Those of you who come here often are probably wondering why I made
such a radical change to the site when the site is in such a disarray.
The fact is, I have never been happy with the look of the site, which is
why I started toying around with the idea of changing the look and feel of
a couple of the sections. I never bothered to look at the site in Netscape
and when I opened it up in Netscape, the site looked horrible, and the pages
I had re-designed would not even display. So it was back to the drawing board.
Then I was struck with an idea. We have been using some specialized software
to create e-commerce websites, and the software has some wonderful features
built into it. So I grabbed a demo version of the software, and here we are.
Basically, the entire site is database driven. I created about 10 template pages
to dictate the look and feel of the site, and then created a database with a
bunch of the Vintage Star Wars toys. Because I can specify what templates are
used where in the database, everything is generated for me. Before, I had to
create 20 separate pages for the vintage action figures. Now I just tell the
program the name and image file and it does the rest.
Besides auto-generating the pages, I have been able to implement a very
intuitive search engine that will go through everything on the site. The results
display a thumbnail image of the item and show what section it is listed in. Plus
you can specify what sections or categories you want to search in. For example,
I could search for all vehicles in the Return of the Jedi line or sitewide.
I have tested out the look and feel of the site in Internet Explorer, a few versions
of Netscape, and Mozilla Firebird all of which display the site relatively well.
Although the site is designed for IE, Mozilla displays the site almost perfectly, and
Netscape shows the site well, although some of the mouseovers don't work as well
as on other browsers.
I hope you like the look and feel of the site as much as I do. The layout of the site
may still be too plain for some people, but I think the search feature more than
makes up for that. Feel free to shoot me a line if you have any suggestions,
comments, or difficulties with the site. It may take a day or so for me to respond
because of my work schedule.