I found this great add-on for firefox that can improve your Etsy shopping experience. If you spend much time browsing Etsy (and why wouldn’t you?) you may have noticed that shops on Etsy aren’t permitted to put hypertext in their profiles or shop announcements. Lots of Etsy shops have associated blogs or other websites they would like to share with you, but without hyperlinks, the sharing ends up being a link typed out like regular text. There are a couple of drawbacks to this approach: 1) a url that isn’t hyperlinked won’t stand out from the rest of the text, so you may miss it completely, and 2) if you want to see what’s at that url, you have to copy and paste, which is an activity that gets old fast.
This isn’t to say that I don’t understand or even agree with Etsy’s decision to not allow hyperlinks in shop announcements or profiles. Allowing in hyperlinks could open the floodgates to spammy profiles and shops, and it could result in an store-fronts that are generally less attractive. Etsy clearly has a desire to keep shops simple and to have design consistency across shops, and these are both ideas I can stand behind. Keeping it simple, and limiting sellers’ abilities to personalize definitely keeps the shop looking more professional than it would otherwise.
But back to the point of this post: linkification! I’m on board with Etsy’s design plan, but I still hate copying and pasting urls when I could be clicking. With Firefox’s Linkification add-on, text urls become hyperlinks! This is an add-on worth installing, even if the only thing you’ll need it for is Etsy surfing. And if you’re not using Firefox already, isn’t this a good time to start?