Why Do Splash Pages Still Exist?

What’s Wrong With The Splash Page?
Mainly, that ridiculous enter prompt. By going to the site we have already decided to enter the site. Requiring your site visitors to click on an image in order to get to see something is just a waste of their time. Can’t you just assume your site visitors want to see stuff and that is why they have chosen to visit the site? What would be the harm in showing them something without requiring them to perform another action in order to see it? When you open a shop’s front door expecting to see the interior do you think it would it bug you to find instead a door marked enter?

For Only 47 Dollars a Month You Get All This…

Someone left me a comment saying they liked my templates. Judging from the name of the commenter,Ola Linardi and the url it looked like a spamment to me. But before I mark a comment as spam, to be fair I check out the site, considering they went to the trouble of providing an address.

First thing I get is an earful from some Bloomberg sounding yappy guy quacking my ears off. I click the volume down to a more bearable whisper. The page is full of hyperbole and whoever wrote this stuff loves caps lock. There’s line after line of 16px text intermittently in bold for maximum eye grabbiness describing the frighteningly insurmountable hurdles of acquiring a Web site in order to get on the $$$$$$ Internet wagon. The text warns us woefully: to have a Web site, “you need a product, you need an online shop to sell the product, you need a copywriter to describe the product, you need a fancy pants graphic designer to design a logo for the site”… and so on. “To get all this you need to spend at least 10,000 bucks”. Cripes! Suicide is better than all of that! But after he’s scared the hell out of us he tosses us a life saver, the sweetie pie and so finally, the sales pitch: “Guess what! You don’t need a product at all! You just need to buy my product! Then you can have a Web site in under 30 milliseconds!!!!!! ”

It takes me anywhere from 8 days to 2 months to hand off a new Web site. Yet because I’m doing what I love to do it doesn’t seem so bad. He makes it sound plain awful.

Obsessive that I am I had to view the source of this gem. Sure enough, no Doc type. Not a huuuge surprise,though. Tables for Layout sites always seem to sneer “we don’t need no stinkin Doc type shnarf, shnarf“.

OK, what’s going on here? This guy is trying to sell us a product that is going to help us have a Web site in less than 30 minutes ( I am assuming he will also host it for us as well as provide a domain name and etc) so that we can sell affiliate marketing things, whatever that might entail. And for all of that we only have to pay him 47 dollars a month. That’s where his pitch starts to sound slightly less than awesome to me. Although it already began to stink once I saw the site. But that’s just me.

Many Web design companies offer hosting. Many Web hosts provide Web design tools a la Site Creator or some such similar doody producing tool. But not many of either have the low hangers to charge almost 50.00 bucks a month for garden variety hosting. What he is asking would end up costing about 1,700 for 3 years. For most hosting you can get a plan for less than 200 in 3 years (if you buy more than a year at a time). Don’t fall for so called Business Plans,either. All that is is 20 a month for no better than a standard plan which can be a little as 7 bucks a month or lower. You’re just paying for the name “Business”.

It does seem like when hiring a Web designer or firm you can either get a site that looks the way you want and that does what you need for a reasonable amount of money or you can get a site that looks like crap and works like crap and cost a ton of dough. I bet a lot of people would rather chew off their own foot rather than deal with any of it. Whatever route you decide to go ( not the chewing off of the feet I hope) please at least take a bit of time to research the kind of site you need according to the needs of your actual business. Form follows function but there isn’t any reason you can’t have both.

A Very Sad State Of Affairs

I don’t always get everything I order online. This saddens me deeply because shopping online is my favorite way to acquire things (I don’t have to deal with people). The very big downside to shopping online is SHIPPING. In my case shipping is fraught with fears of non delivery and larcenous neighbors. If a package is delivered by USPS the gamble is on: will I get it? Will I even get a notice of delivery slip? It’s never smooth with USPS. Only one time in the almost 7 years I’ve lived at this address was a package delivered by USPS to my door that I actually received. The other time the package was put on the truck and delivered to my address it was stolen— by a neighbor or the driver, it was never decided.

