The BugShop: Newcomer's page

This page last modified- 11/2/01

Welcome to the BugShop.

This page is designed to give the newcomer to this site just a little bit of background on the BugShop, some information on how it evolved, and some tips on getting around. You can use the index below to jump to the appropriate sections on this page.

  1. How the BugShop came about
  2. How the BugShop has changed
  3. How to get around at the BugShop

But first, what the BugShop isn't.   It is not a commercial business. I am not in the yellow pages, I do not have a store front on a street somewhere, I am just a hobbyist who likes to share info on VWs and play with web pages. I have had people e-mail me asking for catalogs, if I sell VW jackets and even one with a credit card number asking for a parts order.

BugShop Site Statistics (11/2/01):

How the BugShop came about

The BugShop was a child of necessity.

I am an avid VW enthusiast (read the "About Me" page for more information) and I am one of those people who likes to talk (and write). Especially about VWs. Some time in 1996, I discovered newsgroups on the internet, in particular and very active and focused one called That was all it took. I was off reading and posting my opinions on everything VW. But after just a few months of this, I discovered that very often, I was typing the same things, over and over. It seemed to me a good idea to start collecting files on the various frequent topics that came up, so I started my own set of "FAQ" files.

 Pretty soon I had quite a bit of stuff and mentioned something about looking for a "sponsor" for "FAQ". Another enthusiast, involved in a very broad site with a small "Volkswagen" page offered to set up my files on his server. I obliged and "John Henry's Aircooled FAQ" was up on the web. I added a couple more articles, but then was unable to contact the sponsor for many months. I continued to write stuff, but became increasingly frustrated at not being able to get them up on the web.

 Then late one Friday afternoon I saw a banner ad "Get your free homepage" and had to check it out.

I went to Geocities and by some strange stroke of luck, I got the very last block available in the "Motorcity" neighborhood and the address was "4000". This makes the URL very easy to remember. I quickly looked at some "HTML 101" pages, printed out about 25 pages and spent some time over the weekend playing around. I tried to think of a name for my site. I wanted for something simple.....

By Monday morning, the very first "BugShop" was up on the world wide web.

 Over the next few months I spent time adding new articles and formatting my FAQ files. The hit rate was much stronger than I expected at first, I just wrote it off as people visiting a new site. But it encouraged my to try to keep people coming back by offering a fresh site with lots of content. The hit rate continued to climb. In just over 5 months I had surpassed 10,000 hits. At the one year anniversary of the BugShop I had registered well over 35,000 hits. I got e-mail feed back daily encouraging me, thanking me for a helpful site and giving me good solid feedback and suggestions.

In October of 1999, I revamped the whole main interface to the site and dropped the hits counter. After almost two years, it read around 84,000 hits. The weekly average was about 1300 hits. 

How the BugShop has changed

The BugShop has seen two major makeovers thus far. The first in May of 1998, the second in October of 1999. These makeovers were primarily done to improve the looks, readability and usability of the site. The content remained the same, virtually nothing was ever removed. Most recently, with the '57 Beetle Restoration completed, the number of restoration photo and text pages skyrocketed. And, as I continued to look for things to do on long business trip flights, new articles were added to the Technical Help Section.

In November of 2001, the site left the Geocities domain that it was on and went to a dedicated domain,  This was done for two reasons.  One, the site had long since out grown Geocities 15Megs of "free" space and was now scattered across 4 separate server blocks, 3 of them belonging to Geocities, although this was all basically transparent to the visitor.  Then, late in 2001, as the "Free Web Hosting" party began to come to a close, Geocities started browning out (temporarily shutting down) sites that exceeded an allotted data transfer limit.  The BugShop was so popular, it exceeded that limit almost daily (100Mb of transfer per day) and was more or less inaccessible.  So I bought a domain name, and bought ad-free server space at, and moved the site.

This site will continue to grow. It's main purpose will always be as a resource for the aircooled enthusiast, with a focus on Beetle restoration. There will be more articles, on more topics, more reader contributions and more detail on my '57 restoration and its life. My philosophy for deciding what I put at the BugShop is simple: If it is something that I would like to see at someone else's site, about some VW that they are working on or experiences that they have had, then I will put it up at my site.

Please come back often, things will continue to change and be added here.

How to get around at the BugShop

This is a very large site.

With the latest makeover of this site in October 1999, the main page at the BugShop has become significantly simplified. Visitors are greeted with a consistent user interface and a vertically minimized page. A simple "navbar" frame is always present at the left with quick buttons to the most visited pages. At the top of this bar are prominent buttons to the 2 big areas of this site (The '57 Restoration and the Technical Help Section) as well as one to the "What's New?" page.

The "What's New" page will always detail the latest changes and includes a running "Site chronology" of all of the changes at this site (at the bottom). This is the page you will want to come to on any return visit to see what has changed since you were last here.

Here are some of the conventions that I have adopted here and hold to pretty religiously:

Best rule of thumb to get a glance at the site if you haven't been around in a while is to go to the "What's New" page and look at the "Site chronology".

There is a "Lost?" page that lists all of the pages at this site and gives you single-click access to them. If you remember seeing something at the BugShop before, but aren't quite sure how to get to it, this page might help you.

Lastly, if you ever forget the URL for the BugShop (bookmark it now?), just type "The BugShop" in the URL field of either Netscape or Explorer. A search will execute and you will find me at or near the top of the listings.

So once again, Welcome to the BugShop, have a look around, thanks for stopping by, and have fun with your VW (or the one you're "gonna" buy)!!!!