Search or No Search

We are often asked why we do not have a Search Bar on our home page. We hope the following details will explain our thoughts on this, but if you have any comments please do get in touch.

There are two main ways a site wide Search Bar works - Database Search and Google Search.

Database Search

As the name would suggest, this only works if the website is hosted on a database. A database holds all the information on products on the website including items name, price, pictures, stock levels and other information. The website then calls that information and presents it in a way customers can see. The vast majority of retail sites do use a database, and they all look very similar. 

None of our websites use a database therefore we cannot use this type of search.

Why do we not use a database? When we started Dianne's Knitting Yarns in 2000 we made a decision to hand code the website so we had much more control. It also meant we did not look like all the other retail websites out there, we could stand out. At that time we could not have known how big the business and website would become, or we may have thought twice. To change to database (and look like all the others) would be a MASSIVE job now so we would have to think very carefully if it would be worth it.

We occasionally get comments that our website looks old fashioned, when we ask what they think it should look like they suggest what is obviously a database website, which just looks the same as all the others. Our only remit for our designers was that it should be easy for customers to use. We shop online just like everyone else and find some of those modern looking database websites really difficult to navigate. 

How does database search work? When you put a query in the search box on a database site it usually checks the whole database to give you a list of answers. So if you search for Double Knit you will get any database entry that has those words - yarn, leaflets, books etc. If you put in a size or colour you would get even more results which may not even be a full list. Sometimes you just can't work out why you get some results and this can get annoying. Therefore we are quite glad we do not use this method.

Google Search

Again the name says it all. Google will allow websites to add a Google Search bar to their website. When you add something to these Search Bars, Google crawls the website and brings up any page with those words on. We did try this method and the results were worse than the database search method. Sometimes they even added "sponsored" links which went to another website - which is obviously very confusing for customers.

Therefore we dismissed this method.

Our Search Options

For all the above reasons we decided not to have a universal search bar on our website. But we know search is very important so have done a bit of a compromise. 

We have created some comprehensive Site Maps, many with a search bar of its own.

The benefit of this is that you will get good results from the search. Many of the site maps can also be sorted, which can be combined with the search bar to give even more accuracy. 

The Site Maps we have are as follows.

Yarn List - Searchable and Sortable full list of all the yarns we can supply.

Pattern Leaflets List - Searchable and sortable full list of all the pattern leaflets we supply. This is a very long list and can take a while to load on slow connections.

Pattern Books List - Searchable and sortable full list of all the pattern books we supply.

Pattern Books Details - This list includes "Add to Basket" buttons and details of each book. It is not searchable or sortable but you can always use CTRL + F on your keyboard to open the search bar on your browser. Or use the Pattern Book List which is searchable.

Half Price Clearance Yarn List - Searchable and Sortable list of all the special offer yarns we have - all "while stocks last".

20% Book Clearance List - List of books included in the clearance with "Add to Basket" buttons and details of each book - all "while stocks last". It is not searchable or sortable but the Pattern Book List does show which are in the clearance.

New Items List - Details of the newest items from all our suppliers.

In addition to the general Site Maps, most of the suppliers on our website has a Searchable and Sortable list of their yarns that we supply.

We hope you find this approach works for you, please let us know any comments you have on our Site Maps.

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