It’s been a very long while since I held a high opinion of well-known New Zealand bookstore, Whitcoulls, though when I was younger I would visit the Cashel Street branch in Christchurch before heading down the road to Scorpio Books for extended browsing and buying.
I was intrigued though today to discover via a Google AdSense ad on a friend’s site that Whitcoulls now have an online store. I guess since they’ve spent money on ads they consider it finished and open.
Having spent last week at Webstock amongst 500 people discussing and striving for excellence in creating websites I was quite shocked to see the Whitcoulls online store with its frames.
Frames? Am I caught up in a timewarp? Did we slide back into the 90s while I was sleeping last night?
The first thing I did, of course, was to search for WordPress 2 Visual Quickstart Guide, since I can never find it in any physical bookstores I visit in New Zealand. Yup, they have it, though given its 7 to 28 day shipping time I presume Whitcoulls don’t actually have it, but just order it when someone buys it.
I delved a bit deeper into the website, looking at the code. Someone had clearly allocated the web developers a huge number of
table tags and a vast array of
alt attributes for images — most have none, at all, not even empty ones.
And also they must have been given a salt shaker with some error messages to sprinkle around.
My opinion of Whitcoulls has dropped even lower. I hadn’t realised till seeing their website that that could be possible.