Something Better ... But Not Too Much Better

I was late to the Internet. Or so I thought. When Compuserve was the gateway to "online" and AOL was still mailing 3,000 CDs to your house each week, I was living in southern California. Everyone I knew had an email address — except for me.


I wanted the Internet for two things: and my own website.


So, shortly after moving back to my home town (right here in Visalia) and signing up for some classes at the local community college (maybe someday I'll get a degree) where my history professor made fun of me because my first paper looked "like it was actually typed on a typewriter!" I broke down and made a personal computer part of my home. Including that all-important AOL service.


The first thing I did (after setting up my e-mail and online account) was go to and sign up for the Nailtech mailing list. The second thing I did was spend the rest of the century building a website for my salon.


Of course, I set up that first Internet account in the spring of 1999, so "the rest of the century" wasn't that far off.


I still have that website. On that same host. It has undergone many incarnations in the last 12 years, and it took the rest of my hometown 10 years before they caught up to me in their Internet usage ... and I thought I was a late bloomer!


But just this week, I have been working on updating my website. And it is not going well.


For starters, let me assure you that I am actually quite clueless when it comes to these things. I don't actually build my website, I've just gotten pretty good at manipulating the online site builder's customizable template options. Everything I know about HTML, I learned from Myspace.


Unfortunately, the Myspace code generators haven't done much for teaching me how to make my service menu line up the way I want it to on my professional website. Which leads to much stomping around and growling at my neighbors and clients — I do not deal well with frustration.


All I want is to be able to build a graphic image in Photoshop Elements, and then click some magic button that converts the whole shebang into HTML. Then I should be able to copy/paste that HTML into the template and VOILA it should all show up online just the way I see it in my head.


Alas, not only does this not seem to be an option (MS Publisher 98 did this, btw), but I have yet to find website-building software that I understand. And by "understand" I mean, "am instantly and instinctively able to immediately adapt to so that I can accomplish my goals in 20 minutes or less of download."


Oh yeah. And I don't want to pay more than $40 for it. Because I'm cheap. And because I think $40 software is indicative of stuff that most moms and grandmas can figure out.


Yeah yeah. You're probably right. It also won't do what I want and I'm going to have to break down and get Dreamweaver. I'd say I'd put it on my Christmas list — but I don't think I have that much patience!

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