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Developed Geodomain

Discussion in 'Website Reviews' started by retired_member34, Jul 23, 2012.

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  1. retired_member34

    retired_member34 Retired Member

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    This site was developed by me for a local businessman with an interest in the town of Cowbridge in South Wales. It pulls in RSS feeds from local newspapers, websites and hotels, a weather feed, has a what's on section and a business directory.

    It is a variation on my normal geos in that all data was hand sourced, not rented. In a small town with around 200 businesses that was quite easily achieved with a bit of legwork and a camera, but this also required a change in the classifications, there was no point having several hundred categories of business with most of them empty. Each local business has their own listing page with photos, contact details and any social media sites they use, for example see restaurants in Cowbridge and a good one, Arboreal, Cowbridge.

    Any feedback greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. doodlebug United Kingdom

    doodlebug Well-Known Member

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    Seems to do the trick, the logo looks a bit boring, also I would have thought hte news would be local news and not national but I guess it doesn't matter.
     
  4. retired_member34

    retired_member34 Retired Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. There is a Tindle newspaper in the town that has a feed but they are very poor at updating it, and I also pull news from a local website and hotel, it's just that the BBC produces a much greater volume. I agree about the BBC South East Wales feed being a bit too wide, but I'm not sure about how to filter it for more relevance - perhaps using Yahoo pipes on a local town keyword search? If anyone has done this it would be great to hear how.
     
  5. noonoo1

    noonoo1 Active Member

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    I love Cowbridge, looked to move there a couple of months ago but decided on St Fagans.

    Nice smooth looking site.
     
  6. retired_member34

    retired_member34 Retired Member

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    Cheers. Cowbridge is a good little town, been here 11 years now - but then St Fagans is great too!
     
  7. doodlebug United Kingdom

    doodlebug Well-Known Member

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    I went to some place in St Fagans with my kids, it had all these old houses and horse and carts :neutral:
     
  8. WealdDomains United Kingdom

    WealdDomains Active Member

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    Hi. I'm very interested in this - thank you for sharing.

    I like the clean, simple black/grey on white look. I expected the strident "Support local business" slab to link to something (either listings or an advertising contact form) rather than be dead space. Maybe add a simple favicon and encourage bookmarking ? I really like the scrolling album of (open source ?) photos, although I would possibly reduce its dominant size.

    In general I have tended to make up for lack of my own content by linking to official sources like local councils and National Rail, and local/national tourist boards and English Heritage / National Trust (or local equivalents), plus greater use of the BBC. Is there a reason why you have taken the approach of building up manually through local relationships even when it means significant gaps in coverage to start with ?

    I don't know enough about Cowbridge as a town to comment too much, but I wondered whether content should be influenced by larger nearby local towns or employers. Is it a commuter town for Bridgend or Cardiff or the nearby RAF station ? Do people tend to drive to Bridgend or Cardiff to catch trains for work or weekend days out ? In other words, would your visitors appreciate more content about nearby large towns/cities ?

    The property link surprised me. I have tended to go for simple rightmove/findaproperty/nestoria/tepilio links that immediately display actual properties. The local agent links cement the local relationships but add another hop to find what the visitor wants. Does that work well ?

    The events list looks good during the Summer with the Eisteddfod etc, but I would be nervous out of season that the only thing happening/displaying is weekly salsa lessons.

    For the weather, a (welcome (in Kent)) bright yellow sun symbol seemed incongruous when the narrative merely said "Fair".

    The t*lkc*v*r link seemed disproportionate considering the broader lack of overt advertising, but I now understand your reason for including it :)

    I would only include /plumbers once you have one, while single entries for /electricians and /accountants look somewhat biased even if they are genuinely unconnected to you.

    Clubs & Bars has zero entries - maybe wait until it is non-zero ?

    Cars & Transport was unfulfilling because it didn't include travel news although it technically did what it said on the tin.

    Strangely, Things To Do takes an eternity to respond.

    The subcategories (eg Car Parking and Garaging) do not show the intermediate menu to which they belong : moving from there to Car Valet requires going back to Cars & Transport first.

    Six items as the default on a listing feels too few.

    Does the police station really operate on a mobile phone ?

    What is the sort order on a category ? How come a bUilding Society called Yorkshire (the 25th letter of the alphabet) come ahead of banks like a bAnk called Barclays ?

    Your linked-to web design business seems to be confused about its identity : treacle.ltd.uk or treaclewebdesign.co.uk ?

    How frequently does the search refresh ? I'm genuinely confused about how this is implemented. Should it mention being powered by the big G or should the index be refreshed more frequently ? Why does searching for the most common surname beginning with S only show Sam but not W H (which is listed elsewhere in the Newsa* category) ?

    I haven't quite got my head around your advertising model, but it looks good (subject to other comments).

    Best wishes - as I said, this approach is VERY interesting to me :)

    Regards,
    David
     
  9. retired_member34

    retired_member34 Retired Member

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    David,

    Many thanks for taking the time to review this in depth, it is great to have a fresh view on a site.

    Good point on the support banner, I had not considered it naturally appears to lead to somewhere. The photos are cc licenced via Geograph, a great resource. Strangely I have just increased the size of all the photos on the site, previous iterations had smaller ones.

    It is simply a question of focus, there are many other sites covering the surrounding larger towns, I wanted to build a resource with sufficient detail and accuracy to make it stand out from other directories. Saying that, there is a series of articles coming with a "local tourist" theme, listing things to do in the surrounding areas.

    I have the code to display all sold property prices but the customer does not yet want to pay the land registry fees. My intention is to show mapped past sales along with current for sale from local agents (using the same data upload files as Rightmove etc). I have no idea if the agents will go for this however!

    The customer will be maintaining this, I just gave him a starter set of events. It does take time to maintain, but if he gives it an hour a week he'll be able to keep it populated, it is suprising just how many things are going on in a town, even a small one like Cowbridge.

    This is a problem for small data sets, they can be thinly spread out across categories, it does show all businesses in the town with a geographic location but of course lots of plumbers/electricians etc don't tend to have one. I've puzzled ove this but not come up with a satisfactory solution. The plan is for Travel will have scraped live data as soon as the government gets around to publishing it, along with mapped bus stops etc.

    Thanks, I'll check these.

    There is no direct phone number at a small part time police station such as this, the mobile number is for the local PCSO :D

    In theory it is their distance from a point in the centre of the town, but the business locations need refining, at the moment they are just geolocated using their post code which is not precise enough. That is today's job!

    Your guess is as good as mine, it is simply the free Google Site Search. I've used the paid version in the past which is much better as you can force G to index the entire site, the free version they do in their own time.

    It doesn't have the correct model at the moment (at the moment it is using the large site model), the customer is simply going to open all listings, photos, videos etc for free to all businesses, and then try to get some banner ads rented.


    Thanks again for taking the time, you've given me a few more points to ponder.
     
  10. KrystianB

    KrystianB Member

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    really cool website, what software is that based on?
    not too keen on the top right navigation though
     
  11. retired_member34

    retired_member34 Retired Member

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    Thanks, it's custom coded in ASP.
     
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