Woes Continue
I hardly ever get a notice of attempted delivery, often I have to write the number down by hand and drag my butt to the Post Office on Myrtle which keeps very mysterious hours. The mysteriousness of the hours at this location is only matched by the elusiveness of the workers.

It Gets Worse!
I have no problem getting bills or official mail. I have no luck getting personal mail. It makes me very angry because when it comes to mail it should not be a matter of luck and yet it is, on this route. Our mail is divided into 2 boxes, one for the upstairs and one for everyone else which means everyone has to paw through everyone else’s mail to find their mail. So while I am pawing I often see my neighbor’s hand addressed envelopes which can only mean that I am the one with bad luck because I rarely receive mail that has been hand addressed.
Recently our carrier said she was not going to ring the buzzer anymore so the landlord installed a key keeper so that she could unlock the key keeper, take out the key, open the door, deliver the mail and then replace the key and flounce off. Last Friday a neighbor had a party and early the next morning I saw the key on the ground. Someone had busted into the key keeper and the card was either thrown on the ground or fell there. I guess now our mail will be stopped again until the key keeper is fixed. Another month without mail! And I am breathlessly awaiting my Damages Season 2 DVDS from Netflix. Oh Drat.

A Local Business Fares No Better
I had a chat with the lovely Karen of Karen’s Body Beautiful about how she cannot ship internationally anymore because packages sent with USPS get stuck at customs forever or get lost (or stolen). Too bad because USPS is the only carrier that ships internationally at reasonable rates. We had another subject to discuss: people claiming they never got all the items they ordered. She said the first few times she got these kinds of complaints she would just faithfully send out another item. The no questions asked partial order replacement policy at Karen’s must have caught on because a lot of people began to claim they never got all their items, either. Karen said this prompted her to film every order from shelf to box and keep an archive of the videos. This smart step covers her if a customer claims they did not get this or that from their last order. We did not discuss what actions she takes if a customer claims they never got the package at all…

Other Carriers
About 98% of the time I have no problem getting parcels & packages delivered by other carriers, especially UPS and never with Fedex. That was until 12:45 pm on February 24th, 2010 when a package containing my February 22 order of a Waring Pro Stainless Steel Roaster Oven, weighing a hefty 30 lbs, was delivered and possibly left by the front door by a UPS driver. I’m not sure if Front Door means it was left inside or outside (our neighborhood is not nearly safe enough for packages to be left outside). The only other theory is that it was left inside the front door and one of my neighbors took it.

I have to hand it to Rue La La. They promptly responded to my email and said they would put out a tracer on my oven. Until then it’s toaster oven cooking for us, same as usual.

Back to Normal?
I am beginning to wonder if shopping online is a good idea for me anymore. It isn’t as though I live in a remote village where online shopping is probably the only way people who live in remote villages can get good stuff… I’m in Brooklyn! I can get anything I want. I just have to go out and deal with people. Oh well, they’re not all bad.


Just had a chat with the UPS driver who delivers to this area. He was dropping off a package for my neighbor Christina which he left halfway up the stairs.He stated he left my package in the exact same spot.
“Didn’t you get it?”
“No, I did not, somebody took it!” He looked shocked.
“Your own neighbors?”
“My own neighbors.”
We both shook our heads.
He gave me the tracer notice to sign. I picked up Christina’s package and put it outside her door – we share a common hallway that has a securely locking door. Can’t trust nobody. Rue La La told me they were just going to refund the money to me. I am glad not to be out the 63 dollars and change and I am glad Rue La La is so reasonable (I wouldn’t be this reasonable) but I still feel ripped off. Not by Rue La La but by one of my neighbors. My own neighbors? I don’t want to believe that someone who lives in this building stole my package. But that seems to be what happened. So to my sticky fingered neighbor: you’re a poop. I hope the 1st thing you cook with my oven gives you the runs for a week.