The Jewelry Store:
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away I decided to start an online jewelry company. All that I had to do was get the jewelry, build a website and start making easy money. Fortunately that was not the case.
Building a website back in the day was far different than building one today. I started my adventures using Yahoo’s merchant services and tools. They had free website generators available, but you had to choose from their ultra boring designs which didn’t even come close to meeting my creative demands.
I decided to go with the Yahoo site builder program. This cut and paste program gave me the control to make the site exactly the way that I wanted it. I chose the platform and ran with it.
The site was coded in individual HTML pages as opposed to the dynamic page generation that is available today. I had over 100 pages that I painstakingly put together. I spent thousands of hours modifying this website in an attempt to not only rank organically in the search engines, but to also create an optimized shopping experience for the site’s guests.
And Then It Happened:
The site had been live for about 8 months when Yahoo decided that it was time to update the program. Generally I have no problem with upgrades. After all, without upgrades where would we be today? In fact, I usually get excited when new technology comes out! I did get excited, but not in a good way.
Once my software was through updating, I opened up the editor to make changes to a few product descriptions. When I completed the editing process, I uploaded my changes to the server. Next, I checked the live site and it literally looked like someone had taken every table and expanded the dimensions by over 50%!
I could not believe what I was seeing. My site was destroyed! I went ahead and uploaded the files again (thinking that it was probably just a glitch in the FTP transfer). It was still a mess. Now the panic started setting in. I was completely freaking out. All of my work was now destroyed and all of my site’s visitors were seeing the worst website ever!
I contacted the nice folks at Yahoo to find out why this was happening. They said that they had heard of this occurring with a few sites, but did not have any reasons as to why(Typical 12.00 an hour support answer ). My opinion about Yahoo tools would be forever jaded due to this string of unfortunate events. I learned right then and there that if you use free software, you could end up paying the ultimate price in the long run!
I eventually rebuilt the website using the same editor. I had to build the site from scratch in order to make it look normal again. I realized then that from this point forward I would hold the majority share of control over my business which was the only way to ensure its ongoing vitality.
Every website that I have built from that point forward has been coded by me. I took the time to learn HTML, CSS, PHP and more to ensure that this control freak could be pacified and have only himself to blame in the event of a glitch.
Were it not for the great folks at the Yahoo Software team and their upgrade / train wreck, I would not be where I am today!
Thanks Yahoo Site Builder Team