I had a few people comment that reading the blog was pretty tough on a mobile phone, so last night I made a few modifications and activated a mobile theme. Having just been on holiday, I spent a little more time than usual looking at my blog on my own phone and zooming in and out all the time was indeed very tedious. Now if you go to Hackney Tools using your phone, it should be a lot easier on the eye, with text at a more legible size.
There are quite a few other changes I’d like to make to the site and I would appreciate reader response on what works for you, or not.
Being a ‘hobby-level’ tool dealer, it’s important to me to have my contact details to the fore, but what I enjoy doing most is blogging about tools, traditional technique and makers of fine tools and furniture. So there is always a tension between trying to present a ‘half and half’ approach to the blog, and trying to enhance that with the design.
I guess I’ll carry on noodling along making incremental changes for now, but one thing I really would like to change is the ‘For Sale’ page. I always envisaged selling tools without getting eBay involved. However, listing tools for sale can be quite laborious using manual coding, especially as the tools themselves are relatively cheap. What I need to do is upgrade the page to use an e-commerce solution such as WooCommerce, or Shopify, or something, so that people can click to buy and check out with Paypal.
Honestly, I have looked at all these solutions to some extent, but I do worry that something of the ‘personal touch’ is lost by having a page which looks so commercial. Most of my tools sell after someone has been in touch and we have had a chat about the item, this is something that woodworkers and craftspeople seem to appreciate as an option.
My other worry is that listing global shipping options for tools seems incredibly laborious. Spending half an hour listing a few screwdrivers with all the shipping options seems rather counter-intuitive. How do other people do this? I assume there are faster ways of photographing inventory, listing it on your site and activating it for sale. It’s easy when your items are all the same weight, such as t-shirts, you can apply shipping rates and know you have all the bases covered.
If anyone has direct experience of integrating e-commerce solutions with WordPress blogs I would appreciate tips on the best way forward. I don’t have lot of time I can put aside for the blog, but I need to make the tool-dealing particularly a smoother operation, mainly so I can get more up online and shift away from eBay.
(The theme I use on this blog is the excellent Graphene theme).