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    http://www.besthotel.com


    Hey girls/guys, This site has been up for just over 1yr 1/2 and doing quite well. Just wish we didn't have to pay Google for the success.

    Anyhow, I would like you to look at it, with you many different browsers and knowledge and let me know what you think. Personally I think it needs a make over. and maybe you have some ideas/suggestions to make it better, whether it's looks, content, or functionality.

    I do know that it will not work with Netscape, sorry guys but your only 5%, although again I tried to push my boss in letting me hook you guys up - he says: not worth the time.. lol..


    EDIT - forgot the link LOL.. http://www.besthotel.com

    Thanks,
    lunatic.
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    Browser: Mozilla Firebird 0.6

    Homepage loads fast. I like the fact that the search engine interface is the first thing you see on the homepage, as this is the method that users will employ to locate a hotel.

    The 'bookmark our site' link is obviously MSIE-specific - if you're going to employ browser-specific functionality, at least detect that I'm using a browser which can take advantage of that functionality, and hide the content if that isn't the case (or, figure out how to get Firebird to save the site using JS).

    While I think the pop-up message is OK, I think it would get annoying if I were doing a lot of searching. If you're absolutely in love with it, maybe use a cookie or sessions to detect whether the user has already seen that popup, and only display it the first 2 or 3 times... otherwise, I would just lose the popup.

    I'm not sure if I like the way the search engine works. When I put my criteria in on the homepage, it brings me to an 'advanced search' page, where I'm asked to enter in more criteria. I don't want another search page - I want results. I already told you what I wanted. Why am I being asked again? If you really need more information to give informative search results, get it the first time - I don't have the patience to re-think what I already typed in. Bothersome.

    Ah. I see now. I got that page, because no results were found.

    Make that message more readily available - or, send the user to a page where it just says "We're sorry - no results were found for that location" and give them the option to try again, which would then take you to the search page. Having the site redirect to the advanced search page w/ just some small red text at the top is confusing.

    A cursory glance at the rest of the site showed that you've put some thought into the content and message - offering travel deals and other info. That's good. I won't dig into it, but aside from the bummer of a search experience, I think the site is overall a successful design. Good job.
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    Thanks for the extensive critique, we decided to put the "Please Wait" pop-up so that users with the slower connection are not apt to clicking the search button a few times and wondering why "it's" not doing anything. At times, even with dsl, it takes a while to get your results. When we add the "Please wait" we noticed an increase of users & bookings.

    I totally agree with you on the bookmarking, but as I said, I have stressed this fact to the higher up and they do not want me spending time making it compatible. And if I test for certain browser types, I might as well try to make them compatible. It'll take me just as much work. lol

    Yes the "No Results" error should be clearer. unfortunetly we don't have any control over that page. Once you click the search button the control transfer to another server.

    Thanks,
    Lunatic
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    It looks like you have a good alexa rating of 21k so that is pretty good start. However you only have 8 sites linking to you. All b ut 1 linking from YAHOO.

    Add your site to http://www.dmoz.org (they publish their directory to most of the major sites on the internet, including google). That will help boost your raiting some and improve on traffic.

    So what do you do with all this new trafic? Make some money =)

    For the site design I do have 1 thing that i found concerning about your page: Think about how your eye will pick up a site and try and make it exactly how you want it.

    For example my eye patter goes like this:

    1.Main search box
    2. Top right image
    3. I get lost

    Try putting the stuff on the left and right into categorys or break it up more. The last thing you want to do is make it hard for the user. So play around with it and maybe try adding them into boxes or something to try and make it a little more sorted.

    Hope this helps some.
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    I understand what your getting at Reactor. Your basically saying that it's too open, there are no "boundries". And with this eye pattern thing your talking about. What do you mean by this "eye pattern". My thinking is when the site loaded the first thing you noticed was the main serach box, then the ad in upper right, then you got "lost". Meaning you didn't know what to do next or where to go?

    I appreciate your replies, the have been very helpful in seeing other perspectives.


    Hey reactor: I didn't know Alexa.com had those kinds of tools. I've been using sites like HITBOX, TrafficZap, Link Finder and others. I did a Google search for web tools such as these and Alexa.com came up. but the link brought me to a top list of site that did/got someting and said eehh no use to me. But Alexa got some pretty cool tools. Thanks for mentioning the name. (I wonder how those sites figure out how much traffic your generating)...

    About DMOZ.org, we did submit our site, back in Dec.. haha guesss they don't like us... oh well, I'll try again

    Thanks guys. and please keep it coming for anyone else who trips into this post.

    EDIT-- my bad did you use GlobalPromoter.com??
    Last edited by lunatic; August 28th, 2003 at 08:08 PM.
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    I've read somewhere inorder to be compatiable with most browser, you don't test for the browser, but for the function.

    With that said, I tried to hide the Bookmark if your using browsers such as AOL, Firebird and others. but for some reason it stills shows. up.. For those people who have those types of browser that "window.extrenal.AddFavorites" won't work.. Could you go to

    www.besthotel.com and see if it shows up for you?

    what I did was IF(window.external.AddFavorites){write out bookmark;}

    but i guess AOL supports it cuz it showed. I understand that they maybe be using IE. So in this case I would have to test for browsers???


    Thanks,
    Last edited by lunatic; September 1st, 2003 at 12:16 PM.
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    the best thing you can do for yourself to track your site is this.

    Install google tool bar to track your page rank.

    Install alexa tool bar because it tells you the trafic rank for every site you visit.

    Install a Link Popularity Tool that tells you who is linking to you from what place.

    This one is free: http://checkyourlinkpopularity.com/
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    Looks fine.

    The hard will be to establish your USP (unique selling point).

    There are literally hundreds of your kind of site out there, if not thousands (believe me, many have been submitted to our travel search engine), so you need to do something to set your's ahead of the rest.

    That might be achieved through good SEO, a novel feature on the site, or something else. Just make sure you do something that makes your site unique from the competition.

    Aaron
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    altyfc

    thanks for your replay.. And that is what we are working on. something that noboby has or something that is better than what others have.

    Not an easy task...
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    I guess I should follow your advice Reactor though the reply is not really meant for me.

    But can you provide a link where we can download those stuffs that you have said earlier?

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