You might suspect that a company established in 1854, when Franklin Pierce was president and coal gas was first used to light major U.S. city streets, could be a tad hidebound in its employ of Internet technology. But Rufus Deering Lumber Co.'s 89-page-and-growing Web site ( handily refutes that suspicion. Customers can examine the Portland, Maine-based lumberyard's products through the site's E-Showroom, check the latest in industry information under Contractor Services, or access their accounts online. It's set up so that Web site manager Jay Breard can quickly update the system.

Rufus Deering has operated a Web site for more than a dozen years, but for nine of them, it was a simple home page displaying contact information, a map, and little else. Creating content for it was Breard's first experience building a Web site, and he says, "I try to do everything under the KISS system–y'know, keep it simple, stupid. It's as much common sense as anything." The major revamp came in 2005, when Breard took the site from no frills to fully loaded with dozens of new pages and reams of information in a clean, easy-to-use format. Breard has added 83 pages to the site, including a section of information on green building.

The expanded Web site has proven to be a time-saving tool for the company's salesmen. "We found we could tell a customer on the phone, 'Hey, go to the Web site, check out colors of the product you're interested in, and then we can work on the order together," Breard says.

In 2007, Breard set up the Inet system, which lets customers pay bills, check invoices, look up stock items, even request a quote. With Inet, he says, the number of monthly visits on the site have doubled.