Friday, 22 February 2008
Compare Sat Nav has been the subject of an overhaul over the past few weeks, which also goes to explain why I've not posted here much.
This post explains some of the new features I've built into CSN, the logic behind those features and a before and after shot!
Here's what the old site looked like:
Firstly, it was taking too much free time on a Friday to update. It usually took a couple of hours though it depended upon several factors (such as how bored I was, how many merchants were on my books, how many products each had to sell, etc.).
Secondly, the frequency of the updates were a problem. Once a week is not good enough for a product such as this. Some prices can change several times a day let alone in a week.
The price tracking kind of broke - a new year bug. Some systems still archived properly but others didn't.
There's no search option, just a drop down box. Not very good if you are after the Go 920 but can't remember who it's by.
As for the design, it's not one of my favourites and it doesn't scream "buy me!".
Here's the new site:
Loads! First to note is the new design - a fresher shade of blue. Whilst the new version seems more packed and concentrated in terms of content, it is significantly easier to search.
As part of the new design, I've had a mascot drawn up (Gav the Sat Nav) and he appears throughout the site. I had 4 poses drawn up for the princely sum of $40. A bargain if you ask me!
On the home page, there's a new section for reviews and discount vouchers. In the last version, I had a primitive discount voucher section but it fell apart when Halfords sent through a list of a dozen model specific discount codes. Now, the site is able to handle blanket codes for an entire product range as well as model specific codes. Woo hoo!
Reviews is my new toy. I've had a star rating on the site which is OK but not that great. Reviews is where people can add their own viewpoints and tales of specific models. Within this, they can add a star rating.
Another new home page feature is the "Essential Info" block, detailing price checking activity. It also advises on whether it is a good or bad day to buy a sat nav based on the average of a sat nav system yesterday and today. There's a link there that shows a trending graph.
Ajax tabs have returned to the site and at the top of every page, users have a choice of the following:
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I like the greater use of pure html text on the top of the page of your new site. Good for SEO
Written on Wednesday 27 February 2008 at 12:31:11 GMT (Permalink)
Written on Wednesday 27 February 2008 at 19:39:00 GMT (Permalink)
Certianly looks much fresher and looks less like an "automatic" site - the ones you find on domain parked sites.
Not sure about the affiliate banners though. Personally I think they look very out of place on this type of site and make the site appear "amaturish".
Do the banners perform at all?
Written on Saturday 01 March 2008 at 12:49:52 GMT (Permalink)
Hi David, I think your new website looks excellent. Did you do all that programming yourself? Also would you mind telling me where you found the person that designed your logo?
Written on Saturday 01 March 2008 at 12:55:52 GMT (Permalink)
@Paulzie - Thank you for the comments. With regards to the banners, the results are mixed but I think it's too early to tell.
@Pink - All the programming is done by myself as was the logo. Thanks too for the praise.
Written on Monday 03 March 2008 at 08:08:11 GMT (Permalink)
I think you've done an abosultely fantastic job with this site. Just curiouse did the new design increase the number of visitors like it did for for Patrick over at Blogstorm?
Keep up the good work and well done again.
Written on Monday 10 March 2008 at 09:10:55 GMT (Permalink)
@Gaj - It's too early to tell to be honest. I would like to think it makes it easier for visitors to navigate, for search engines to spider and more like a useful, bookmark-able website.
Written on Monday 10 March 2008 at 10:48:09 GMT (Permalink)
Well it looks good, it just seems that generally a new site design stirs up alot of interest and because of the suddent inlinks, google give you a high ranking in the serps.
All the best with it.
Written on Monday 10 March 2008 at 19:47:26 GMT (Permalink)
Like the new design (even newer then what i see here in the screenshots) Is this site still mainly based upon pricetapestry or did you ment with you coded it that you made your own pricecomparison engine?
Written on Monday 25 August 2008 at 14:27:14 GMT (Permalink)
It's changed a few times since :-)
It's still very losely powered by Price Tapestry although it is a very distant cousin of the original Price Tapestry version.
The underbelly of the backend resembles Price Tapestry whereas the front end is more customised.
Written on Monday 25 August 2008 at 17:46:30 GMT (Permalink)
Thank you to all previous commenters.
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