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Websites that are all about marketing PLACE

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,219
Points
29
Have you ever come across websites that are dedicated sepcifically for marketing a place?

Try Port Huron, Michigan, "Maritime Capital of the Great Lakes."

http://www.porthuron.org/intro.html

I know, once you get past the Flash intro, you arrive at the main City web page. But the intro is bloated, an overstated image of a City that is, well, just okay. If you've ever been there, you'll know what I mean.

Try Kalamazoo, Michigan, "Discover Kalamazoo." { sorry michaelskis B-) }

http://www.discoverkalamazoo.com

Nothing too fancy, rather ordinary. But their event calendar is up to date. That is cool! Many online calendars that I come across are out of date and useless. I'll give Kalamazoo their props!

Post your favorite place marketing website links here. Let's take a look and give constructive and insightful comments on them.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Given my economic development role, this could be an interesting thread. There is a lot of debate about how an economic development web site should be set up. That is, who is the primary customer and what role does the web site play in relation to that. In my case, I have a web site oriented to persons making a business location decision. The web site is a platform for distributing information to them. I accept the reality that people are not going to do a web search, find my site, and spend a whole lot of time reading through a sales pitch. No, the person who uses my site already knows about the city and is looking for hard facts.

I am right now in the process of updating the site. The formatting will be improved some, and I'll be doubling the number of pages. Links to related documents will be on each page, in addition to having a document library as I have now. For example, if you went to the new page for sites and buildings, there would be a list with links to profiles of each building. Go into planning and there will be links to all of the plans available in electronic format.

With that said, here is the link to the site. Since I am in the process of updating it, go ahead and give me some ideas.
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
Cardinal, with just a quick glance: your site looks like it is all jammed up into the top left corner. You could stand to have a <br> above the first table and you could stand to do something to create a similar effect down the left hand side (but I don't know enough html to say what, off the top of my head). With nothing but white space on the bottom and right, it looks unbalanced and it feels like you kind of fall off the page. If you put in a subtle colored background or maybe used a watermark version of the logo for a background jpg or somthing, it would help complete the sense of a "frame" for the text in the middle. And then you need a cellpadding="5" (or maybe 10) in your central table so the text does not feel so jammed up against the left hand table. (or something -- when I tried that, it didn't fix the problem, sigh -- must learn more html)

The bottom bar with the copyright statement might work better, visually, if you made it closer in size to the top bar or dark. Here is a sample page with a <br> at the top and a blue bar (the hyperlink disappears -- you would have to change your hyperlink color if you did this): http://eclogiselle.com/ZZZ3cardinal.html.

The white lettering of the town name against the pictures up top can be hard to make out for some people. As a guess, that might be, say, older white guys who have a good chance of being color blind and having failing eyesight (my guess is that describes a good portion of your target audience). I live with two (white males) who are color blind and have poor eyesight. I always have one of them take a peak at my work and give me some feedback on how readable, etc, it is for them. I recommend that for any important design work. (Grab the guy who sometimes shows up with a navy blue sock and a black sock and has no clue what you are talking about when you say they don't match... that would be "my husband" if you worked in the same office.) Anyway, I would recommend you do the white lettering against that dark blue shade you are using. It would be dramatic and highly visible and stuff.

I don't understand why you have such a godawful table for your menu. If you did an "includes file", you could change one page to update the menu bar on every page of your website. Since you are doubling the number of pages, you need to do something along those lines. Using the same technique in the top bar would allow you to put up "Hey Stupid, LOOK, I AM HERE!!!" type announcements of anything really important/urgent any time you liked for just a few minutes work. If you have to manually go in and change the menu on every page of your website, updates take forever. I am going to an "includes file" format while I am splitting my website up into two websites.
Here are a couple of samples of that (excuse the mess -- these are rough drafts/sample pages and are up mostly because I collaborate with folks in Canada, New Mexico, etc.):
http://eclogiselle.com/XXX9.html Only one link in the menu works.
http://califmichele.com/INCLUDESaspie.html
 
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