What makes a great website?

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 23:01
ThreadID: 65981 Views:2467 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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Hi all,

I am in the process of rehashing my 4wd & camping website which has been untouched for 7 years apart from updates.

I know what I like to see in a great website (which has changed over the years) but am curious to hear what others find appealing. What really gets the juices flowing and keeps you hooked in coming back time and time again?

Is it colours, bling, content, updates, ability to interact, advertising (deals / discounts), links, jealousy or what?


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Reply By: Willem - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 23:37

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 23:37

Your website looks pretty good except for GIVATHAFAT which took me a while to translate. No frills, same as ours although our website covers more than 4x4 travel.

When I go to websites I don't want to see bling or pop-ups etc. I basically go there for information for research purposes. Annoying advertising such as the Nissan advert here on EO really puts me off. It is only visible when I have Explroz open in another browser open though.

You could include photos of your travels within each story which you have written.

I see you were in the Top End Club. I was in the Suzuki Club which became the TEC...but that was along time ago :-)

AnswerID: 349096

Follow Up By: Grungle - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 00:24

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 00:24
Hi Willem,

Many thanks - your comments are highly valued as I frequently check your site and enjoy the fascinating stories you have to tell (I grew up in Mt Newman with the old man owning a Series I Landrover and belonging to the local 4WD club way back on 1974).

I have matured somewhat since first doing the website some 15 years ago with the current being my third attempt. GIVATHAFAT stems from a saying that loosly translates from "giving it the fat end of the foot" which was from the days that I used to navi in a 4wd competition team.

Those days have long passed and I am now devoted to club and touring trips which has seen the need to revamp the site as I don't believe that is up to current standards.

I like to follow my teachings from my Army days of KISS but with the changes seen in wesite development over the years, it is hard to know what people enjoy.

With the forums, you frequently see people that are 'posters' languishing in the fact that they seek solace in having a high post count but not actually contributing anything. However, you then see the 'lurkers' that offer rare but valuable snippets of information and are the mainstay of sites such as this (Exploreoz).

I could'nt and wouldn't keep up with forums such as this but would like to offer my own little piece to the world as you have done.

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Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 00:08

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 00:08
I wish I had the software to do webpages like the one in the link, when you open it click the Broadband Version on the left side , I am commenting on the webpage only, NOT THE FOOD ,

Take Away Food

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Follow Up By: robertbruce - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 11:27

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 11:27
Doug, that's a blue-chip site, one of the best... It will have a team of diverse professionals working on it using an even more diverse combination of sotwares and computer languages.... and it would have cost heaps...
FollowupID: 617381

Reply By: Member - William H (WA) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 00:20

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 00:20
Good evening Grungle.

Went to your web site, and looked at your air compresor set up, look's good, as i will fit something to the toyota 12ht and pump it to my air tank i have on the front. your web site is easy to look at.

Cheers for now... William H... Bunbury...WA
AnswerID: 349100

Reply By: Member - Malcolm (Townsville) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 04:08

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 04:08
Hi David

I started reading this post over three HOURS ago :-) I like your website; clean, uncluttered, easy to follow and return to home page.

If you want to, have a look at a web generator program I would recommend ezgenerator. I've used it for a client in the past (I'm retired, so he now maintains the site himself). Has a lot of useful features that I am sure you could use. Price was US$99 when I bought my copy - now says US$129 or 99 Euro.

Spent the last few hours looking at the aussieswag camper site. Wow! I'm very impressed with that camper. All I have to do now is convince the treasurer to part with the funds.

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Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 09:48

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 09:48
Hi David,

After spending 18 months down in the big smoke, and now finally arriving back up to Cannonvale (still have my home in Mackay as well), can i ask that a couple of local trips/info be placed on your site.

There is not much info about this area online, so any info would be appreciated by others. Information is what drives me to yours and others sites, and articles like your 12V system (http://www.grungle.com/dcsystem.html) are well written and informative. It is hard to find that article though and it may be useful to place it in your tech section as well. ;-) (it's bad when you can remember seeing an article on a site yet can't find it again when you need to show it to someone :-))

I always like the clean, easy to navigate site that you have set up.....the less clutter the better IMO.

Hope this helps.

AnswerID: 349137

Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 10:21

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 10:21
Simplicity is important. Long drawn out reports or page after page of photo's generally see's me bail out before reaching the end of a topic. A handful of good quality photo's that load quickly are better than 50 average ones.
An easy to use index with a seach function that works is important. I like a site that when you hover the mouse over a topic, the 1st paragraph is highlighted so one gets an idea what it's about without actually opening it up. (Pet hate of ExOz)
Adds don't bother me as I disregaurd them mostly anyway & see them as a neccesary evil in having a good site paid for that is otherwise free.
My favorite 4x4 web site for ease of getting around & finding info would be AJOR
Cheers Craig............
AnswerID: 349146

Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 11:36

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 11:36
Haaa you better not venture into mine then , unles you take your gps to find your way out again.

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Follow Up By: Crackles - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 11:52

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 11:52
Just had a quick look Doug. You really need to get away from that computer of yours more. (Don't we all) :-)
Cheers Craig.....
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Reply By: robertbruce - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 11:56

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 11:56
Heya Grungle, Ive been designing and publishing sites for over twelve years and have published some of the bigest brisbane business's and a few national brands...

I like where you are heading with the current site... A good mix of imagery and text with some basic code, like the blue hyperlink in the middle of the your text, always makes a site look good, sorta "utility".

I would keep going with your current layout and migrate everything to a server with mambo... dont waste money on website software when it is free anyway.
The only reason I mentioned mambo is because clients of mine have found it delightfull to work with. Mambo is free soFtware installed on your webserver. It's also easier working directly off the webserver. Mambo has a large community base and has great support.

Once you've got the site layed into the server start adding quiet/non-obtrusive links to everything and put some nice quiet buttons down the left side....

a comment - I was dissapointed the image box's accross the top didnt link anywhere. To me the images looked like lead-ins to a really interesting weekend story.... that would have kept me on the site longer...

also, dont link out, youve just put huge energy to get them there...or install some "pay per click" links and invoice the companies that people leave you for... they shouldnt mind if your getting traffic to thier door...
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