple. The contact forms work. The order forms work. The pictures come up in the right places. It thanks you for doing business with me or writing to me. It even has a spam filter built in to keep the spam slimeballs off me. Best of all, I have total control over it. I can put up what I want. No fixed templates to bind me. No hindrance on the content side of things. The egoist’s dream come true. Facebook, I spit on you!
I feel like Dr. Frankenstein. I want to yell, “It’s alive!” I have made the monster live. I have promoted myself to God status. I have become a creator! Support guy, thou art mine archangel of mercy! Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of cyber business!
Now back in the real world, I have to publicise it. I have to get it to show up in search engines. All that will come later, I’m sure. My learning curve is getting flatter as I gain more experience with this new toy.
In the meantime, if you need a good, clean used pipe, be it a cheapo or a high end of the market smoking instrument, it may just be that I have the very thing. Take a peek.
You’ll find me at http://exilesplace.dk
Actually, I’m rather proud of it!